Comment by Ray Padfield-Krala, 12 Feb, 2007
I hope that you publish this on your website so to balance the argument. I would like to comment on one or two of the statements made on your website.
I will not go through every paragraph but in hope in by refuting some of the comments I will show that your argument has not been properly thought and to show that all you have done is to pick out the weakest argument put forward for the therapy and using this as evidence against it's benefits. I should also point out that I believe that more than 90% of companies and individuals selling magnetic therapy products do NOT know what they are talking about anyway which makes a very good case for the "blind leading the blind". Including yourselves.
"What if magnets attract iron in our blood"??? What!! who said that? In layman's terms: The iron atoms in Haemoglobin is made of an Fe Atom which has more electrons than protons so has a directional spin. This atom is paramagnetic which means that it will react within magnetic fields especially if passing through a magnetic field at speed. If you increase the spin of an electron you increase energy, increase energy within a cell that is weak in energy then you in turn increase that cells energy and efficiency in doing what it is supposed to do, i.e..e pick up oxygen. NO one is suggesting that a perfectly healthy red blood cell is going to absorb more oxygen than it is supposed to by putting it near a magnetic field but into improve its ability to do it's job better than it did before. Red blood cells can stack together like coins (rouloux) which means their surface area is reduced and therefore it's ability to absorb oxygen is inhibited. Red blood cells will only pass through a capillary one at a time so oxygen is not being delivered into as efficiently around the body as it should, especially in damaged tissue. If you rub the area to improve blood flow the pain will ease due to the fact that you are improving the healing potential but you can't rub 24/7! By improving blood flow to the site of pain and you ease the pain (except where there is swelling). Drink more water (the right amount that is) I add this in brackets in case you say you know someone who drank to much water and they died! What you probably omit to say is what actually happened is that fell into a river and they drowned!!! :-)
All the talk of lying on a magnetic mattress and the blood will all be drawn to the magnet is rubbish and you know it but again it is put into print by a selling company who knows nothing of what they are selling BUT that doesn't make the theory of what really happens false! Why knock it anyway, have you had a bad experience and spent a lot of money on a product and it didn't work. We all do that! Every time we walk into a chemist for drug or potion which all have potential side affects and not guaranteed to work anyway! Magnetic therapy products can be cheap, depending on who you buy from, they can last 50 plus years, again depending on quality and too many people have felt a benefit otherwise why for 10 years I meet people face to face who tell me that it is the only thing that has helped them and they no longer take harmful drugs.
Magnets are safe except in the obvious exclusion of pregnancy and pacemakers. Why pacemakers anyway? Magnetic insoles won't affect a pacemaker, a magnet strap around the ankle won't affect a pacemaker but someone wearing a magnet bracelet putting their arm on someone wearing a pacemaker might! The same for pregnancy but ethics on this point suggest it best not take a chance but if what you are saying they can't have any biological effect, why not!
Not one clinical trial used an item of magnetic jewellery and yet in the British Medical Journal website a reference is made to a magnetic bracelet used in a trial that helped people with osteoarthritis in the hip and knee and yet it was a magnetic wrist strap with a magnet far stronger than any jewellery item on the market. So what happens " lets all go out and sell magnetic jewellery because the BMJ says it works!!! Wrong!
Magnets do not make the skin go red! Why should it? You keep making the same error. In one sentence you quote a companies statement i.e..e magnets can improve circulation" and throughout the next paragraph in reply you use the word "Increase" which have two very different and distinct meanings with latter used to disprove and argument that is plausible! Circulation will only improve into an area that needs it, it is NOT forced to do more than it is supposed to do so why should healthy tissue go red? Rub it and that's not natural and eventually you will to stop because it hurts. That's your body telling you to stop! Magnets don't do this.
As I said I haven't got time to read every paragraph but in every section I see you picking the weakest and obviously ridiculous claim and using that as evidence for your sceptism and its powerful because you have the last word without argument or discussion.
It's easy to print an opinion debunking an idea without the right to reply but if you want to see an excellent response then I suggest you type: dowens6683 into Google and pick "what the sceptic say" This guy has more time than me to read through every article but even then even he knows that some of the claims made by the company he represents are not particularly true especially regarding the "special" magnets that they use. Another case of the blind (the company) leading the blind (the distributor) who has no training other than being recruited off the street one minute and then next minute to a multi level marketing schemes selling seminar.
I look forward to your reply and response. Regards and best wishes regardless.
Ray Padfield-Krala Director MAGNETiC Co BCMA
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Feb, 2007
Sorry Ray but nothing that you've said has made us change our stance. You yourself freely admit that
"I believe that more than 90% of companies and individuals selling magnetic therapy products do NOT know what they are talking about anyway which makes a very good case for the "blind leading the blind". Including yourselves."
But don't you understand, we're not following "the blind". It's actually you that is pushing magnetic therapy products based on pseudoscientific claims. As you say, it's your associates that are making the bogus statements, not us, we are merely trying to do the job that you are unable or unwilling to do. Have you sent a similar email to the 90% plus of your magnetic therapy associates pointing out the bogus claims they are making and the disrepute they are bringing upon your industry?
You condemn us stating that
"all you have done is to pick out the weakest argument put forward for the therapy" and "in every section I see you picking the weakest and obviously ridiculous claim" and "All the talk of lying on a magnetic mattress and the blood will all be drawn to the magnet is rubbish and you know it."
Yet it is exactly these weak arguments and ridiculous claims that are selling magnetic therapy products around the world, as you admit. Once we demolish these claims then healing magnets will seem just as silly as healing crystals and healing hands.
Your industries must rely on these ridiculous claims because there is no good scientific evidence supporting magnetic therapy. In trying you defend magnetic therapy you simply add to the list of bogus arguments:
"The iron atoms in Haemoglobin is made of an Fe Atom which has more electrons than protons so has a directional spin... If you increase the spin of an electron you increase energy, increase energy within a cell that is weak in energy then you in turn increase that cells energy and efficiency in doing what it is supposed to do..."
We believe this statement of yours is pure pseudoscience. If an atom has more electrons than protons it becomes an ion, and this change does not cause atoms to develop a "directional spin". While magnetism is related to the "spin" of electrons, magnets don't cause iron atoms to spin as you suggest, or electrons for that matter. However in the next quote you say that magnets increase the spin of electrons, increasing the energy in a cell. Still quite wrong, the energy that drives a cell and our body is not stored in an electron's spin or released by spinning electrons. The main element involved in providing energy to our cells is a molecule called ATP. This nucleotide is broken down as required to release energy. Electron spin as you describe it has nothing to do with a "cells energy and efficiency in doing what it is supposed to do..."
This bogus statement of yours is no different than those that you are criticising your associates for using to hoodwink a scientifically illiterate public. We also notice that you don't try and defend your own "obviously ridiculous claim" that we quoted and debunked in our article.
The only thing we would agree with you is when you say
"I believe that more than 90% of companies and individuals selling magnetic therapy products do NOT know what they are talking about."
You are right, it is certainly "more than 90%" and we would put it at exactly 100%.
Comment by Anonymous-1, 17 Feb, 2007
well done, about time, watch out consumer mag
Comment by Tony, 18 Aug, 2007
Hi - Stumbled upon your site while surfing the net to see if anyone was challenging the ludicrous claims made in New Zealand about magnet filled underlays. Finding your site was a pleasant surprise.
I am a web developer myself and have often been tempted to create a similar site. Was thinking more of an open forum in which people could contribute "for" and "against" opinions/experiences on any "woo" subject. In theory people would be able to get other's opinions and experiences with potential scams before investing their hard earned money. I say "in theory" because it's my experience that those who are attracted to obvious scams would rather have their beliefs supported and confirmed rather than exposed and disproven. I recently saved two people $1400 each from an obvious multi-level marketing scam. They both thanked me, but neither have quite forgiven me yet. Unfortunately woo beliefs are founded on emotions, and it's usually difficult to dampen woo beliefs using logic. I've found that logic disguised as emotion usually works the best. Like your site, well done and keep up the good work. I will visit frequently and spread the word. All the best.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Aug, 2007
Hi Tony, thanks for your comment re 'Magnetic Therapy'. It's always nice to get positive feedback.
You should start up an open forum website looking at these silly "woo" subjects. I know there are others out there, but they're only a drop in the ocean compared to the websites pushing all this crap. The more skeptical sites there are the more chance people have of stumbling across one that deals with reality and not fantasy. I agree entirely that many people only want their beliefs supported and not criticised, and it's not just scams, believers in religion, aliens, ghosts and alternative history all read the books and websites that support their beliefs while ignoring the others. And most of these people are never going to visit our website or read the likes of Skeptical Inquirer etc. They are a lost cause. However a few will change their minds if presented with a good argument. Each of us here have managed to occasionally get acquaintances to reject silly beliefs such as the hoax moon landing, astrology, mediums and I personally, just last weekend, got a friend to change her view on UFOs. Thus we see our website as a resource, albeit limited, for people like yourself, people that can maybe take away one or two questions that they can put to friends and family face to face, questions that may force them to re-evaluate their belief regarding a certain "woo" subject. I see this group of people as a 'sitting on the fence' group that can be swayed to change sides. Many take a certain view, be it on religion or UFOs, because when they ask questions they are bombarded with 'convincing' answers from believers, whereas skeptics are seldom heard from. Even when Uncle Joe does doubt we are being abducted by aliens, he usually can't provide good reasons for his position. We also write the odd letter to newspapers challenging religious letters and friends ask why we bother, since these devout believers are never going to change their minds. And I agree, but we don't write for them, even though we address our remarks to them. We write for those anonymous readers that are 'sitting on the fence', those that may be convinced to use reason to reach a conclusion and not blind faith. So we definitely need more people like yourself exposing things like multi-level marketing scams etc. We really do need to start asking people to provide evidence for their beliefs and not just be polite and say 'Well, if that's what you want to believe, I respect that."
Comment by Devy, 20 Nov, 2007
John, one comment. On your page about magnetic therapy there is a line stating:"Yet everyone knows that the magnetic south pole is on the surface of the earth near the geographical south pole, and anyone can prove this with a simple compass."
We know two things:
1. If we allow a bar magnet to swing freely on a string, the end that points towards the geographic north pole is called the north seeking pole of the magnet, and is labeled "N" since it is the North magnetic pole of the magnet. Its opposite end is labeled "S" for South magnetic pole. This is the convention used to determine the "N" or North end of a magnet.
2. We know that like poles repel each other and unlike poles attract each other.
Therefore the line should read:"Yet everyone knows that the magnetic south pole is on the surface of the earth near the geographical north pole, and anyone can prove this with a simple compass." (The magnetic field created by the molten core of the earth must have a magnetic South pole near the geographic north pole in order to attract the "N" end of our bar magnet and compass needles.) Please advise.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Nov, 2007
You're quite right Devy, in one sense. If you say the north pole of your magnet or compass points to the north then it must be pointing to the south magnetic pole. But there is another way of looking at it.
The way I understand it is that it's all about conventions. There is no difference between the properties of a north pole and a south pole, apart from them being opposite to each other. In a similar way there is no correct up and down, historically the northern hemisphere was called up and the southern down, but it would work equally well the other way. Evidently when the Chinese discovered the magnetic compass they called it a south pointing device, whereas when the Europeans adopted it they decided to call it a north pointing device. Regardless of what names you give the poles, everyone agrees that like poles repel and unlike poles attract. Originally the end of the magnet or compass that pointed north was called the 'north seeking pole'. Not the 'north pole' but simply the pole that would seek or point to the north. It was only later shortened to 'north pole'. It would be technically correct to say the north magnetic pole was in the north if we still said the 'north seeking pole' of the compass was pointing north. If we then ask what magnetic pole would seek or point to the magnetic north, we would answer a south pole. So a 'north seeking pole' must be a south pole. Unfortunately by shortening 'north seeking pole' to 'north pole' we have reversed its meaning. So like up and down, if we say the magnetic north pole is in the north then the end of the compass pointing to it must be a south pole. If instead we say the real north pole of the compass is pointing north, then the magnetic north pole must be to the south.
The convention now is that the magnetic north pole is in the north. Few people would head south if told to head towards the magnetic north pole. Likewise most people simply say that a compass points to the magnetic north, not that the magnetic north pole of a compass points north. It is this convention that we refer to in our article, and while I agree that you could argue for the opposite view, this would only confuse people reading the article. As you are no doubt aware we are merely trying to show that the Earth must have both polarities, regardless of what you call them.
But you are quite right that you can't insist that the true magnetic south pole is in the south and also that the true south pole of a magnet or compass point towards it. Luckily we merely say that if the magnetic south pole is in the south, you can prove this with a compass. We don't say the real south pole of the compass points south. :-)
Perhaps we should change our comment to state that since a compass consistently points in one direction this demonstrates that it must be pointing to a magnetic pole, north or south, and therefore the opposite pole must also exist. If only the north pole existed on the earth's surface as the magnetic therapists claim, then a compass would point in random directions, since north would be in every direction.
Comment by Devy, 21 Nov, 2007
Thanks for your elaborate explanation and yes I wouldn't go south if told to go to the magnetic north pole. In my thinking, and because I frequently fly airplanes and therefore I have to calculate bearings etc I keep in mind that the earth has a geographic north pole with an exact location and something that is magnetic lying somewhere at that geographic location. Wherever that is, my compas points to that location and therefore I think of it as the magnetic point of the earths geographical north pole in shorth magnetic north pole. For the rest it is like you say convention. If the convention say that my N on the compass is called the north pole of the underlying magnet then that part points (is attracted to) the south pole of another magnet wherever that magnet may be. For now my compass points downward because of those magnets in my shoes :)
Btw, If only the north pole existed on the earth's surface as the magnetic therapists claim wouldn't that be a unipolar magnet? Scientist are trying to find one for ages now and I think you would get a nobel prize and instant fame if you could find one.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Nov, 2007
Yes, the magnetic therapists are describing the earth as a unipolar magnet or magnetic monopole. While they're not impossible, you would think that they would realise that scientists have never found one and thus they shouldn't claim that the earth is one or that they can produce them quite easily. Just another example that they have no idea what they're talking about.
Thanks again for your comments. We criticise charlatans like magnetic therapists for distorting science for their own ends so we don't want to commit the same sins.
Comment by Steve, 11 Mar, 2008
Hi there,I just listened to yet another BIOMAG advert, and decided to do a search for "BIOMAG scam". And I found your excellent site again :)
It looks like we have very similar views of the world.
I think you ought to add this to your links page — the brights — a movement for all non-religious and non-mystical people.
"A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview. A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements. The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview."
Brights Forum. James Randi is a member.
Keep up the good work.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Mar, 2008
Thanks for your comment re our magnetic therapy article, and yes you're right, we should have a link to the Bright's website. I've updated our links page. I'm reading Daniel C Dennett's book 'Breaking the Spell' at the moment and he mentions being a bright. Personally I identify myself as an atheist but I certainly support any movement that gets people away from religion and superstition. For the record I am registered as a bright on their website.
Comment by Navin, 14 Sep, 2008
Are there any alternative theories to the intermittant reversal of the earths magnetic field. Is it possible that localised changes in various geological locations can give the impression of a global change? Is it possible that any change may be more on a tectonic geographical basis being reproduced on the other end of the globe in the reverse direction WITHOUT any change in the earths overall magnetic polarity?
If there was in fact huge changes to the earths global polarity, shouldn't there be more pronounced effects on all celestial factors that depend on gravitational effects, such as tides etc?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 16 Sep, 2008
Navin, we're not aware of any scientifically supported theories that propose localised, independent magnetic fields. While earth scientists are still unsure of the exact details of why the earth is a giant magnet, there is a consensus that there is only one magnetic field and it moves. It has reduced to zero and also reversed its polarity many times, with over 20 reversals in the last 5 million years. Tests of rock samples from around the world, from different strata, indicate that these reversals are worldwide.
You mention polarity change causing "pronounced effects on all celestial factors that depend on gravitational effects, such as tides etc." But as you say, tides etc are caused by gravity, not magnetism. We guess that the only changes that you might notice over time was the aurora would move slightly if the magnetic poles moved slightly. If the field simply reversed you wouldn't notice any difference as regards aurora since they don't know the difference between "north" and "south" polarities, but a compass would point in the opposite direction. If the field reduced to zero, we would be exposed to a much higher level of dangerous cosmic rays and solar radiations, which could have seriously implications to life, although this view is debated. Of course all these changes would take thousands of years, not something that would be noticed in a human lifetime.
Perhaps you could give us some more detail relating to context. Why do you think the current theory of earth's magnetic field is flawed?
This website covers the basics and is definitely worth a look: 'In the News: Magnetic Flip'
Comment by Tammy, 08 Dec, 2008
I am by no means a scientist. But, I will tell you why I think this article is misleading. I will tell you briefly an experience I had.
I suffer from a condition known as fibromyalgia. Many may have heard of this, but many do not know much about it, including doctors. Basically people with FM suffer from chronic pain. Now, first off I will tell you I hadn't heard of magnetic therapy prior to my experience, nor would I have thought of it. Here is my brief story:
One day I was at my computer doing work as usual. My son had left his small magnetic rocks on the desk (they're quite fun to play with actually). The places where I have chronic pain is in my shoulders and arms, to the point where I cannot lift them. I have to work online and I have no choice but to suffer through it. So, I was playing with these rocks after seeing them. My son noticed me playing with them and he told me he wanted to show me something cool he could do with these rocks. He placed a few of the rocks on the top of my hand, and a few underneath. He rolled them around and thought it was so cool that by moving the bottom rocks, the top ones moved as well & looking as if it were magic. Trying to explain why they did this, I decided to show him that if a magnet is strong enough it can do the same through even thicker surfaces. So, getting to the point, I placed the rocks on either side of my upper arm, some in front and some in back. We fooled around with these rocks on my arm for a few minutes, and without going into anymore explanation, miraculously I was able to lift my arm without any pain. Now, at this point I was very confused why all of a sudden my arm had the mobility it did. I put the rocks down, and then started messing with my arm trying to move it in different directions. This level of mobility only lasted a minute or two. Of course, I immediately thought to repeat the same activity to find out if that was the reason. I ended up taping these rocks to my arm, as this was the only way I could get them to stay without my son sitting there holding them. I gave it a minute or two before I repeated the movement. To my surprise, my arm was able to move in directions that before made me yelp in pain.
This story may sound weird to you, but as a FM sufferer, this discovery blew my mind. I immediately started to do searches for magnetic rocks, and I found tons of information on them. I then stumbled upon a site, some sort of medical site I believe, that had done a study on patients with FM and the effects of magnetic therapy. It wasn't the site itself that conducted the study of course, they were just reporting the findings. I was really shocked that I actually found information on it, not only that, information relative to my condition. I also did some research on the possibilities of why this was shown to have a significant effect on FM patients. For one, the strength of the magnets, and the type of magnet is very important. Two, magnets have been proven to stimulate neurotransmitters. It was very clear to me at this point why these worked in some cases.
Your article goes into quite some detail about attracting iron in the blood and so forth. This is the part I feel is misleading. I don't believe you have all your facts straight. Let me explain.
Magnets have shown, and have been proven, that they have an effect on neurotransmitters in the body. Studies have been done on patients with severe depression even. These patients had significant chemical changes in their brain once magnets were applied to a particular location on their head. Basically, magnets fire up these neurotransmitters which tell the brain to release certain chemicals, such has dopamine and serotonin...etc. These particular chemicals are responsible for many social aspects of behavior, including cognitive function. Fibromyalgia is a condition where there may be a deficiency in dopamine, which acts as a natural analgesic in the body. What this means, without going into detail, is that FM patients suffer from hypersensitivity to pain, thus having chronic pain. Without going into much more detail about how they help with certain types of pain, if they didn't work, why are pro athletes wearing them in the locker rooms before and after games? Why has this particular remedy been around for over 4,000 years? I do want to stress that it is important where the magnets are placed, you can't just stick a magnet on your arm or place of pain and think it will help without it being placed appropriately. How in the world I did that on my arm without even knowing how is beyond me, but I ended up placing them as I was supposed to. I also found out that my son's particular magnets were also used as healing magnets, go figure. I do agree however, that many people out there are selling fraudulent magnets. Currently the FDA is regulating claims made by websites that state their magnets help with pain and so forth, when in fact they are too weak and inappropriate for pain management.
I can tell you one thing, the FDA has been given the results of these studies, and the results are medically significant. Do you know why the FDA hasn't responded? I can tell you, in my own opinion, that if the FDA approved this form of pain management and it was finally brought to the attention of the American people, that some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies would be hit hard financially. Being that conventional doctors do not support holistic medicine, there would be a big conflict between what regular doctors are taught, and what the patient asks for information about. Patients then might turn to holistic medicine, and possibly putting themselves at risk by not taking the appropriate medication for their condition yadayada. There are many reasons why this particular type of remedy would never be looked at, from a medical standpoint, as a legitimate alternative to pain management.
I will say with confidence and experience that this does work for my particular condition. Of the patients studied, the group that received the appropriate magnets, over 70% reported a significant improvement in pain. And by the way, the study also included non-active magnets where only 18% reported little change in their pain. Not only did I discover this to be true accidentally, but it has been proven. I think maybe you should add that in your article as well rather than focusing so much on it attracting iron in the body and coming up with theories as to why it couldn't work. I can tell you without a doubt, they do work. I am not going to throw out the medication that was given to me for my condition, however, they are certainly helpful in my physical therapy. I wouldn't be so quick to say they are a joke, you would be wrong.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Dec, 2008
Firstly Tammy, I'm certainly glad that you appear to have achieved some relief from your pain due to fibromyalgia, and long may it continue. However your belief that your son's magnetic toys are the reason for this relief is not convincing. It may well be that magnets do have a positive effect on fibromyalgia, but this is not yet proven. You mentioned a study but failed to name it or provide a reference to it. The only study that I could find was conducted at the University of Virginia and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Several websites mention this study, which can be summarised with the following quotes:
"Although the overall results of the study were inconclusive, magnet therapy reduced fibromyalgia pain intensity enough in one group of study participants to be "clinically meaningful," the researchers said.
As the researchers make clear with phrases such as "the overall results of the study were inconclusive", "maybe this therapy works", "maybe more research is justified" and "You can't draw final conclusions from only one study", this study proves nothing. Your anecdotal account proves nothing either, since your recovery could have been caused by a myriad of things rather than your son's magnets. A change in diet, altered medication (which you say you are continuing to take), a change in lifestyle, the placebo effect, a new mattress etc. Only scientific studies that examine many participants and that control for these things can be relied on, and even you accept this since you quote a scientific study to support your claims.
"The results tell us maybe this therapy works, and that maybe more research is justified. You can't draw final conclusions from only one study," said the study's principal investigator Dr. Alan P. Alfano, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
"When we compared the groups, we did not find significant statistical differences in most of the outcome measures," said Ann Gill Taylor, R.N., Ed.D., co-investigator for the study, professor of nursing and director and principal investigator of the Center for Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at the University of Virginia. "However, we did find a statistically significant difference in pain intensity reduction for one of the active magnet pad groups."
"To our knowledge, no other studies on magnet therapy have been done in as rigorous a clinical setting as U.Va., and this study was the largest conducted so far," Taylor said. "Nevertheless, larger studies are needed to find clear answers about magnets' safety and efficacy in treating pain."
You take us to task over our debunking of magnets attracting iron in the blood etc, calling it "misleading". The fact is that most companies and websites pushing magnetic therapies claim that magnets work by their influence on iron, ions etc. We show that this is clearly false and that they are fraudulent claims. Our debunking of false theories about how magnets might work is not misleading, it is simply exposing lies. Any supplier or website that needs to spin fairytales to boost customer confidence in their product is a scam. They only do this because there are no facts or evidence available to support their product.
Claiming that magnets actually work by effecting neurotransmitters, you obviously agree that these claims about iron and ions are false. But if you're correct, why aren't magnetic therapists and magnet suppliers offering this explanation as well? Why is it just you? If you're right then you shouldn't be annoyed that we expose these people. As for the neurotransmitters, it is true that a technique know as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is used to excite neurons in the brain. This is done to observe brain activity and might also have an effect on some neurological conditions, possibly even fibromyalgia. However studies to date "show very modest effects, if any". Also the magnets used are complex pulsed electromagnets and not the type your son would be playing with. The TMS devices are very expensive and not available to the public. Thus whether expensive and complex pulsed electromagnets can effect neurotransmitters and therefore fibromyalgia is irrelevant. Magnets sold by magnetic therapists are permanent magnets with static fields, not electromagnets with pulsed magnetic fields. We even mentioned in our article that "Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been found to aid healing in some bone fractures and to reduce certain types of pain for example." Why would scientists spend $US25,000 to $US500,000 to buy a TMS device when they could just buy some dirt cheap child's magnetic rocks? Simple really, the child's magnetic rocks don't have any effect.
You ask, if magnets "didn't work, why are pro athletes wearing them..." Athletes wear them for the same reason they wear lucky socks, they are one of the most superstitious groups on the planet. Athletes would put a rotten chicken down their shorts if they thought there was the slightest chance it might improve their game. You also ask, "Why has this particular remedy been around for over 4,000 years?" The fact is that it hasn't, even though many websites falsely claim that the ancient Egyptians and/or Chinese used it. As we noted in our article, "Neither Egyptians nor Chinese knew [of] this therapeutic use of magnets. Egyptians probably didn't even know [of] the existence of magnets". And even if this was true, 4,000 years of use and still no good evidence that it works? What should that tell you?
Your claimed treatment for fibromyalgia by your son's magnetic rocks is in no way holistic. You have deduced that the treatment is very specific — a very specific type, strength and placement of magnet that works by the magnetic field releasing specific neurotransmitters. You even "quote" medical studies to support your claims. There is no mention of the "body, mind and spirit" concept usually associated with holistic healing. Your explanation of why and how the treatment might work is completely conventional and scientific. As for the FDA, they don't support magnetic therapies because there is (to date anyway) no evidence that they work. As for your claim that "There are many reasons why this particular type of remedy would never be looked at, from a medical standpoint, as a legitimate alternative to pain management", this is completely false. As we said, pulsed electromagnets are already being used for pain management in certain cases. I can think of no reason — "from a medical standpoint" — why magnets wouldn't be used if they were shown to work. There is no conspiracy. The "facts" about magnetic therapy are widely available and anyone — you, doctors, scientists, magnet salesmen, FDA employees — could make a huge fortune by competing against the big pharmaceutical companies. This doesn't happen because their product doesn't work, not because pharmaceutical companies have control of the FDA. The FDA is concerned about the public's health, not the profits of the pharmaceutical companies.
Regardless of what the FDA says, these silly magnetic underlays, bracelets, belts, necklaces, inner soles and bottles of magnetic water are being sold in their millions to suckers worldwide. If they really worked everyone that bought one would undergo a miraculous recovery. Their efficacy would be obvious for all to see, regardless of whether the FDA recommended them. Remember that magnets aren't shunned by hospitals because they are illegal, expensive, dangerous or difficult to obtain. They are shunned simply because they don't work.
Comment by Tammy, 09 Dec, 2008
First I want to say that it was by accidental discovery that led me to further investigate whether or not magnetic rocks were used medically. I found that they were. Now, if you have fibromyalgia, then you would know that there is no way that I could put a magnet or anything else on my areas of pain and make all my problems go away, unless it was a local anesthetic. Fibromyalgia is something that lasts for most of your life. It can only be covered up with medication for the symptoms to completely go away. The holistic approach is one thing that have made may sufferes of this condition hopeful, since doctors are puzzeled by it and simply throw pills in your face rather than finding alternatives. No diet can change fibromyalgia. Lots of physcial therapy and a caring doctor can help with the pain, but even then not make it go completely away.
When I put the magnets on my arm and said that they worked, I wasn't really trying to convince you that they worked, rather I was sharing an experience that I had with them. I have since used medical magnets and they do help with pain, but they only help, not make it go away completely for a long period of time. I believe I made that quite clear, that it was a temporary complete relief. The only thing I was trying to convince you of is that this was not in my head, it worked without me even knowing anything about it. That says something.
With that being said, as a person with FM, the studies that you very clearly belittle are somewhat of a small breakthrough for us patients. As I also stated, I don't think people should throw away their medicine or stop physical therapy, but for people who have this condition, it is wonderful that they are even doing studies to begin with. With the outcome of that particular study, no matter how insignificant you may think it was, it does give hope and some insight for FM suferers. I think it is insensitive to make people feel there is no hope and all that information is insignificant because a doctor used some disclaimer. You go on and on and on in your article about how this doesn't work, questioning this and that. I just think you are misleading people is all. You should post things on both sides of the board IMO.
I will say that calling out these people that intend to make a buck off people's pain is definitely something I support and agree with. These people do need to be called out for damn sure, however, you never looked at anything positive with this type of therapy, not that I can remember anyway. If you did, then refresh my memory if you would. If all you intended to do was bring to light the existence of fraudulent claims and so forth, then you shouldn't have made it sound like a complete joke all together. Unless of course, you think it is a joke, which is exactly what it looks like to me. If that is the case, then you are wrong, and I am proof of that. But, it doesn't matter, I know what I know based on experience and as a FM suferer, and you know because.....??? Please share your experience with me, if you have any.
Thanks for responding. I hope to hear back from you soon.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Dec, 2008
Tammy, you stated that "The only thing I was trying to convince you of is that this was not in my head, it worked without me even knowing anything about it. That says something." If the effectiveness of magnets to reduce pain is so obvious, even to those initially unaware of their potential effects, then this should be easy to demonstrate. Why then can scientific studies not easily detect this effect? Remember that when researchers use phrases like "statistically significant" it means that only after applying statistical analysis to their data have they been able to detect a positive result. Why does the analgesic effect that is so obvious to sufferers disappear when tested and require statistics to tease it out? Why is a massive improvement for the sufferer in their home reduced to a minor or non-existent improvement under the gaze of science? If you get temporary pain relief whenever you apply the magnets, and according to magnetic therapists other sufferers do too, then why have researchers not been able to conclusively demonstrate this? Are scientists lying, part of your FDA conspiracy?
You say that "I know what I know based on experience", but science has convincingly shown that humans are easily fooled. That's why scientific studies are performed, to demonstrate exactly what is happening, not what people think might be happening. Throughout history people have claimed their "experience" proved all manner of things, from ghosts, demons, monsters and fairies to alien abductions. Sufferers like yourself that continue to use conventional drugs, physical treatments and a myriad of other possible cures can not reliably say what might have brought about some temporary relief. Only scientific studies that change only one thing at a time can make these 'cause and effect' pronouncements. You say you've used medical magnets, which by the way aren't really "medical" magnets, no matter what your supplier might say. If the medical field were using them, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If magnets work for you then I would imagine that you would wear them all the time and be completely pain free. If you say they only seem to work some of the time, then obviously the magnets aren't really doing anything, something else is. If you notice some relief it could simply be the placebo effect, or the mere presence of the weight of the magnets or the strap or tape securing them might be having an effect. It could be that you always put on the magnets after performing a certain activity, and it was that activity that caused the effect and not the magnets. It might be that 36 hours after eating pizza you obtain some relief and the magnets are just a coincidence. You say no diet can change FM, but isn't that like others being adamant that placing a rock on your arm won't affect FM either? You've found by accident one rock that does work, so isn't it equally possible that some as yet untried diet might affect your nervous system and FM? Some people claim back pain relief by wearing a large magnetic belt, but this could simply be because the belt provides better support and reminds the person to take it easy. Also it is very difficult to do double blind experiments with magnets. To test for the placebo effect people can't know whether they have been using magnets or not, but any fool can check whether those things pretending to be magnets really are. Participants would know whether they are part of the magnet group or the control group, and thus the result is unreliable.
You suggest that I'm misrepresenting the scientific research with the statement "the studies that you very clearly belittle". I don't belittle the studies, I merely repeated the comments that the researchers themselves made — that their study was inconclusive and more work needs to be done before they can say that the magnets made any real difference. They are the experts, and lay people shouldn't claim breakthroughs when the experts themselves aren't prepared to do so. You said that you think "it is wonderful that they are even doing studies to begin with... [and] I think it is insensitive to make people feel there is no hope..." No where in our article will you find the suggestion that we believe scientists and doctors shouldn't be doing these studies. On the contrary, these are the very people that should be researching possible cures, not uneducated, unqualified quacks selling magnets over the internet. When a cure for FM is found it will come from these studies. Realistic hope is putting your confidence in modern medical science, which has revolutionised health care. Simply hoping that a magnet will fix your problem is no different than hoping a prayer or magic spell will cure you. It's false hope. You may experience some short-term relief, but there is no evidence that the magnet, prayer or spell caused it.
You claim that we are misleading the public about magnetic therapy, when it is in fact the magnetic therapists that are doing this. They claim that their magnets will treat all manner of aliments from lupus and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, when they have not one shred of good evidence to support these claims. And people worldwide are evidently spending over $5 billion each year on these worthless products. We don't provide details of the things these magnets — as supplied by magnetic therapists — can fix, because there simply aren't any. In the future researchers may say that specific magnets used in a specific way may be effective for specific treatments — FM for example — but that day hasn't yet arrived. Saying magnets may help FM sufferers is little different from saying we may one day have colonies on Mars.
