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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Magnet therapies 'have no effect'

Magnet therapies which are claimed to cure conditions ranging from back pain to cancer have no proven benefits, according to a team of US researchers.

Sales of the so-called therapeutic devices, which are worn in bracelets, insoles, and wrist and knee bands, top $1 billion worldwide, they said.

But a major review showed no benefits, a British Medical Journal report said.

The team also warned self-treatment with magnets risked leaving underlying medical conditions untreated.

Professor Leonard Finegold of Drexel University in Philadelphia and Professor Bruce Flamm of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in California said turning to magnetic therapies could also cause "financial harm".

Debbie Shimadry, director of World of Magnets, said use of magnets was not a cure, but a treatment that was very effective for relief of symptoms of joint-related disorders.

She said: "It is important to have the right type of magnet of the right strength, placed in the right area.

"Magnetic bracelets worn around the wrist are not going to allievate pain all over the body - they need to be placed directly over the area of injury for the right length of time."


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