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Magnetic field therapy
| Style over substance|
Magnetic field therapy is the use of magnetic fields to treat medical ailments. Unlike other alternative therapies, there are some proposed mechanisms for how it works, such as the magnets interfering with the iron in blood. However, these do not successfully explain why the effect is good, or even if it is a noticeable effect. Like other alternative therapies (such as homeopathy), it gets away with this by claiming that "every case is unique," thereby getting around any concept of scientific reproducibility, and makes it unfalsifiable. This tends to make it nearly impossible to establish the therapies' efficacy.
Real medical applications of magnets
MFT is distinct from chemical and medical analytical tools based on the phenomenon of magnetic resonance, which is used as a successful diagnosis tool in the form of MRI scanning. Diathermy is a legitimate therapy which may use electromagnetic microwaves for deep heating of live tissue.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is another legitimate therapy, which uses powerful electromagnets to induce small electrical currents in the brain and is being investigated as a possible treatment for severe depression, schizophrenia, and stroke rehabilitation. It is also used in the diagnosis and monitoring of neurological diseases such as ALS. At the very least, it can cause hilarious lapses in motor control when a TMS pulse is delivered to someone attempting to do simple tasks. Importantly, this requires actively pulsing the fields, rather than remaining static, which is the primary difference between such treatments and woo regarding magnetic fields.