The great majority of suppliers pushing magnets make bogus claim after bogus claim, eg magnets attract the iron in blood, Cleopatra used magnets, magnetic force is the same as our 'life force' etc. You believe magnets may help FM, but do you support these magnetic therapists when they make these other claims or claim their magnets are also effective with 50 or more other aliments? It appears you don't by saying "I will say that calling out these people that intend to make a buck off people's pain is definitely something I support and agree with". But how can you tell the difference? Who are these people that need to be exposed? A supplier that makes a buck off your FM pain is a good guy evidently, but if he sells the same magnets to a cancer sufferer is he now a bad guy? Or do you think magnets affect cancer too? Remember that the cancer sufferer may be as convinced of the magnet's healing power as you are? You might say that you draw the line at cancer since there is no evidence for that, but that's what we say about FM as well, there is no evidence. You want us to give magnets the benefit of the doubt regarding FM, but wouldn't sufferers of other aliments also say the same? So which magnetic therapists are making "a buck off people's pain" in your view? Not your therapist or magnet supplier obviously, but which ones? If you agree that magnetic therapists are dishonest or misleading with some or many of their claims, why can they suddenly be trusted regarding FM?
You said that "you never looked at anything positive with this type of therapy, not that I can remember anyway". In fact we did mention the following:
Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been found to aid healing in some bone fractures and to reduce certain types of pain for example. However they do not reduce pain in general or increase blood circulation etc as claimed by magnetic therapists. And they most certainly don't cure cancer. For a very few specific aliments the use of highly specialised magnets, usually pulsed electromagnets, can have positive health effects.
We certainly don't perceive scientific research into the effects of magnetic therapy a joke and encourage those who believe it has potential to prove its efficacy, like all conventional medicine has to, rather than electing to remain as an unproven alternative therapy, alongside healing crystals and prayer. However, as for the magnetic therapist industry and the bogus information and unsupported claims they put out, yes we do consider them a joke. A very exploitive, expensive and possibly dangerous joke. It could be that magnets do have some positive effect on one or two of the numerous diseases, aliments and afflictions they claim to treat, but if this is the case, magnetic therapists will have found it by accident while pushing their bogus 'if it hurts, put a magnet on it' scam. In hindsight, it's as silly as old age practitioners trying to cure everything by putting a leech on the afflicted body part.
You say "if you have fibromyalgia, then you would know that there is no way that I could put a magnet or anything else on my areas of pain and make all my problems go away". How do you know that? You did just that to relief your pain, albeit temporarily. Since neither you, doctors or the magnetic therapists know what causes FM, how do you know that magnets can't fix it? You believe magnets have a temporary effect, so why couldn't it also be permanent if used slightly differently? Let's assume magnets somehow temporarily "reset" faulty neurons, couldn't more powerful magnets cause that "reset" to be permanent? My point is, you're criticising me for deciding what magnets are capable of, yet you're doing exactly the same. You're saying magnets can give you temporary pain relief but that "there is no way" that they can treat FM. Why can you decide what magnets might be capable of but not me? You seem to imply that having FM gives you special insight, whereas I would say my detachment allows me to be unbiased. I don't have any real interest as to whether magnets work or not, I just want the truth. I happily support many theories that years ago would have been considered ridiculous. I do this because the evidence now supports them, but the evidence for magnetic therapy is still lacking. And unfortunately testimonials are not evidence.
You say your experience is valid, and ask me to share my experience. My experience is that on investigating the claims of magnetic therapists they are largely bogus and have no medical or scientific support. My experience is that medical advances come from scientists, doctors and hospitals, not an internet website run out of someone's garage. My experience is that magnetic therapists can no more support their claims than can homeopaths, Reiki practitioners or Catholic priests.
I completely understand how someone with an illness that can't be effectively treated by conventional, proven methods might seek out alternative, unproven treatments, but there are thousands of claimed cures out there, and most of them will be bogus. People must decide which ones they believe have potential and which ones don't. Time and money are limited. I'm sure there are many healing claims that you wouldn't even consider, and rightly so in my view. You would say that the evidence that they might be effective just isn't there. Not being in search of a cure, I can be completely objective with my take on magnetic therapy, whereas I suspect you are prepared to overlook some of their dubious claims when FM treatment is discussed, whereas you probably wouldn't when they talk about cancer treatment. You're willing to try something that you accept is a long shot, just to get relief. You're looking for treatments and scientific studies that provide hope, whereas I'm simply asking do these treatments and scientific studies provide good evidence that they work, and the answer is no. Not that magnets don't or can't have an effect, but that it hasn't yet been proven that they do.
Comment by Tammy, 10 Dec, 2008
This will be my last response in regard to this matter. I do understand what you are saying, and I agree with some of the things you say, but not entirely. You twisted my words a little, and for the sake of argument I will just say, whatever you think man. I don't know as much as you because as I have clearly stated, this was an experience, not a scientific study, but experience alone. I never implied or meant to imply that magnets couldn't treat FM, but it certainly hasn't made all my pain go away outside of the initial discovery. It has helped, and that was the whole point of me contacting you, to share my experience and to say that I think you should report from both sides. Your article IMO failed to report patient's experiences, studies etc. I own several websites and blogs, almost 100 all together. I always try to look at things from both sides in most cases, as it seems more balanced. I am big on backing up what I claim with facts. You clearly did that in your article, but to me, it seemed like you made the whole idea of magnetic therapy a joke, and that was what I disagreed with for the most part. I felt that was unfair to say being that there are many that have had positive experiences with this type of therapy, and have for many years. If it was completely a joke, then the government wouldn't have spent so much money on the few studies they did. Nor would they have conducted more than one study, if the results were not significant at one point.
You believe what you believe based on what you have investigated or whatever, and I respect that. However, I think when it comes to things such as this, you need to make sure that you do not influence people in the wrong direction or make anyone less hopeful, unless it is a complete scam, such as that pain relief spray by Dr..whatever his name is. The one where you spray it under your tongue, I can't even remember now what it was, but that was a complete scam and there were no studies done that could prove otherwise. This stupid product sucked money out of a lot of people who were hopeful and just wanted some relief. So, from that standpoint of wanting to call out those who are fraudulent, I completely agree and respect what you are trying to do.
In the case with magnetic therapy however, there have been studies done, and there have been significant results, whether or not that one particular study was completely conclusive makes no difference in this case because there are other studies that have backed up the claims that magnets can help with certain types of problems. I think the problem with this particular situation is that the results are so sporadic because of the nature of the condition, and that has a lot to with the type of effects magnets have on the body and condition of the patient, IMO. It should be recommended by the FDA that there be more studies done, and that they become available as an alternative pain reliever if the patient has no success otherwise. Or in which case the patient cannot tolerate certain medicines to treat their condition that involves chronic pain. I don't think you can disagree with that.
I think that magnets can help people depending on the issue, bottom line. I don't know for a fact if they could completely make pain go away with all situations, but for me it does help. It did relieve almost all my pain, but only temporarily. Currently they just ease the pain slightly, but are still a big help. I have tendon and ligament damage on top of FM, so it takes more than magnets to completely relieve it being that there is inflammation. I have found, along with my doctor, that they are helping with the recovery of the damage to my arm. I just saw her today actually. I had cancer recently, and my immune system is down currently because of recent radiation treatment. The magnets are helping with circulation in a local area, and that could be why they are helping with the healing according to my own doctor, whereas before the healing was much slower because of my immune system, but I will not go any further into that with you. Obviously my doctor and I are smart enough to not claim this without taking into consideration medication or other changes I have made personally, that is common sense. There was no coincidence in this case. The healing hasn't been remarkable, but they have helped a lot. I think it just depends on the individual and how they respond to the effects of magnets.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when dealing with this type of therapy, and I think that is a big reason FM still puzzles many doctors, and one reason why magnetic therapy results vary so much. I really don't have the time to discuss this with you anymore, and I say that respectfully. I don't have all the knowledge that you have about this issue, just expeirience for the most part. Obviously you have spent much more time on this than me.
I thought I would give you another perspective is all. Take it or leave it, frankly I am not that concerned about it anymore.
With all that said, I do wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and hope you have many blessings in the new year. Take care my friend. And maybe we will run into each other on the net somewhere down the line.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Dec, 2008
I agree Tammy that many believe they have had "positive experiences" with magnets, but as I've said, equally many believe they have had "positive experiences" with angels, healing crystals and aliens. These claims need to be verified by scientific studies, and to date they have not. Yes scientists and doctors have undertaken studies into magnetic therapy because of course there is a possibility that magnetic fields might influence body functions, and they do. We mentioned that pulsed electromagnets have proven effective in healing some bone fractures, in certain types of pain reduction and that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation might also have an effect on some neurological conditions. It is only sensible that science would look at magnetic therapy, but people shouldn't confuse this investigation with an endorsement. Over the years science has looked at claims for cold fusion, creationism and even fairies. Although some people believed in these things, science found them baseless. No doubt in the future there will be some medical treatments based on magnetic fields, but they are likely to be vastly different from the magnetic therapy offered by those selling magnetic underlays and magnetised water. Those selling souped-up fridge magnets to relieve pain and cure cancer are dishonest in the extreme when they claim scientific studies support them. Everyone should know that personal experiences (or testimonials) are not evidence, and all they are good for is to encourage and initiate scientific study. It is the scientific studies that will tell you whether personal experiences have any grounding in reality.
I also agree that it's important to consider both sides of a debate, but this concept of "balanced" leads many to believe that both sides are equal, that the evidence and support for each side is "balanced", and that equal time must be allocated to each side. In some scientific debates this is true, but for many others it is blatantly false. For example, is the earth flat or a sphere, does the sun go around the earth or vice versa, which is true — creationism or evolution? Support for the first option in each of these examples does exist, yet it is minuscule when compared to the wealth of evidence supporting the alternative view. In the scientific sphere it would be considered irrational to "report from both sides" or give 'equal time' when one side clearly was not supported by the evidence. And magnetic therapy isn't supported by the evidence. That said, in our article we did spend considerable time looking at the major claims made by magnetic therapists — magnets attract blood, magnets attract ions, magnets cure cancer, magnets were used by Cleopatra, magnetism keeps the planets in orbit etc. It's not our fault that these are all bogus claims. We didn't report the scientific studies that demonstrate these magnetic therapies using over the counter magnets work because there are none. And although you've had several opportunities to highlight the positive studies you claim to have seen, you haven't done so either.
You even say that "it should be recommended by the FDA that there be more studies done". This is an admission that existing studies don't prove the efficacy of magnets, that more work needs to be done to demonstrate an effect. Yet you then say that the FDA should recommend and make magnets "available as an alternative pain reliever". This would destroy the credibility of the FDA if they recommended something that they agreed hadn't been proven effective. I most certainly disagree with this stance. One purpose of the FDA is to prevent people making unsubstantiated health claims and you're suggesting they make some of their own. Magnetic therapy isn't secret or illegal, millions of people already spend (waste) their money on magnets as an "alternative pain reliever", and they don't need the FDA to boost their coffers. If magnets work, they will work regardless of what the FDA say.
I thank you for relating your personal experiences with magnets, and I certainly hope you have found some relief, for whatever reason. Maybe there is a kernel of truth regarding the healing ability of magnets, but it is hidden in a sea of lies and ignorance. If it exists, only robust scientific studies will tease it out. Testimonials are not sufficient, and while they may get scientists thinking, if I was to blindly accept testimonials, I would have to believe in angels, healing crystals and alien abduction as well. I'll await the scientific evidence.
Comment by Phil, 03 Mar, 2009
Your debate with Tammy illustrates once again that a person cannot be reasoned out of a belief arrived at without reason being involved to start with... I suspect she doesn't know what the placebo effect is either. Keep up the good work.
Comment by Michael, 14 Sep, 2009
"Faith sons works on intellectual levels and live on spirtual planes far above the conflicts produced by unrestrained or unnatural physcial desires. The normal urges of human beings and the natural appetites and impulses of the physical nature are not in conflict with even the highest spiritual attainment except in the minds of ignorant, mistaught, or unfortunaely overconcientious persons" mercy with your fellow man makes you think about slinging the moran, etc. at others not only with love your neighbor but the fact you may have to eat it, further on down the road... faith is eternal, the answers will change here with dogma.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Sep, 2009
Sorry Michael, but we're not at all sure what you're trying to say. Rather than commenting on magnetic therapy, it just seems to be pseudo-religious nonsense. There are no spiritual planes to be concerned with, and while I agree that faith works on the intellect, it works to subvert the intellect and it brings about those ignorant and poorly educated people you speak of. And yes, unfortunately faith is eternal, in that there will always be people that adopt faith simply as an excuse for not having to think.
Comment by Kevin, 12 Oct, 2009
Hi John, what is your belief? and all these readers?
Going to a cancer hospital for chemo therapy or treatment
losing all your hair dying anyway? Taking some medication or what?
It that what you all what? In my home town Buffalo New york
We have Roswell Cancer Hospital to help Cancer patents
we have the Medical Ass.too but we are Dying too
Back Pain America we go to the doctor He says you need surgery We can Fix up your back It will be fine Yeahhhh Right He Does You lift a couch Permanant damage to you back So we dont trust magnets But we trust Modern western Medicine and Surgery and a furneral service for ourservice Because we trust Viagara Viorxx Aicid Refux Western Medicine
Or Magnets So both Do permenant Damage?? America You Be the Judge.
Comment by Jacques, 25 Aug, 2010
hi, the bio magnetic bracelet claims to improve balance and strength. do you know if such claims are true and how it works? i even tested one on myself and it seems to have improved my balance.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Aug, 2010
Hi Jacques. The simple answer is that those bio magnetic bracelet claims are false. There is no evidence that they work. Maybe you felt better after wearing one, but that was most likely due the placebo effect or some other unknown cause. You are wasting your money. If they really worked doctors would be dispensing them rather than pills and surgery, and all the elderly in rest homes would be wearing them. They're not.
Comment by Jacques, 28 Aug, 2010
hi john, no i haven't bought them. i don't think i will. thanks for all your information.
Comment by Laura, 06 Sep, 2010
Thank you, thank you, and thanks again for being a responsible "debunker". I am so frustrated by these ridiculous claims of miraculous cures, whether by magnets or crystals or chants or pixie dust. I don't know what I find more pathetic: the companies that make millions from these scams, or the gullible simpletons who buy into them, promote them and see any change in their conditions (real or imagined) as "proof" of efficacy. The fact that the majority of folks haven't even a basic understanding of science allows these snake oil peddlers to flourish. If people would take the time to do the proper research and commit themselves to understanding the difference between science and pseudoscience, these scam artists would have to either find an honest way to make a living or start sending emails on behalf of Nigerian princes. Keep fighting the good fight!
Skepticism, I always say, is a virtue.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Sep, 2010
Thanks Laura. It's always reassuring to hear that there are others out there that can spot a scam when one knocks on their door. And yes, it is frustrating that we still have pushers and users dealing in such nonsense. That's why we must all speak up when someone at work or in the pub says something that sounds ridiculous. We must be the voice of reason for those too lazy to do a little research.
Comment by Anonymous-2, 16 Nov, 2010
John, I too would be surprised to learn of a well constructed trial that showed effectiveness of permanent magnet therapy. However, I think you are too quick to dismiss the utility of harnessing the placebo effect.
If you read a few reports on clinical trials of "real" drugs, you'll often see things like those taking new pain reliever XYZ had a 55% reduction in pain, while those in the control group taking the placebo reported an average of 40% reduction in pain. That is, while the medicine had a measurable and real effect, most of the benefit of the real medicine is due to the placebo effect.
Therefore, I don't mind the $10 copper bracelets or $15 magnetic insoles for shoes, as the typical person probably does get their money's worth. My only concern is when someone gets bilked for ongoing $60/hr bi-weekly magnetic therapy sessions, or when someone forgoes conventional medicine in a life or death matter like cancer.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Nov, 2010
You're quite right, due to the placebo effect essentially worthless bracelets and insoles could be giving apparent relief to some users, just like prayer and homoeopathy. But as we both know the placebo effect only works on conditions where the body is in a position to heal itself. Like you our real concern is for those who waste money they can ill-afford and especially those with conditions the placebo effect can't influence, and who consequently neglect real treatments that actually work, regardless of what the mind believes.
In the circumstances that you refer to, we're of the opinion that telling people the truth, that magnets are a waste of money and that their condition will improve by itself in time, also induces the placebo effect. We prefer the placebo effect brought about by the real knowledge that they are going to get better as opposed to that caused by the false knowledge that magnets will cure them. Both will have a similar effect where the condition is self-limiting, but we prefer truth to lies. I guess it's a little like controlling a child's behaviour with the threat that Santa won't bring any toys. It may work but we would prefer that children learn to behave based on what is right and wrong, not on false fears and threats.
Comment by Ray Padfield-Krala, 18 Apr, 2011
I first commented back in 2007 in relation to an article and hopefully to balance the argument but it seems once a sceptic always a sceptic!
More and more sceptics that I meet that relent and decide to give one of my products a try write to me to say they they have been converted. We are not talking weeks or months later, in most cases it is hours and quite often right in front of another sceptic!
Ok, so maybe the way I was given to understand how it works is not correct but something is happening and quickly. When I place a Magnetic wristband around a wrist most people feel a tingle or pins and needles in their hands and fingers within seconds or minutes without me saying anything or what they should expect, they tell me! So what is happening? Something is because it happens all too often. Not with every one but then why should it if there is nothing wrong?
Science and analysing things is not the only answer, lack of evidence is not evidence and how many times have science got it wrong? and with drastic and fatal consequences especially where medicine is concerned and these companies make millions. If someone spends £28 and feels a difference I think that is money well spent and certainly a lot cheaper that some of the alternatives.
If at any time whilst I exhibit and meeting people face to face, which I do up and down the country, (unlike the majority of internet marketing web sites) I felt that what I was doing didn't make a difference then believe me I would give up. Sure I have to make a living but not at the expense of "conning" someone out of there hard earned cash especially when I get repeat orders from more than happy customers wanting more for friends and family. These people are not stupid, I speak to them and yes some are very sceptical and most come back to see within that day to say something has happened and they feel a difference. And before you say a wise crack like" yes lighter in the pocket" not so!
Even Doctors that have used my products say that they feel better, same as vets as they too have seen a difference in animals, explain the placebo in animals or is it the owner?
With regard to magnetic poles printed in amongst this thread. Why do people complicate things to to prove a point or to argue against? The simple reason the compass points to the magnetic north area of the geographic north is because the compass needle is a south pole magnet, simple! Opposites attract. Some bright spark deduced that because the needle was marked with an "N" then that "N" was pointing to magnetic south near the geographic north pole because opposites attract. Marking the compass with an "N" caused the confusion and the world was turned the other way round just to prove a point or simply someone trying to be clever!
There are far more dangerous and overpriced therapies out there and there are those that offer nothing better than fridge magnets in fancy jewellery. Over 2.5 Million people bought a rubber strap with a Hologram because it was meant to help you stand on one leg (balance) and David Beckham wore one, great marketing. Now if you want to talk about that lets see the manufacturers and sellers explain how!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Apr, 2011
Sorry Ray, but you have said nothing that would convince us that your magnetic wristbands cure illnesses. Why should placing a magnetic wristband on people cause 'a tingle or pins and needles in their hands and fingers within seconds or minutes'? If they have a bad back why is an effect felt in their fingers? You say that not everyone feels something since there is nothing wrong with them, but then why are they approaching you and putting one on? It just sounds like the placebo effect to us.
Your other argument seems to be that your magnetic therapies are not as dangerous or overpriced as some other obviously bogus therapies on the market. That's like saying shoplifting a can of Coke is not as serious as bank robbery, which is true, but they're both still crimes. Buying a magnetic wristband may not be as financially crippling as attending a bogus cancer clinic in Mexico, but they are both scams in our view as neither have scientific evidence to support that they will work.
Contrary to your claim, science and analysing things is the only answer. Your analysing the response of your clients and providing their testimonies as evidence is an attempt to do exactly what science does. Unfortunately your analysis and evidence fails to meet a scientific standard. Yes science has made mistakes, and happily gone on to correct them, and the advanced, healthy, safe world that we live in is thanks to their successes, not to the unproven beliefs of sellers of magnetic wristbands.
Comment by MikeC, 26 Apr, 2011
Aren't pins & needles something to do with putting pressure on nerves or poor circulation? So placing a tight band around your wrist seems like a very good way to ensure you get pins & needles. Can't see how it is helpful though!
Comment by LR, 15 May, 2011
I have just read your silly beliefs re magnets and of course I am shocked! If it's true, then we have all been scammed by these people with no credentials selling magnet mats.
I have a friend in Mexico who has taken a certified course using magnets to cure etc here's the page from the website and I would like to know if this also falls into the type of magnets that you are talking about. This doctor's name is Dr. Isaac Goiz (Duran) and the website is www.biomagnetismusa.com What do you think of this doctor as I have tried to find his "credentials and/or resume" but cannot find anything about his past. My Mexican friend is very enthused and has testimonials from people who have been cured of such ailments as cancer and aids.
Thanks for your feedback and scientific viewpoint.
Here's info from the website and, boy are they ever making claims:
* Medical Biomagnetism is a diagnostic - therapeutic procedure.
* The positive biomagnetic pole is formed by the presence of hydrogen ions, H+, and/ or pathogenic viruses.
* The negative biomagnetic pole is formed by the presence of free radicals and/ or pathogenic bacteria.
* The biomagnetic poles are in vibrational and energetic resonance.
* The biomagnetic poles are depolarized by magnetic induction of fields greater than 1,000 gauss.
* The biomagnetic depolarization is due to the law of all or nothing.
* The biomagnetic depolarization obeys the universal law of charges.
* Biomagnetic induction is instantaneous but the charge is exhausted in seconds.
* The ideal magnetic field for induction are in the order of 5,000 to 10,000 gauss.
* When the Biomagnetic poles are impacted, the pathogenic viruses loose their genetic information and the bacteria, their favorable alkaline medium for their metabolism and reproduction.
* Theoretically, only one impact is required to eradicate a BMP and it does not reactivate again.
* The biomagnetic poles with positive polarity are asymptomatic. They cannot be detected by any other conventional system of diagnosis nor do they yield in their correction to any other therapeutic or drug method.
* The negative biomagnetic poles are symptomatic and yield in their treatment to drugs or other medical procedures.
* The normal energetic level (NEL) cannot generate pathogenic microorganisms, but they can be manifested by themselves and by their metabolites. When ever biomagnetic focuses are being approached, the pathogens are more severe and the limit is the cellular structures.
* Natural magnets of medium intensity are not toxic nor can they produce iatrogeny, specially when they are applied in a dual manner.
* Natural magnets of medium intensity do not alter the cellular or tissue entropy. They only put it in order.
* The hydrogen bridge cannot be broken by magnetism but it can by electricity, heat and extreme atomic radiation.
* The regular BMP's identify pathogenic microorganisms wheter they are viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites.
* The special BMP's identify tissue alterations not supported by pathogenic microorganisms.
* The dysfunctional BMP's identify internal alterations and their hormonal production.
* The reservoir BMP's identify organs or tissues which support virus, bacterias and other microorganisms potentially and for an indefinite time as far as not being installed in it's specific pair.
* In the north hemisfere of the earth, the negative poles of the BMP's tend to establish themselves in the right half of the body. The opposite happens in the southern hemisphere.
* Common diseases are produced by a single BMP. The complex diseases are the result of an association of various pairs.
All cells are natural viruses reservoirs which are identified genetically by their DNA; which can be there in a latent mode and be activated whenever a specific and non pathogenic bacteria fabricates the mucoprotein or capside that complements the final structure of the virus and by being neutralized energectically can become excited and penetrate in other similar cells for their reproduction and for clinical and / or pathogenic manifestation. In the same way, parasites are natural reservoirs for bacterias, since they feed on them and can sow them for new reproduction.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 May, 2011
Our opinion is that BioMagnetism Therapy/ Biomagnetic Pair Therapy as pushed by Goiz is a scam and he presents no evidence to support his claims. Briefly, it's just bogus magnet therapy with a new haircut.
Even without knowing what therapy he was using it is obvious to us that the outrageous claims that Goiz is making are false. He claims that his method can and has cured '* Aids * Alzheimers * Autism * Cancer * Diabetes * Hepatitis * HIV * Lupus * Parkinson's' and many, many other diseases and conditions. He also claims that he 'has very successfully treated more than 350,000 patients with Medicinal Biomagnetism and has trained more than 10,000 Medical Doctors and other Health Therapists from many different countries'. If this many people had been cured of these very serious diseases then the world's media and the world's medical and scientific communities would be clamouring to learn more and to adopt his methods. But they're not, the media are unaware of Goiz's existence and this major revolution in health care, and doctors and scientists are not interested in the slightest in his silly magnets. If '10,000 Medical Doctors and other Health Therapists' in addition to Goiz himself were actually curing people of AIDS and cancer and Alzheimer's then there should be unexplained regions where these illness are decreasing and well below the expected normal incidence. It should be obvious that something special was happening where Goiz and his therapists had clinics. Why hasn't anyone noticed, especially doctors who diagnose someone with AIDS or cancer and who then go to Goiz and are suddenly cured? Why aren't these doctors curious as to what this other doctor might have done? They haven't noticed their ex-patients suddenly being cured because this simply isn't happening. If it were happening, shouldn't we be seeing someone miraculously cured by magnets on Oprah or 60 Minutes every week? And seriously, doctors have to train for years before they can practise and yet Goiz can teach someone how to cure AIDS and cancer in a 'five-day workshop module'. Why are we wasting billions training doctors and nurses and surgeons and funding hospitals and purchasing expensive scanners when someone off the street can learn how to cure all our serious diseases with a five day course and a box of reusable magnets?
As for Goiz's qualfications, we did notice that they're claiming that 'Because of [Goiz's] discovery the Oxford International University from England gave Dr. Isaac Goiz the Doctorate of Philosophy in Bio-energetic Medicine in 1999'. If you search Google for 'Doctorate of Philosophy in Bio-energetic Medicine', one finds that Goiz is apparently the only person on the planet with this qualification which screams worthless! Also Wikipedia describes 'Oxford International University' (now called Bircham) as 'totally bogus', 'pure hokum', that it is 'not accredited by any recognized accreditation agency' and that it has 'no connection to legitimate Oxford University in Great Britain'. Only charlatans have bogus degrees from bogus institutions.
Having a quick read through the webpage it appears to be pure pseudoscience, comments that sound scientific and plausible but are complete nonsense. For example:
bacterias and viruses resonate with each other which causes illness
How do bacteria and viruses even 'resonate', let alone 'resonate' with each other to cause illness? This would suggest that bacteria and viruses by themselves are perfectly harmless, only when they get together are we in trouble. How can they say that cells are put in order yet their entropy doesn't change, when entropy is about change and order? If the 'vibrational phenomenon' of bio-magnetism is recognised by medical science, why doesn't medical science use it? What does this talk of depolarisation and neutralising the magnetic charges mean?
The dysfunctions in the organs that support the distortions of the pH are cured by a phenomenon called depolarization. This phenomenon is obtained by applying a magnetic field of the same polarity to each of the biomagnetic poles. This confronts the charges of the BMP and cancels, neutralizes the charges.
Natural magnets of medium intensity do not alter the cellular or tissue entropy. They only put it in order.
Bio-magnetism and bio-energetic pairs are a vibrational phenomenon related to medicine and both can be considered as medicinal therapy and medical science.
Their claim seems to be that bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes in the body cause disease and that their magnets will seek out and destroy these bugs:
This new therapeutic criteria is able to identify the origin of viral and bacterial diseases, as well as glandular dysfunctions caused by pathogenic microorganisms in the organs.
What these charlatans don't know, or hope their clients don't know, is that as this article explains, 'Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones'. For every human cell in our body there are ten bacteria cells, and many are needed for the health of the body. For example they aid digestion and boost immunity. While some are harmful, the point is that if all microbes were blindly eliminated from our bodies we would die. These morons claim that their magnets can detect the areas where these microbes live and destroy them. But how could a magnet tell the difference between harmful and good bacteria? Especially since they can be one and the same depending on their location, numbers etc. For example E Coli in our intestines makes several vitamins necessary for our good health, but E Coli can also be the cause of food poisoning, so E. Coli is both useful and harmful. This blind attack is also a negative aspect of many cancer treatments for example, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The chemicals and radiation can't tell the difference between cancerous cells and healthy cells and will destroy both, and thus must be used very carefully.
Bacterias and parasites live and grow in an alkaline enviroment while viruses and fungus live and grow in an acidic enviroment.
The [magnets] identify organs or tissues which support virus, bacterias and other microorganisms
This neutralizes the pH of the area and pathogens inmediately die since they can not survive in a neutral pH enviroment. Cells become healthy and the body starts healing itself, surprisingly fast.
The fact is, if their magnets worked as they claim they would kill all the good microbes and this would kill you. They proudly say that Biomagnetism is 'a Therapy free of side effects'. We view killing the patient as a major side effect, and a fatal one. Of course they will argue that no one has been killed directly as a consequence of using Biomagnetism therapy. All this does is prove that it doesn't work as they claim it does, their silly magnets don't seek out and destroy microbes.
They also try and distance themselves from other magnetic therapies, one might even infer that they don't believe regular magnet therapy even works:
Is Biomagnetism similar to magnet therapy? No.
All magnet therapies claim to use magnets to improve the health of the patient, so to claim that Biomagnetism therapy 'is in no way similar to magnet therapy' is plainly false. The difference between magnetic therapies and their promoters is the strength and placement of the magnets and the fanciful stories they invent to explain how they work. And the thing they all have in common is that they don't work.
Biomagnetism is a comprehensive alternative therapy for diagnosing, healing and preventing disease. It is in no way similar to magnet therapy.
On the website you provided they mention a group that apparently supports Biomagnetism Therapy — The Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine (FAIM) — and they quote part of their article. We guess they hope people won't read the entire article because importantly they also say this about the extraordinary claims made:
It is exactly the amplitude of these claims that have made this system be overlooked by other research institutions: it is simply considered too good to be true
Note the observations: 'too good to be true... this therapy cannot go anywhere... lack of a scientific method'. This from a group that supports alternative therapies.
none of the research projects have the standard which is acceptable for indexed journals Indeed, without such publications, this therapy cannot go anywhere.
Unfortunately, because of the way this discipline evolved over the years, one is presented by a whole lot of evidence tangled and knotted like a woolen ball. Although all this evidence does generate enthusiasm it is not enough to make an assessment because of lack of a scientific method.
Also very revealing is the person who runs the wbesite, Helena Guerrero, who calls herself a 'Holistic Health Practitioner'. She says, 'I emphasize good nutrition, exercise and bodywork. I offer a very nurturing, relaxing and peaceful environment, which allows you to forget about the outside world, by relaxing and getting in touch with your true being'. No mention whatsoever that she can cure you of AIDS or cancer or other serious diseases, or even not so serious diseases. In fact she goes out of her way to categorically state she CANNOT diagnose or treat disease. Her disclaimer clearly states that:
She is not a Medical Doctor, she is not making a medical diagnosis or providing medical advice or care.
If she truly believes that Biomagnetism Therapy can cure AIDS, cancer etc then why does she deny that she can even diagnose or treat disease, and that you should see a real doctor for these things and not her? How can she make these amazing claims about Biomagnetism Therapy and then deny them in the fine print? Some might say that is because they can't prove that Biomagnetism Therapy works and this is to protect themselves from prosecution, but surely their claim is that they CAN prove it works? Why doesn't Helena Guerrero document how many AIDS and cancer cases she has cured and stun the world with news of the efficacy of Biomagnetism Therapy? You say that 'My Mexican friend is very enthused and has testimonials from people who have been cured of such ailments as cancer and aids'. Our view is that people product testimonials solely because they have no proof of their claims. Scientists don't produce testimonials, they produce evidence. Testimonials are the blatant admission that evidence is lacking. They're saying 'Look, we'd like to give you evidence but we don't have any. I know, after curing hundreds of thousands of patients of AIDS and cancer etc you'd think we'd have plenty of evidence but strangely we don't. Would you accept a testimonial instead from a nice little old lady?'
You should see a Medical Doctor for medical care, and you should view BioMagnetism Therapy care as additional therapy to the medical care provided by a Medical Doctor.
Biomagnetism Therapy is not a substitute for Physician consultation, evaluation, or treatment.
The world's medical and scientific communities are spending billions and have thousands of experts toiling to find cures for AIDS and cancer and the other conditions that BioMagnetism Therapy claims that it can already cure simply, quickly and cheaply. What a huge conspiracy must be at work that they are all willing to completely ignore BioMagnetism Therapy, that covert agents can continually destroy the evidence that Dr Goiz is amassing, and that the hundreds of thousands that have received miracle cures can't be bothered to speak up and let the world know the truth.
Comment by LR, 17 May, 2011
Very well said. Thank you and case closed for me and I hope that others read this!
Comment by LR, 18 May, 2011
Hi John at Silly Beliefs,
I found your site and started reading it and so many of your observations around "health products" is plausible. Have you heard of the MRS 2000 bed, another electromagnetic type of device brought to America by Dr. Joel Carmichael a chiropractor. He says the science behind it was invented in Russia some years ago and since then it has been modernized into this mattress and simulates an electromagnetic wave similar to what you would find in nature (negative ions). I have used it in a store a few times and find it relaxing but really you don't feel anything... and, I think I would relax anyway as I was in a dark quiet room. As you have a scientific background and are a researcher I would appreciate hearing what you think of it. They sell for about $4000 and I have a friend who purchased two! Not me! I am skeptical until I see results. But, Dr Joel has written a huge manual on each disease and how you can treat it with the device. And, there are fancy pamphlets and websites with all the science that sounds credible to a neophyte. One of the websites is www.mrs2000.com but I have noticed that it's an "independent distributor" which means that all the associates have a website. Also, the sellers are not medical professionals. Dr. Joel has a blog site. I wonder if this device works... they are making some amazing claims... like all these things do. And, I wouldn't have thought a chiropractor would go to such a huge expense bringing this thing to the market place as it certainly couldn't be sold in great volumes due to the price.
