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Magnetic Therapy for Pain Relief

By: George Tarr

Although mainstream science has yet to recognize magnet therapy as an effective branch of alternative medicine, an increasingly large number of people are beginning to use it as a supplementary treatment for a variety of health-related conditions. Personal testimonials as to the positive effects of magnet therapy are plenty, attesting to the general satisfaction of its practitioners. Those opposed to magnet therapy often argue that positive results are merely a product of the placebo effect - but to that we say, who cares? If the purpose of a therapy is to relieve the sensation of pain, and the therapy achieves that purpose successfully, then the therapy - placebo or not - is an effective one.

The goal of this article is not to argue the effectiveness of magnet therapy, for that is another matter in itself. Rather, we would like to provide you with an overview of some of the more common uses of magnet therapy, focusing on the use of magnets as a supplementary treatment for pain.
Do note: when we say supplementary, we mean just that. Magnet therapy should not be viewed as a substitute for regular visits to the doctor, recommended surgeries or medications, etc. It is generally in conjunction with conventional treatments that magnet therapy can be at its most effective.

Modern magnet therapy products come in all shapes and sizes, and are made of a variety of materials. Magnetic jewelry is an especially popular accessory, as it affords the wearer a fashionable and discreet means of using magnet therapy. Other magnet therapy products include back and joint supports and magnetic bandages, which are designed to offer more concentrated treatments for pain and discomfort in specific parts of the body; magnetic insoles for shoes; magnetic seat and mattress pads; and a wide variety of other products out there on the market.

Magnet therapy in its various forms has been claimed to produce positive pain relieving effects in the treatment of a great number of conditions, including back and neck pain, arthritis, muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome - and the list goes on and on. NY Times best selling author Gary Null's Healing with Magnets (1998) contains an extensive review of the various uses of magnet therapy for pain relief and other positive health benefits.

Some people are so firmly convinced by the effectiveness of magnet therapy that they choose it as an alternative to over-the-counter painkillers. One of the advantages of using magnet therapy as an alternative to painkillers is that there appear to be no inherent risks associated with magnet therapy other than the possibility of it being ineffective. Meanwhile, painkillers sometimes have side effects that can result in serious health problems for users. The effectiveness of painkillers is also debatable, as over-the-counter medications are limited in their effectiveness to begin with. Furthermore, users can build up tolerances to drugs they take frequently, rendering them even less effective for pain relief.

To conclude, we state again that magnet therapy is not a proven avenue of medical treatment, but that for many people it does act as an effective supplementary treatment for pain and discomfort. The best way to test it is to try it out for yourself. Magnet therapy products tend to be relatively inexpensive - so get yourself a bracelet and see what you think. If it isn't doing anything for you, then at least you've got a nice new addition to your jewelry collection!

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