Energy-based therapies

The facts

In magnet therapy, small metal magnets are attached to the body with the aim of alleviating pain or treating a particular disease.

A kind of magnet called a static magnet (also called permanent magnet) may be adhered directly to the skin or worn on bracelets, necklaces, bands, or belts that wrap around parts of the body. They may also be implanted in the insoles of shoes or the inside of sleep pads or blankets. Duration of wear and strength of magnet depend on the individual.

Proponents of magnet therapy believe that it may boost blood flow and block the body's nerve response to pain. And yet no scientific evidence has been established to support claims of benefits from using static magnets.

Other types of magnetic therapy - electromagnetic fields and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for example - are different than static magnet therapy and have more scientific evidence proving their benefits.

A word of caution

Magnets are considered harmless, and side effects or complications are rare. However, magnets may pose a risk to those who wear or use medical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and insulin pumps because they may interfere with how these devices work.

Magnet therapy should not be relied upon as sole treatment for a medical condition.