Love to hear from you, thanks.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 May, 2011
We're sure it won't come as much of a surprise to you that we view the MRS 2000 as yet another scam. We've never heard of it in New Zealand, and there are less chiropractors here and they don't have the same status as they seem to in the US. Not as many people think they're real doctors.
We're aren't scientists and have no medical expertise but to us it just comes across as pseudoscience. As you say the science does sound credible but again it's just scientific terms linked together to produce 'credible sounding' nonsense. We're told that:
French scientist George Lakhovsky... viewed disease as a battle of vibrations between the body's cells and pathogenic viruses and bacteria. If the cell was energetically weak, the invading organism could win this "vibration contest," thus infecting the cell. Today we have entered an era where we can, via machines, broadcast a therapeutic electromagnetic field; bring our own cells into a state of RESONANCE; strengthen the energy-field of each cell and thereby fortify and protect ourselves from the attack of disease causing organisms.
There is no scientific or medical evidence that supports 'disease as a battle of vibrations between the body's cells and pathogenic viruses and bacteria'. This talk of 'a therapeutic electromagnetic field', of 'RESONANCE' and of the 'energy-field of each cell' is fanciful and meaningless. They expect that their potential clients will have heard of these terms but rely on them having no knowledge of what they mean scientifically and whether they really have any connection to the body and health. Clients are expected to be wowed by the scientific complexity and simply trust that the device works as claimed. After all, how many people know how their computer or cell phone works? The difference of course is that even those that are not too bright can recognise when their PC or phone doesn't work, but no one can detect when these fraudulent products don't work, because they're told that they don't do anything obvious:
MRS 2000+ restores lost energy and crippled cellular resonance to a normal, healthy state of vibration.
Most people do not feel any noticeable sensation when starting therapy. "Sensing" nothing only means that the magnetic field is having its effect without any outward signs.
How can people believe that the treatment won't have 'any outward signs'? You've supposedly had 'lost energy' restored and your 'crippled cellular resonance' has been returned to a 'normal, healthy state of vibration'. Surely you'd notice, or else what's the point in using it? As you say, many will notice something simply by relaxing in a dark quiet room. And if because of the placebo effect people do initially fell a little better, but then feel no better later in the day, we're told that this isn't because the silly device doesn't work, it's because 'The effect of one application using the MRS 2000+ lasts up to 4-6 hours in healthy people'. So you have to use the device 4 to 6 times a day to stay healthy. We're sure that most employers will let their staff have breaks to take more magnetic treatment.
And look what they call it, 'MRS 2000+ (Magnetic Resonance Stimulation)'. No doubt they chose this name because people would have heard of the very real, very expensive and very effective health scanner called MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and want people to associate their product with this device. When you mentioned the MRS 2000 bed all we associated it with were names like Mrs Jones or Miss Universe.
They go on to claim, without referring to any sort of evidence, that:
When the cells vibration is restored to its natural state of RESONANCE this creates an ideal condition of resonance/coherence within the body so the body's own intelligence can do the healing. MRS 2000+ simply replaces a very essential and profound element that has always been apart of life and is now lacking in our modern lifestyles.
The mind has intelligence, but the body doesn't, this is just flaky New Age thinking. Bacteria are cells, do they have intelligence? And to claim that the likes of cavemen and medieval peasants could heal themselves but modern humans in Western countries can't is just ignorance, since we are healthier and live longer now than we ever have. They also claim that 'Today, magnetic therapy is well established worldwide', but this is only true in the sense that there are charlatans worldwide pushing worthless magnetic therapy products. Again you have to ask, why are hospitals and real doctors not using these products if they work? It's not just about cures in the health industry, billions are spent on prevention, and yet only snake oil salesmen have recognised the huge potential of these devices.
And yet again, look at their disclaimers:
Disclaimer:... This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product. This information is not intended as medical advice and may not be used as medical advice. It should not be used to replace the advice of your own doctor.
They say that 'This information is not intended as medical advice and may not be used as medical advice'. Why shouldn't we accept it as medical advice if it's true? They describe 'disease as a battle of vibrations between the body's cells and pathogenic viruses and bacteria'. Why are they now saying we shouldn't believe that to be a medical fact? They also say that 'With low pulsating electromagnetic fields the cells cannot be damaged', so why tell you to consult a doctor if you're pregnant? What harm could it do? Another disclaimer states:
Disclaimer and Notice: The MRS 2000+ ... is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is a wellness device...
Notice how, in contrast to everything else they write, the disclaimers are brutally frank and honest. Their product is 'not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness'. Even though they have claimed that their device can 'strengthen the energy-field of each cell and thereby fortify and protect ourselves from the attack of disease causing organisms', in other words, prevent disease, their disclaimer now admits that they can't and you shouldn't expect it to. Their comment 'It is a wellness device' really says it all. It is a device you use when you are well, not when you are ill. When you are well you need no treatment, and since it does nothing you won't receive any. When you're ill, see a real doctor and leave the MRS 2000 in the quack's office.
Comment by Marilyn, 08 Aug, 2011
Hi John. I've had a brief look at your website but have neither the time nor the inclination to read through the entire text content.
I simply want to say — magnetic underlays are not a scam, they work for large numbers of people in New Zealand and I am a recent convert.
I have suffered from severe back pain for 7 years after suffering 2 collapsed vertebrae due to osteoporosis, and have relied heavily on strong painkillers during that time. I was also starting to suffer from aching joints and other problems associated with ageing which made any form of exercise painful. I have watched breakfast television (and the many infomercials) for many years in New Zealand and three months ago I finally decided to purchase a magnetic underlay. I noticed an immediate improvement after sleeping on it for the first night and within a week was completely painfree and able to stop taking all forms of pain relief. I still find it hard to believe that my new-found wellbeing is due to the magnetic underlay, but there is no other explanation. I recently spent a night away from home and woke up in the morning feeling as I always used to — painful hips, stiff knees and a very sore back. These symptoms once again disappeared when I retuned home to my magnetic underlay. I am presently on a 6-week visit to the U.K. and have brought with me a travel version of the magnetic underlay. I have slept in a variety of hotel beds over the last couple of weeks, previously guaranteed to upset my back, but I remain painfree and able to enjoy quite energetic sightseeing.
I realise that this sounds very much like advertising spiel, but I can assure you that it's not. I am an intelligent, logical person with an enquiring mind (I have worked as an IT professional for more than 40 years) and my MO has always been 'question everything, believe nothing'. I am, however, totally convinced as to the efficacy of these underlays and will continue to tell as many friends and acquaintences as I can about this therapy so that they too can enjoy a painfree lifestyle again.
Have you or any of your colleagues with ongoing pain issues ever tried sleeping on a magnetic underlay for a week or two? The proof is in the pudding as they say, so I challenge you to find a group of people with medical conditions requiring ongoing pain relief and ask them to try sleeping on a magnetic underlay for a few weeks. It doesn't have to be a complicated scientific experiment — just ask them to make notes on how they are feeling when they get up every morning and gauge whether or not there is a noticeable improvement. You might be very surprised by the results!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Aug, 2011
Hi Marilyn. Yes, your comments do sound very much like an advertising spiel, or testimonial as the alternative therapy crowd call them. You say that your 'MO has always been 'question everything, believe nothing'', and yet your very first comment states that you have 'neither the time nor the inclination to read through the entire text content' of our article. That doesn't sound very inquiring to us.
Fortunately none of us have ongoing pain issues so we can't test the magnetic underlays ourselves. And if you haven't even got the 'time nor the inclination to read' our argument, why should we have the time and inclination to find, fund and convince strangers to undergo an experiment on a therapy that we don't even believe in? The revealing question should be why don't the companies that sell these magnetic underlays perform real scientific experiments to prove their claims and silence critics like us? Why can't they give plausible reasons why their magnets might work, or even agree amongst themselves as to how they work? You say that our experiment doesn't have to be a 'complicated scientific experiment', but in fact it does if we are to take the results seriously. You have to use control groups, blinding, randomization, large numbers of participants etc otherwise you can't be confident of your results. You can't find the truth just by asking people what they think. This would be no different to asking a few Christians if they think prayer works.
As we've said, sellers of alternative therapies must fall back on testimonials such as yours because it's all they can offer, because they have no scientific evidence that their product works. Why is it that the experts that have tested these products (as you suggest we do) can find no evidence that they work? Are the experts being fooled or are you? It's like experiment participants who still insist a particular pill or method works, even when they are informed that they were given a placebo. Only a properly conducted experiment can reach a conclusion as to efficacy, simply asking people how they feel is not sufficient.
We will continue to believe that magnetic therapy is a scam until the magnet industry convinces the scientific and medical world that their products do as they claim. Every product or invention that really works, from the printing press and gunpowder to antibiotics and medical scanners, has been grabbed with indecent haste by scientists, doctors, governments and the general public, so why is magnetic therapy still languishing as a quack product? Why, after supposedly thousands of years of proven use, can we still not find magnetic therapy in our hospitals or recommended by doctors? Are we looking at a massive conspiracy or what?
Comment by Bob, 09 Aug, 2011
I'd like to add to your comments and ask Marilyn a question. Did you sleep on a non magnetic underlay before buying the biomag? The first time we bought a wool underlay the improvement in warmth and comfort was amazing. The plain bed with a sheet over the mattress was cold conducive to backache etc. even with an under blanket. I haven't found any scientific comment suggesting magnets make any difference whatsoever. The improvement in comfort and back problems etc comes from the soft insulating warmth of wool. That is why so many mothers over the years have put their babies on a sheep skin.
I'm with John. If the makers of the biomag claim their product is better than the conventional wool underlay and presumably charge more can they substantiate it? As far as I can see they put magnets in their underlays to give them an edge over conventional wool underlays claiming they are better with no proof whatsoever except for testimonials. Then they have to warn people with pacemakers not to use them. Why put people with pacemakers at risk when they make no attempt to show the magnets do anything except create possible danger for them?
I would like to see someone, possibly the commerce commission, call on the makers to justify the claims for their product. That also applies to a lot of other products.
I have just read back over 4 years of comments on magnetic healing. With my simple knowledge of science and technology I am amused. So a particle of iron is pulled toward the magnet as it passes across it — so what — even iron particle aside. I sleep with a clock radio beside me. That does not have a permanent magnetic field but an alternating field which will swing electrons back and forth. This action is the base of electrical energy. It seems to me that clock radio must be having far more effect on my blood than the field of a permanent magnet which can only pull once then stop. The people who push magnetic therapy probably have little idea of any technicality and probably don't want to know. They are simply onto a good thing.
The basis of the alternative medicines industry is to take advantage of peoples' ignorance. If they worked I imagine Pharmac would be only too pleased to fund them.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Aug, 2011
You're quite right Bob, a wool underlay increases comfort and warmth and this alone may reduce back pain, no need for expensive magnets. However if pain reduces, many people jump to false conclusions as to what might have caused it. It's like having a headache and it begins to fade just after you notice a Mr Whippy ice cream truck drive by, and you falsely conclude that Mr Whippy cures headaches. This is where scientific studies must be performed to determine what, if anything, might be responsible for any pain reduction. Of course this is where we must ask why magnet sellers won't perform these studies, especially when in the view of the likes of Marilyn, the positive results are so obvious and so convincing? Why do these results disappear when scientists look for them?
Comment by Siegfried, 10 Aug, 2011
My name is Siegfried from Indonesia, actually I want to buy this magnetic therapy, so my questions are:
1.How much does it cost?
2.Is there any distributor in Indonesia?
3. What is the main benefit/function of magnetic therapy?
Thank you for your attention to my e mail.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Aug, 2011
Hi Siegfried, you need to read our article on magnetic therapy, since it is a scam, a con, a racket, a swindle, a bogus scheme designed to take money from ignorant people by selling them a worthless product.
You apparently are only interested in pushing this scam in Indonesia, rather than personally seeking its claimed health benefits. Would you be comfortable taking money from your fellow citizens for a product that doesn't work?
Whether you want to know about magnetic therapy in order to sell it to others or to use it to cure your own health problems, we can not recommend it. We repeat, it does not work and selling it is dishonest.
Comment by Kane, 08 Sep, 2011
Hey there John, I am a HOF Science and have found your site very useful. Just wanted to say thanks.
Not sure whether you know, but NZQA (NZ's qualification service) has a new achievement standard at Level 1 Science called "Are biomags dangereous".
I will be referring students to your site for the alternate (and correct) viewpoint.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Sep, 2011
Thanks for your support Kane, and no, we weren't aware of that NZQA document on biomags. It's good that students are asked to research something that they may well have experience of, and that many may have opposing viewpoints on.
It's also good that kids are being exposed to critical thinking, and perhaps they can pass on some of what they learn to their gullible parents.
Comment by Warren, 16 Nov, 2011
Dear Sirs: A number of people have insisted that magnetic fields do not affect biological systems, but recently the Mayo Clicic has disproved this by getting excellent results in the treatment of depression by transcranial megamagnetic therapy — I pointed thia out to Randi as he has lumped magnetic therapy with other hoaxes and got a very angry respose — what do you think? Transcranial megamagnetic therapy has proved effect of magnetic fields on depression.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 16 Nov, 2011
Hi Warren. We think that people shouldn't confuse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a treatment most people will never have heard of, and the magnetic therapy that the public generally thinks of, that involves magnetic bracelets, pendants, belts, insoles, mattress underlays and other silly devices sold by charlatans to cure every ailment from sore backs and arthritis to cancer and AIDS.
We don't say that magnetic fields can't affect biological systems, and we doubt if Randi does either, what we say is that the weak static magnetic fields produced by the insignificant permanent magnets that charlatans place in their bracelets and underlays don't produce the healing effects that they claim. They are a con. Comparing a TMS device worth tens of thousands of dollars and found only in a few hospitals and medical research to a magnetic bracelet is like comparing an MRI scanner to a stethoscope, or a fireworks skyrocket to the space shuttle.
The magnets used in TMS devices are complex pulsed electromagnets, very expensive and not available to the public, whereas magnets sold by magnetic therapists are small permanent magnets with static fields, not pulsed magnetic fields. In our article we tried to explain the difference, and why you can't just talk about magnetic fields and pretend that any field, big or small, static or pulsed, will have the same effect.
Yes the Mayo Clinic has been looking at TMS in relation to depression, but as this Mayo Clinic article — Transcranial magnetic stimulation — states, research is still ongoing: 'Because transcranial magnetic stimulation is a relatively new depression treatment, more studies are needed to determine how effective it is, which treatment techniques work best and whether it has any long-term side effects'. They are not recommending it as a proven cure, suggesting that it be used as a last resort: 'Transcranial magnetic stimulation may be tried when other depression treatments haven't worked'. As for side effects, this Wikipedia article on transcranial magnetic stimulation states that 'Although TMS is often regarded as safe, the greatest acute risk of TMS is the rare occurrence of induced seizures and syncope. More than 16 cases of TMS-related seizure have been reported in the literature, with at least seven reported before the publication of safety guidelines in 1998, and more than nine reported afterwards'. It also notes that 'Studies of the use of TMS and rTMS to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions have shown only modest effects with little confirmation of results'. It also reveals that regarding a TMS machine, 'The magnetic field is about the same strength as an MRI', which is hundreds of times greater than your typical magnet used in the magnetic therapy that the public has general access to.
So yes, as we noted in our article, powerful, pulsed magnetic fields may have a positive effect, but there is no evidence that weak, static magnetic fields as produced by the silly magnets sold on the internet or by mail order work. They are as worthless as prayer. And it is to these worthless magnets that the general public turns to with their aliments, not the Mayo Clinic.
Comment by SJ, 08 Dec, 2011
I have just read your article, and couldn't agree more. Well said. As far as I'm concerned, magnetic therapy is a load of rubbish, a scam, and a money-making racket. Websites promoting magnetic products for therapeutic purpose are indeed simply publishing a pack of lies. I have spent a fortune on magnetic products from such websites. Not one of these products did anything for me at all, so I am really grateful that I read your article before being tempted to waste any more money on these useless and expensive items. It's not as if I didn't give the products a fair try, or that I purchased the cheapest ones. I feel that I allowed more than enough time to see if the products worked, and not one of them had the slightest effect. I purchased a magnetic underlay from Australia at great cost including shipping, for arthritis; a magnetic pillow pad for insomnia and a very expensive magnetic bracelet for stiffness in the wrist and fingers. All useless. I have since found alternative ways to deal with these problems, that have been far more effective, and cost me next to nothing. I have Bookmarked your article lest I be tempted at any time to reconsider magnetic therapy. Thank you.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Dec, 2011
Thanks SJ. It's great to hear from someone who has tried several magnetic therapy products for different complaints and found them all worthless. Of course we are not surprised.
Comment by Ian, 19 Apr, 2012
Hi. I have read all the postings on this matter.
What perturbs me is that you continually refer to the lack of scientific proof.
This smacks of the denial of drugs to a dying person because adequate tests have not been undertaken and a percentage success rate not established. I can totally support the anecdotal evidence from those who have written that magnetic therapy works.
My wife suffers from ME and FM. I can state categorically that magnet treatment relieved her pain in a couple of days and enabled her to walk without a stick and climb stairs with ease. I don't understand the science and there is no-one more sceptical about alternative therapies than me, however I promise you magnet treatment DID work.
I think that you are very wrong to dismiss this none invasive treatment out of hand. Clearly it does work for some. If it helps FM sufferers even a little then it should be encourage
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Apr, 2012
Ian, we 'continually refer to the lack of scientific proof' for the same reason that you neglect to mention it, there isn't any scientific proof. We cannot refer to that which doesn't exist.
It is also misleading to use the phrase 'anecdotal evidence', since if there is real evidence then it is not a simple anecdote. Supporters of magnetic therapies are forced to fall back on anecdotes and testimonials because there is no good evidence supporting their claims.
The fact is that you do not know magnets work. If you had evidence that magnets worked, as opposed to some other cause, then you would have mentioned it. That your wife may have felt some relief in no way proves that magnets were the cause. Perhaps it was psychological or something she did while using the magnets. This is what scientific tests do, they isolate different elements so that they can determine cause and effect. Just because the phone rings when you get into the shower doesn't mean showers cause phones to ring, likewise feeling relief after strapping on a magnet doesn't mean the magnets caused that relief.
If it was so easy to show that magnetic therapy worked, then please explain why scientists (or even those that sell magnetic products), can't see what is so obvious to you and your wife?
Comment by Ian, 20 Apr, 2012
Hi. I note and understand everything you say but you are missing my point. Even if there other factors involved or even if purely psychological, then as long as the cost is affordable it is worth trying magnets to obtain some relief from the debilitating pain of FM. I reiterate, my wife certainly did, for whatever reason.
BTW I agree the "special" magnets sold by multi-marketers are a rip off.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Apr, 2012
Hi Ian. No, we do understand your point, that if people think it works and believe it offers some relief, then what harm is there in it? Well, one form of harm is the huge amount of money that is wasted on the magnets that you agree are, in many cases, a rip off. You realise of course that these fraudulent multi-marketeers would offer the same argument that you have, that if some of their clients think they work, why should you call them a rip off? Don't you find it a little conflicting to argue that the magnets you've bought work — somehow — but that many others are a scam?
Another more serious form of harm is that believers in the efficacy of magnets will forego conventional treatment that may provide real help. Furthermore, believers in magnetic therapy are more inclined to believe in other unsupported therapies, such as copper bracelets, crystal healing, colour therapy and homeopathy. My late uncle used a colour therapist for his health concerns until they became so severe he eventually consulted a real doctor. By then his delay in seeking real treatment meant his illness was inoperable and his death ensued. Of course, just like magnet therapy, many swear that colour therapists can and do heal them.
Our problem is that if we agree to support, or at the very least not criticise, claims of magnetic therapy, then to be consistent we must also support or at least not criticise any and all claims of unproven therapeutic healing, for example, homeopaths and crystal healers. Also many religious people insist that prayer works as a method of healing. And no doubt many will argue that their belief brings them comfort and real relief, and for some that will be true, since they would have been suffering from a short-lived illness and the placebo effect would have made them feel better as they healed naturally.
We look for evidence. Everything stands or falls on evidence. We're not saying that some people might not feel that they have gained relief through their magnet purchase, we're saying that regardless of this impression, there is no good evidence that the magnets themselves physically bring about the healing or relief claimed for them.
We also feel that the billions spent worldwide on unproven products wastes enormous resources that could have funded real medical research. This widespread belief in alternative therapies distracts from finding real cures. For example, if everyone still believed that disease was a punishment from God, medicine as we now know it would not exist. It is only because a few people, failing to find evidence for this notion, decided that they would seek the real cause of disease and only promote treatments that they could show worked, that we have modern medicine. If we are to return to the time when the unproven healing claims of a priest, witch or magnetic therapist are treated as equal to the evidence-based claims of a doctor or scientist, then we are giving power to opinion over evidence. And our society returns to a primitive era.
We don't disagree that people can benefit from the placebo effect. However if pain relief through the use of magnets is achieved by the placebo effect, this requires the user to believe that magnets can heal. This, in our view, means that the person must believe something that is untrue, that they must suffer a delusion. As adults, we don't like to lie to other adults, and we refuse to support the delusions of others. Just as people oppose slavery, we say that the mind, not just the body, should be free as well, and while some aspects of reality might be shocking to believers in religions and magical potions, we believe it is preferable to comforting delusions.
Comment by Alison, 23 Apr, 2012
When in Taranaki recently we happened upon a shop selling 'magnetic copper' bracelets — copper bracelets with a couple of tiny magnets set into them. According to the accompanying blurb, the copper is absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin — apparently a good thing because it avoids a copper deficiency — and the magnets restore the body's proper electromagnetic field, which (I am trying to keep a straight face as I type) is out of whack due to all the electrical fields we're exposed to on a daily basis.
Comment by Bob, 28 Apr, 2012
I've heard that explanation before of how the copper bracelet works. If one's system really is short of copper why not take a copper pill just like iron pills? That would be a much easier way to get the body to absorb copper. There's a thought! Perhaps I could make iron bracelets and coin the money. Many people are short of iron which I understand can lead to anaemia. I was myself at one stage. At a doctor's suggestion I took iron pills.
As far as static magnetic fields go I wish people would realise they can have no effect on a human body.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Apr, 2012
Unfortunately Bob, you can't make money off suckers if you suggest they visit a doctor for a copper pill. And why — in real medicine — do we hear of iron deficiencies but not copper? This idea that the body absorbs metals that it is in contact with appears to me to have a problem similar to homeopathy. Homeopaths claim water has a memory of the 'healing' substance that they added to it (and then effectively removed by extreme dilution). However if this were true then this same water would have a memory of every substance it had ever come in contact with, many of which could have been toxic. The memories of untold substances would utterly swamp the memory of the single 'healing' substance. While the single 'healing' memory may be trying to heal you, the multitude of toxic memories would be poisoning you. Likewise with the likes of copper bracelets. Even if absorbing a bit copper were beneficial to some, people would also be absorbing heavy metals from every metal object they handled. Lead sinkers while fishing, iron nails when building, steel when engineering etc. Are we overdosing on titanium when we play golf? And if the body readily absorbs whatever it touches, are we taking in coal and wood through our skin, or plastic from our remote controls, or nylon and cotton from our clothes? Why is there no warning on jewellery such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings etc, or wristwatches, or piercings? These morons have to explain how our bodies realise they are deficient in copper and deliberately strip it off any copper it comes into contact with, but doesn't do the same with anything else the body touches, even if it is deficient. Of course they might argue that the body does absorb everything but simply expels it if it's not required. But then that would mean that lead or mercury poisoning, for example, would never happen. This nonsense is designed for ignorant morons, and unfortunately you can't reason with them. Like religion, faith and simple magical answers are far more important to them than reason.
Comment by Anonymous-3, 29 Jul, 2012
I just came across this and feel sad for the way you believe. I am not sure if these bracelets do heal, but it also helps to believe they do. You sound to me that you would not believe that an Angel can save your life either! You are a doubter, instead of having Faith!!!
Regarding your last comment, the reason why mainstream medicine does not work with these new ways of healing is because it would put the pharmaceutical companies, as well as others, out of business. We were born to believe that medicine will help us and it only goes on to create more problems with our bodies. Go ahead - challenge me - I learned this when our son passed on and he was able to share this with me. Remember, he who doubts, usually goes on to learn a big lesson. Go ahead, call me crazy, but keep your eyes and ears open as you will be hearing alot more about natural ways of healing in the coming years!
Love and Light!!!!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Jul, 2012
Firstly, of course we don't believe that things called angels could save a life, anymore than we believe that fire-breathing dragons or evil trolls could threaten our lives. Like you we also feel dismayed, especially in the 21st century, with what some people believe, and that you would actively defend something that you admit you have no idea that it even works.
Your thinking seems a little muddled. First you criticise us for doubting: 'You are a doubter, instead of having Faith!!!', then you confusingly say that doubting is a good thing: 'Remember, he who doubts, usually goes on to learn a big lesson'. So is doubting good or bad? In our view it's good, essential even, and perhaps you should start doubting therapies like this and you might go on to learn a big lesson, that mainstream medicine has made us healthier and longer living than any time in history. We know that you will doubt many, many things, and even deny outright many more things. Your mention of Faith and angels would suggest you are religious, so do you doubt the truthfulness of other religions, or even deny them completely? Do you doubt that witches fly on broomsticks or that Queen Elizabeth is really a reptilian alien? You obviously doubt the value of modern medicine, so why is it acceptable for you to doubt claims, but it's not OK for us to doubt things, like magnetic therapy and angels? We're sure you will have read our criticisms of magnetic therapy before challenging us, so perhaps you could be so kind to as explain what we got wrong? After all, we didn't just say we doubt if magnetic therapy works, we explained why.
If you really want a challenge, we challenge you to refuse to go to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies the next time you have a health problem. Stick with your nonsense that has been believed in for hundreds and thousands of years and has yet to cure a single person. Throw out your pharmaceutical painkillers and antibiotics and get a supply of fridge magnets, healing crystals and leeches instead. Plead with your angels and envelop yourself in blind faith. Then compare yourself to your friends and associates who are using conventional medicine and see who is suffering less and who is recovering. The very fact that conventional medicine and its generally happy clients surround us demonstrates that it's very successful at providing safe and effective treatments. The likes of magnetic therapy and prayer are as useless as three witches milling around a boiling cauldron. We challenge you to show otherwise. Don't just criticise us for our lack of faith, debunk our argument.
Comment by Keri, 31 Jul, 2012
Kia ora — I'd just add one thing to your excellent response to your angel-afflicted correspondent: occaisionally, in modern medicine, leeches (and maggots) prove very useful... and in the days when most European civilisations (?) used iron cookware, use of leeches — like bloodletting — was actually *sometimes* helpful.
Keep up the good work.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 01 Aug, 2012
Hi Keri. Thanks for your comments, and you're right of course. It is surprising that leeches (specifically their saliva) and maggots have found a place in modern medicine, mainly for improving blood circulation and for combating infection respectively. Although in past times when leeches were popular, they were often seen as the cure for pretty much every affliction, much like prayer. It's also interesting to note that the active component in the saliva of leeches has been isolated and synthesised, so leeches will likely once again fade into history. Their use also destroys the conspiracy theory claim in that conventional medicine and science is happy to adopt historical or alternative healing methods if they can be shown to be beneficial.
Comment by Gloria, 09 Sep, 2012
Aren't we moving into a new age, where there is more to "know" than what science can explain. Our egos swell with the intellect, but our hearts have been lost to science when it comes to true healing. I find it interesting that you deny all anecdotal evidence. I am a nurse who has spoken with many patients over the years, who find great results from several integrative medicine approaches. Traditional medicine still advocates the "cut, burn and poison" approach. Talk to anyone who has been cut, burn or poisoned, and they will tell you how "out of balance" they are. There will come a time in the not too distant future when we will recognize these traditional approaches as barbaric. In the meantime, we are "stuck" with them because the billion dollar profit industry is more important than creature comfort. The simpler approaches aren't given much attention, since there is little profit, and most cannot be patented as in big Pharma. Traditional Chinese medicine is difficult to explain scientifically, yet it works.
Doesn't anecdotal evidence count for anything? While I'm someone who doesn't believe in organized religion, I would wonder why those who believe in God do, since there is no evidence to substantiate existence. It would seem your ego is "full" from all you share here. We are so mechanistic these days. One would hope we could find more balance, imagining the "possibilities" outside the mainstream.
All the best.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Sep, 2012
Hi Gloria. No, I don't believe we're 'moving into a new age, where there is more to "know" than what science can explain'. Each year as we learn new things there must logically be less left to "know", not more. Since we know much more than did medieval peasants for example, it's clear that there was much more to learn and discover back then than there is now. If science explains just one new thing this year, that's one less thing that our ancestors need to discover.
We're not saying we deny all 'anecdotal evidence', we're saying that anecdotes are not in themselves evidence. Anecdotes can be true, but they offer no evidence that they are. My dictionary defines an anecdote as 'A short account of an interesting or humorous incident'. People relate anecdotes of when they stumbled into the wrong changing rooms, met a celebrity, saw a ghost or were abducted by aliens from their bed. I'm not saying anecdotes are lies, those telling them may be utterly sincere in what they believe they saw happen, such as ghosts and aliens or magnets curing disease. But very often people are honestly mistaken in what they think they saw. Proper investigation often shows that some unseen and unconsidered factor was the real cause of the incident related in an anecdote.
It's ironic that you raise belief in God to support anecdotes, evidently suggesting that since so many people relate religious anecdotes then surely there must be something to religion. And yet you don't believe and note that there is no evidence for God's existence. If anecdotes count for something, and should be taken seriously, as you suggest they should, then why don't you do exactly that? Why aren't you religious? There are far, far more anecdotes supporting God than there are supporting magnetic therapy. You no doubt reject religious anecdotes because you see them as just stories, stories that not only offer no evidence that they are true, they also contradict what scientific and historical evidence has proven is true. An anecdote can certainly be taken seriously and investigated, but if it fails to withstand scrutiny and offer evidence that it could be true, then it should be rejected as a real description of what happened.
Because so many people believe in religion with no evidence supporting their belief, you say that 'I would wonder why those who believe in God do'. Let's remember that it's only people like you and me who don't believe in God that insist there is no evidence, religious people think there is strong evidence, such as anecdotes. Basically most people believe in God because adults lied to them as children. They told them stories or anecdotes, and unlike the stories of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, they kept insisting that the God stories were true even when they became adults. They settled for anecdotes rather than insisting on evidence.
You claim that 'we are "stuck" with them [modern medicine] because the billion dollar profit industry is more important than creature comfort'. This is quite wrong. We have modern medicine because treatments that are proven to work are far more important than feel good ancient therapies that don't work. No one is forcing people that need a kidney or hip replacement or antibiotics for an infection or treatment for cancer to seek modern conventional medicine. They aren't "stuck" with this single choice, they are free to use unrecognised alternative therapies such as magnetic therapy, iridology, Reiki or homeopathy etc. And let's remember that alternative therapies are also a multi-billion dollar profit industry. Contrary to your claim, there is enormous profit in pushing this nonsense. They can't patent their potions solely because they won't spend time and money to prove that they are unique, and that they work and are safe. All things that the public insists conventional medicine must do. Whenever a conventional drug causes harm, the public demands to know why better testing wasn't done and for heads to roll. And yet no one cares that alternative therapies undergo no testing for safety or efficacy. The alternative therapy industries are interested solely in profit.
You claim that 'Traditional medicine still advocates the "cut, burn and poison" approach'. Firstly, modern 21st century medicine is not traditional medicine. Traditional medicine is blood letting, prayer, witches' potions and much of which goes under the umbrella of alternative therapies. You ask us to 'Talk to anyone who has been cut, burn or poisoned, and they will tell you how "out of balance" they are'. Often you can only talk to these people because modern medicine actually saved their lives. In past centuries without our 'barbaric' approaches to medicine then these people would have died. You're a nurse, you should realise that the body at a cellular level is not a friendly place. The immune system is ruthlessly attacking and destroying anything it perceives as foreign, and sometimes in the likes of rheumatoid arthritis, even attacking its own body. Cancerous tumours grow with no thought of the damage they're doing to surrounding tissue and organs. Viruses and bacteria attack the body for their own ends. Toxins from food and substances in the air assault the body. Organs fail. You seem to have this false notion that nature is a friendly, safe and benign place that man is corrupting with modern medical approaches. When doctors cut out a cancerous tumour or burn and cauterise damaged blood vessels or poison harmful bacteria, they do it because the body isn't always the happy kingdom that you perceive it to be.
