While the use of magnets for health purposes dates back hundreds of years, there have been no real studies performed to determine the actual level of benefit until the University of Virginia published results from one of the first clinical research studies performed. This publication came out in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine with some interesting findings.

Overall, the results were inconclusive although people suffering from Fibromyalgia pain did experience a reduced level of pain. Pain is measured in many different forms. However, for the purpose of this study, there were three measures used, which used the functional status reported by study participants on a standard questionnaire used nationwide for Fibromyalgia, the number of trigger points located on the body, and the level of pain. The data was comprised of 94 patients with Fibromyalgia that were divided into four separate groups randomly.

The first group was given sham pads that contained magnets that were demagnetized by going through a heat process. The second group was given their usual treatment for Fibromyalgia. The two remaining groups were given active magnetic pads - one of these groups used Pad A, providing exposure to the entire body through a low, uniform static magnetic field of negative polarity, and the other group used Pad B, which had been exposed to subjects in a low static magnetic field, which varied in both polarity and spatially. All four groups were then treated and monitored for six months as the data was gathered.

For most of the outcome measurements, there were no significant statistical differences found. However, there was a statistically significant difference regarding the intensity of pain for one of the groups using the active magnetic pad. Both of the Pad A and Pad B groups slept on active magnets and showed the highest level of improvement in all three measurements - pain intensity, number of trigger points, and body and functional status after the six-month trial.

For the group with Pad A, they showed a consistent improvement on all three measures over the course of six-months while the Pad B group showed the same improvement but in only three months. The group with the sham pad and the group receiving their normal care showed no improvement. As a way of quantifying the dosage and exposure of the magnetic fields, the mattresses were thoroughly tested. The result for the group with the active magnets showed that the therapy works although there is still little understanding as to how. Some skeptics state that conclusions cannot be drawn on one study and perhaps more in depth studies are needed. However, with the outcome of the study that was conducted, the results were promising.

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