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Health Benefits of Magnetic Bracelets

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 3 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Magnet Magnetic Magnetic Therapy

Magnetic therapy is a popular alternative treatment which goes back thousands of years, dating all the way back to the Egyptian pharaohs. Many believe that just because a therapy is ancient, that means it has to be good, with far-reaching health benefits. But is that really the case? The answer is: probably not.

For example, the idea behind wearing magnetic bracelets is that the magnets work by realigning the magnetic fields in our body. This realignment is supposed to not only improve the way we feel – especially if we have specific chronic or muscle pain - but the way we perform overall as well.

Sceptics, however, have pointed out that there is little scientific evidence to back up any of these claims. They point out that while the blood protein called haemoglobin which carries oxygen is repulsed by magnetic fields, the magnets in magnetic bracelets are so weak they would have no effect on our blood flow whatsoever.

Furthermore, they say that while some scientific studies have shown a minor improvement in pain levels amongst those who wore these magnetic bracelets as compared to those who did not, that is probably due only to a placebo effect.

How Magnet Therapy (Theoretically) Works

Theoretically, the idea behind magnet therapy is simple. Proponents believe that a magnet placed on the body draws blood to that area, producing a calming effect on the muscles and tissues in that region and putting the body in the best environment possible for it to heal itself.

Whether the magnet is placed inside a shoe, worn as an ankle strap or – most commonly – attached to a bracelet – the effect is purportedly a positive one. The increased blood flow not only helps deliver more nutrients to the body, but also improves the removal of toxins and contaminants from tissues throughout the body.

Proponents of magnet therapy also claim that magnetic bracelets can:

  • Reduce inflammation, lactic acid, calcium deposits and other toxins in the body due to the increased blood flow
  • Help heal nervous tissue and bones due to the magnets’ ability to accelerate the migration of calcium ions
  • Help promote peaceful sleep as the magnets can influence the production of the hormone melatonin in the body, which helps us know when to sleep and when to wake up
  • Help the body to produce more endorphins, which are known as natural painkillers

Lack of Scientific Evidence

There has been scant medical evidence attesting to the efficacy of magnetic bracelets, with most positive reports being purely anecdotal.

There have been, however, occasional positive medical studies. Most have noted a small improvement in pain relief among patients with specific ailments who wore magnetic bracelets, as compared to those in dummy groups who did not.

The British Medical Journal, for example, published an article in 2004 which studied 194 patients with osteoarthritis in the hip and knee over a two-week period.

Those who wore bracelets noted a “slightly higher” decrease in pain than those who did not wear them. The authors noted, however, that it was unclear whether this was due purely to “specific or non-specific placebo effects” on the patients.

A more recent study published in 2009, however, found that leather wrist-straps containing magnets were ineffective when it come to managing or pain or improving stiffness and function in patients with osteoarthritis.

A Word of Caution

Magnet therapy is a booming business, with magnetic bracelets not the only magnet-based commodity on the market. Other products include magnetic pillows, mattress pads, hairbrushes and even magnetic pet products, designed to help your mog or mutt make the most of magnets.

Magnetic therapy cannot harm you as long as you use it as a complementary method to improve your health, meaning you do not forsake conventional medicine in favour of a wearing a bracelet.

In recent years, some practitioners have gone so far as to use magnets to diagnose diseases such as cancer and HIV, and say they can be used to treat chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Most practitioners of this therapy would not condone such behaviour, and if you meet someone who does, it’s advisable to go somewhere else.

People with cardiac pacemakers, those having any type of radiology treatments, or those going in for an MRI scan should avoid using magnets. Consult with your GP beforehand before trying any type of alternative treatment to make sure it is the right treatment for you.

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My step father recently bought me a magnetic bracelet and it works well for me. I have 2 children. My daughter is 11 and had ADHD. I don't have trouble getting her to bed...the trouble is waking up. She take 70 mg of vyvanse fir the adhd. My son is 9 and he has ADHD and ODD. I have a hard time getting him to sleep. He is always tired. He take 60 mg of vyvanse and 3 mg melatonin to help him sleep. My question is could a magnetic braclet help my kids?
Wondermama - 3-May-17 @ 10:32 PM
I'm 40 and have suffered all sorts of back issues over the years. I use magnetic plasters - small circulate plaster with a magnet on the underside. They take the anger out of swelling after 24 hours, really help reduce the pain and take the away the general soreness. I've tried every single remedy, medical and natural and it's the only think that works. Couldn't be more of a fan.
Cal - 26-Nov-16 @ 8:10 AM
Can diabetics wear magnetic medical bracelets?
Chuckles - 28-Oct-16 @ 10:17 PM
I just gotten a magnet Bracelet today, I have type2 diabetes,& blood pressure, joint pain n legs & shoulder.so let me know if its safe for me to wear?
mek - 25-Oct-16 @ 12:30 PM
I've been wearing a magnetic bracelets for three months. All the time. I am type 2 diabetic and have acid reflux. Absolutely no change in how I feel or anything else. I wear the bracelet bc it's cute and it saves me from wearing my real bracelets at work.
Debb - 2-May-16 @ 7:51 PM
The reason that it would actually atract blood, is because it's a magnet. Iron which is a form of metal is present in the blood cells.
Hey - 13-Apr-16 @ 8:20 AM
Do you have anybody in Vadodara(Gujarat)? He should contact me.
Hemesh - 3-Feb-16 @ 8:59 AM
Corky - Your Question:
I have just received a magnetic bracelet but I'm told not to wear if I'm using pain giving drugs and I happen to be using BuTrans 10 microgram so can you please advise hat

Our Response:
We cannot really comment on individual medical cases, sorry.
SafeAlternativeMedicine - 12-Oct-15 @ 1:55 PM
I have just received a magnetic bracelet but I'm told not to wear if I'm using pain giving drugs and I happen to be using BuTrans 10 microgram so can you please advise hat
Corky - 11-Oct-15 @ 4:32 PM
Hi Dear, Please guide me, I am suffering from Joint pains as a deficiency of Vitamin D in my body & also suffering from Acidity or gas problem. Is magnetic bracelet helpful for the above mentioned issues. Regards Neeraj Sharma
Sone - 20-Jul-15 @ 11:13 AM
I just gotten a magnet Bracelet today, I have type2 diabetes,& blood pressure, joint pain n legs & shoulder.so let me know if its safe for me to wear... I feel better since I gotten mind today! Thanks It wasa wrist Bracelet at walgreen.
Sugarfoot - 7-Jul-15 @ 4:15 AM
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