You claim that 'There will come a time in the not too distant future when we will recognize these traditional approaches as barbaric'. Mankind has had thousands of years to prove that alternative therapies worked, and yet they've all either been utterly rejected or relegated to quack therapies offered by untrained people from their kitchen or by bogus companies for huge profit. There is no time in history that you could have got better medical treatment than now. No doubt some present medical ideas will be rejected in the future, but we guarantee that they will not be replaced by silly alternative therapies such as fridge magnets, iridology, Reiki or homeopathy. Not unless they do something which to date they have refused to do, demonstrate that they work.
You also mention that 'Traditional Chinese medicine is difficult to explain scientifically, yet it works'. And yet surprisingly the Chinese are flocking to western medicine as soon as they can afford it or access it. Why are they rejecting traditional Chinese medicine if it's so superior? Do you really believe that rhinoceros horn or tiger penis works as an aphrodisiac? This is as silly as believing a rabbit's foot brings good luck. It certainly didn't bring the rabbit luck, and he had four of them.
You finish by saying that 'We are so mechanistic these days. One would hope we could find more balance, imagining the "possibilities" outside the mainstream'. Sorry, but all this sounds quite flaky to me. By mechanistic do you mean the philosophical notion that we see everything in reference to physical or biological causes? If so, then yes, there is no supernatural realm outside the material world influencing our health. You on the other hand, like many alternative therapy proponents, seem to believe in some sort of spooky influence. Likewise I think that this flaky idea of balance is pure magical thinking. The natural world is not some utopia where the lion will lie down with the lamb or cancer and viruses will disappear if we can just find some mystical balance in our lives. And part of your dream has already come true. We only have our advanced and healthy society today because people have already imagined 'the "possibilities" outside the mainstream'. And one of them is modern medicine.
And finally, sure I criticise religion and magnetic therapy, but after doing so I don't then go and get a job in a church or flogging magnetic underlays. You're a nurse, trained by and presumably working for the very institution that you claim is suppressing therapies that could benefit mankind. Why wait for others to discover 'the "possibilities" outside the mainstream', why not prove to the world that magnetic therapy claims are more than mere anecdotes? How hard could it be?
Comment by Anonymous-4, 10 Oct, 2012
Hi, I just came across this news item about magnets as cancer treatment:
Powerful magnets that cause cancer cells to 'self-destruct' could offer targeted treatment for tumours
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Oct, 2012
Thanks for the link. Very interesting. However we should point out to readers, lest they get the wrong idea, that this research involves nanotechnology, working at the level of atoms and molecules, on the scale of one billionth of a metre and less. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the magnetic therapy that we argue against in our article. As the article states:
The new magnetic therapy involves creating tiny iron nanoparticles attached to antibodies — proteins produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances. These iron nanoparticles then bind to the molecules on tumour cells. When the magnetic field is applied, the molecules cluster together, automatically triggering the 'death signal'.
Without the artificial nanoparticles, no manner of magnet, let alone the type that magnet therapists sell, will have any effect. And as the article said: 'This is fascinating but extremely preliminary research. These Korean researchers have developed an antibody-based molecule that, when activated by a magnetic field, can cause cancer cells to die in highly artificial laboratory conditions and animal models. There's a long way to go before it's ready to test in humans... '
Comment by Anonymous-5, 01 Nov, 2012
For LR: [Comment #34]
Sure Dr. Goiz as presented here sounds bogus, as that university, but that doesnt make it impossible. I have used the pairs therapy (the actual visit with a therapist, not insoles or mats) and it has helped a lot, not for those big things, but it has helped me with specific conditions. Why not just try it instead of reading stuff by people who have already decided they are gonna discredit anything that comes about regarding the topic? There is no proof it is harmful, it can alleviate pain and other things, it has for me. Thank God not for something as serious as cancer or diabetes, but at least in smaller things, it has been useful. Again, why not try it? Sillybeliefs might have valid points, but if it works for you, well it just worked for you.
To Sillybeliefs, thank you for your willingness to open the discussion to all sides! That is most helpful, and I appreciate the scientific info to weigh things, especailly when it comes to dangerous stuff!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Nov, 2012
Sorry, but you haven't convinced us that Goiz and his therapy is anything but bogus. You yourself admit that his claims sound bogus. You state that there is no proof that it's harmful, implying that you have researched the topic, so you'll know that there's also no proof that it works either. If it's appeared to work for you then this is probably down to the placebo effect or some other cause that has nothing to do with magnets. Imagine two friends, one with a bad cold and the other with cancer who both try therapy X, and the one with the cold gets better but the one with cancer does not. The one with the cold says 'Well, I don't know why it didn't work for you, since it worked for me. Perhaps you didn't do it right?'
Comment by Anonymous-6, 11 Dec, 2012
Hi John — What do you know about "pulsed magnetic therapy" and its effect (if any) on Parkinsons? I am 57 and diagnosed with Parkinson's. I have a wonderful neurologist and my medication has given me almost complete relief from any symptoms. I feel pretty good. I also exercise vigorously and take some supplements and basically live my life. However, I have been getting these pulsed magnetic treatments at my home from a alternative health person who has no medical training. It's a small machine that he hooks me up to and it delivers a pulsing sensation. If you look on YouTube, you can find videos that show "miraculous" improvement for people with PD. My neurologist thinks it is a waste of time and money, and I pretty much agree. But, I have the concern that maybe it is helping me. Yikes! If you can give me any thoughts on the subject, I would greatly appreciate. (I think the therapy is referred to, as PEMF). Thanks.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Dec, 2012
Hi there, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but glad that you are managing it.
While we were vaguely familiar with the claims that there is some evidence that PEMF might assist in bone growth and repair following fractures, I hadn't seen any reputable link that demonstrates that PEMF is effective with Parkinson's. A quick search with Google does throw up some links, but they are nearly always connected to people trying to sell a PEMF healing product, which is often never a good recommendation. Unfortunately these sites surround what sounds like credible claims and articles with other claims and articles that are complete nonsense, which demonstrates that they can't tell the difference, or that they can but they don't care, interested only in making a sale. For example one site that pushed PEMF over ordinary magnetic therapy weren't prepared to say that static magnets didn't work, only that their pulsed magnets were superior. Another that supported PEMF for Parkinson's was called the 'Energy Medicine Universityís BLOG', which of course is falsely pretending it is a real university to give its claims academic credibility. And the term 'energy medicine' just screams new age pseudoscience in our view.
Your neurologist no doubt expects a certain response to the medications he or she has prescribed, and my guess is that they are seeing nothing beyond this. If PEMF is doing something extra, making a real difference, then why isn't your neurologist seeing a marked and unexpected improvement in your condition that can't be explained by the medications? If your neurologist views the relief you're currently obtaining from conventional medicine as typical, then what are the additional PEMF treatments doing? You should be inexplicably healthier than all his other patients that aren't receiving PEMF? Are you? Doctors aren't stupid, if a proportion of their patients are receiving some extra treatment and are recovering whilst the rest aren't, they will quickly investigate and adopt this new treatment if it truly is making a difference. Why can't the PEMF therapists convince doctors that it can make a difference?
Of course, in no way am I an expert in these matters, and perhaps PEMF can have a positive effect on Parkinson's. If you feel it is doing some good, even if just from the placebo effect, and you can easily afford the treatments, and your neurologist says it can do no harm, then continue with the sessions.
It's easy to be dismissive of silly sounding treatments when one is healthy, but I'd like to think that I'd still be skeptical and rational if I came down with some affliction. I'm quite willing to anger God by not believing in him, so I'd like to think that illness wouldn't rob me of my rationality either. Hopefully I could resign myself to the fact that modern medicine had not yet found a cure and that was that.
I fully understand the desire to seek alternative treatment for an affliction when conventional medicine can offer no cure or only limited relief. At least you are inquiring into an alternative therapy that I suppose could, unlike many, potentially have some effect. The real danger with alternative therapies is where people choose to waste valuable time, and often a great deal of money, trying therapies that have little and usually no chance of working, instead of consulting a real doctor. Unfortunately by the time they finally accept defeat, this delay in seeking real treatment often means that even modern medicine can offer little help if sought too late. It is this chasing of fantasies that delays realistic treatments and might also cause financial harm that is our problem with many alternative therapies. However you, most importantly in our view, have apparently already sought and accepted conventional therapies. They may in some cases be limited in what relief they can offer, but usually this is the best that anyone can offer. Looking critically and skeptically into an alternative therapy as an add-on, as long as it doesn't interfere with your conventional treatment or cause financial harm, is perfectly understandable in my view.
In cases like this though, I am always skeptical when people with no scientific or medical expertise insist that they can provide a simple, safe, cheap and effective cure, and yet the medical profession refuses to adopt these new practices and technology. Why aren't they interested? Alternative therapy salesmen explain this by saying that conventional medicine is afraid to try new ideas, but this is utterly false. Revolutionary medical research is ongoing in surgical techniques, drugs and technology, and as soon as something new is shown to be safe and effective it is quickly adopted by doctors and hospitals. Absolute fortunes are being spent looking for new treatments. Hospitals are forever scheming how they might be able to afford the latest scanners and drugs, they are not locked into last century ideas, afraid to consider new ones. Nor are they, like teenagers, slaves to the latest technological marvel, tied to the big corporations. Look at the age old and very simple stethoscope that doctors still use. All doctors want is something that is safe and works, and they will stick with it until something better comes along. The majority of doctors, we believe, are in their profession to help people, and have no financial interest or ideological attachment over one treatment or the other. If they believe a new treatment might be of benefit they will recommend it. Certainly some companies marketing drugs or machines will be biased to their own product, eg PEMF machines, but I sincerely doubt that the medical fraternity is suppressing the likes of PEMF in a selfish bid to promote some other product. In my view, PEMF has not been adopted with open arms because it has not been shown to be effective and/or safe. I don't believe there is some sort of conspiracy going on. Like any alternative therapy, if its proponents have such clear evidence that it works, that its safe and can make a real difference, why can't they convince the medical profession? The number of Parkinson's sufferers that to fail to respond to conventional treatment but then make 'miraculous' recoveries after PEMF should be so obvious that no doctor or hospital could deny its effectiveness. The public, regardless of what the hospitals wanted to offer, would demand PEMF treatment. If they refused, people would vote with their feet and private PEMF treatment centres would quickly become successful and profitable.
Like smartphones, alcohol, movies, chocolate and pizzas, once the public finds something they want, the market will provide it. If PEMF is shown to work, and the public sees that it works, conventional medicine will trample the alternative therapists underfoot as it races to offer it to patients. So why hasn't this already happened if PEMF is as miraculous as proponents claim? Sorry I can't be of more help or give you a definitive answer as to whether PEMF works regarding Parkinson's, but the fact that I can't, and nor can it's promoters evidently, must be a point against it I guess.
Whatever you chose to do, we wish you all the best, and may you continue to remain relatively symptom free.
Comment by Deb, 28 Dec, 2012
I am an RN, a 4.5 USTA competitive tennis player, avid runner, bootcamp and kickboxing fanatic. I have used Nikken magnets for injuries for 20 some years with mind-blowing results....you are sorely mistaken and are providing information that is not only wrong, it is ignorant.
Thanx for making the world a worse place to live in.....and by the way....I don't have time to sell the product or I would.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 29 Dec, 2012
So Deb, you're a nurse who's keen on sports and gets a lot of minor injuries. Then you should know that these types of injuries heal naturally, with no need for magnets around your neck, in your underwear or under your bed. To balance your nursing qualifications and sporting interests, we could list doctors who say that magnets are a sham and professional athletes who excel at their sport without using magnets.
Typically you offer no evidence to support your claims, just a single anecdote. I got better, it must have been the magnets. And if you think that our being skeptical of magnetic therapy makes 'the world a worse place to live in', you really must be quite ignorant of what's going on in the world. Loners are massacring children in the USA, with gun nuts supporting their right to own assault rifles, Muslims are slaughtering the innocent in Afghanistan and Iraq, Catholic priests are sexually abusing little boys and the Pope is hiding them from justice, and you seriously think that we are the ones making the world a worse place? We think we're helping people from being ripped off and encouraging them to seek real therapies that have evidence behind them. And if this truly upsets you so much, perhaps you should stop searching the web for articles critical of magnets. You're only going to be disappointed to learn the truth.
Comment by Bob, 30 Dec, 2012
A look at the Nikken website is revealing. It is pure B.S. which I am sure will come as no surprise. Claims are of course backed up by testimonials while scientific study is a bit short. Everybody not only athletes knows that strain injuries do heal by themselves though medications can reduce swelling etc.
I keep saying stationary magnetic fields can have no effect on human flesh. Oscillating fields can.
While I have great respect for nurses they do not have great depth of scientific training unlike a doctor. There are nurses with some strange ideas.
Comment by Mikaere, 30 Dec, 2012
Hi John. Deb's comment reveals a woeful lack of logic. As you have mentioned many times, an anecdote proves nothing. People who have a lack of understanding of the scientific method readily attach significance to any number of unproven artifacts. She might just as well claim that using a refrigerator or wearing cotton undergarments have been effective in healing her injuries. Sadly, science education is taking a back seat in many schools at present and even the concept of a 'fair test' is beyond the ken of many.
It's very sad that someone sees your site as making the world a worse place to live in. As well as the people you mentioned, I would have thought that contributing to general ignorance and superstitious behaviour would claim that distinction. It's good to see that you don't get drawn in to the insults that often accompany such postings.
Comment by Colin, 11 Jan, 2013
I found after using a biomag blanket after a few weeks, i had muscular problems, stiffness of joints, which was the exact opposite result for which i had purchased the blanket. I removed the blanket off my bed, and came right in a couple of weeks. I purchased the blanket due to sleep problems, which i must say helped towards a more restfull sleep.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Jan, 2013
Thanks for your comments Colin. While your muscular problems may have been caused by the physical presence of the biomag blanket and its enclosed magnets, I doubt that it had anything to do with the magnetic fields of said magnets. Also some magnetic blankets are incorporated into a fluffy woollen underlay, and it is the fluffy wool that gives people a more restful sleep, not the magnets.
Comment by Anonymous-7, 14 Jan, 2013
You really got a bad hard on against magnets must mean you make money off of sick people god forbid something so simple would help them and cut you out of your misguided fortune
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Jan, 2013
Your pathetic, childish, poorly thought through argument must mean that everyone who doesn't promote magnetic healing, eg hospitals and doctors and... well... pretty much everyone in the entire world, even deluded religious souls, are all conspiring against the sick solely to make misguided fortunes. And how are we making money, let alone a fortune, simply by debunking the bogus healing of the sick by the use of fridge magnets? Have you even thought, for more than a millisecond, about what you've said? And like most that get upset with being exposed, all you offer is insults, evidence of your claims are noticeably lacking.
Comment by Jennifer, 13 Feb, 2013
Magnets have been a pure miracle for me. I use to suffer from terrible circulation in my twenties with freezing cold
feet and hands. Later I suffered chronic back ache after a slipped disc due to carrying my youngest child. I
tried all the medications under the sun but it was not until I started using magnets that I noticed a huge difference.
My circulation is fantastic now and I have worn a pulse wristband supplied from Mr. Padfield-Krala for many years
as well as being interested enough to sell the products myself. If I was not thoroughly convinced by having them
help my back, I would never have done this. There are a lot of different products on the market, there are a lot
of different pills out there as well! Not all of them work but when you find something that works for you, be it a pill
for backache or a magnet, it is worth sharing with others. All healing has an element of "believing in it" we are
human beings not robots and as such, it is natural that we have to be "open to ideas in the first place" and not
closed off as part of our natural healing process.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 Feb, 2013
Well Jennifer, I'm glad your health has improved over the years. However I'm not convinced that it had anything to do with your dalliance with magnets. The body heals many ailments naturally over time with no help from external sources. And I can't believe that you can confidently claim that it was magnets that cured you, as you admit that you 'tried all the medications under the sun'. Any one of these may have helped your body to go on to naturally rectify its problems. You claim that you are 'thoroughly convinced' that magnets healed you, but this is no different than some devout Christian insisting that Jesus healed them of their cancer. Neither of you offer any evidence, and the embarrassing fact is that most everyone that appeals to magnets or Jesus fail to be healed, except for those with minor complaints that were going to heal naturally anyway.
I agree that some healing at least 'has an element of "believing in it"', but this is just another way of saying that healing can be assisted by having positive, confident thoughts, which might be gained by focusing on something external, such as magnets, Jesus or a lucky rabbit's foot while the body gets on with healing naturally.
By dismissing healing by magnets you imply that we are closed minded. We would argue that ignoring the evidence and refusing to face reality is really what it means to be closed minded.
Comment by Anonymous-8, 15 Feb, 2013
Hi john .. Thanks for your site & all of the information that you provided. I had booked my first appointment for a session of Biomagnetic Pairs ... and almost cancelled the appointment because I was skeptical and second your research had me almost convinced that I was setting myself up for a scam. I had evidence of Endometriosis & scar tissues on my Fallopian Tubes, Acute Gastric Reflux and a left shoulder chronic pain and frequent Migraines as well as monthly Herpes lesions around the lips. I had been in and out of the hospitals since May of last year & followed a diet avoiding high acid foods as well as taking daily antacids & gastric pills and migraine medication & pharmaceutical creams for the Herpes to control the weekly outbreaks. In addition I worked out in the gym & tried to maintain a positive attitude & make best of my discomfort and accept that medicine can only do so much. That was two weeks ago!!!!! On my first session I felt immediate relief followed by a slight increase in gas & stool movements. The second session I walked out of the office thanking myself, that I wasn't put off by reading your site. I'm completely free of all discomfort, pain & medications that was a daily necessity. The details are, that I was infected with several known bacterias and viruses & parasites that I probably contacted from the sheep farm in front of my villa ...I live in the countryside of Rome Italy. I should probably list all of the medical names of the bacterias and viruses & parasites, but I'm writing this on my cell phone and cannot access all of my data.... I only hope that anyone who reads this, simply google's Dr Goiz and study all of his links relating to Biomagnetic Pairs. Using powerful magnets that has nothing to do with biomagnetic therapy, blankets & bracelets. Thanks again for your site ... It's important to have people like you, that have an intelligence and willing to share knowledge & science and I will continue to follow your comments. I feel sure that even you, will one day put yourself to the test and try it out for yourself. I'm not here to change the mind of anyone that reads this comment.. simply do what I did, put aside 80 euro & see what happens!!! For me, it changed my life around!!! Haven't felt this way in a long time. Oh, I should add, I enjoyed my caffe this morning, ate an orange, & drank two glasses of wine tonight with dinner & a piece of choccolate... Maybe for you, no big deal !!. But for me, up until last week an explosive time bomb in the making, just consuming one of these items let alone all in one day!!! The PH balance in my body was completely out of balance ..which allowed the over growth of bacteria & viruses to thrive in my body, causing me no end of problems.... Next week I'm scheduled for a MRI that has already been paid for. I will be glad to give you the updates as a comparison 2012 -2013 on my endometriosis that I'm sure doesn't even exist anymore. Happy to share my experience!!!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Feb, 2013
Hi there. As I said to the previous poster, of course I'm glad your health has apparently improved, however I'm not convinced that it has anything to do with your dalliance with magnets. I'm no doctor, but you describe what is apparently several different conditions, eg endometriosis, scar tissue, reflux, chronic shoulder pain, migraines and herpes. These don't have a common cause or common cure, and simply attributing them all to 'several known bacterias and viruses & parasites that I probably contacted from the sheep farm in front of my villa' only makes sense to those pushing quack cures, such as Dr Goiz and his bogus Biomagnetic Pairs, who you suggest we Google. You claim that these work 'Using powerful magnets that has nothing to do with biomagnetic therapy... '. Perhaps it is you who should do some research, since Goiz's own website is called 'BioMagnetism Therapy', and he claims that 'Medical Biomagnetism is a diagnostic — therapeutic procedure'. So contrary to your view, Goiz thinks his magnets have everything to do with biomagnetic therapy. We have already criticised Dr Goiz and his claims in this previous comment, and since you claim that his session somehow eliminated all those numerous bacteria, viruses & parasites from your body, I'll repeat part of that comment:
What these charlatans don't know, or hope their clients don't know, is that as this article explains, 'Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones'. For every human cell in our body there are ten bacteria cells, and many are needed for the health of the body. For example they aid digestion and boost immunity. While some are harmful, the point is that if all microbes were blindly eliminated from our bodies we would die. These morons claim that their magnets can detect the areas where these microbes live and destroy them. But how could a magnet tell the difference between harmful and good bacteria? Especially since they can be one and the same depending on their location, numbers etc. For example E. Coli in our intestines makes several vitamins necessary for our good health, but E Coli can also be the cause of food poisoning, so E. Coli is both useful and harmful... The fact is, if their magnets worked as they claim they would kill all the good microbes and this would kill you.
I also know of no way that these magnets could destroy these microbes, even if they were all harmful.
You've also said that you have 'been in and out of the hospitals since May of last year', are taking many medicines, and have altered your diet and physical activity etc. Why when you notice improvement do you immediately give credit to magnets, which have no evidence to support them and much to discredit them, and completely ignore what modern medicine might have slowly brought about? This is like a guy on the TV News a few months ago here in NZ who had undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat cancer, and when he made a recovery, he thanked not the doctors or the treatment, but Jesus for curing him. He acknowledged his use of modern medicine, but insisted it was Jesus that made the difference, not the hospitals.
I don't see any evidence that magnets, or Jesus, can cure anything, no matter how much some people might wish or claim that they can. As we've seen this week, Jesus can't, or won't, even improve the Pope's health, hence necessitating his resignation. I wonder if he thought of trying Dr Goiz and his miracle magnets? Surely he could afford 80 Euros?
Comment by Jay, 06 Mar, 2013
Gave a read to your combination of facts, and your then bs non-facts, of course you have an agenda, most websites do, in the course of history your site will be but a short fart in duration, to go along with your bs they are a good match...... that being said magnetic therapy as it relates to human health has a track record of hundreds if not thousands of years, I'm sure you are well aware of that, unless you are simply highly educated morons, a condition that seems to be rampant in the U.S. for the last several decades, so I will have to take that into account, will I change your point of veiw with this short comment? highly unlikely, people have found relief from magnet therapy, that is a fact, I doubt anyone has ever found relief of any kind from your website..........
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Mar, 2013
Typical of the majority of people that criticise our arguments Jay, you are big on insults but very short on details and any sort of believable case. You admit that we provide facts, but also say we add 'bs non-facts', but strangely you don't think you need to reveal to us or our readers what these might be. We'll assume you're not too sure yourself about these 'bs non-facts'.
As you say, of course we have an agenda, and you do us a disservice by implying that we have suggested otherwise. Our agenda is to get people thinking critically, and not to believe just any old nonsense, and in this specific case, to come to the realisation that magnetic therapy has no more chance of healing someone than does homeopathy or praying to some sky fairy.
And yes, we're well aware that promoters of magnet therapy claim that it 'has a track record of hundreds if not thousands of years'. Unfortunately for your argument, much of that track record is bogus and where magnets were used their track record is of abject failure. We shouldn't have to explain this to you, but this historic failure is why you don't find magnet therapy in modern medicine. Think about it!
You ask: 'will I change your point of veiw with this short comment?' Well of course not, since you have given us no good reason to. You need to provide evidence and reasoned arguments as to why we should reconsider our view. Insults don't count, and indeed, suggest that you know of no evidence.
You accuse us of being 'simply highly educated morons, a condition that seems to be rampant in the U.S. for the last several decades'. Do you mean the highly educated morons that landed men on the moon and put rovers on Mars, that mapped the human genome and designed the internet that we're communicating over? While we're not in that league by any stretch of the imagination, it's nice of you to think we might be.
Finally, you claim that 'people have found relief from magnet therapy, that is a fact, I doubt anyone has ever found relief of any kind from your website'. Yes, a few people may have found relief by putting a fridge magnet in their knickers, but that would be because of the placebo effect, not the magnets per se. As for people coming to our website seeking relief from health problems, you again fail to grasp what our website is about. That said, many people have thanked us for relaying arguments and facts that have helped them intellectually, and we could argue that positive mental wellbeing assists overall bodily health. For example having no fear of silly demons and Hell and knowing that one should not waste money on bogus health products such as magnets gives one great peace of mind.
Comment by Mary, 23 Mar, 2013
I HAVE USED MAGNETIC PRODUCTS FOR MANY YEARS.THE CHEAPER ONES USING LESS GAUZ ARE NOT VERY HELPFUL WITH EXTREME PAIN
THEY ARE NOT A CURE,AND HAVE NOT BEEN ADVERTISED AS ONE.AS A PERSON WHO HAS EXPERIANCED A LOT OF PAIN AND CAN ONLY TAKE PARACETAMOL
THEY HAVE AT LEAST EASED PAIN AND SOMETIMES TAKEN IT AWAY.WEARING A GOOD,HIGH GAUZ BRACELET DOES GIVE YOU ENERGY,ALSO INNERSOLES FOR
YOUR SHOES.WITHOUT THESE I DO FIND A BIG DIFFERENCE.I DON'T FIND BED PADS MUCH HELP,BUT HIGH GAUZ PILLOWS ARE VERY GOOD,EVEN IF SLEEP IS LONG OR SHORT PERIODS.
I WAKE REFRESHED WITH EITHER.HOPE THIS GIVES SOME IDEA OF THE BENEFITS,BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Mar, 2013
Mary, you say that regarding your claims that magnetic bracelets, innersoles and pillows ease pain and provide energy, I can believe it or not. OK, I'll go with not.
Comment by Margaret, 18 Jun, 2013
Good Day John, I am writing this to help those who are in pain and suffering and are reading your site and being misled by your lengthy arguments.
21000 gauss Neodymium will heal with or without clinical trials.
If clinical trials were conducted with Neodymium 21000 gauss magnets the results would be outstanding and Big Pharm would have very few customers.
I have been wearing these strong magnets every night whilst asleep for 7 years.
I don't understand how a person who has never tried this healing method would argue with those who have experienced phenomenal healing by using magnets.
None of your arguments can convince me that the 7 years of extraordinary healing I have experienced by wearing 21000 gauss magnets has been the result of something else and not the magnets.
Those of us who have experience with the exceptional healing power of strong correctly placed polarity marked magnets don't care whether there have been clinical studies or not.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Mar, 2013
Sorry Margaret, but your comments seem to be a cross between an advertisement and blind faith.
You claim that it's quite obvious that your magnets 'will heal with or without clinical trials', but then you add that 'Big Pharm would have very few customers' ONLY IF 'clinical trials were conducted'. But if the magnets clearly heal without clinical trials, then 'Big Pharm's' customers should have already left them, or far more likely, 'Big Pharm' would be selling magnets alongside drugs and making even more money. Why are they happy for the potentially huge profits to go to the magnet distributors, who, if your predictions are correct, will eventually put 'Big Pharm' out of business?
If you have 'experienced phenomenal healing by using magnets', then why doesn't anyone but the magnet salesmen believe you? Why don't doctors and hospitals find your claims convincing in the slightest? If I invented a miracle cure then I'm sure it would be very easy to get the world to believe me, even if they were initially skeptical. It's like claiming that I could fly like Superman, if I truly could then it would be child's play to convince a doubting public. But magnet healers are like pretend superheroes, they say we should just take their word that they can do what they say, and refuse to demonstrate their powers. As you say, IF clinical trials were conducted on magnets they would be seen to work. It's always IF, never WHEN clinical trials were held they were found to work. Like our pretend Superman, they are afraid to jump off the roof just in case their belief is just a delusion. Their refusal to demonstrate their claims shows a distinct lack of confidence. This is typical of all scams.
You address people 'who are in pain and suffering', implying that all pain and suffering is the same and all can be cured by magnets. The implication is that magnets will miraculously heal anything and everything. Will they heal the pain and suffering of cancer or AIDS? Of course not, so your outlandish claims are irresponsible. Furthermore, if you've needed to strap magnets all over your body every night for the last 7 years then you obviously haven't been healed at all. Don't you know that to heal means to repair, to restore to good health. If you still need magnets to dull the pain then no healing has occurred.
You say that 'None of your arguments can convince me' and that you 'don't understand how a person who has never tried this healing method would argue'. Your stance might carry some weight if you at least tried to explain why our arguments are flawed, rather than simply claiming that we should trust you because you evidently know more than scientists do. If people are 'being misled by [our] lengthy arguments', then you need to explain why they are misleading, and how magnets can circumvent our arguments. At least make an attempt, otherwise how do we know it is not you that is being misleading? How do we know you even use magnets and that you aren't some magnet salesperson pretending to be a satisfied customer? Anyone can say (about anything): 'It's true. They work! End of story', and smugly walk away thinking that their argument has won the day.
Assuming you are who you say you are, then you are arguing on blind faith. You say that none of our arguments can convince you that your perceived healing might have 'been the result of something else and not the magnets'.
But think about this: I could claim that hugging a teddy bear every night whilst asleep for 7 years has brought about extraordinary healing. Would you believe me? You really shouldn't, but to be consistent you must believe me. I could say that 'none of your arguments can convince me that the 7 years of extraordinary healing I have experienced by hugging the bear has been the result of something else and not the bear'. It sounds pretty silly when you replace magnets with a teddy bear doesn't it? But it's essentially the same argument that you offer. Don't believe that teddy bears work? I don't understand how a person who has never tried this healing method would argue with me! Sound familiar?
The pope claims to 'have experience with the exceptional healing power of' Jesus, and doesn't 'care whether there have been clinical studies or not', but since he offers no evidence I refuse to believe him. You make the same claim but replace Jesus with magnets, and for the same reason I don't believe you either. To both you and the pope, send me some evidence and I will reconsider my stance. Until then we advise people to put their trust in conventional medicines that do have the evidence of clinical studies behind them.
Comment by Margaret, 24 Jun, 2013
Good Day John. No John not an advertisement or blind faith, just experience with magnet healing, and yes the magnets I wear are mine, however I do not sell them. I am not in the magnet business, I have a full time job as a Project administrator in South Africa, we design and build Processing Plants for the mines.
I did forget to mention in my first mail that 21 000 gauss Neodymium magnets heal sceptics as well as believers, three of my co workers who laughed at me for believing that magnets would heal, have now been wearing them for the past 6 years and are so amazed at the constant results. I have recommended the website to get them from, to any person who speaks to me of their illness or pain, naturally not all the people I have spoken to about magnets, do get them, however those who have are now believers even if they were sceptical before. I could tell you my co workers stories and how they ended up wearing them despite their scepticism, however I really don't have the time I need to go and cook supper.
I do agree with you that magnetic trinkets', bracelets earrings or any other weak magnet, without any + or - marked on the magnet will not do any healing, it is critical and myself and my sceptical magnet wearing co workers have learnt this first hand, that if the polarities are reversed, the effect goes from up lifting to draining, this is very important. No I don't strap magnets all over my body, I wear magnet rings that I bought in your Country, from San Francisco, I have no connection to this website and earn no money from them. A pair of strong 21 000 gauss Neodymium magnets rings are cheaper than just one visit to the doctor without the prescription medicine that goes with the visit each time, you constantly saying that magnets are big business, when in fact they are cheaper than one visit to the doctor and 21 000 gauss Neodymium magnets never loose their magnetism they last forever.
I do not see where I said its 'quite obvious that magnets heal', as how can it be obvious when just looking at magnets to know that they will heal, when one wears them one knows that one is being healed by the powerful magnets. I also do not see where I said that Big Pharm would have few customers 'ONLY IF', I said 'if', and yes people who wear 21 000 gauss Neodymium polarity marked magnets are no longer customers of Big Pharm, I am one of them and know a few others. Big Pharm is in the Business of Western Orthodox Medicine, unfortuntly magnets are not medicine and cannot be patented so that is why I say 'if clinical trials' and not 'when clinical trials', there are no huge profits to be made from something that each person only needs one pair of for life.
There are numerous studies that I read 7 years ago, and quite a few were peer reviewed, I did a quick search now and found some, however I have never found studies on 21 000 gauss Neodymium polarity marked magnets. I am surprised that not only do you discount a person's experience but you have not read the Clinical Studies which are found in Medical Journals & University website easily assessable on the web.
I have direct experience with the unbelievable healing after any injury including cuts, bruising and swelling, as this study in Science Daily discovered. The magnets have actually healed scars from a dog bite and stitches at the age 12, I was bitten by a dog I have had the scars my whole life until I wore magnet rings age 45.
You ask why I still wear them, I wear them because they maintain a healthy body, which means I don't get flu any more, my hair grows faster and is healthier, I wear them because every night while I sleep my brain chemicals are re balanced and I and I wake up feeling happy and alive, I wear them because they make life so much sweeter, I could go on and on.............
I don't know what the Pope has to do with the price of eggs, does the Pope pray to Jesus, I thought he prays to Mother Mary?
In this study, the hind paws of anesthetized rats were treated with inflammatory agents in order to simulate tissue injury. Magnetic therapy was then applied to the paws. The research results indicate that magnets can significantly reduce swelling if applied immediately after tissue trauma.
Since muscle bruising and joint sprains are the most common injuries worldwide, this discovery has significant implications. "If an injury doesn't swell, it will heal faster-and the person will experience less pain and better mobility," says Skalak. This means that magnets could be used much the way ice packs and compression are now used for everyday sprains, bumps, and bruises, but with more beneficial results. The ready availability and low cost of this treatment could produce huge gains in worker productivity and quality of life
The authors present their experience with the healing influence of permanent magnets on postoperative wounds. The responses of 20 patients who underwent suction lipectomy and postoperative negative magnetic field therapy were studied in a double-blind fashion. Magnets in the form of patches (10 patients) or sham magnet patches (10 patients) were placed over the operative region in each of the patients. Pain, edema, and discoloration (ecchymosis) were evaluated at 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 14 days postoperatively. Our results show that the treatment group had significant reductions in pain on postoperative days 1 through 7, in edema on days 1 through 4, and in discoloration on days 1 through 3 when compared with the control group. These results demonstrated that commercially available magnets have a positive influence on the postoperative healing process in suction lipectomy patients. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 2261, 1999.) (C)1999American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Sep-Oct;7(5):54-64, 66-9.
