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How effective is magnetic therapy?

Whilst acceptance of complementary medicine in general and  magnetic therapy in particular is becoming increasingly accepted, many questions arise in relation to it. For example, a lot of people wonder is it a quick fix solution that offers rapid relief or a slow gradual process that works on the underlying causes of an ailment.

It may sound like the kind of answer that parents give to nagging children, but the reality is that it varies very much according to the individual. The acuteness of the symptoms and the amount of time one has had them are all factors that affect the speed of relief. Thus some symptoms can be gone in minutes, while others may take days.

But if that is the case, then why not rely on conventional medicine which is similarly modest in its claims about when and how quickly it works? Why put ones faith in a magnetic bracelet rather than a qualified doctor. Well, first of all it must be stressed that no one – or at least no responsible person – ever said that one should not go to the doctor if one has an illness or symptoms. But magnetic bracelets benefits are borne out by a great deal of human experience.

That is why as far back as 1999, a survey showed that something like 120 million people in the world were estimate to use magnet therapy at one time or another, generating an industry with a worldwide turnover of $1.5 billion. And that was thirteen years ago. Since then public acceptance has grown immensely. Part of acceptance is due to human experience and word of mouth, but it is also due in no small measure to the fact that it is increasingly recognized that drugs can sometimes have harmful side effects, whereas – magnets therapy does not.

One of the factors that may have inadvertently affected scientific acceptance of magnetic therapy is the use of terminology. To a physicist or engineer, the pole of a magnet that is attracted to the north pole of the earth is the north pole of magnet while south pole of the magnet is attracted to the south pole. However in magnetic therapy the “bio-north” pole is the one that attracts the north pole of a compass and vice versa. This to a magnet therapy healer, the magnet is like the earth and the terminology they use is based on this analogy. But unfortunately, that means that the bio-north pole to a magnetic healer is what a physicist would call the south pole and the bio-south pole to such a clinician would be the north pole to a physicist.

No one said it was going to be easy!