Magnet therapy is the use of magnets for the treatment of physical ailments.
The general public has been curious about the healing powers of magnets since the time of the ancient Greeks. While magnet therapy seems to trend every few decades, scientists always come to the same conclusion â€” they donâ€™t do much to help.
Manufacturers try to sell people magnets for a variety of painful conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia â€” but menopause is relatively new to this list. New claims assert that magnet therapy drastically reduces the symptoms of menopause.
But before you run out and get one, letâ€™s take a closer look at their purported benefits.
How is magnet therapy said to work for menopause?
Although there may be a few knock-offs, a company called Lady Care has pretty much cornered the menopause magnet market. Lady Care, a company based in England, exclusively makes the Lady Care and Lady Care Plus+ magnets.
According to their website, the Lady Care Plus+ magnet works by rebalancing your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS is the part of your nervous system thatâ€™s involuntary. Itâ€™s how your brain keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your metabolism moving.
The ANS has two main divisions, your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems have opposite purposes.
While the sympathetic system prepares your body for activity, by opening your airways and making your heart beat faster, the parasympathetic system prepares your body for rest, by aiding digestion and helping you relax.
According to Lady Care, the two divisions of the ANS get out of whack during menopause, resulting in symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia.
They claim that the Lady Care magnet can also reduce stress, which will in turn reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Does it actually work?
In a word â€” no. Although the ANS may play a role in menopause symptoms, no direct relationship has been proven.
Itâ€™s widely accepted that menopause symptoms are caused by a multitude of factors and several different body processes.
Perhaps more importantly, thereâ€™s no history to suggest that magnets have any effect on menopause. If they did, doctors would know about it by now.
For example, giant magnetic machines are used often in medical diagnostics â€” you know them as MRIs. If these extremely powerful magnets donâ€™t improve the symptoms of menopause, then thereâ€™s little chance that a small magnet in your underwear would be more effective.
Magnet therapy isnâ€™t all bogus, though. Thereâ€™s a different type of magnet, called an electromagnet, that has shown to be somewhat helpful in treating osteoarthritis and migraines.
These magnets are a bit different than the kind on your refrigerator (and the Lady Care Plus+) because theyâ€™re made by electrically charging metal.
Purported benefits of use
According to the makers of the Lady Care Plus+, their magnet can treat just about all menopausal symptoms, including:
- hot flashes
- skin problems
- loss of energy, fatigue, and tiredness
- mood changes
- loss of sex drive
- vaginal dryness
- painful intercourse
- weight gain
- urinary incontinence when laughing or sneezing
- hair loss
- breast tenderness
- sore muscles
- irregular periods and heavy bleeding
- memory loss
- bladder infections
- bloating and water retention
- digestive problems
That said, there isnâ€™t any evidence to support these claims. If youâ€™re looking for alternatives to treat these symptoms, try here.
How to use
The Lady Care magnet is designed to clip magnetically to your underwear. The makers suggest wearing it 24 hours per day for at least three months before deciding it doesnâ€™t work.
They suggest wearing it throughout perimenopause, menopause, and beyond, replacing your magnet every five years or so.
According to the company, if the magnet isnâ€™t working, itâ€™s because your stress levels are too high. In these situations, they recommend removing the magnet for 21 days, spending those days focusing on stress reduction, and resuming 24-hour magnet therapy.
Stress management and meditation are both known to help you feel better, on their own.
The details of the Lady Care magnet are proprietary, so itâ€™s impossible to compare it to other therapeutic magnets on the market.
The strength of a magnet â€” the size of its magnetic field â€” is measured in units called gauss. Refrigerator magnets are around 10 to 100 gauss. Therapeutic magnets available online range from around 600 to 5000 gauss.
Possible side effects and risks
There isnâ€™t a lot of information available about the side effects of magnets, but few problems have ever been reported. However, itâ€™s important to note that some magnets can interfere with certain medical devices, such as pacemakers and insulin pumps.
Although the makers of the Lady Care Plus+ say no pacemaker problems have been reported to them, if you use a medical device or live with someone who has one, you should consult a doctor before beginning magnet therapy.
Some magnet users have reported a small red mark developing on the skin beneath the magnet. This is most likely caused by pressure to the area.
Magnets can also sometimes interfere with other electrical devices. According to Lady Care, there have been reports of the magnets interfering with the cooling fan in laptops. This can cause your computer to overheat.
Small magnets can also pose a danger to young children and pets, as they can be dangerous if swallowed.
The bottom line
Thereâ€™s very little reason to believe that magnets can have any effect on menopause symptoms.
If youâ€™re struggling with the transition to menopause, make an appointment with a doctor or other healthcare provider and talk about ways to treat the symptoms that are known to work. There may be other, more effective treatments available.
Read more on: menopause