Low-amplitude, extremely low frequency magnetic fields for the treatment of osteoarthritic knees: a double-blind clinical study.
Jacobson JI, Gorman R, Yamanashi WS, Saxena BB, Clayton L.
Institute of Theoretical Physics and Advanced Studies for Biophysical Research, Perspectivism Foundation, 2006 Mainsail Cir, Jupiter, FL 33477-1418, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Noninvasive magnetotherapeutic approaches to bone healing have been successful in past clinical studies.
To determine the effectiveness of low-amplitude, extremely low frequency magnetic fields on patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis.
Placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical study.
6-minute exposure to each magnetic field signal using 8 exposure sessions for each treatment session, the number of treatment sessions totaling 8 during a 2-week period, yielded patients being exposed to uniform magnetic fields for 48 minutes per treatment session 8 times in 2 weeks. The magnetic fields used in this study were generated by a Jacobson Resonator, which consists of two 18-inch diameter (46-cm diameter) coils connected in series, in turn connected to a function generator via an attenuator to obtain the specific amplitude and frequency. The range of magnetic field amplitudes used was from 2.74 x 10(-7) to 3.4 x 10(-8) G, with corresponding frequencies of 7.7 to 0.976 Hz.
Reduction in pain after a treatment session was significantly (P < .001) greater in the magnet-on group (46%) compared to the magnet-off group (8%).
Low-amplitude, extremely low frequency magnetic fields are safe and effective for treating patients with chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis
Effects of static magnetic and pulsed electromagnetic fields on bone healing.
The International Journal of Adult Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery [1997, 12(1):43-53]
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the healing pattern of an experimentally induced osteotomy in Hartley guinea pigs in the presence of static magnetic and pulsed electromagnetic fields. The sample consisted of 30 Hartley guinea pigs 2 weeks of age divided into 3 groups: pulsed electromagnetic, static magnetic, and control. An osteotomy was performed in the mandibular postgonial area in all groups under general anesthesia. During the experimental period of 9 days, theanimals were kept in experiment cages 8 hours per day, the first two groups being in the presence of pulsed electromagnetic and static magnetic field, respectively. Based on histologic results, both static and pulsed electromagnetic fields seemed to accelerate the rate of bone repair when compared to the control group. The osteotomy sites in the control animals consisted of connective tissue, while new bone had filled the osteotomy areas in both magnetic field groups
Conclusions. In conclusion, the adjunctive use of the combined magnetic field device was statistically beneficial in the overall patient population, as has been shown in previous studies of adjunctive bone growth stimulation for spine fusion. For the first time, stratification of fusion success data by gender demonstrated that the female study population responded positively to the adjunctive combined magnetic field treatment, with no statistically significant effect observed in the male study population. Adjunctive use of the combined magnetic field device significantly increased the 9-month success of radiographic spinal fusion and showed an acceleration of the healing process.
Results: The mean tensile strength of treated groups in phase 1 was 48 percent (p < 0.001) greater than that of controls at 21 days; there was no significant difference at 60 days. In phase 2, the treated groups showed 18 percent (not significant), 44 percent, and 59 percent (p < 0.001) increases in tensile strength over controls at 21 days.
Conclusion: The authors successfully demonstrated that exposing wounds to pulsed magnetic fields of very specific configurations accelerated early wound healing in this animal model, as evidenced by significantly increased wound tensile strength at 21 days after wounding.
Conclusions: The tendon returned to histological normality in all groups, but the PMF 17Hz group showed better collagen alignment by the end of the study. PMF 17Hz resulted in a greater reduction of inflammation, with a better return of the tendon to histological normality. Different PMF and PEMF could be applied according to when treatment is started after the injury. If there is no delay between injury and beginning of pulsed magnetic treatment, PMF17 should be used
This study was designed to assess the value of combined magnetic field (CMF) bone growth stimulation in the treatment of acute, phase 1, Charcot neuroarthopathy. Thirty-one subjects were studied. Initially 10 controls and 11 study patients were examined. When the initial results were analyzed, 10 additional study patients were added. The result was a statistically significant reduction in time to consolidation, 23.8 weeks for the control versus 11 weeks for the study group. Additionally, less destruction of the bony architecture was noted in the study group as compared to the control. Thus the results of this expanded pilot study demonstrate the efficacy of CMF in accelerating the consolidation process of acute, phase 1, Charcot joint, and decreasing the amount of residual deformity
The application of a low-power, static magnetic field over an excisional wound appears to increase the rate of healing by secondary intention. Review of the literature reveals substantial evidence demonstrating a beneficial effect of magnetic therapy on bone healing but mixed results on tendon and skin healing. Recent laboratory and animal studies point to a vascular, and possibly a calcium-based, mechanism of action. Level I studies are lacking and difficult to execute but are necessary to define conclusively the role of magnets in clinical practice
Summary A prospective, randomized, double-bind, placebo-controlled multicentre study assessed the clinical efficacy and safety of pulsed electromagnetic limb ulcer therapy (PELUT) in the healing of recalcitrant, predominantly venous leg ulcers. The portable device was used at home for 3 h daily during this 8-week clinical trial as an adjunct to a wound dressing. Wound surface area, ulcer depth and pain intensity were assessed at weeks 0, 4 and 8. At week 8 the active group had a 47.7% decrease in wound surface area vs. a 42.3% increase for placebo (P<0.0002). Investigator's global evaluations indicated that 50% of the ulcers in the active group healed or markedly improved vs. 0% in the placebo group, and 0% of the active group worsened vs. 54% of the placebo group (P<0.001). Significant decreases in wound depth (P<0.04) and pain intensity (P<0.04) favouring the active group were seen. Patients whose ulcers improved significantly after 8 weeks were permitted to continue double-blind therapy for an additional 4 weeks. Elevan active and one placebo patient continued therapy until week 12, with the active treatment group continuing to show improvement. There were no reports of adverse events attributable to this device. We conclude that the PELUT device is a safe and effective adjunct to non-surgical therapy for recalcitrant venous leg ulcers
Biological effects of magnetic fields: studies with microorganisms
Richard L. Moore
Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1979, 25(10): 1145-1151, 10.1139/m79-178
Five bacteria and one yeast were grown in magnetic fields of 50-900 gauss with frequencies of 0-0.3Hz and square, triangular, or sine waveform. Growth of these microorganisms could be stimulated or inhibited depending upon the field strength and frequency of the pulsed magnetic field. Spore germination and mutation frequency were unaffected by the magnetic fields used in this stud
Clinical Effects of Electromagnetic and Electric Fields on Fracture Healing
Ryaby,, James T. PhD
Section Editor(s): Einhorn, Thomas A. MD; Lane, Joseph M. MD
The clinical use of electric and electromagnetic fields for fracture healing applications began in the early 1970s. Since then, several technologies have been developed and shown to promote healing in difficult to heal fractures. The development of these devices has been aided in recent years by basic research and several well controlled clinical trials. This review provides a brief description of the different techniques and their respective clinical utility. Finally, future directions in basic and clinical research are outlined to exploit fully the usefulness of these noninvasive bone growth stimulation technologies
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Jun, 2013
Hi Margaret. OK, I'll start with your final sentence first, since it is crucial to my argument. You wrote: 'I don't know what the Pope has to do with the price of eggs, does the Pope pray to Jesus, I thought he prays to Mother Mary?'
I mentioned the pope in my reply as an analogy, since religious people offer the same claims and lack of evidence to support their beliefs as what you're offering. I was attempting to expose a flaw in your reasoning. If it's reasonable to believe someone based on the type of claims you make and the lack of evidence you provide, then we should also believe the claims of Christians and Muslims, crystal healers and homeopaths, the list is endless. You all say, Trust me, it works. You all offer testimonials from friends rather than evidence. You all mistrust science. You all say that you (to use your phrases) 'wake up feeling happy and alive' and that your 'life is so much sweeter' after putting your trust in... [pick Jesus or magnets or whatever, as is appropriate]. Can you not see the similarity? You all have blind faith in a belief for which, not only is there no good evidence, there is good evidence against your belief. You're the equivalent of a priest knocking on my door and saying: 'Put your faith in magnets my son, and you will be uplifted. Praise the magnets, for those that accept them into their life will know everlasting health'. When you proclaim that you 'have direct experience with the unbelievable healing', can you not see how you sound exactly like those that push religion, with them claiming that they have direct experience with the unbelievable healing brought about by their belief in God? You claim magnets healed you, they claim God healed them. We don't find either of you convincing.
And to answer the second part of your question, of course the pope should pray to no one but God, but he (and other Christians) do pray to Jesus Christ (breaking two of the Ten Commandments). That's why they're called Christians and not Jews or Muslims. And no doubt the pope also prays to Mary and numerous other demi-gods, like the god of pedophilia, since obviously praying to just God and Jesus doesn't work.
Sorry, but stories about 3 of your coworkers are just testimonials, they're not evidence, and my experience is that testimonials are only offered when evidence is not available. Note that the public rightly demands evidence of efficacy and safety along the lines of large clinical trials before drugs are released by your nemesis 'Big Pharm'. But for some strange reason, many people are more than happy to accept products that promise 'extraordinary healing' from natural therapy companies that provide no evidence whatsoever of efficacy and safety. Why the double standard? Why are those making extraordinary claims for magnets given a free ride, but not 'Big Pharm', who have to 'prove' their claims? And don't say that the products of 'Big Pharm' have the potential to seriously harm us so must be proven safe in trials, since one of the claims that you make for magnets is that they re-balance brain chemicals. Anything that can do this can alter mood, personality, memories, body functions etc, and so is one of the most dangerous things that can be done to a person. That you are willing to let magnets alter your mind, with no knowledge of what exactly they are doing, but would apparently refuse well tested drugs whose affects are known, is quite astonishing.
But of course you're only guessing when you claim magnets keep you healthy, heal scars, keep the flu away, speed up hair growth and re-balance brain chemicals. Your claim that you 'have direct experience with the unbelievable healing after any injury including cuts, bruising and swelling' is meaningless, since all these afflictions heal naturally, you don't need magnets. And you personally can't claim that wearing magnets caused your injuries to heal more quickly, since you have no idea how long they would have taken had you not been wearing them. You can't easily perform a control experiment on yourself.
I'm pleased that you agree that 'that magnetic trinkets', bracelets earrings or any other weak magnet, without any + or - marked on the magnet will not do any healing'. But since these are the magnets that most magnetic therapy uses, this must mean that you also accept that much of magnetic healing is a scam, that their claims are bogus and unwarranted, that they are ripping people off? If you agree that much of the industry is bogus, aren't you a little worried that it might all be? Let's remember that the claims for near miraculous healing, the silly explanations of how it might work, the lack of evidence and the reliance on testimonials is common to all magnetic therapy, whether they are selling magnetic trinkets or Neodymium magnets. You aren't just skeptical of these other magnetic healing claims, you're absolutely convinced that they don't work. We are likewise convinced that your 21,000 gauss Neodymium magnets don't work either.
If only 21,000 gauss Neodymium magnets worked, then why don't all the magnet companies use them? Surely the customers of companies using useless magnets would soon realise that no healing had occurred and their complaints would drive bogus companies out of business? Or like you, have their customers convinced themselves that healing did happen? Why are these bogus magnet sellers still in business if even you, a believer in magnetic healing, can see that they are frauds? Why are there customers who swear by their silly 'magnetic trinkets' just as you swear by Neodymium magnets? Are they perhaps attributing their perceived wellbeing to the wrong cause, and if they might be mistaken about the healing power of magnets, might not you also be mistaken?
You ask: 'I do not see where I said its 'quite obvious that magnets heal'...'. You claimed that '21000 gauss Neodymium will heal with or without clinical trials' and that you 'don't understand how a person who has never tried this healing method would argue with those who have experienced phenomenal healing by using magnets'. Your implication is that it is clearly obvious to those that have used magnets that they are extremely effective. And thus I question why it is not also obvious to others, such as doctors, where a patient suddenly sees miraculous healing after buying some magnets? Also you ask: 'I also do not see where I said that Big Pharm would have few customers 'ONLY IF', I said 'if'... '. You said that 'If clinical trials were conducted with Neodymium 21000 gauss magnets the results would be outstanding and Big Pharm would have very few customers'. We inferred from this that only if successful trials were conducted did you believe that 'Big Pharm' would lose customers. Until that happens, you appear to imply that most customers will foolishly continue to shun magnets and stick with 'Big Pharm'. And we agree that only successful clinical trials will move patients to magnets.
Saying that 'Big Pharm is in the Business of Western Orthodox Medicine' and that 'there are no huge profits to be made from' from cheap magnets implies that medical professionals choose their careers to get rich rather than help people. Doctors and hospitals are not employed by and don't make money from 'Big Pharm', they make money from trying to heal people, and those that get a good reputation for success get more business. Can you not see that a doctor or hospital that rejected 'Big Pharm' drugs and machines, which they have to spend a fortune buying by the way, and instead used cheap magnets to heal everyone would, if they really worked, soon attract everyone to their practice or hospital, and only they would be making money? If a doctor or hospital had the deserved reputation of healing those that others couldn't, whether it was with magnets or some black box, don't you think they would soon put 'Big Pharm' out of business?
Am I to believe that doctors deliberately prescribe expensive drugs just so that some pharmaceutical company can make a profit, a profit that doctors don't share in? They know that they could easily heal their patients with a cheap magnet, but ignoring their Hippocratic oath, they instead choose to recommend, in your view apparently, far less effective products with potentially harmful side effects made by 'Big Pharm'. Why do the majority of health professionals choose to help 'Big Pharm' make money at the expensive of their patients health? And helping 'Big Pharm' get rich is clearly not the motivation for doctors, since when doctors become ill they still stick with 'Big Pharm' products rather than opt for cheap and effective magnets. If doctors knew that 'Big Pharm' products were far inferior to magnets, while they may be devious enough to recommend them to patients, they would not use these inferior products themselves when needed. This would be like claiming that a doctor that sold fake drugs would use them himself if he got ill. He knows they're fake so would seek real drugs, so why don't doctors seek magnets when they become ill?
Further to your view that magnets aren't part of our health system because 'there are no huge profits to be made', you do a huge disservice to a great many caring people. There are no doubt millions of people that would recommend and use and sell magnets if they thought they would help people that are suffering, even if they made little or no money from them. There are already many philanthropists offering their time and/or money to promote simple and cheap solutions to assist others. It's inconceivable that doctors and hospitals in countries whose patients can't afford modern medicines wouldn't offer cheap magnets rather than just sending them home with nothing. To suggest that doctors and hospitals and even people like myself have sold out to 'Big Pharm', that we are motivated by profit and would rather watch our fellow man suffer than recommend a cheap magnet that won't make us much money is quite insulting. Of course you'll say that this is not what you mean, but if you think it through, this is exactly where your claims lead. We say that magnets are not used because they don't work, you imply that they're not used because we're all more interested in profit than reducing suffering. While some pharmaceutical company practices are indeed questionable, I'm sure that even most of their employees would find the accusation that they care more about profit than healing offensive.
You also make the false claim that no one is interested in clinical trials because 'there are no huge profits to be made from something that each person only needs one pair of for life'. First you are implying that clinical trials should only be insisted on when a good profit can later be expected. Let's remember that the purpose of clinical trials are to prove efficacy and safety, that they are crucial and demanded by the public. Let's also note that the majority of drugs trialed never go to market and that 'The cost of developing a drug through all its stages until it is finally sold on the market can be up to $500 million' ('The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism' by Dick Taverne). You're arguing that it's OK for companies to market a health product without clinical trials, without testing of any sort, if they can't afford to or simply don't want to test it. Would you be happy if pharmaceutical companies were allowed to ignore clinical trials? I suspect not, so why are magnet companies allowed to market a product with no testing at all? And again, please don't say that pharmaceutical drugs, radiation scanners etc have the potential of causing harm and magnets don't. If magnets, which work by electromagnetic radiation, can have a very real effect on modifying every cell in the body, on altering brain chemicals, on changing moods etc, and the user has no control of where this effect is felt, and that this effect can be more powerful than many drugs, then magnets have the very real potential of causing harm, even more than drugs do. If some health product can potentially affect the body, be it drug or magnet, then it's affect must surely be investigated before it is put on the market. And yet you feel magnet companies (or should that be 'Big Mag'?) don't need to worry about safety issues because there's no money in it for them. However the first article that you quoted — 'Science Daily' — tells us that this 'lack of regulation' has allowed magnetic therapy to grow into a '$5 billion world market', and that was over five years ago. So contrary to what magnet salesmen are telling you, there are good profits to be made selling magnets to people in South Africa.
As for the studies you link to, they provide almost no support for your claims, since the type of magnet you use, the way you use it and the aliments you claim are treated are not borne out by the studies. Most of the trials used pulsed magnetic fields, completely different to the static magnetic fields that you are using, and they therefore provide no support for your claims. This is like claiming that diesel engines are very fuel efficient and pointing me to studies on petrol engines. And the couple of studies that do use static magnets are of low strength, the 'Science Daily' article said 'about 10 times the strength of the common refrigerator variety', whereas you claim that low strength magnets don't work, so these studies don't support your claims either. You also claim that simply wearing a pair of magnet rings will treat problems no matter where they are in the body, whereas the studies suggest that the magnets must be placed on the problem area. For example the 'Science Daily' article noted that 'A key to the success of magnetic therapy for tissue swelling is careful engineering of the proper field strength at the tissue location, a challenge in which most currently available commercial magnet systems fall short'. This referred to tissue injury on the paws of rats, and stated that 'Magnetic therapy was then applied to the paws'. The studies likewise provide no support that magnets can heal old scars, maintain a healthy body, prevent the flu, speed up hair growth, re-balance brain chemicals or improve mood, all things that you claim.
As we acknowledged in our article, pulsed electromagnetic fields have been found to aid healing in some bone fractures, perhaps some types of wounds and to reduce certain types of pain for example. However they do not perform the widespread extraordinary healing claimed by you or commercial magnetic therapy proponents. For a very few specific aliments the use of highly specialised magnets, usually pulsed electromagnets, can have positive health effects, but this is a million miles away from claiming that by simply wearing a pair of magnet rings you will keep perfect health and make doctors redundant.
To return to our religion analogy, your belief in magnets and their extraordinary healing power is no different to Christians and their belief in Jesus and his extraordinary healing power. Neither belief is supported by evidence and is maintained instead by blind faith. Embarrassingly for both magnet users and Christians, in the real world they both still experience the same health problems as non-believers. If surrounding yourself by magnets or Jesus actually worked, then it should be blatantly obvious to the rest of us that something beneficial was happening, but it's not obvious. Why can't we see the difference? Say I didn't believe that antibiotics worked, I would still be confronted with the inconvenient fact that people that took antibiotics quickly recovered. I would need to explain this. Even if I am silly not believe in magnets, why, like antibiotics, am I not being forced to explain why magnet wearers never get ill and those introduced to magnets quickly get better? I don't need to explain why magnet wearers inexplicably attain perfect health or why Christians suddenly rise from the dead because I don't see these things happening. And neither do our hospitals and doctor's clinics. They're full of hypocrites with magnets on their wrists, crosses around their neck and healing crystals in their pockets who are seeking real help. But since it's claimed that magnets, crosses or crystals never lose their healing power, why are those people there? Simple, these things clearly don't work and eventually pain and suffering drives even the most fervent believer in nonsense to seek real help.
Comment by Margaret, 27 Jun, 2013
Hello John, thank you for publishing the studies and our debate, we will have to agree to disagree. I wish you all the best in your endeavor to discredit anything that is not taught by main stream Science.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 28 Jun, 2013
Thanks Margaret. It's not that we 'endeavor to discredit anything that is not taught by main stream Science', it's that we are curious of claims that challenge conventional scientific theories. And on analysing these claims more often than not we find our criticisms end up debunking them. We don't blindly support 'main stream science' per se, we support the scientific method, we support claims that stand up to reason and evidence. Many things in science have changed over recent decades and we have no problem adapting to new theories and ideas. We just want to be on the side of truth, and science has the best record by far in this regard. I can think of nothing off hand that science concerns itself with that is true but is at the same time rejected by science. All spheres outside of science that make a claim to knowledge of the natural world tend to be pseudosciences, religions or superstitions. If magnetic therapy works, they need to step up and prove it, as others in medicine have to, rather than just concerning themselves with magnet sales and profits.
Comment by Anonymous-9, 02 Jul, 2013
What seems silly to me is someone who judges a product without even trying it. Do you have so little trust in yourselves that you too, may fall victim to the placebo effect? Although some claims may be over rated from certain companies in order to sell their products, does that mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water? Aren't certain products going to be inferior or superior to others? I've personally tried magnetic products and I can assure you they make a difference. When I borrowed someone:s magnetic mattress pad, It made such a difference that I slept for almost two days straight through when I first used it. Do you honestly think a placebo pill could do that? After one month I literally felt as if I was being drugged and had to stop using it. (It definitely had an accumulative effect). I also noticed that my .neighbors. dogs acted leary towards me while I was in their house and barked at me aggressively during the end of this month I had slept on this pad. I was in this home twice a week for 5 years prior to this incident, pet sat these dogs, and the owners would always marvel at how happy and excited they would get when I came to the door. Was this a placebo effect too? I used a magnetic massage device on my friend (who is normally pretty skeptical) the same night after an intense workout at the gym (she hadn't been in several months). Later that week she told me that she had no muscle soreness whatsoever the following day after her workout, which she always had before. I've also seen photos of burn patients who had magnetic pads placed on them with very noticable tissue healing, compared to the patients who didn't use them (a placebo effect?) I agree there are many scams out there, but everyone really just needs to judge for themselves.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Jul, 2013
You begin by saying that 'What seems silly to me is someone who judges a product without even trying it'. We say that there are often more intelligent, more sensible and better ways of judging a product than simply trying it. Not too long ago people believed that radioactive substances were health giving, and they put them in numerous products, even toothpaste. Of course we now know that radioactive substances are just the opposite, being very harmful to our health. If today, you and I were presented with a health product containing a radioactive substance, I would consult science to see if this claim was plausible, and would reach the conclusion that it was very dangerous. While you apparently would judge it by ignoring expert advice and simply trying it. After all, this is what you recommend people do with magnets, that work by electromagnet radiation. Should we tell pharmaceutical companies to stop testing their drugs before releasing them, to just give them to the public and we'll try them out for them? This would be sheer stupidity. Worse still, there is a belief in Africa that having sex with young virgins cures AIDS. We disagree, but your view is that we're being silly by judging something without even trying it. So do you think AIDS victims should rape little girls? That they and we skeptics should at least try it before rejecting it as a cure? If not, why not? Why should we ignore the critics and try magnets but not virgins?
And of course we could fall victim to the placebo effect, and may have in the past. The very nature of the placebo effect is that you don't know you have been given a placebo. We haven't found the need to wear magnetic rings or sleep on magnetic pads because our health isn't that bad that we need to sleep for two days. That said, if we had health problems we would consult a qualified doctor that understood the body and who offered treatments that had been proven effective and safe. You admit that some magnet companies make unwarranted claims, so how do you know which you can trust to offer safe and effective treatments? You don't, you have no idea which are selling crap or if they all are. And if magnets truly could affect people the way you claimed they affected you — sleeping for two days, feeling drugged, making dogs act aggressively — then these very obvious effects would have been noticed by others, rather than just you. Skeptics, doctors and scientists couldn't fail but notice that something strange was happening, that cheap magnets were having a very powerful and potentially very dangerous affect on humans.
Would you take a strange pill that a stranger offered you that they said would effectively knock you out for two days, make you feel drugged, and make dogs act aggressively towards you? Only a fool would accept this pill not knowing exactly what it would do to them, not knowing whether it was dangerous and whether it would even help them. We are forever amazed that people will rightly condemn modern medicine and drugs if sufficient testing and trials have not been performed proving them safe and effective, and yet they will quickly accept treatments in the form of devices and 'natural' drugs from complete strangers who have no medical qualifications whatsoever and no legal requirement to prove their treatments are safe and effective. And obviously, by what you describe, magnets are having a far greater influence on your body than many drugs do. In what way are magnets changing your body, perhaps for the worse, so much so that even dogs can sense that something is wrong, even when you are no longer near the magnets? I say 'something is wrong' because let's remember that dogs don't generally act aggressively towards healthy people that they know, so in what way have the magnets harmed your body to make dogs fearful? Please explain why you are willing to use magnets (sold by strangers with no medical training) that you believe have powerful and completely unexpected effects on your body, but no doubt wouldn't accept an unlabelled pill from a real doctor that he found lying around — Try this, it might help.
You're right that 'everyone really just needs to judge for themselves', and we judge that magnetic therapy as pushed by these unqualified Internet salesmen is a scam. We judge claims based on reason and evidence, not ignorance. We all have the right to judge claims as we see fit, and consequently we have people that believe the world is only 6,000 years old, that look on homosexuals and nudity with disgust, that believe aliens are abducting us from our beds, and that George Bush brought down the World Trade Centre. Just because we all have the freedom to judge claims, doesn't mean that we are all going to reach rational conclusions, as these examples show. Testimonials, anecdotes and personal opinions do not carry the same weight as reason and evidence. We do not describe the origin of the universe or the effectiveness of antibiotics based on what individuals judge it to be. Again, we accept claims based on reason and evidence, which promoters of magnetic therapy do not or can not provide. Your feelings about magnets are interesting, but they need to be converted into believable scientific evidence, which if they are as obvious as described, should be child's play. But strangely, no one bothers.
Comment by hellokitty, 12 Jul, 2013
RE: 92. Comment by Anonymous-9, 02 Jul, 2013
But you didn't just use magnets did you? You used a magnetic "mattress pad" — of course this change in mattress topper is going to impact on your ability to sleep — independent of the magnets. What you actually did was change your mattress system. Either it was softer or firmer to sleep on than your previous mattress, therefore you were more comfortable and able to sleep. It amuses me that in order for these magnetic underlays to work, they need to be encased in luxurious wool or supportive memory foam.
What seems silly to me is someone who judges a product without even trying it. Do you have so little trust in yourselves that you too, may fall victim to the placebo effect? Although some claims may be over rated from certain companies in order to sell their products, does that mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water? Aren't certain products going to be inferior or superior to others? I've personally tried magnetic products and I can assure you they make a difference. When I borrowed someone:s magnetic mattress pad, It made such a difference that I slept for almost two days straight through when I first used it. Do you honestly think a placebo pill could do that? After one month I literally felt as if I was being drugged and had to stop using it. (It definitely had an accumulative effect). I also noticed that my .neighbors. dogs acted leary towards me while I was in their house and barked at me aggressively during the end of this month I had slept on this pad. I was in this home twice a week for 5 years prior to this incident, pet sat these dogs, and the owners would always marvel at how happy and excited they would get when I came to the door. Was this a placebo effect too? I used a magnetic massage device on my friend (who is normally pretty skeptical) the same night after an intense workout at the gym (she hadn't been in several months). Later that week she told me that she had no muscle soreness whatsoever the following day after her workout, which she always had before. I've also seen photos of burn patients who had magnetic pads placed on them with very noticable tissue healing, compared to the patients who didn't use them (a placebo effect?) I agree there are many scams out there, but everyone really just needs to judge for themselves.
Again with your friend, you didn't just apply magnets to her. You used a magnetic "massage device". So you massaged her. Of course the act of massage (rubbing her muscles with the device) will reduce her muscle soreness, not the magnets.
And with the burn patients, why didn't they just put magnets on them? No, they used a magnetic "pad". Much like a band-aid, or wound dressing, the pad most certainly could have produced the healing effects you saw independently from the magnets.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 Jul, 2013
Excellent observations from hellokitty. Someone that can see past the mumbo-jumbo to what is likely to be the real causes behind any apparent relief in symptoms.
Comment by Jennifer, 14 Jul, 2013
I can't see how my circulation would be better now at 51 than it was at 21. I am totally convinced that wearing a magnet of sufficient strength (a rare earth magnet) improves your circulation. Can I ask you why you think it is a silly belief when there are thousands of people out there who have been helped by magnetic therapy? I use to meet them every weekend.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Jul, 2013
To answer your question Jennifer, you rely on a fallacy to support your belief, since you provide no evidence that 'there are thousands of people out there who have been helped by magnetic therapy'. Believing that they have been helped is different to actually being helped. Clearly, just looking at what a large group of people believe is not in itself sufficient to validate that belief. The truth can not be arrived at by taking a vote. As Anatole France said, 'If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing'. Rather than mere thousands, millions of Muslims believe in the healing that belief in Allah can bring, millions of Christians believe in the healing that their God delivers, and thousands believe they have been abducted by aliens for medical experiments. And like you all these people are 'totally convinced'. No doubt you have met many of them as well. But do you believe them? Logically you can't believe that both Muslims and Christians are correct. But your claim is that if a large number of people believe something (without proof) then they must be right. I doubt if you believe the claims of most large groups simply because of their numbers, and neither do we. We are only swayed by evidence, not testimonials, anecdotes or the heartfelt claims of believers.
As for improved circulation over 30 years, there could be many causes, such as a change in diet, lifestyle, drugs, fitness levels etc. You might have had apparently unrelated medical treatments that had an effect on your circulation. If you have better circulation now at 51 than you did at 21, when we are normally at our prime, then this suggests that you weren't that healthy back then. Perhaps you've just restored your health to what it should be through a healthier lifestyle. Your use of magnets no doubt hides the true cause of your perceived improvement.
Comment by Jonathan, 25 Aug, 2013
I did not take the time to read all of your responses.
First, I do not believe in the many people who promote magnet therapies who are not health professionals. Actually I do believe they work and can cause harm if used wrong.
We use magnets in the hospital to improve healing, specifically bone healing in back surgery.
Here is a study about pain management. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9365349
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Aug, 2013
Thanks, Jonathan, but we have acknowledged that electromagnetic fields have been found to aid healing in some bone fractures, perhaps some types of wounds and to reduce certain types of pain for example. However they do not perform the widespread extraordinary healing claimed by commercial magnetic therapy proponents. For a very few specific aliments the use of highly specialised magnets, usually pulsed electromagnets, can have positive health effects, but this is a million miles away from claiming that simply wearing a pair of magnet rings or sleeping on a magnetic underlay will cure disease, keep you in perfect health and make doctors redundant, which is the type of claim we are debunking.
Comment by Jess25, 05 Sep, 2013
I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on this statement made by Dr. Pawluk:
"The Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent myosin phosphorylation system — which makes muscles work better and relax better — has been extensively studied with both static and pulsed magnetic fields. A comparison of typical results shows that a 450 Gauss static field and a 0.2 Gauss pulsed field both accelerate phosphorylation (a process which helps turn "on" and "off" many enzymes and other cellular processes) by nearly twofold. Similar behavior has been obtained for nerve cell growth, which increased about twofold with both static and pulsed signals."
Dr. William Pawluk, MD, MSc.
- is a Board-Certified Family Physician
- has training in Acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis and bodywork
- had academic appointments at a number of universities including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland
- is a national expert in the medical use of electromagnetics and energy medicine for more than 22 years
- has appeared on The Dr. OZ Show as an expert in magnetic field therapy devices
- has authored numerous books, chapters, articles and interviews on magnetics and has been on many scientific/medical panels
- conducts research on the use of various kinds of electromagnetic systems on wound healing and other applications
- teaches practitioners on the appropriate use of magnetic therapies
- practices Holistic/Preventive Medicine with an emphasis on nutrition, cholesterol, wellness, hormone balancing, detoxification, thyroid function and pain management at Your Prescription for Health in Baltimore, MD.
- appears regularly on the radio in Baltimore
- helps people with tests and balancing medications and alternative/holistic medicine approaches to health issues
- works in a complementary way with all kinds of practitioners, including other doctors.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Sep, 2013
I'm not a scientist so I'm not going to even pretend that I fully understand that statement by Dr Pawluk or this report abstract: 'Extremely Weak AC and DC Magnetic Fields Significantly Affect Myosin Phosphorylation'. However, a quick read through articles on Pawluk's website leads me to suspect that it is far more pseudoscience than real medical science. He also claims to be a trained homeopath which is a quack therapy, an acupuncturist which is also a doubtful practice, and states that magnetic therapy is 'modulated through the acupuncture meridian system'. There is no evidence that the meridian system exists. He claims that 'It has been proven that water retains (for some time) changes induced in it by exposure to an electromagnetic field. Therefore, long term memory of water is a well-established fact'. Only in the minds of homeopaths does water have a 'memory', and I'm not aware of any evidence that water can be permanently magnetised. He also claims that 'One of the major uses by life on the planet of this natural, totally-enveloping field is for navigation. Animals and humans innately and subconsciously use this field and its "field lines" for navigation and spatial orientation. The primary senses are most dominant but humans have a magnetic sense as well, which has been found to affect dowsing abilities and directional orientation in the dark. Humans and animals have been found to have natural magnetite (iron crystals) in the brain and other tissues that sense magnetic field changes'. But again, dowsing is complete nonsense, and humans do not navigate via an innate magnetic sense. Pawluk also claims that 'The use of magnets and magnetic fields as they relate to healing has long been studied... Cleopatra herself was reported to have slept on a lodestone, or magnetized rock'. This is the nonsense idea that anything that has been used for ages must work. But according to Miguel A. Sabadell, astrophysicist and associate professor at the University of Zaragoza, 'Neither Egyptians nor Chinese knew [of] this therapeutic use of magnets. Egyptians probably didn't even know the existence of magnets'.
