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[IP] It Sounds Like Voodoo, But Apparently It Works!

Found this article on the web. As someone who suffers from "overly-toasty feet"
syndrome (peripheral neuropathy), I think I'll look for a set of magnet socks.

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters Health) -- The wearing of magnet-laden socks seems
to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with a foot disorder common in
diabetics, according to study from a US researcher. 
``The constant wearing of magnetic devices was able to dramatically suppress
the neuropathic symptoms of burning pain and numbness and tingling in the
diabetic (patients' feet),'' concludes researcher Dr. Michael Weintraub of
Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown, New York. His findings are
published in the January issue of the American Journal of Pain Management. 
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy -- a progressive deterioration of nerve
function in the extremities linked to diabetes -- can trigger chronic pain
in the feet. According to Weintraub, this condition is ``notoriously
difficult to treat, and often the patient becomes disabled.'' 
Anecdotal reports have stimulated interest in the purported effectiveness of
magnet therapy in the treatment of various types of pain. Sales of
therapeutic magnets have now reached $200 million in the United States
Weintraub's study involved 19 patients suffering from foot pain, 10 of whom
were diabetic. He had all the study participants wear special 'magnet socks'
for 4 months. Real magnets were sewn into one foot of each of the pair of
socks, Weintraub explained, while the other foot contained a fake 'placebo'
magnet-lookalike. Patients were not told which sock contained the real
magnet, and socks were switched from foot to foot after the first month of
the study. 
The result? At the end of 4 months, 90% of diabetic subjects reported a
dramatic reduction in foot pain. In contrast, just a third of the
non-diabetic patients reported symptom reduction after magnet therapy. 
The positive response of diabetic users to magnet therapy ''appears to be
palliative but not curative,'' Weintraub writes, ''since symptoms recur when
the (magnet) is removed.'' 
Still, he says, magnet therapy ``demonstrated an unexpected benefit'' in
easing the symptoms of a condition previously ''felt to be 'disabling,
intractable, and progressive.''' 
Weintraub and other experts believe that larger, controlled clinical trials
are necessary to confirm these results. ``We don't know the mechanism by
which this works,'' said Dr. Paul Rosch, president of the American Institute
of Stress and an expert in magnet therapy. ``From a statistical point of
view, the sampling (of Weintraub's study) is very small.'' Still, he labeled
Weintraub's findings ``a tremendous breakthrough.'' 
SOURCE: American Journal of Pain Management 1999;9:8-17. 

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/