Over the past decade, the popularity of magnetic therapy and the use of magnetic bracelets has reached its peak, despite the fact that many medical experts refute the validity of it. According to the American Cancer Society, magnetic therapy involves the usage of thin metal magnets, typically mounted on bracelets or necklaces, as a way of relieving the pain caused by arthritis, migraines, stress and poor circulation.
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How Safe Are They?
Although the proponents of magnetic therapy, including the Magnetic Therapy Council, claim that "there are no known side effects to using medical magnetic treatments," many users still report some minor side effects that have come about from the usage of these magnetic bracelets and necklaces.
Some of these minor side effects include a warm or hot feeling for the first few days in the areas where the magnets have been placed, according to the Magnetic Therapy Council (MTC).
The MTC attributes this side effect to the increased circulation of blood caused by the magnets and likens the effect to that of the improved circulation that comes with exercise, a process called perfusion.
Tingling and Dizziness
Feelings of being warm or hot are not the only reported side effects of magnetic therapy however. Some other users have claimed to feel, "tingling and slight dizziness for the first few days of use," according to the MTC.
Just as with the warm feelings in the areas where the magnets are placed on users, the MTC also attributes this sensation of tingling or dizziness to the fact that the magnets are increasing the blood circulation of the person wearing the magnets. They claim that these side effects should only last the first few days, or until the person's body becomes accustomed to the increased blood flow.
Rashes and Allergic Reactions
Perhaps the most severe side effects that have been reported to occur in people that use magnetic therapy are rashes. The MTC states that although it is rare, few people have developed a rash or redness on their skin in the areas where the magnets, bracelets or necklaces were placed. In addition to these rashes, there has also been reports of magnetic therapy users feeling nauseous upon placing the magnets on their body.
The MTC claims that there is, "no physiological reason for this to occur," and contends that it cannot be an allergic reaction because the symptoms subside as soon as the magnets are removed from the skin. They also state that it, "does not fit the pattern of an anaphylactic reaction."
The MTC argues that these side effects must be psychosomatic side effects, meaning that, "the symptoms have been manifested due to the person's fear and insecurity about using magnets." According to the MTC, the side effects are simply the body's way of going through the biological processes required to adapt to a new and unfamiliar situation.