I could give more examples of apparent nonsense, but the purpose of all this information Pawluk's on website is not to convince the scientific and medical fraternity that magnetic therapy is an amazing therapy that needs to be taken seriously. When he makes the above claims regarding the 'Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent myosin phosphorylation system' or that the 'long term memory of water is a well-established fact' or that humans 'sense magnetic field changes' he provides no links to scientific evidence. The unsupported claims are simply to impress potential clients and to sell his products. Real science is mixed with plausible sounding nonsense, so much so that the typical client will be overwhelmed with complex details.
Dr Pawluk may well be an MD, but his present career could be better described as magnet salesman. I'm always suspicious of people who are more concerned with selling their product than proving their product.
Comment by Anonymous-10, 08 Sep, 2013
Thank you for the article I just read. I was on the verge of throwing my money away on the purchase of one of these pieces of rubbish.
Comment by Kipepeo, 17 Oct, 2013
I am so impressed at your patience in the face of the drivel, insults, and spurious 'evidence' offered by the Magnetised Ones who continue to insist on the efficacy of this so-called therapy. A friend of mine claims a magnetic mattress has done a lot for her. If I had paid several thousand dollars for a mattress, I wouldn't admit I'd been conned, either. But she has! I was curious enough to look around and found your site, which absolutely says it how it is. I am certainly going to be back to see what you have to say on other subjects.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Oct, 2013
Thanks. I think it's easier to retain one's composure when, as you, opponents only serve up drivel and insults. My experience is that people tend to get rattled and emotional only when their argument is shown to be flawed.
Comment by Tony, 18 Oct, 2013
'Thanks. I think it's easier to retain one's composure when, as you, opponents only serve up drivel and insults. My experience is that people tend to get rattled and emotional only when their argument is shown to be flawed.'
The degree of emotion used to form a belief is usually reflected by the degree of emotional used to defend it.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Oct, 2013
Very true Tony.
Comment by James, 25 Oct, 2013
Hello John, I certainly admire your enthusiasm at debunking much of the nonsense that's used to promote magnetic therapy.
You really take the time to investigate the material posted by those who comment, but there was one study that Jonathon referenced in comment (#98) on the 25th August, 2013 that you seemed to miss.
You can see the link to download the entire journal article by Dr Vallbona here http://bit.ly/IEUI50.
Regards and keep up the enthusiasm.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Oct, 2013
Thanks James, but my reply to Jonathan still stands, that while the careful use of specific static magnets may aid healing or reduce pain in a handful of afflictions, they do not perform the widespread extraordinary healing claimed by commercial magnetic therapy proponents. Even your website, and readers need to be advised that you sell healing Q magnets, distances itself from the typical magnetic healing products available to the public. On your FAQ page, the question is asked:
'What makes the Q magnets different from other magnetic devices on the market today?
Clearly the implication is that your Quadrapolar or Q magnets work but none of your competitors magnets do. In fact there is also no good evidence that the 'Q magnet device' works either. You referred us to the 'entire journal article by Dr Vallbona' when the link was actually to your website, which provided no extra info and no journal article, and the phrase 'magnetic devices' has been changed to 'inhomogeneous magnetic devices'. The original study abstract made no mention that the static magnet fields were 'inhomogeneous', although evidently they were. You describe a inhomogeneous field as that generated by 'multipolar magnets... that produce a field gradient'. Why do the study authors muddy the waters by not clearly explaining from the outset that to have any positive effective the magnet devices must be the inhomogeneous magnet devices and not ordinary static magnets? Sellers of magnet products give the impression that using their magnets will be effective and refer to studies that tested healing with magnets, and yet, as you show on your webpage, these studies often used magnets and magnet configurations that are quite different from what the seller is offering. For example Dr Vallbona's study clearly did not use the Quadrapolar magnets that you sell, instead they used more magnets, much weaker magnets and set in a completely different configuration. If the configuration and strength of the Quadrapolar magnet is crucial, Vallbona's study offers no support for it.
This device is a magnetic flux generator and other magnetic devices on the market are magnets. Magnets throughout history have been used to treat various ailments, but it has not been demonstrated or proven until recently that a device using magnetic energy has been as effective and consistent as the Q magnet device.'
It is also utterly bogus to claim that your magnet is a 'magnetic flux generator' and other magnets aren't. All magnets generate magnetic flux, whether they are on your fridge or in a worthless magnetic underlay. It's also falsely stated that:
'The Quadrapolar or Q magnet is a static multipolar magnetic flux generator Class I Medical Device. It consists of four alternating magnetic quadrants or poles within one solid magnetic body'.
All magnets are dipolar, two poles of equal magnitude but opposite polarity, and although monopoles are theoretically possible, none have ever been found. You can't physically take one magnetic pole away from a magnet to make a monopole, or add one or more poles to make a 'multipolar' magnet. You can put two dipolar magnets side by side but this doesn't make a four pole magnet. This is as misleading as suggesting that a man and woman lose their sexual identity and turn into a single bisexual organism when they embrace. This talk of a 'static multipolar magnetic flux generator' is pure pseudoscience. And the 'Quadrapolar' device is technically an 8 pole device (4 magnets each with two poles), so the name is misleading in more ways than one.
It's also noted that your magnets are far more powerful than typical magnets, and yet you note that 'The placement of a device can be out by as much as 10mm or 1/2" and it loses its therapeutic effect'. So clearly you must agree with us that typical magnetic therapy products such as rings, bracelets, insoles, belts and magnetic underlays cannot work since they are not carefully placed within 10mm of the afflicted body part.
We also saw the question: 'How do Q magnets work?' and the not surprising answer that 'Precise details of the molecular mechanism of biological effects of Qmagnets are still under investigation', but nevertheless 'the Q magnet may alter the configuration of ion channels and change the permeability or neuronal cell membranes to sodium and calcium ions'. And if this was a bit too science heavy for your readers, you then add that 'Simultaneous blockade of voltage-sensitive sodium dependent action potentials and ligand-activated calcium responses of cultured neurons are consistent with an effect of the Quadrapolar generated magnetic field on gating dipoles within the transmembrane portions of the ion channel sequences'. I'm not sure if that really helped, unless the purpose was to intimidate.
But there is also this question: 'Are there any side effects?', and this answer: 'There have been no known side effects reported with the use of the Q magnet device'. My understanding of any effective treatment is that it must have a positive physical effect on the body, and at the same time minimal negative effects, or so-called side effects. Having just read the previous paragraph where Q magnets alter nerve cell ion channels, and thus nerve communication around the body, I wonder how these magnets couldn't cause side effects. If they are placed too far from the afflicted body part, ie further than 10mm, these magnets don't realise they have been misplaced and thus will still alter the ion channels below them. But this time the ion channels were working perfectly, so the effect of the magnets must now be to disrupt these nerves, which must cause a problem. After all, supposedly disrupted ion channels elsewhere were what you were trying to fix and relieve pain. Just as correctly placed magnets are claimed to fix cellular problems, misplaced magnets must cause them. Since it's claimed that magnets can cause no unwanted effects, this must be because they do nothing at all.
I also liked these claims that 'The device will work indefinitely if properly placed' and that 'success depends entirely upon correct placement of the Q magnet. Failure could easily reflect poor placement rather than ineffectiveness'. This is like that old chestnut that when you pray to God and he doesn't answer it's because you're not doing it properly, you're not sincere enough. It's all your fault. And you even add that 'A person may complain of pain that has changed and/or the pain seems more severe when wearing the device', but evidently this doesn't mean it's a scam or you should seek professional help, it just means that you need to get the placement right. And how do you do that? Well we're told that knowing exactly where to place your magnets 'depends on accurate knowledge of neurological localization'. So that pretty much writes off nearly everyone as being able to treat themselves with magnets. Elsewhere we're informed that 'It is likely that more complicated pain syndromes will require evaluation and correct diagnosis by a physician, physiotherapist or skilled health care provider before treatment'. But seriously, who has gone to a physician and been informed that we need to get you on a course of magnets, stat! As I've said before, when doctors and hospitals start prescribing magnets for pain then I will take them seriously, but while their main advocates are people that simply sell them, I will remain skeptical. This is not to say that ongoing magnet research might not eventually prove beneficial in some very specific areas, but like drug testing, I will wait until it is proved effective and safe before I become a guinea pig.
Comment by James, 26 Oct, 2013
Thanks for the considered response John, 1,264 words, but not one of them addressed the only question I asked please respond to the results of the Vallbona study. Maybe you didn't click on the correct links, but the link on 'by Dr Vallbona' leads you to the article, to make it easier for you, here it is http://www.cebp.nl/media/m1101.pdf.
While we're at it, I can give you another published study as well http://bit.ly/1c5S1pQ
BTW, it's easy to get bogged down on the complexity of magnetic fields — homogeneous, inhomogeneous, field gradients, bipolar, multipolar, unipolar, flux density, field intensity, north pole versus north seeking pole etc. etc. But just so you know, the term unipolar in the context of magnetic therapy generally refers to one side of a simple bipolar magnet (i.e. the North or South pole) facing the body.
Oh and I agree, there are extraordinary healing claims and a lot of nonsense around magnetic therapy, but let's not tar every reference with the same brush.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 28 Oct, 2013
Sorry James, but I thought I had expressed my opinion on the Vallbona study, and again, there is no 'entire journal article' on that link, nothing at all comes up. But it's not important. To reiterate, I concede that the careful use of specific static magnets may aid healing or reduce pain in a handful of afflictions, as possibly demonstrated in the Vallbona study which studied a small number of post-polio patients at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. However static magnet products do not perform the widespread extraordinary healing claimed by commercial magnetic therapy proponents. Hardly any of the public purchasing magnets will be post-polio survivors swayed by the Vallbona study.
Of course you're not the only magnet seller to highlight the Vallbona study, and we have to ask why this study is continually referred to. This article at Quackwatch that looks at the Vallbona study and one other states that 'Both of these studies had significant flaws in their design. Better studies have found no significant benefit'. It also noted that 'The authors themselves acknowledged that the study was a "pilot study." Pilot studies are done to determine whether it makes sense to invest in a larger more definitive study. They never provide a legitimate basis for marketing any product as effective against any symptom or health problem'. And on your website you mentioned that a study with only 50 subjects is too small to draw reliable conclusions. The embarrassing fact is that this single study is continually referred to by magnet sellers and alternative health websites because it is essentially one of the few that can be referred to.
Let's consider how much confidence we would have in some other healing method, say antibiotics, if the only potentially positive evidence for it was one very small study performed on 50 people way back in 1997, and even then it didn't work on everyone. Plus this study was only tried on a single rare and subjective affliction. Then, in all the years since, the positive aspects of the study have never been reproduced, and the medical field has essentially lost interest. Would the confidence the public has in antibiotics be so widespread if their effectiveness and safety was based solely on a single obscure study done many years ago that was never followed up on? Of course not. Rather than ask me what I think of the Vallbona study, you should be asking the majority of the world's medical researchers why they didn't think it was worth pursuing. Even Vallbona and his team didn't go on and do a more robust trial. They published their results and then seemingly forgot it, moving on to other things.
The fact that the magnetic therapy world must all refer skeptics to a single, small, controversial pilot study performed years ago and never repeated is, like that infamous cold fusion experiment, a minus for their argument, not a plus. If the Vallbona study indicated the future potential of magnetic therapy, as the Wright Brothers' flight did for air travel, then it would have long been superseded, there would now be a wealth of far more reliable trials all supporting magnetic therapy, and they would ubiquitous in hospitals and doctor's surgeries, rather than just sold on the Internet.
As for the other study you provided a link to, again I have already acknowledged that magnets may assist healing in some bone fractures. That said, even though I'm no expert, I can find flaws in the article. The authors falsely claim that 'Magnetic therapy is presently widely used in clinical practice due to its anti-inflammatory and positive effects on tissues'. This is clearly false. If it were true we wouldn't be having this debate as to whether the medical profession should take magnetic therapy seriously. They go on to say that magnetic healing 'is based on the application of static or pulsed magnetic fields with the aim of activating the natural electromagnetic impulses of the human body'. But this is just a guess, as you state on your website, the 'Precise details of the molecular mechanism of biological effects of Qmagnets are still under investigation'. They also claim that healing magnets bring about such things as 'an improvement of blood circulation; an increase of immunity defenses; effects on metabolism; effects on cellular reproduction;' etc, when there is no clear evidence of this. They are merely repeating unsubstantiated claims from the fringe alternative therapy field. They further damage their credibility when they falsely claim that magnetic fields bring about 'the stimulation of the material encountered (mostly the iron found in haemoglobin and oxygen)'. Magnetic fields have no effect on the iron found in haemoglobin, and of course there is no iron found in oxygen.
Rather than pointing skeptics to one or two controversial studies that appear to support magnetic therapy, it needs to be explained why there are only one or two controversial studies. When people claim that manned flight is possible, they don't still refer us back to the Wright Brothers to support their claim, since there has been massive progress since then that conclusively proves that air travel is possible. Why have we not seen the same progress in magnetic therapy, which many proponents falsely claim has been around since Cleopatra? Why are we still being referred to the Vallbona study, the magnetic therapy equivalent of the Wright Brothers?
Comment by Michelle, 30 Oct, 2013
Hello, John! Just before finding your article, I had an interesting little convo I thought you might enjoy...
Email to email@example.com:
I recently met a practitioner who claimed she would be able to heal my Type 1 Diabetes. I told her she must be confusing Type 1 with Type 2, she was adamant I could be healed, claiming her partner knew a Type 1 who was healed. I'm calling BS (to use a technical term;). I'm weary of these "I know someone who knows someone" scenarios. Your thoughts? I've suffered this disease for over twenty years.
Email from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Email to email@example.com:
We certainly cured or improved some diabetes, but not all. Curing one does not mean curing another. Each case is a different world.
And this is so regardless of type-1 or type-2. That is a distinction for medicine.
Thank you for your prompt reply. Can you put me in contact with Type 1's who are now off insulin? There is a very real distinction between type 1 and 2. They may have the same name of "diabetes" but are two very different situations, one being an autoimmune disease, the other a metabolic condition easily remedied by life style change. More information is greatly appreciated, forgive me, but your reply was rather irreverent.
Email from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Email to email@example.com:
Sorry we should go to our files and we won't do that.
For medicine there are two types of diabetes. For us EACH CASE is a different one. It is useless to relate to previous type-1 or type-2. Each case is different.
You have to change your allopathic thinking and understand that.
Otherwise you may think we are irreverent.
The attitude you take with me suggests you cannot back up your claims of being a viable option, but rather a money-pit of false hopes.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 31 Oct, 2013
Hi Michelle, as you correctly predict from the outset, these claims of diabetes cures are classic BS.
Of course there is a very real distinction between type 1 and 2 diabetes, and thus cause and treatment will be different. At the very least you must have two different treatments, and yet Lorena claims that every person that has diabetes is suffering from a different form, meaning literally millions of different types of diabetes, not just the two recognised by conventional medicine. To me this suggests that each diabetic that presents to these morons is seen as suffering from some new illness never before seen, similar in some respects to diabetes of old, but still different. These morons are evidently too stupid to recognise the same disease. But having said that, even though they say that a new case with diabetes-like symptoms is different from anything they have yet encountered, they will still treat it with their single cure that they prescribe to everyone, a course of magnets. They obviously have no idea what they're doing. They say 'It is useless to relate to previous type-1 or type-2', meaning they have no comprehension of why doctors talk of type-1 and type-2. Talking of the many diabetics that they've cured (both type-1 and type-2 evidently), they claim that 'Curing one does not mean curing another. Each case is a different world'. But again, this is just admitting ignorance and stupidity. It's like saying, I know I cut myself playing with that sharp knife last week, but I have no idea whether the same thing will happen if I try it again — 'Each case is a different world'.
I note on their website — Medical Biomagnetism — that they claim, with no evidence, that their silly magnets have 'been proven to address everything from dermatitis to cancer with a 96% success rate'. On their disease page they tell us that 'There are numerous illnesses and ailments that can be prevented, cured, or improved through biomagnetic treatment', and just some of the serious 'diseases that have been treated with great success' are HIV-AIDS, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Cancer, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and even Smallpox. But any intelligent, informed person will know that magnets do not prevent, cure or improve these or any of the many other diseases they list. If these are all lies, why should we believe them when it comes to diabetes? It's outrageous and despicable that they falsely proclaim to cure these afflictions and that many desperate people will be taken in by these false claims. And note that they even claim to treat smallpox! Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, so where the hell would anyone contract smallpox these days? It just shows how devious and/or ignorant these bastards are.
To me these people are like those that believe in gods or ghosts or homeopathy. Some sincerely believe and truly can't see that their arguments are pathetic, others know it's all bullshit and simply want your money. Unfortunately it's difficult to tell them apart, but either way, buying their products will only make you poorer, not healthier.
Comment by David, 02 Nov, 2013
Not only can magnets help heal but using electric pulse devices such as ParaZapper can improve healing by killing infectious microbes. Read more at ****. ParaZapper products are sold at ****. [Addresses deleted by Silly Beliefs. Our site doesn't exist to promote nonsense.]
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Nov, 2013
Your electric pulse devices can kill infectious microbes? Yeah, sure they can David, just like praying will bring about world peace and being good will get you on Santa's Xmas list. P. T. Barnum is falsely attributed as saying: 'There's a sucker born every minute', and your business relies on this observation.
Why do so many people claim to have a miracle healing device that they built in their garage with a kindergarten education, and yet the scientific and medical world who spend billions annually researching potential cures dismiss these claims as ignorance at best, and outright fraud at worst?
Why can these hucksters never convince anyone with a modicum of intelligence and critical thinking that their miracle therapy works? Doctors soon convinced people that antibiotics and x-rays machines really did work, so why can't charlatans demonstrate that their new therapy works? Why aren't skeptical doctors and scientists confronted by an ever growing number of patients inexplicably healed after using some quack therapy? Because there are no inexplicably healed patients to embarrass the medical fraternity. The only group that's growing worldwide is the one selling bogus cures, those purported to have been healed by these silly therapies are as difficult to find as Bigfoot.
Comment by Anonymous-11, 14 Nov, 2013
When I saw your comment [#112] that fraudulent ragtags claim to cure HIV by magnets I was shocked. I happen to know of a lad just pre-puberty who caught HIV in unfortunate circumstances. The carrier who passed it onto him was judged free of the disease by incompetent medics in another country. He is surprisingly healthy though he has to take antiretroviral drugs every day for the rest of his life. As I understand it the drugs put a coating around the immune cells and stop the HIV virus from entering. If he stops taking them the virus will start working again. I feel sorry for him in the future because when he becomes involved with girls he will have to tell them he is infected.
If any alternative therapy criminal stops a sufferer taking the drugs on the basis his magnets will cure him he will literally be committing murder albeit slowly. I would like to see a law against them forcing them to justify their claims then prosecuting them when they can't. Their defence will be the client makes the decision not them but that should cut no ice. While I have concentrated on HIV-Aids the same applies to other diseases such as diabetes.
I noticed a couple of web pages from alternative quacks in America had a disclaimer at the end to the effect the FDA does not endorse their treatments. They wouldn't put that in unless they were forced to. At least that is a start against them.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Nov, 2013
I agree that there should be a legal deterrent to making these bogus healing claims, but unfortunately the public and political will is not there to bring in these changes. People have tried, but it is not only difficult to convince morons that this stuff is nonsense and at times dangerous, but difficult to decide where to draw the line. For example if magnetic therapists must defend their claims, why should not priests that claim Jesus heals be forced to do the same? Of course I would argue that both therapists and priests should be made to front up with evidence, or shut up, but can you imagine the religious letting a law be passed that might impinge on their claims? Just as Christians support and defend Muslims who blaspheme and protest, fearful that any conditions placed on Muslims would eventually apply to them as well, everyone who expresses a silly belief would support the right of alternative therapists to make claims without evidence, afraid that any law changes would eventually impact on them as well. And they'd be right.
Comment by Anonymous-12, 17 Nov, 2013
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Nov, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to comment on our take on magnetic therapy. You've obviously put a lot of thought into your response, and I admit that at first glance you do appear to put forward a cogent argument. And then I realised, after a two hour discussion with my colleagues, that you've said almost nothing beyond appearing to express disagreement and displeasure.
Why is it that most people who support nonsense do so with ignorance, lacking the ability to express an intelligent challenge to views that they find misguided? Be it magnetic therapy or some other alternative healing, belief in silly gods or hillbilly-abducting aliens, or fear of chemtrails and ghosts, on discovering opposing views fervent proponents of these silly beliefs become agitated, annoyed, offended or afraid, and generally hit back with insults, illogical and unscientific claims, or in your case, devastating comments such as 'Oh dear!'.
Oh how my confidence has been shaken, I don't know if I can go on.
Comment by Jess25, 13 Dec, 2013
Hi John, I came across this article and wanted to know if you have an opinion about it, or a way to prove it's a "silly belief":
Using Magnets to Help Prevent Heart Attacks: Magnetic Field Can Reduce Blood Viscosity, Physicist Discovers
June 8, 2011 — If a person's blood becomes too thick it can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks. But a Temple University physicist has discovered that he can thin the human blood by subjecting it to a magnetic field.
Rongjia Tao, professor and chair of physics at Temple University, has pioneered the use of electric or magnetic fields to decrease the viscosity of oil in engines and pipelines. Now, he is using the same magnetic fields to thin human blood in the circulation system.
Because red blood cells contain iron, Tao has been able to reduce a person's blood viscosity by 20-30 percent by subjecting it to a magnetic field of 1.3 Telsa (about the same as an MRI) for about one minute.
Continue reading at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607121523.htm
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Dec, 2013
Hi Jess. The described effect could well be real, but it's simply not going to happen in the real world. It's a little like saying that if you put the space shuttle rockets onto a pushbike you could boost its top speed. Theoretically yes, but practical problems stop this from ever being achieved.
The main flaws with this over hyped report is that the magnets needed to produced MRI size magnetic fields are huge and expensive, the claim that the iron-based protein inside red blood cells is affected the same way as iron filings is false, and the special condition that all blood vessels have to be straight, much thicker than they are and all aligned in exactly the same direction as the magnetic field clearly isn't how the body is arranged.
I suggest you read this excellent article: 'Magnets and Blood Flow', on the 'Science-Based Medicine' website, which discusses the article you refer to. Its conclusion says it all:
'The simplistic extrapolation from this contrived and temporary effect to improving blood flow and thereby reducing risk of heart attacks... is unjustified and misleading. Further, any attempt to use this study as a justification for clinical claims made for weak permanent magnets is beyond misleading, [it's] in the realm of the absurd.'
Comment by Patrick, 22 Dec, 2013
i hope u understand that we almost kno nothing about magnetism. N. Tesla understood more, at the beginning of the century, but he was suppressed, since we were too prone to weaponize everything. he did give us the induction motor n AC currant.
i hope u understand that everything on this planet has a consciousness, n that includes stones (some known as crystals, with a proven record in electronics) n all objects we make. therefore, interacting or not with us depending on our awareness.
i hope u understand that us common paisanos r only aware of a fraction of what is.
so, anything being postulated about magnets is like the church's reaction to Galileo's claim that the planet was round.
ever heard of a good definition of what electricity is? Tesla had found a way 2 give it 2 us free.
our grandchildren's children will kno more.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Dec, 2013
Having read all your comments Patrick, I do accept that you probably know almost nothing about magnetism, and many other things as well. First, Tesla lived at the beginning of the last century, not this one, and if what Tesla knew has been suppressed, then clearly you have no idea what he did or didn't know. If you, or someone you've heard of, do know what he knew then it clearly wasn't suppressed at all. And who would have had the power to suppress Tesla's work anyway? Only the US government and the US military, the very people that would have had the resources and motivation to make weapons from his research. So even if only the government and the military know of Tesla's work, then it's not really suppressed at all, since the very people that could exploit it know of it.
I also believe you when you claim to be aware of only a fraction of what is, but you must understand that many of us have moved on from conversations with stones and investigate how the world really is, not how we would like it to be in our dreams. I hope that you understand that your belief that everything on the planet, including stones, is conscious, is clearly delusional and you run the risk of being fitted for a straitjacket.
Clearly you don't understand that the Church in Galileo's time readily accepted that the world was round, as did Galileo, and you have no idea what the conflict between Galileo and the Church was actually about. And no, it hasn't been suppressed, the answer is out there if you read the right books, which clearly you aren't. But I gather your point is that we are being fooled into thinking that our childish view of the world is valid, and that nothing works as we think it does. And yet strangely your computer or smartphone and this Internet thing seems to work exactly as we think they should, hence your ability to contact us. Why do we seemingly understand complex computers but fail to sense that fridge magnets are trying to chat with us?
As for your claim that Tesla found a way to create free energy, you obviously need to read up on the second law of thermodynamics. And how do you know this anyway, I thought his work was suppressed?
And finally, I agree about the future, that people will likely know more about the world than their great grandparents did, but then again your comments suggest that nothing is certain. Amazingly, knowledge can be lost by some, with ignorance surviving and even prospering in a sea of enlightenment.
Comment by Bob, 24 Dec, 2013
While reading this mornings NZ Herald I came across an article that caused me to give a silent cheer —
Magnetic bands ads 'misleading'
I have wondered why false alternative medical claims have not resulted in charges of false advertising. At least this is one that has. I looked up Magnetic Magnets. The first part advertises straight magnets. Not content with dealing in a legitimate industrial product they have ventured into magnetic health nonsense. There is no way they can substantiate their claims. They rely on the ignorance and gullibility of people. Magnets are supposedly incorporated in a wrist band with tourmaline which I understand is a form of gemstone. Tourmaline produces infra red rays (supposedly) which do the healing.
A few days ago there was an item on television regarding vitamins. A doctor from the John Hopkins university in America was advising Americans against using vitamin supplements. He said they were useless and a waste of money. People get all the vitamins they need through normal eating. He was followed by an alternative medicine pusher claiming people are deficient in vitamins. Personally I wouldn't take them unless advised by a doctor. Apparently some can actually be harmful if taken excessively.
I would like to see all alternative medicine pushers made to justify their products.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Dec, 2013
'Tourmaline produces infra red rays (supposedly) which do the healing'. Yeah, sure it does Bob. I'll take two. And throw in a bottle of holy water for good measure.
Like you I too would like to see all alternative therapy pushers have to justify their products, or be prosecuted for false advertising. But the political will isn't there unfortunately. It's up to us skeptics to educate our fellow man and save him from being ripped off.
Of courses vitamins are essential, but taking vitamin supplements could well be a waste of time for most people it seems, and as you say, if taken to excess can even be harmful.
Comment by Olda, 01 Jan, 2014
Hi, to the m. r. therapy:
Why do you not discuss the benefits of MRT with the pulse field, not permanent magnts?
Is the case that sport physicians use too weak radiation?
Have we got new evidence about effects of m . r. therapy on humans?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Jan, 2014
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by MRT or 'm. r. therapy'. As this Wikipedia page explains, MRT is another name for MRI: 'Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology'. But I suspect you are perhaps referring to magnetic resonance therapy instead, but as this Wikipedia page explains, 'Magnetic Resonance Therapy is an experimental, scientifically unproven, treatment method based on the physical principle of magnetic resonance. It is aimed to activate reparative processes in specific cells and tissues. So far, there is not any major clinical trial supporting the effectiveness of the method'.
Comment by Anonymous-13, 17 Jan, 2014
arrogancy at its best
Are these your beliefs or someone else's it is just like alternative medicine you sound like a doctor the way you speak and we all know what doctors think of alternative medicine don't we, opinions are like arseholes everyone's got one, and all I care about is that they work for me and I wouldn't go without the magnets and I don't even sell them or promote them you are just arrogant.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Jan, 2014
Why, to use language you are clearly more comfortable with, do all you arseholes with an opinion in support of nonsense almost always resort to insults and childish arguments? It doesn't matter whether they are my beliefs or someone else's, all that matters is whether they are true! Do you not understand what evidence means?
So you naively believe that it works for you, just as kids think writing a letter to Santa works? Deluded Christians pray tearfully to god to protect themselves during natural disasters, crystal nutters hang crystals from their ceilings to increase energy flow, Muslims scream 'Allahu Akbar' incessantly, evidently believing it wards off bombs, believers in homeopathy drink expensive water to cure what ails them, and morons wear tin foil hats to stop evil governments from reading their thoughts. Like you, they all swear that it works for them and they wouldn't go without their security blanket. And like you, they are all wrong, clinging to a silly belief that has no basis in fact. All these beliefs are as childish as me arguing that I wouldn't go without garlic in the house, my opinion being that garlic wards off vampires. And it clearly works for me since I haven't seen a single vampire hanging around!
My explaining that there is no evidence supporting magnetic therapy is not being arrogant, any more than explaining that the Earth goes around the Sun is. Or is that not your opinion either?
Comment by Zafir, 18 Jan, 2014
I have for about 13 years now had people use as their last line of defence "it works for me/them, why donít you just let me/them believe whatever I/they want to believe?"
I have always retorted because it is not, or very unlikely to be true. Sometimes expanding by saying if someone was teaching that 2 + 2 = 483,902, would I be out of order to put my hand up and say bullshit?
Next time I might use a rehash of your response to Anonymous-13.
Comment by Anonymous-14, 29 Jan, 2014
Excellent deconstruction of bunk medicine.
Comment by Raz, 04 Feb, 2014
Hi John, I came across your site sillybeliefs.com while writing content on Magnet Therapy.
Obviously, you consider it a Pseudo-science! Therefore, the aim of your whole write-up is to debunk Magnet Therapy. Fine!
But how do you explain the fact that it is a billion dollar industry? The point is — this industry CANNOT exist without benefiting patients in one way or the other! Can it?
It is also entirely possibly that conventional medicine has not done extensive research on Magnetic Therapy to fully understand it. You cannot say Magnetic Therapy is bullshit merely based on some low-key or subjective researches here and there. Can you?
There has to be something universally definitive about Magnetic Therapy! But none exists! We only read general scepticisms and doubts. That s all!
Now I am sure you will react by saying that all those benefits are nothing but Placebo effects. But merely based on this can a health system ever become a billion dollar industry? Can it?
If indeed all the benefits are Placebo effects then we must all acknowledge the great power of Magnetic Therapy to heal people through Placebo!
What say, John?
Awaiting your reply!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Feb, 2014
I'm sorry Raz but your arguments carry no weight. Yes I definitely consider magnetic therapy as pseudoscience, since it makes scientific-sounding claims that are bogus. Magnetic therapists pitch their claims to the public rather than experts that might understand them. They offer worthless testimonials rather than scientific evidence. They claim that the establishment is suppressing their work. They are too busy making money to bother proving their claims, and they make claims that are clearly false. They deserve to be debunked and the public needs to know to avoid them and seek genuine treatments.
You imply that magnetic therapy must work because it is a 'billion dollar industry'. Rubbish. All alternative therapies are big business, so does that mean they all work simply because people buy them? Iridology, reflexology, homeopathy, colour therapy, Reiki, crystal healing, faith healing and untold others, do they all work? Can we argue that illicit drugs, prostitution and slavery are good for society because they are all multi-billion dollar industries? What about religion, does that work too because that's also a 'billion dollar industry' that people keep flocking to? Clearly industries can exist that only fool people into thinking that they are receiving or are going to receive some sort of benefit. Another example would be the Nigerian bank scams.
You misunderstand what is known as the burden of proof. It is not up to conventional medicine to do extensive research on magnetic therapy and prove whether it works, it is up to those who claim it does to do the research and run the trials. This aside, conventional medicine has done research into magnetic therapy claims, and found they had little basis in fact. People could use your logic and argue that conventional medicine hasn't done extensive research on the healing herbs used by fairies or on the healing qualities of angels' tears either. Alternative therapists need to show that their claims are more than nonsense and superstition before conventional medicine will spend time doing extensive research on them. We say that magnetic therapy is bullshit because there is no evidence whatsoever that it works, that it can't work as it is often claimed, and that people use silly excuses to avoid proving their own claims. Like that it's not up to them to show it actually works, even though they're the ones making billions of dollars and could easily afford to do the research, it's up to others, ie conventional medicine, to do all the hard work. The fact is that modified fridge magnets don't heal for the same reason that god doesn't turn up at church meetings, it's all nonsense.
You claim that 'There has to be something universally definitive about Magnetic Therapy! But none exists!' The universally definitive thing about magnetic therapy is that fails universally. It no more works in the USA than it does in New Zealand. You say that you 'only read general scepticisms and doubts. That s all!' You read of people being universally skeptical and doubtful of magnetic therapy because that is what nonsense generates. The same way that we read skeptical articles on alien abductions and psychic mediums talking to dead people. No groups of scientists are spending billions of dollars and years of research writing scholarly articles on magnetic therapy anymore than they are researching the pope's claim that god loves us all.
You suggest that I will raise the placebo effect, and you ask, 'But merely based on this can a health system ever become a billion dollar industry? Can it?' Of course it can, just look at homeopathy, ignorance and the placebo effect has made it a much more profitable business than magnetic therapy. And again I could raise religion, it is arguably based on the placebo effect, since it makes timid people feel better believing that they are being watched over by a loving god. And religion is far more widespread, accepted and profitable than magnetic therapy, and yet still completely bogus.
Comment by Raz, 07 Feb, 2014
Hi John, thanks for your articulate rejoinder!
But why is that the Add a Comment link in your site does not work? What's wrong?
Now back to "business"!
"No groups of scientists are spending billions of dollars and years of research writing scholarly articles on magnetic therapy anymore than they are researching the pope's claim that god loves us all."
This is very intelligent remark!
But I still have many things to argue with you about!
The point I am trying to make is that Magnetic Therapy & Homeopathy, for example, are directly related to ones health. So if they fail to cure diseases they could've gone out of existence long, long time back.
How much can the Placebo effect cure all kinds of diseases? It can't!
Now here before you remind me of Religion and God (I am an atheists, by the way) let me again remind you that Magnetic Therapy & Homeopathy are about healing ones bodily ailments but this is not done by belief in God! No religious guru says diseases and physical ailments can be cured by following their religion. No one!
So you cannot put Magnetic Therapy & Homeopathy on the same blind belief or pseudo-science platform as God, Horoscope, Palmistry, Psychic Healing, Vastu and all such garbage ! These have never claimed to cure bodily ailments! Never!
I again want to repeat, So if they fail to cure diseases they could've gone out of existence long, long time back. But has this happened? No! Why? The Placebo effect cannot keep on curing every type of disease. No way!
Just because conventional medicine does not understand them, it'd be totally insolent and careless to dismiss them as nonsense! I know the techniques used by some of these alternative medicines can hardly convince the Allopathy doctors, but did you know that Homeopathy can cure diseases that allopathic medicine cannot and have not yet? Did you unless you still want to talk about and use the excuse of Placebo?
I can talk about Homeopathy because I've experienced it never experienced Magnetic Therapy though.
Don't want to comment more till I receive your response.
Comment by Tony, 08 Feb, 2014
Apparently Raz has never heard of the curing miracles of Jesus, or John of God and many other religious quacks claiming cures by way of religious belief.
Raz - "Psychic Healing has never claimed to cure bodily ailments! Never!".
Wonder if Raz knows what the word "healing" means? Wonder what Raz thinks psychic healers claim to do if not cure bodily ailments. Too funny (in a sad way).
Have fun shooting the fish in the barrel.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Feb, 2014
Yes, I had the same thoughts myself Tony, as seen in my following comments. For a moment I thought I must have misread some of those Bible stories.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Feb, 2014
Hi Raz. Thanks for your reply. First, as to why the 'Add a Comment' link doesn't work, I'm afraid I have no answer. It clearly works on some browsers but not others, and might depend on what email client you use and how it's configured, plus the type of operating system and what colour your socks are.
Now, to magnets. Your argument is that since people spend billions of dollars buying magnetic healing products then it must work, since things that don't work or don't make sense soon disappear. Before we consider whether magnetic therapy might work, let's first consider whether the money spent on a belief, any belief, or the number that keep it going is enough to suggest that it is a true belief.
I gave the examples of iridology, reflexology, homeopathy, colour therapy, Reiki, crystal healing and faith healing, alternative therapy methods that are all related to health, and since they haven't gone out of existence, by your logic they must ALL work, and this acceptance must also include many, many other alternative therapies that I haven't listed. They must all work or else why wouldn't people have noticed their failure to diagnose and heal and relegated them to history? I doubt if you believe in the efficacy of every alternative therapy I might mention, you probably accept that many are bogus, but then why do people still buy these products if they don't work? Clearly many people can be easily fooled into believing a therapy is healing people when it's not. Adding up the number of people that believe in a particular therapy or the amount of money they spend on it is a flawed and misleading way of deciding whether it works. As an analogy, Christianity must be the one true religion since it has the most believers and has the most money spent on it.
To the question you've posed, I ask myself a similar question all the time. How could so many people not notice that there is no good evidence supporting their belief, and much evidence against it? It doesn't matter whether it's belief in alien abduction, gods, astrology, psychic mediums, ghosts or ESP, why do people still argue that these things are real? You can't see why people would keep buying magnet products if they didn't work, whereas I can't see why people would keep buying magnet products because clearly they don't work. If I see lots of people all participating in some activity, I don't immediately assume that what they're doing must be valid since they must possess some knowledge that I lack, otherwise why would so many people do it? Instead I ask, are there good reasons to do what this group does? I don't let the numbers that willingly partake sway me, I look for evidence, not popularity. That's why I'm an atheist and not a Christian or Muslim. I support the group with the evidence, not the one with the numbers.
OK, let's now consider whether magnetic therapy might work. First, what is it that you are implying that magnetic therapy can cure? Correctly assuming that I will raise the placebo effect as being responsible for any apparent reduction in symptoms, you argue that 'The Placebo effect cannot keep on curing every type of disease. No way!' You claim that magnets are 'curing every type of disease', that is, cures of disease that can't be attributed to the placebo effect. You also say that magnets are curing 'all kinds of diseases', so again the implication is that there is no disease that magnets potentially can't cure.
We know that the placebo effect is real, but it only works for a small fraction of medical problems, it only works on conditions where the body is in a position to heal itself. It won't cure cancer or hepatitis or HIV. It won't set a broken leg, mend a failing kidney or fix a detached retina. In cases of an affliction that one generally requires only time to recover from, then definitely a placebo can be beneficial. It can reduce their pain and speed their inevitable recovery, but it isn't curing them, they would generally have got better whether they used the placebo or not.
So, if magnets are 'curing every type of disease' as you claim, then clearly it can't be written off as the placebo effect. But is this actually true, is there any evidence that magnets are 'curing every type of disease'? I would argue no, none whatsoever. Don't you think that doctors and hospitals and the public in general might have noticed if magnets were curing cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, AIDS, diabetes, malaria and every type of disease, and no one else could?
There are some irresponsible promoters of magnetic therapy that do claim to cure the likes of cancer. In our article we mentioned a Professor Goesta Wollin & Erik Enby who claimed that 'The results indicate that our method can cure all types of cancer', and all that had to be done was to hang a supermagnet around the neck of each patient. And like you, this site claims that 'Magnet therapy can treat almost all diseases on a physical as well as mental level'. But what does your typical magnet therapist claim to be able to cure? Cancer, AIDS, syphilis? If you do a Google search on 'magnet therapy', you get claims that they can treat the likes of depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines, stress and pain relief in general. You'll note that these are all conditions that can be influenced by the placebo effect, they're all conditions that can resolve themselves naturally, and that they can come and go. And as bad as back pain and migraines can be, they're hardly in the same category as terminal cancer. So if you believe magnet therapists are 'curing every type of disease', why are the majority too afraid to advertise this fact, and instead say they might be able to do something with pain relief, but that's about it? And I would argue that they can't even relieve pain!
Everyone that I've known of personally that has looked at magnets has done so for the likes of back pain, headaches and chronic pain in general. Some say that they appear to have had some effect, others that they didn't. I have not heard of a single person that had a serious illness, such as cancer, diabetes or dementia, that used magnets and came away cured. Why not? Why are magnetic therapists hiding these success cases? The fact is that the only people that are raving about magnetic therapy are the people that would have got better anyway. These people claim that it worked, ignorant of the fact that it was just the placebo effect, and thus magnetic therapy survives another day. Those people that use it and don't get any better are often too embarrassed to reveal how much time and money they spent on a worthless therapy. And of course, those that die while using it cannot complain even if they want to. This is why magnetic therapy is still around, because of recommendations from people that had periodic back pain or headaches using their magnets and thinking they had reduced their pain, but this is just as groundless as people saying that chicken soup cured their bout of flu.
I would disagree when you say that 'No religious guru says diseases and physical ailments can be cured by following their religion. No one!' Believers throughout history have always appealed to their gods to heal them of their afflictions, from the ancient Greeks to Hindus. If we take Christianity as an example, the Bible is full of Jesus healing people, from restoring sight and curing leprosy to raising the dead, and people flocking to him to be healed. And it could be argued that belief in god and heaven delivers the ultimate healing, where god cures the symptom of death itself. The prayers of many Christians are aimed at cures from disease, either for themselves or others. There are even church groups who meet regularly to pray that god will heal sick members of their congregation or community. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa are both to be made saints as soon as two miraculous cures are attributed to them. Many people go to faith healers in search of a divine cure. In NZ last year a church ran into legal trouble because they erected a billboard stating "Jesus heals cancer" on its wall. Pastor Earl Joe said, 'All I can say is that it is what we believe ... Can Jesus heal cancer? Yes, we believe he can... We've actually seen healings in the church, yes cancer, absolutely'.
So this brings us back to your query, if some group making healing claims fail to cure diseases, why haven't they gone out of existence long, long ago? Since you're an atheist, I'm sure you'll agree with me that no god, be they Egyptian, Greek or Christian, has cured any disease, and yet billions of people, far, far, far more than those who believe in magnetic therapy or homeopathy, believe strongly that their god has and is still effecting cures. I agree that there is much more to religion than just healing claims, but the fact remains that belief in miraculous cures still remains within religion, even though there is no evidence whatsoever that a single cure has ever happened. Since miraculous cures are clearly bogus, why hasn't this element at least disappeared from religion, leaving believers with their other beliefs, such as belief in an afterlife, a moral code and how gods created life? Because of scientific evidence most believers have ditched belief in a flat Earth and Adam and Eve, but against all evidence they still retain the belief that god can and is curing disease. Would billions of people continue to insist that some method can cure disease when there is no evidence that this is true? Well, religion is the perfect example that people will vocally and blindly support healing methods that are bogus and for which there is no evidence.
You correctly say 'that Magnetic Therapy & Homeopathy are about healing ones bodily ailments but this is not done by belief in God!' True, but it doesn't matter how the healing happens, only whether it does. It doesn't matter if someone says eating jelly-filled donuts or belief in aliens cured them, the question is whether there is good evidence to show their claim is true.
I agree that from the list you gave, that horoscopes, palmistry and Vastu 'have never claimed to cure bodily ailments!', they are all forms of revealing occult knowledge. But as already argued, gods are claimed to heal, and psychic healing most definitely claims to heal, as its name shows.
Regarding alternative therapies, you say that 'Just because conventional medicine does not understand them, it'd be totally insolent and careless to dismiss them as nonsense!' But you could use the same argument to give support to all manner of beliefs. For example, 'Just because conventional medicine or science does not understand witchcraft and astrology, it'd be totally insolent and careless to dismiss them as nonsense!' Conventional medicine and science doesn't dismiss the likes of magnetic therapy and homeopathy because it doesn't understand them, they dismisses them because they can see no good evidence that they work. It's the same with witchcraft, it doesn't matter that science can't understand how it could work, it is dismissed because it clearly doesn't work. And conversely, there are many things that science accepts as real even though it doesn't (yet) understand how it works, and there are many medical treatments that are widely used even though science isn't exactly sure how they work. If some medical treatment appears to work then conventional medicine will adopt it in a heartbeat, and work out how it works later.
For this reason, I dispute your claim that 'Homeopathy can cure diseases that allopathic medicine cannot and have not yet'. I know of no disease that it can be proved that homeopathy can cure. You are asking us to believe that there are several proven cures in existence to diseases that the world's doctors and hospitals are refusing to use to the benefit of their patients. That doctors would rather that their patients suffer and perhaps even die than admit that there is a proven and effective cure readily available? And these patients and their families are supportive of their doctor's stubborn stance, preferring to suffer than accept a radical new cure? Even when the doctors themselves or a member of their family get ill, they still stubbornly refuse to seek a proven homeopathic cure even on the quiet, and yet others spend entire careers and billions of dollars researching a cure for a disease when they know one already exists? I'm sorry, but I just can't believe that. Of course homeopaths claim that they have cures to many diseases and treatments and vaccines for the likes of malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, typhoid and cholera, just as many people claim to have been abducted by aliens, but the only people that they can convince are fellow believers.
I could also twist your argument around. You ask why if magnetic therapy clearly doesn't work then why hasn't it disappeared? I could ask why if it does clearly work then why hasn't disease reduced considerably with some disappearing completely? In recent years modern medicine has eradicated smallpox from the planet, but magnetic therapy, or so many of its proponents claim, has been used for thousands of years, so why hasn't its use seen disease reduce wherever it was used? This site (falsely) claims that 'Its healing properties were acknowledged and exercised as early as 4000 BC, when the Vedas came into being in India', that 'Cleopatra of Egypt slept with a magnetic stone on her forehead' and that 'traces of magnet therapy were also found in the early writings of Egypt and Greece as well'. Why if respected ancient sources such as India, Egypt and Greece knew of the healing properties of magnets and used them for so long were they simply tossed aside? Why did they go back to suffering from diseases that they could easily heal? Most everything that has been invented and discovered in the past that had a positive benefit to peoples' lives was retained and improved. Why did no one, not one single group, keep a belief in magnetic therapy? They kept a belief in bloodletting, in witchcraft, and in demonic possession, all things that were wrong and didn't work, and yet they dismissed magnets that we are told clearly could heal people. I would argue that magnetic therapy never cured a disease in the past because it wasn't known in the past, and we see no mysterious reduction in disease today because it doesn't work. If it did work we should be confronted with people unexpectedly recovering from diseases who have had no treatment beyond magnets. This isn't happening, and people using magnets actually have worse health than the general population.
Comment by Tony, 08 Feb, 2014
Psychic healing is as directly related to one's health every bit as much magnetic therapy and homeopathy, and psychic healing has been around much, much longer than either. Given Raz correctly describes psychic healing as being "pseudo-science garbage" that could therefore only possible work as a placebo effect, I wonder how (s)he explains how come psychic healing hasn't gone out of existence long, long time back?
Comment by Raz, 13 Feb, 2014
>> You claim that magnets are 'curing every type of disease'
I'd mentioned in my previous posting I've had no experience of Magnetic Therapy. And neither have I ever said magnets are 'curing every type of disease'. Where did you get that from?
FYKI, the predominant use of Magnetic Therapy is in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and myofacial pain.
>> depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines, stress and pain relief in general. You'll note that these are all conditions that can be influenced by the placebo effect, they're all conditions that can resolve themselves naturally
Sorry, depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines DO NOT resolve themselves naturally! Or is it your own system of quackery ? LOL!
But I will just stick to only Homeopathy from now onwards!
John, you DO NOT have any experience of Homeopathy! I HAVE! I've been received this treatment on many occasions in the last 25 years. And I've been treated successfully on each occasion!
Dear John, you are totally ignorant about Homeopathy in what it can treat and what it cannot. You also betray your ignorance about untreatable diseases !
Yes, it is a fact that that there are many diseases which CANNOT be treated by Allopathy! FYKI, these diseases are mostly chronic ones (High BP, Psoriasis, Warts, Asthma, Peptic Ulcers and many more ).
And do you know how Allopathy treats diseases? It suppresses them in many, many cases (but not necessarily in all).
And do you know how Homeopathy treats diseases? It removes all traces of chronic diseases ensuring a permanent cure.
And did you also know that Allopathy medicines can create its own set of bodily problems?
[Btw, I've no intention of denouncing Allopathy in any way.]
In case of chronic diseases, people who take conventional medicine are never cured of them. What they experience are waxing and waning of such diseases throughout their lives. But no permanent cure at all!
Homeopathy and Ayurveda are The most popular alternative systems of medicine in the world and for all the right reasons. In addition to rooting out the disease they do not've any side-effects.
I again want to repeat what I'd stated in my previous mail, Just because conventional medicine does not understand them, it'd be totally insolent and careless to dismiss them as nonsense!
My dear John, you've no experience of Homeopathy or Ayurveda! That is the problem!
For me, the shocking fact is that there are a breed of Rationalists out there who make fun of Homeopathy and Ayurveda WITHOUT any knowledge of how well they've treated diseases!
And if you ask if they've ever been treated by Homeopathy or Ayurveda, pat comes their smartass kind of a reply: Why'd I waste my time and money being treated by pseudo-science ? Really smartass, what else! Really feel sorry for them!
My dear John, I too am a Rationalist but not a blind one! I will give credit where it is due!
And since you do not've any experience of Homeopathy (I presume) .not sure if you're qualified enough to advise me on that.
Awaiting your reply!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Feb, 2014
Hi Raz. You say that you have never said that 'magnets are 'curing every type of disease'. Where did you get that from?' You implied that when people use magnets they are being cured, and that it can't be the placebo effect, because the placebo effect can't be 'curing every type of disease'. Your clear implication is that magnets CAN and ARE 'curing every type of disease'. You also asked, 'How much can the Placebo effect cure all kinds of diseases? It can't!' Again the implication is that magnets are curing, not one or two diseases, but 'all kinds of diseases'. This suggests that all diseases, or at the very least, a great many different diseases, can be treated with magnets.
However in your next comment you now state that 'the predominant use of Magnetic Therapy is in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and myofacial pain'. So we've gone from magnets 'curing every type of disease' to merely treating, not curing, two sources of pain, neither of which is actually a disease at all. Pain is merely a symptom of a disease or injury, so apparently you know of no disease that magnets can cure? Which is exactly our point, that there is no evidence that magnetic therapy can cure diseases, or even relieve pain.
You then claim that, 'Sorry, depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines DO NOT resolve themselves naturally! Or is it your own system of quackery ? LOL!' Sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. I've had back pain on several occasions over the years and every time it resolved itself without me having to resort to surgery, drugs, magnets or witchcraft. I also know other people that have suffered from depression, back pain, arthritis and migraines, and again their depression, back pain and migraines have resolved naturally. When a person gets a migraine headache they aren't stuck with it for a lifetime, after a time it naturally goes away. Arthritis is slightly different in that it seldom gets better, but I mentioned it because even its symptoms do often change from week to week, with pain naturally reducing and then increasing, which would make it difficult to determine if magnets were having an effect. If someone has suffered from depression, back pain or migraines then these maladies may return throughout their life, but they can most definitely resolve themselves naturally. I'm LOL thinking that you've never met someone that had back pain or a headache that got better without hanging a fridge magnet around their neck.
Regarding your homeopathy treatments, you say you've 'been treated successfully on each occasion!', but you didn't say what disease was cured each time, was it cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, AIDS, diabetes, malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, typhoid or cholera, or was it simply back pain, a headache or a bad cold? And if it was a bad cold, did it cure you of colds, that is, did you ever get a second cold years later?
I'm not sure what you're getting at when you say that 'it is a fact that that there are many diseases which CANNOT be treated by Allopathy! FYKI, these diseases are mostly chronic ones (High BP, Psoriasis, Warts, Asthma, Peptic Ulcers and many more)'. Firstly, for our reader's benefit, 'Allopathy' is a term coined by the inventor of homeopathy in the early 1800s to refer to modern medicine or evidence-based medicine. The term 'allopathy' is only used by homeopaths and some other alternative therapists, to separate what they do from evidence-based medicine. Now, you seem to be suggesting that I've claimed or implied that there is no disease that evidence-based medicine can't treat. What nonsense, there are untold diseases for which there is no treatment. But then strangely you claim that the diseases that evidence-based medicine can't treat are the likes of 'High BP, Psoriasis, Warts, Asthma, Peptic Ulcers'. Why no mention of the serious diseases that I listed aove, such as cancer, heart disease etc, do you think evidence-based medicine can cure these? But even worse, the diseases you highlighted can be treated. High BP can be easily treated with drugs, changes in diet and exercise, and avoidance of certain lifestyles, warts can be treated, and most peptic ulcers can be treated because evidence-based medicine discovered that most are caused by a bacterium which can be eliminated. Asthma can't be cured but its symptoms can certainly be treated, and it's the same with psoriasis. Where do you live, in a medieval village?
And yes I do know that evidence-based medicine sometimes only suppresses a disease and relieves pain without eliminating the source entirely. Bacteria, viruses and cancer cells are extremely small and numerous and there is no guarantee that every one can be eliminated, but if the symptoms disappear and don't return that's good enough for most people. As for homeopathy, I've seen no good evidence that it does treat disease, let alone ensures permanent cures. I have a friend who foolishly takes a homeopathic potion for motion sickness, which seldom seems to work. and even on the odd occasion where it appears to have cured her and she doesn't get ill, if homeopathy ensures a permanent cure, why does she get sick the next time? And yes I do know that evidence-based medicine can create problems called side-effects. For a medicine to work it must affect the body in some way, even homeopathic potions must do this, and there is no guarantee that some unexpected effect might not happen.
You claim that 'In case of chronic diseases, people who take conventional medicine are never cured of them. What they experience are waxing and waning of such diseases throughout their lives. But no permanent cure at all!' That is not completely true. Certainly some chronic diseases can reoccur and are never cured, but many chronic diseases of the past that were lifelong can now be cured and will usually never return for those individuals, eg polio and tuberculosis.
You claim that 'Homeopathy and Ayurveda are The most popular alternative systems of medicine in the world'. You are effectively arguing that homeopathy and Ayurveda comes in second behind evidence-based medicine, although I suspect that praying to gods is the 'most popular alternative systems of medicine in the world'. So maybe you're third? But more importantly, I could argue that evidence-based medicine is the most common and sought after system of medicine in the world. There is probably no country in the world where it can not be found, but where I live there are no clinics offering homeopathy or Ayurveda. And anyway, I've already explained that I look for evidence, not popularity. I support the group with the evidence, not the one with the numbers. I could argue, using your logic, that homosexuality is the most popular alternative system of sex in the world, but that would be no good reason for me to switch from my heterosexual lifestyle.
You also state that homeopathy and Ayurveda do not have 'any side-effects'. As I've already said, for a medicine to work, and this includes homeopathic and Ayurveda potions, it must affect the body in some way. No doubt what you mean is that your potions have no negative or harmful side-effects, only positive and beneficial effects and perhaps inconsequential and harmless side-effects. I would argue that while homeopathic and Ayurveda potions don't have direct negative or harmful side-effects on the body, they do indirectly have negative and harmful side-effects. That is, they don't work so they result in people remaining ill and in pain, which is a negative side-effect in my book, or they result in people catching diseases for which they thought they had immunity, which is quite harmful in my view.
You say that 'I again want to repeat what I'd stated in my previous mail, Just because conventional medicine does not understand them, it'd be totally insolent and careless to dismiss them as nonsense!' And I'll repeat my reply to you, conventional medicine and science doesn't dismiss the likes of homeopathy and Ayurveda because it doesn't understand them, they dismisses them because they can see no good evidence that they work. It's the same with witchcraft, astrology, psychic healing and prayer, it doesn't matter that science can't understand how these things could work, they are dismissed foremost because they clearly don't work.
You are quite correct that I dismiss homeopathy and Ayurveda 'WITHOUT any knowledge of how well they've treated diseases!', because I know of no such knowledge, and none is forthcoming. You present no evidence, you don't even mention what nasty diseases you've been cured of over 25 years. All you offer is a sincere but ultimately worthless testimonial from your own experience. Why should I believe you? You've said that people that believe in 'God, Horoscope, Palmistry, Psychic Healing, Vastu' are all believing in 'garbage'. As regards me, you also said, 'you are totally ignorant about Homeopathy in what it can treat and what it cannot... you've no experience of Homeopathy or Ayurveda! That is the problem!'. And you clearly expect me to be swayed by this argument, that my lack of experience disqualifies me from commenting, you say, 'not sure if you're qualified enough to advise me on that'. But what if a psychic healer said the same thing to you, 'you are totally ignorant about psychic healing in what it can treat and what it cannot... you've no experience of psychic healing! That is the problem!... not sure if you're qualified enough to advise me on that'. Would you believe him, accepting that your lack of personal experience meant you were ill-qualified to comment? I suspect not. And anyway, how does simply taking a homeopathic potion make you qualified to defend homeopathy, let alone Ayurveda. I have taken antibiotics and vaccines, does that make be qualified to advise people on how they work?
Also, three times you assert that 'you've no experience of Homeopathy', and only the final time do you suddenly think — How do I know that is true? — and you add, '(I presume)'. Well, you presume wrong. I do have experience of homeopathy, and this experience convinces me that it is pseudoscientific nonsense. And studying how homeopathy supposedly works and trials of its efficacy only reinforces that opinion. Neither you or I would accept the testimonials of a million psychic healers that their therapy worked, and yet you expect me to accept the testimonial of a single homeopathy proponent, you. I am not the blind rationalist that you think I am. I will only accept evidence, not personal testimony of you being cured of diseases that you can't be bothered mentioning, nor claims that other diseases that you also won't mention can be cured.
Comment by Tony, 15 Feb, 2014
I thought that after the previous ludicrously stupid post from Raz we wouldn't hear from her/him again (I'm guessing her).
Is it possible Raz's latest post is even stupider than the previous?
Raz starts by completely contradicting her(?) previous post regarding Magnetic Therapy.
Then comes the ludicrous claim that if you ever have ailments or diseases then you have them for life because they "DO NOT resolve themselves naturally!".
Raz then boldly asserts that John is inexperienced and ignorant of Homeopathy and claims "That is the problem". But later realises she(?) doesn't actually know what John has experienced or knows so modifies her previous certainty to "I presume". Wonder if "the problem" is likewise only assumed?
Then Raz questions if John is "qualified enough" to know what he has experienced and knows. Wonder who Raz thinks could possibly be more qualified than John?
Raz claims to have experienced Homeopathy successfully many times but I wonder if she even understands how it's claimed to work? Here's a quick overview . . .
Homeopathy was "invented" by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796 and is based on the belief that "like cures like" and a small dose of the "original" can cure the "original". It's believed that the smaller the dose the more potent the cure so Homeopathic "remedies" are diluted by a factor of 100 to 1 many times over.
Trouble is this level of repeated dilution means there couldn't possibly be a single molecule of the "original" left in the "remedy". It has been calculated that such a dilution applied 30 times would require 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water for there to be 1 molecule of the "original" left. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.
The only way Homeopathy could possibly work therefore would be if water could retain some memory of the "original". Trouble with this theory however is that it would have to be a very selective memory or water would also remember all the other "originals" it ever contained. If this was so then water would be a Homeopathic "remedy" in it's normal state. Obviously in the real world water isn't a cure-all for all ailments and diseases as Homeopathy is claimed to be.
The only ingredient in a Homeopathic solution that makes it "work" is belief, and Homeopathic believers seem to have enough of that ingredient to fill a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Feb, 2014
Thanks Tony, them's big numbers amigo! I suspect Raz needs a homeopathy overview. Like you, I doubt if most supporters of homeopathy know how it's claimed to work, and even if they do know that the more diluted it is then supposedly the more powerful it is, they don't grasp the science behind this claim, as you explained with those big numbers. And if your example is not mind-boggling enough for the likes of Raz, here's another. As you'll know Tony, the dilution you mentioned is called 30C (1 followed by 60 zeros). In his book 'Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud', Robert Park notes that the homeopathic potion for flu is evidently an enormous 200C, and writes, 'That would result in a dilution of one molecule of the extract to every 10400 molecules of water — that is, 1 followed by 400 zeros. But there only about 1080 atoms (1 followed by 80 zeros) in the entire universe. A dilution of 200C would go far, far beyond the dilution limit of the entire visible universe!'
And of course as you note Tony, this embarrassment of missing molecules has lead honest homeopaths to admit that the added homeopathic ingredient will have indeed disappeared, forcing them to invent the equally bogus 'memory' idea, that water somehow remembers everything that it has been in contact with. So it should remember being in that sewage pond a few years ago, being drunk by a victim of the Black Death in the Middle Ages, as well as being dinosaur urine several times over. Clearly every glass of water must contain a memory of the billions and trillions of substances it has come in contact with over billions of years. Because again homeopaths no doubt don't realise that we are drinking the same water that the dinosaurs drank, that there is a limited amount of water on Earth that is simply recycled over and over again. The molecules are obviously mixed differently, and there may only be one molecule in your glass that was in the drink some dinosaur had, but due to the extreme dilution and since homeopaths won't say if it takes one or more molecules of water to hold a memory, one molecule might be all it takes. And even if the memory of the deliberately added extract did cure someone of a disease, the memories of untold other substances, many of which will be very toxic, should cause numerous new diseases! Every time you drink water you should suffer new symptoms!
And how might water retain this memory, of not just one substance but of untold substances? Magic perhaps? But it gets worse. Even if water did have a memory, many homeopathic potions are actually taken as sugar pills rather than water. On each pill is placed a drop of the diluted potion, which then evaporates. So not only do they have to explain how water might have a memory, they have to now explain how sugar also has a memory, and how that memory is transferred from water to sugar. Is it magic again?
Actually it is, this nonsense is know as sympathetic magic i.e. the 'law of similarity', an ancient superstition that believes 'like begets like". It's the silly belief that specific attributes of something or someone can be transferred to another person or object, such as where eating the heart of a powerful and brave enemy warrior would transfer their courage to you, or eating the brains of a wise man would give you his wisdom. Or in the case of homeopathy, the silly belief that taking an amount of some substance that causes symptoms similar to some disease, will actually cure that disease. Of course Samuel Hahnemann found that these new substances that he was using as the cure could be as bad as or worse than the disease, but he hit on the brilliant solution of diluting them and diluting them until they didn't cause these harmful side effects. Of course the harmful side effects disappeared because the toxic substance had disappeared, he was just giving people plain water. And of course plain water coupled with the placebo effect will give the false appearance of 'curing' some bodily afflictions that given time will clear up naturally. That's why some people are convinced a homeopathic potion cured their flu, but you never see it curing Ebola.
Comment by Raz, 20 Feb, 2014
The fact is I never said 'magnets are 'curing every type of disease'. You've misinterpreted the following line: How much can the Placebo effect cure all kinds of diseases? It can't! This is a just a general statement I'd made. But you've interpreted it differently. That is your problem, not mine!
When I said depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines DO NOT resolve themselves naturally I mean they require treatment. FYKI, the treatment is called counselling (in case Depression) and Physiotherapy (in case of muscle and joint pains). Have you heard of these treatments, btw?
Nowhere have I insinuated that the above problems can be cured ONLY through surgery, drugs, magnets or witchcraft . It is your overactive imagination that is the problem!
You may be right in your observations that in some known cases some of these problems have resolved themselves but please do not make a big issue out of this! The crux of our discussion is something else.
>> did it cure you of colds, that is, did you ever get a second cold years later?
What kind of a strange query is this? Let's say that I was cured of cold after taking Homeo, but does that mean I will never get cold again ever in my life? Why are you so curious to find if I got the second cold or not? Why this question, in the first place? Did I ever say that Homeo will cure cold FOREVER? Did I?
Since you do not know, let me inform you Cancer in the first stage is curable by Homeo. AIDS & Diabetes as of now no cure! And when it comes to Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Typhoid or Cholera Homeo has been curing them for ages. Alzheimer's I do not know!
>> But then strangely you claim that the diseases that evidence-based medicine can't treat are the likes of 'High BP, Psoriasis, Warts, Asthma, Peptic Ulcers'.
I can only laugh at your face with comments like that!
>> Asthma can't be cured but its symptoms can certainly be treated, and it's the same with Psoriasis. Where do you live, in a medieval village?
>> As for homeopathy, I've seen no good evidence that it does treat disease, let alone ensures permanent cures.
Comments like these FULLY expose your own total ignorance about Homeopathy! And on top of that you are wondering whether I live in some medieval village ? What arrogance is this?
And this is THE crux of the problem between the debate between you me.
My dear John, this is what I think of you
You have Zero contact with the world of Homeopathy!
You've never come across a qualified Homeo doctor!
You've never been treated by Homeo for any disease!
You've zero knowledge of what can be treated and what can't be treated by Homeo!
On top of that you're indulging in ridiculous Verbosity and smartass comments to cover up your Ignorance! Your reactions against Homeo are totally insane!
I've no interest in reading the rest of your comments!
When I've some bodily problem I'll be going to a Homeo or Ayurvedic doctor and not to jokers like you!
People like you represent a class of Rationalists who are making a grave mistake of branding Homeopathy and Ayurveda as pseudo-science and denouncing it with complete ignorance of how much they've contributed to healing. Ignorance, Insolence and Insanity defines your reactions against Homeopathy!
Your brain is functioning like that of a blind believer in God and Religion! There is just no difference at all!
It is incredible that I've been interacting with a mad man who is parading nonsense against an established system of medicine!
Dear John, keep on living in a fools paradise and invite people of your own kind to live in it!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Feb, 2014
OK Raz, let's respond to your queries. Regarding your 'curing every type of disease' comment, if I've misinterpreted your intent then it's your problem too, since you are failing to clearly express your argument and misleading your audience, albeit unintentionally. That said, I've since accepted that you and I both agree that magnets don't cure any diseases. Remember that you changed your argument to the claim that 'the predominant use of Magnetic Therapy is in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and myofacial pain'. Pain is not a disease and treatment of it is not a cure, ergo magnets do not cure disease.
As for your insistence that 'depression, back pain, arthritis, migraines DO NOT resolve themselves naturally' and that 'they require treatment', you confuse 'seeking' treatment with 'requiring' treatment. As I've already said, I've had back pain on several occasions and every time it resolved itself naturally. Ditto with a friend who suffered migraines. Of course if there was a suitable painkiller available he would take it, this is what I mean by seeking treatment, but on the occasions when there wasn't, the migraine resolved itself naturally without requiring treatment. I'm truly surprised that you, or no one you've ever known, has had back pain or a migraine that never went away without them seeking and receiving treatment.
You go on to say that you've never 'insinuated that the above problems can be cured ONLY through surgery, drugs, magnets or witchcraft'. If you reread my comments, I said that I personally never had to resort to these treatments for back pain since some things resolve naturally with time. I know that you believe that homeopathic and Ayurvedic treatments can cure many of the world's diseases, I just don't believe you. And your two therapies do probably come under drugs and magic.
You ask, 'Did I ever say that Homeo will cure cold FOREVER? Did I?' Not colds specifically, no, but you did say that regarding homeopathy, 'It removes all traces of chronic diseases ensuring a permanent cure'. Permanent means forever, so I was curious if homeopathy could offer a permanent cure for the common cold. I'll take it that you're admitting it can't. It's strange that homeopathy has (secretly) found a permanent cure for malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, typhoid, cholera and some cancers, but not the common cold. Why not?
And as for your claim regarding these terrible diseases (ignoring the cold), that 'Homeo has been curing them for ages', why is it that only a few homeopaths and their supporters know this? Why is evidence-based medicine ignoring the fact that homeopathy can easily cure these diseases, and why are homeopaths letting millions die every year when they have a cheap, simple and proven cure available? Humanitarian organisations in places like Africa using evidence-based medicine are spending billions trying to reduce the suffering and death caused by these diseases, and yet homeopaths with their 'proven' cures are doing nothing. What are they waiting for, more money? All it would take is one homeopath, just one, to stand behind his or her convictions and offer the treatments. If truly effective as you claim, the results could not be denied, and homeopathy would become respected and accepted and sought after, essentially overnight. And yet no homeopath, not one, is brave enough to become famous as the person who eradicated malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, typhoid, cholera and some cancers from the world. They are happy to talk on the Internet about what they could cure, but are too busy making money selling water to fools, than to really make a difference in the world. Their homeopathy practice comes before their humanity it seems. If I'm wrong, then perhaps you could explain why homeopaths haven't eliminated a single disease that you claim that they've been able to cure 'for ages'.
Let's recall that you said that 'it is a fact that that there are many diseases which CANNOT be treated by Allopathy!... these diseases are mostly chronic ones (High BP, Psoriasis, Warts, Asthma, Peptic Ulcers and many more)'. Now you laugh when I say you are clearly wrong. Are you saying you never said this, or are you still arguing against all evidence that evidence-based medicine can't treat these conditions? Which is it? But which ever it is, somehow you think it exposes my 'total ignorance about Homeopathy!', but who was talking about homeopathy? You were arguing that these are examples of diseases that 'CANNOT be treated by Allopathy!' On this point my view of homeopathy is irrelevant. And I wondered whether you lived in a medieval village because you exhibit a medieval mindset, promoting primitive beliefs that ignorant medieval folk would have understood and supported.
In your last reply you eventually realised that you were only guessing, that you had no real idea what knowledge or experience I might have of homeopathy. But now it seems you've forgotten that again, and once again you miraculously know all about me, offering a list starting with, 'My dear John, this is what I think of you'. You naively assume that if I choose to 'have Zero contact with the world of Homeopathy', this means that I must be ignorant of homeopathy. But is that necessarily true? I have zero contact with the world of rapists, drug addicts, astrologers, psychic healers, astronomers and heart surgeons, but this doesn't mean that I don't and can't understand what they do and what might explain their work. Likewise I can understand and evaluate homeopathy without having to immerse myself in its world and blindly accept its claims. Saying I must be treated by a homeopath before I can criticise their methods is like saying I must be treated by a witch before I can criticise theirs. Let me see if I can use an example to show you how silly your argument is. Since you view psychic healers as bogus, I assume you've never been treated by a one, have zero contact with their world, don't know any 'qualified' psychic healers and have zero knowledge of what they can do? So, by your logic, you are unable to pass judgement on psychic healers. So do you now feel that what they do might be real after all, since you evidently have zero knowledge of them? I suspect not, which if you reflect on this outcome for a while should reveal why your argument is bogus too. You should realise that you don't have to be under the care of a psychic healer to know they are a fraud.
And let's remember that you visited our website to support magnetic therapy, and you've since admitted that you've 'had no experience of Magnetic Therapy'. If a lack of real experience discredits my view of homeopathy, then surely your lack of experience likewise discredits what you say regarding magnetic therapy? If not being in 'contact with the world of Homeopathy' automatically disqualifies me from evaluating it, then why does not your lack of contact with the evidence-based world likewise disqualify you from evaluating my view? Don't you think it's a little arrogant, and irrational, to claim that you can judge the views of others, but I can't?
Frankly it doesn't matter what you think of me Raz, what you should be thinking about is my argument and responding with evidence for your claims. I don't believe the pope when he confidently says that god exists, but offers no evidence, and for the same reason I don't believe your empty claims for homeopathy and Ayurveda.
You believe that my 'Ignorance, Insolence and Insanity' is apparently 'THE crux of the problem between the debate between you me', since it leads me to be critical and dismissive of homeopathy. Nonsense, a difference of opinion exists because I insist on evidence and reason whereas you evidently trust the word of some quack.
You claim that homeopathy and Ayurveda is an 'established system of medicine'. Does it not concern you at all that only supporters of these therapies believe this? Does it not worry you that people making this claim, including you, can never offer any supporting evidence? If these therapies are so widespread and so effective at curing serious diseases, why is this fact hidden from the world at large? If they are so established and important, why is there no homeopathy or Ayurveda clinics in my city, when there is even (and I'm not joking) a witch with her own shop? Why aren't the media reporting on the amazing success stories as towns, cities and even entire countries rid themselves of terrible diseases that have plagued them since time immemorial? Perhaps Raz you could explain this embarrassing problem? Or will you just say that this is just the sort of question an insane person would ask and can be ignored?
You have not made a single attempt to explain why homeopathy or Ayurveda works, or offered a single piece of evidence that homeopathy or Ayurveda does even work. You apparently have no qualifications in homeopathy or Ayurveda, your sole connection with these therapies seems to be that you sought their mystical services when you suffered from some minor aliments, which you refuse to disclose. I assume your aliments were minor and known to resolve naturally, hence your reluctance to reveal them. If you were cured of cancer or malaria or cholera I'm sure you would gloat about the healing power of homeopathy.
You can confidently claim that when illness strikes, 'I'll be going to a Homeo or Ayurvedic doctor and not to jokers like you!', but this is no different to others that claim they'll be going to a psychic healer or Catholic priest or the local witchdoctor. You can go to whomever you wish, the real test is whether the homeopath or witchdoctor will cure you, and the evidence clearly says no. And when they do fail you, don't come to jokers like me either, it shouldn't need saying but I'm not a doctor. And a further piece of advice, simply putting the word 'doctor' after Homeo or Ayurvedic or witch doesn't turn these frauds into real doctors.
And I will indeed 'keep on living in a fools paradise', as you describe our advanced scientific and technological society, since I am rather fond of my high standard of living and have no desire to regress to having to rely on a healer that, no matter my affliction, gives me a drink of water and tells me to call him in the morning if I don't feel any better.
Comment by Anonymous-15, 22 Feb, 2014
I would love your opinion on the validity of the Earthpulse magnet. I was considering purchasing it for my arthritis and read several info sources, which all seem to support it. I can't afford it, yet I can't afford to be in pain either. I would greatly appreciate your feedback to help me determine if I should purchase. Thank you.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Feb, 2014
Of course I'm not a doctor or an expert on magnets and health, but my investigation into the likes of Earthpulse devices gives me no confidence that they work as claimed.
On his website Dr. Pawluk sells the EarthPulse, 'Starting at $599.00'. I view Pawluk as a quack, spouting more pseudoscience than real medical science. He claims that 'The Earth Pulse is a PEMF device primarily intended for use overnight for sleep assistance, though it can be used for local problems as well'. His site, and others, promote the device primarily as a device for improving sleep. Even if it did work for that, and I don't believe it does, they are clearly reluctant to claim that it will relieve pain, such as arthritic pain. So obviously they don't think it does much or anything for pain relief. This site, earthpulsetechnologies.com, likewise promotes it as a sleep device and makes no clear claim for pain relief: 'The EarthPulse (TM) Sleep on Command pulsed electro- magnetic sleep-machine, performance enhancement, longevity and recovery system will improve your sleep, mental & physical performance'.
This site is difficult to read, crammed full of complex scientific sounding reports and hundreds of links, as is this one, which I doubt if anyone reads, let alone understands. I believe these pages are designed to overwhelm and intimidate readers, forcing them to just accept that there seems to be considerable evidence supporting magnetic therapy, which they don't have the qualifications to fully understand. Unfortunately, rather than support their claims, most if not all of the material is bogus, pseudoscientific sounding claims that aren't scientific and actually offer no support. This site on Earth Pulse Therapy'' claims that 'Pulsed electromagnetic fields are pulsing moving energy. Earth Pulse sleep machine is a magnet that emits frequencies that simulate the magnetic pulse of the earth's frequencies. This type of therapy is used to reduce swelling, relieve chronic pain and arthritis, as well as improve range of motion and sleep'. This description of how the machine works is pure nonsense.
Furthermore, you can't always trust the comments and testimonials that you read on health forums, many will be fakes written by the very people that sell these devices. Some testimonials will be sincere and genuine, but they are still mistaken, giving credit when it isn't warranted. It's no different to testimonials where people sincerely believe that crystals, psychic healers, prayer or visiting aliens have healed them. Rather than testimonials, people should demand scientific evidence.
If you had money to burn, then sure, waste it on an Earthpulse device, but since you already know you can't afford it, my advice would be to steer clear of any and all magnet therapies. If these devices worked, you would find them in hospitals and recommended by all doctors, you wouldn't have to seek them out on the Internet like looking for illegal drugs or pirated movies.
Comment by Anonymous-15, 22 Feb, 2014
Thank you, immensely!
Comment by Bob, 23 Feb, 2014
It's the usual bullshit. I also suffer from arthritis due to my advancing age. I take the standard anti-inflammatory Voltarin. That is its brand name, otherwise called Diclofenac sodium by doctor and pharmacist. In low doses it can be bought over the counter. In higher doses it requires a doctor's prescription. I find it does not clear the pain entirely but reduces it considerably making it easier to sleep. You can buy a lot of it for $599. If your arthritis is particularly severe I am sure a doctor will have stronger pain killers. Magnets in any form are useless unless they produce alternating fields. The very price tells you it is a scam.
Comment by Ben, 23 Feb, 2014
I suppose after reading what I have to say I will be dismissed as a fake. As it happens I believe the claims made about magnets are tripe.
However at Christmas my wife bought a magnetic underlay for her mother who is 87 and has been suffering severe arthritis for years. I told her not to waste her money and my MIL was equally sceptical on receipt of the gift.
The first three or four weeks confirmed my view that this was a rip off. Then something remarkable happened. Her pain started to lessen to such a significant degree that she was able to reduce her intake of pain killing drugs to a large extent which surprised her doctor who scoffed at the magnet theory. She herself remains sceptical; she is good Catholic and reckons the good Lord answered her prayers!
I do not know what to think. Perhaps you could give me a rational explanation. I have no way of proving it but I can assure you I have no connection whatsoever with the magnet industry.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Feb, 2014
Hi Ben. Dismissed as a fake? Not at all. As I said in my previous comment above, some testimonials will be sincere and genuine, but they are still [likely to be] mistaken, giving credit when it isn't warranted. It's no different to testimonials where people sincerely believe that crystals, psychic healers, prayer or visiting aliens have healed them. Rather than testimonials, people should demand scientific evidence.
My first question would be what sort of magnetic underlay was it? When I googled 'magnetic underlay' here are some descriptions that appeared on the first page:
Magniwool Magnetic Underlay — Combining the comfort of wool fleece underlay with the power of magnetic healing.
Clearly most magnetic underlays are combined wool and magnet underlays, and note that the last comment regarding reviews insists that its testimonials are from 'real people', but how would they know? But anyway, if your MIL's magnetic underlay is actually a magnetic wool underlay then right there might be the answer to a perceived improvement. I can attest that the wool underlays (minus the magnets) are very comfy and thus could conceivably bring about improved sleep, and sleep is a time for bodily rejuvenation. A longer and more comfortable sleep could see a natural improvement in health. Clearly the magnetic underlay sellers see great benefit in putting their magnets in comfy wool underlays, but if some improvement is seen, is it because of the comfy wool or the magnets, or a combination of both?
BeautySleep offer a range of Magnetic Underlays featuring Pure Australian Wool as well as additional magnetic health products.
Magne-Sleep merino lambswool and quilted cotton magnetic underlays.
The Woolrest Biomag magnetic underlay.
Reviews of BioMagnetic Deluxe Wool Magnetic Underlay Magnetic Therapy by real people on Australia's largest opinion site.
People often see something happening and put the cause down to some single event while completely ignoring many other events that could have actually been the cause. For example, when placing their new magnetic underlay on their bed they might have decided to flip over their mattress since they hadn't done it for some time, or they might have also bought new sheets and duvet, or maybe new pillows. At around the same time they might have bought new shoes or clothes, changed aspects of their diet, changed some aspect of their physical activity, bought a new armchair, or vacuum cleaner, all things that may have affected their health. Their doctor may have altered their medication slightly, perhaps swapping to a generic painkiller that he said was the same but was slightly different. And just as her daughter gave her the underlay, has anyone else given her some other alternative therapy treatment, or even some homemade cookies unknowingly laced with cannabis?
To prove cause and effect experiments must be performed that eliminate all possible causes except the one being tested for. People can't claim that it was the magnets that brought about pain relief if they are also sleeping on a new wool underlay. People can't even say it was the magnets or the wool underlay if they have also started a new drug, changed their diet or stopped doing the vacuuming.
This is unlikely, but you say your MIL has reduced her intake of pain killing drugs. Perhaps the placebo effect brought about some relief initially, and the drugs were reduced, and the pain level has remained low. Perhaps these particular drugs were actually causing harmful side-effects, it's not unheard of, and reducing them caused the ongoing improvement, not the magnets. As I say, unlikely, but my point is that there could be many explanations to explain why pain relief appeared to happen at the same time as a magnetic underlay was purchased. There are many variables that scientists must take into account but that most laypeople don't even recognise were present. Perhaps she was standing too close to a faulty microwave oven or her neighbours have just got WiFi and she is being bathed in healing radiation? And of course it could have all just have been a coincidence, her body for some reason was seeing some natural healing that just happened to coincide with getting the magnets.
And of course your MIL throws up another possible cause for her improved health, 'the good Lord answered her prayers!', and the magnets were just a coincidence, not to mention a waste of money and a show of lack of faith in god. Again, all these 'possible' causes must be eliminated and tested for one by one.
The fact remains that the great majority of people suffering from arthritis that purchase magnetic underlays do not see any real improvement, with or without the comfy wool, so the reasonable explanation is that the handful that do see some improvement are likely getting it from something else that has changed in their life, such as drugs, diet, exercise etc. Rather than saying one person feels better after sleeping on magnets, people need to explain why millions of others don't. There will always be rare unexpected cases of remission, but rather than focus on these as evidence that some alternative therapy works, their rarity should force us to look for other causes.
Comment by Ben, 23 Feb, 2014
It was a wool underlay with magnets — bio mag I think. Curiously she had already been sleeping on a wool underlay without magnets. I will keep you posted on her progress. When she enters The Round the Bays Run next year I may have to revise my scepticism.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Feb, 2014
If she enters The Round the Bays Run Ben, I might have to consider magnets myself. But seriously, if her health continues to show improvement there is still no good evidence that the magnets can take the credit. You said that one week her pain started to lessen for no obvious reason, and then clearly you started to seek a cause, and recalled the magnetic underlay that had already been in place for three or four weeks. What length of time might have passed between buying the magnetic underlay and seeing some result before you would reject making a connection between the two? Two months, six months, remembering that some people will argue that it always takes some undefined time for a new therapy to repair the body and make its effects noticeable? People will go back days, weeks, months until they hit on some event that they can remember that might be the cause, but they could easily have missed the real cause. Of course the recent introduction of the magnetic underlay is the most obvious thing to first consider, but the most obvious answer is not always the correct one, remember the world is not flat and the Sun doesn't really rise.
Real tests would be to surreptitiously remove the magnetic underlay, or simply turn it around, since therapists claim the magnetic fields must be correctly aligned to work, and see if her health changes. Of course if people really come to believe (without good cause) that a magnetic underlay (or whatever) is helping them, they will be very reluctant to stop using it, just to keep some skeptic happy. And I understand this, to be pain free is their goal, not academic queries. But what frustrates me is that these same people will often loudly and confidently claim that their magnets (or whatever) is the reason for their improvement, even though they have not taken one step to prove this, and are usually resistant to doing so. They need to admit that they don't really know what's happening and are just guessing. They keep using their magnets in the same way that people keep carrying their lucky charms, they think they work and are too scared to stop using them. They might be right, magnets might be the cure, but until they prove it they are just guessing. And they need to consider that if magnets do work, then why don't they work for most people, just as if carrying a rabbit's foot brings good luck, why didn't it work for the rabbit, who had four of them?
Comment by Tracey, 24 Feb, 2014
Wow, fantastic, thank you, it makes perfect sense. I am currently studying my masters in small animal rehab. They are using bio mag mats or pulsed electromagnetic mats. I could not understand why and how this worked physiologically if the magnet is not isolated to the area of injury. How can it have an effect on the nervous system, pain gate theory or endorphine release, it doesn't add up to me, they cost so much money.
I would love to know what u think about cold laser therapy. I have witnessed the effects of diabetic wounds that would not heal with convential dressings and enzyme creams, pretty amazing healing with LLLT. I have felt relief from sciatica for about 24hrs with a class 3b laser, what do you think about lasers, light, how it effects ATP production by stimulating something in the mitochondria and how can laser cause a nerve block for 24hrs.
I question everything as the cost of these devices is scandalous.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Feb, 2014
Hi Tracey. Thanks for you comments. As for LLLT or Low-Level Laser Therapy, I must admit to knowing little about it. It appears that there is some evidence for the likes of short-term pain relief and enhanced wound healing, but that it is still controversial and needs further research to determine exactly what it can and cannot achieve. All the articles I read admit that it's still unclear exactly why LLLT might work, although as you say, most mention 'ATP production by stimulating something in the mitochondria'. That 'something' is probably a molecule called CCO or cytochrome c oxidase which is a chromophore, a molecule that can react to photon energy when light strikes it. If you haven't already read it, this article is quite informative:
Role of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Neurorehabilitation
as is this one:
Low-Level Laser Therapy Facilitates Superficial Wound Healing in Humans: A Triple-Blind, Sham-Controlled Study
It appears that LLLT does have potential for a very small range of treatments, which is the same for nearly all evidence-based treatments, be they drugs or surgery or some device etc. I say this not to belittle the treatment, but because many alternative therapies wave something over the body or ask you to wear a magnet around your neck and claim to be able to treat a huge list of unrelated afflictions anywhere in the body. I think LLLT, and what evidence there might be for it, must be kept separate from the light therapy healing claims from the alternative therapy crowd. For example, there are many light therapies that make similar claims to that of LLLT and try to argue that they work even better, are much cheaper, and treat more, than does low level laser therapy. The Bioptron crowd argue that you don't need lasers: 'scientists created a light source that was originally based on low-level laser therapy but actually worked with almost the whole range of visible light and a portion of infrared light'. Unlike LLLT, they claim that the effects of their visible light is 'not only limited to the treated skin area, but can involve the whole body', telling customers that 'BIOPTRON Light Therapy acts in a natural way by supporting the regenerative capacity of the body and therefore helps the body to release its own healing potential'. It all sounds very New Age to me. Like magnetic therapists and homeopaths they falsely claim that 'BIOPTRON Light Therapy has become accepted as a new form of treatment in prevention, therapy and rehabilitation worldwide'. They even make the typical bogus alternative therapy claim that in ancient times 'the healing power of it was clear, and Roman and Arab physicians introduced light therapy into general medical use'. Another light therapy, Intense pulsed light (IPL) or flashlamp therapy, argue that they're also better than LLLT because while 'IPL systems work on the same principles as lasers in that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with colour (chromophores) in the skin... IPL systems are different to lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength'. And boy is it quick: 'The advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime — a patient can often have the procedure done in their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards'. Wow, why would you even consider LLLT?
Unlike the many light therapies on the market, LLLT is not cheap, which of course will push people towards the cheap but worthless crap. One article noted that for LLLT devices, 'The LED technology is not expensive ($1400 for a single LED cluster head and approximately $4000 to $5000 for a unit with 3 LED cluster heads). The transcranial LED treatment protocol can be used in the home'. Clearly their idea of 'not expensive' is different to mine, but compared to lasers, 'LEDs have the advantage of being significantly less expensive than laser diodes (by a factor of approximately 100 on a milliwatt basis)', so buying lasers rather than LEDs could cost between $140,000 and $500,000. No wonder these scammers know that there will be a market for their cheap flashlights.
My point with all this is that we must make the effort to differentiate between therapies and devices being investigated by real researchers and bogus therapies and devices marketed to take advantage of real science and real treatments, but which contain nothing but smoke and mirrors. There is a reason why a hospital had to spend $500,000 on their laser and yet some turkey says he can sell you a better device for 50 bucks.
You're right Tracey to 'question everything as the cost of these devices is scandalous'. Certainly things like CAT scanners cost a fortune, but the evidence is clearly there for all to see, they do what they claim to. People need to insist on seeing the evidence for every potential purchase, whether it be a laser for LLLT or a bio-mag mat.
Comment by Emily-Rose, 08 Apr, 2014
Hi John, I run a Facebook page, which you can access here: www.facebook.com/hatepseudoscience
Today I posted your article on magnet therapy. It has had some comments that dispute the accuracy of the distinction between static magnets and electromagnets.
I have tried to defend the article but as a non-physicist I've found it difficult. One of the commenters has recommended that I contact you to explain the issue. Would you mind checking out the comments? Here is the post:
I thought you would like the opportunity to chip in.
Thanks very much!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Apr, 2014
Hi Emily-Rose. Thanks for your email. Well unfortunately I'm not a physicist either, so it just comes down to how I understand it. Unfortunately my computer, for reasons unknown, refuses to load Facebook pages (and a few other sites) at the moment, so I can't respond directly. I did have a quick read of some the comments on a friend's PC, but I'm not unduly concerned. Of course I like to post accurate information, but I'm not really convinced that what we wrote is too far from the truth.
Regarding what I take to be the general criticism from the comments, I've added the following to our article:
Update: I've also read where some people argue that when used in the likes of electric motors and generators, permanent magnets with static fields do cause the induction of voltages and currents, so you don't need an electromagnet. But to do this the permanent magnet must move continuously in relation to the electrical conductor, or the conductor must move. One or the other must move, if both are at rest, there is no interaction. Thus when a permanent magnet is worn as a necklace, in a shoe insole, in a bracelet or belt, in back and neck braces, in pillows and in mattress underlays etc, there will be no relative movement between body and magnet and thus the static, unchanging magnetic field will have no impact on charged particles such as rouge electrons that might be in the adjacent body tissue. One person commented that tossing and turning during sleep would generate a changing magnetic field, but lifting your body off the mattress as you turned would be very infrequent, and because the depth these magnets penetrate is very shallow, the field would likely disappear as you turned. Also the field effects, if felt, would be completely random and thus highly unlikely to bring about some desired effect in unhealthy tissue.
Frankly, if debating the technical distinctions between static magnets and electromagnets is the only problem people can find with our debunking of magnetic therapy, then I'm quite happy. Even if there is a genuine misunderstanding on my part, I think we need to remember that our article is not a university paper on electromagnetism, it is a layperson's look at whether there is any evidence that a small permanent magnet that is simply placed next to your skin can heal people. I don't care if permanent magnets can be used to boost TV reception or whether they might produce N-rays if put inside a pentagram, the crux of the debate is whether the simple magnets sold by magnetic therapists can heal people. I don't think, even if our description is not as accurate as some might wish, that it affects the overall argument. Even if some therapist were to say that he actually sells electromagnets rather than permanent magnets, there is still no evidence that they have healed a single person.
Comment by Noel, 23 Jun, 2014
Hi John, what a mouth full, from both sides of the discussion, so I must inform you that I am not a Medical Man, either as the grass skirt type or the white coat type.
Yet for many years I have had some considerable faith in the alternative types of therapy and have come to some leading options of medicine.
I will say that my wife has a sore jaw and has had numerous examinations by doctors at Middlemore Hospital, Green Lane Medical centre, Manakau Clinical Centre and a few others, no medical conclusion has yet been reached, so she remains sleepless, this has been going on for about 2 years and has lead me to believe that the medical experts are close to being completely useless.
Now back to my options.
An unreasonable sceptic is suffering from a disease that is in itself incurable, I shall call it sceptic disease.
Many alternative therapies require permission of the patient, that is to say that if you do not believe they will work they will not work, thus it is almost impossible to cure a sceptic. Most clinical therapies are not of the permission required type and too strong for you willpower to control. Alternative therapies do not always require the passage of matter and these work in the manner of messenger RNA.
Have a nice day
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Jun, 2014
Noel, if for many years you 'have had some considerable faith in the alternative types of therapy', why are you wasting your time going around various hospitals and medical centres? I can't understand why you bother. Your wife has had her problem for nearly two years now, so one assumes that with your confidence in alternative therapies you will have consulted several for their diagnosis and treatment during this time. Your silence on this suggests that they haven't been able to diagnose the problem, or at least not give you a diagnosis that you agreed with. And clearly none have effected a cure. If you say you haven't consulted any alternative therapists, then you obviously haven't got considerable faith in them.
Regarding doctors and hospitals, you say that you 'believe that the medical experts are close to being completely useless', but since you make no mention of any progress from alternative therapists, you must see them as being completely useless, not just 'close to being completely useless'.
You claim that 'Many alternative therapies require permission of the patient, that is to say that if you do not believe they will work they will not work, thus it is almost impossible to cure a sceptic'. Sorry, but this is absolute nonsense, there is no evidence whatsoever to support this silly belief. It's merely a pathetic excuse employed by charlatans to put the blame on their gullible patients and explain why the magical healing didn't work, why their tumour didn't disappear or their leg didn't grow back. It's as silly as a kid saying that there really is a Santa Claus but adults don't get gifts because they don't believe in him anymore. It's despicable that alternative therapists that use this excuse, as well as priests and pastors, harm their believers twice over. They are left unhealed, still suffering from their disease, which is bad enough, but they are also left with guilt, that it is their fault, that they didn't believe strongly enough that the therapy would work, or that they didn't pray sincerely enough, and wonder why God finds them unworthy. Even psychic mediums fall back on this nonsense, arguing that the mere presence of a skeptic in the audience neutralises their spooky powers and they are now unable to talk to someone's dead granny. But strangely if you don't tell reveal you are a skeptic, they have no problem continuing with their charade, which clearly shows that they can't detect skeptics at all. But once you reveal yourself, they are so terrified of having their tricks exposed that they say they can't work with a non-believer watching. This is no different to a magician refusing to do his trick while you stand behind him, but at least a magician admits that his act is fake.
And since you wrote after presumably reading our magnetic therapy comments, perhaps you could explain, without recourse to magic, how a simple magnet can determine what my innermost beliefs are, as to whether I believe that magnetic therapy will or will not work? And if it somehow detects doubt on my part, how does it switch off its magnetic field and stop me receiving its healing effects? Name any other alternative therapy that requires this mental permission, how does something enter the body, detect our thoughts and neutralise itself if it finds disbelief? And this insistence on alternative therapies requiring permission would also mean that they could never work on babies, unconscious people or animals, who can't of course consider the therapy and grant permission.
The only way I could see this working is that all these alternative therapies are just a front for some powerful god-like being. The actual therapies themselves are just a sham, a placebo. When you use one of these therapies, this being examines your thoughts, and if he finds that you believe in that particular therapy, he heals you, if you show doubt he lets you suffer. Of course there is as much reason to believe this is true as there is to believe in the Tooth Fairy.
And as for your explanation as to why real medicine works, even if we don't know we've taken it, you say, 'Most clinical therapies are not of the permission required type and too strong for you willpower to control'. I guess this is like what the Indians used to say in those old Westerns, 'White man has heap powerful magic'. If this is true, why can you be bothered mucking around with such wimpy alternative therapies, therapies that have to sit down and negotiate with us, and even if we reach a successful merger, about the most they can do is clear up a cold in a week or so?
As for your statement, 'Alternative therapies do not always require the passage of matter and these work in the manner of messenger RNA', this also doesn't appear to make any sense. Messenger RNA is made out of matter, so if it is involved then alternative therapies clearly do require the passage of matter.
Of course conventional medicine doesn't have all the answers, not even close, but it is utterly bogus to think of alternative therapies as actually being an equal alternative. The name is a misnomer. Comparing conventional medicine with alternative therapies is like comparing the space shuttle with a paper dart, or a cruise missile with a spear.
Comment by Anonymous-16, 14 Jul, 2014
Can you eat 2 hours before therapy?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Jul, 2014
Seriously? You're asking someone who argues that magnetic therapy is bullshit whether you can eat 2 hours before said crap therapy?
This just demonstrates how much thought followers of alternative therapies put into adopting their nonsense — almost none at all. How could someone be so confused and/or ill-informed as to seek support and advice from people that disagree with their views? This is as silly as me, a committed atheist, asking my local Catholic priest if he can help me out with some good atheist arguments.
But in case my comments have only addled you further, and you still want an answer, then yes, of course you can eat right up to and even during your magnetic therapy. You can also drink, watch TV, have sex, and continue to use whatever other alternative therapies you're experimenting with. Don't worry, nothing you do will affect the healing power of your magnets.
Comment by valued associate, 20 Jul, 2014
I am commenting upon a dimension of magnetic therapy not touched upon in your article. To consider my comments I would refer you to the book VOLTAGE IS HEALING by Jerry Tennant in which he considers that healing is a function of alkalinity potential and free electrons. Acidic state is one in which there are no free electrons while the more alkaline a material is reflects the number of free electrons in that material.
So what does magnetism have to do with alkalinity, acidity or voltage? Disregarding nuclear methods of generating electricity there are two methods: chemical or magnetic. A conductor moving in an magnetic field produces electro magnetic force (EMF). The magnetic field does not produce electrons but does produce the force to relocate electrons. The electrons relocated by the magnetic field promote healing. The polarity of the magnetic field has an effect and a north pole field is generally recognized to be of benefit while south pole field is not. Whether this last sentence is correct or not is a hypothesis that should be examined by experiment and case studies.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Jul, 2014
You're correct, we didn't consider voltage, alkalinity and the claim that VOLTAGE IS HEALING since the explanation you put forward is not well known or a popular answer as to why magnetic therapy might work. I think the essence of your last sentence really covers your entire comment: 'Whether this... is correct or not is a hypothesis that should be examined by experiment and case studies'. And of course this hasn't happened since there is no good evidence to support this hypothesis, while there is argument against it, try this link: The "fundamentals" of voltage quackery.
My first question would be, if your hypothesis is correct, that 'The magnetic field does not produce electrons but does produce the force to relocate electrons', and that these 'electrons relocated by the magnetic field promote healing', how then does the magnetic field 'know' where electrons are needed? Surely blindly relocating electrons is as likely to cause problems as solve them? Stable and healthy tissues would suddenly have their electrons stolen by your magnet. Also, you talk of a 'conductor moving in an magnetic field' and that this causes electrons to be relocated, but for people wearing a magnetic necklace, a magnetic insole or lying on a magnetic underlay, there is no conductor, ie the body, moving relative to the magnet, so no electron flow.
Rather than just put forward ideas as to what might explain magnetic therapy if it actually worked, I wish people would actually do the research first and collect the evidence, rather than ignoring this crucial step and going straight to writing their book and generating an income for themselves.
Comment by valued associate, 21 Jul, 2014
You state that 'there is no evidence to support this hypothesis' yet you appear not to have done much study on the subject (as I sent you my message perhaps 15 hours before your response). Based upon this observation I will state that I suspect you are operating upon a belief and your mind is locked closed. I received a small burn once when I tried to pull a box from a trash fire. I had instant pain. Rather than spread oil or butter on the burn I placed the thumb on a small but strong magnet (the N pole). Pain instantly went away. I kept the thumb on the magnet for 5 minutes before removing it and when I pulled the thumb off the pain came back instantly. So I placed it back on the magnet for 15 minutes before removing it. This time the pain did not return. Further, I noted several days later that the burn area did not bubble up but the surface layer of skin did peal back. In other words, the burn did not act like I expected from previous experiences with burns. Now you might not consider this to be evidence but you might consider this account to be a testimonial as to the worth of at least investigating rather than forming a belief and denying any such benefit exists.
You question 'how then does the magnetic field know where electrons are needed?' : A magnetic field doesn't 'know' anything. It has no intelligence. It doesn't assign a field to one area because of a cellular need greater than another. Magnetism is non-ionizing radiation. Its analogy in the electrical area is called an electric field. The analogy extends from electrical voltage to magnetic magnetomotive force (mmf), from electrical current to magnetic gauss and from electrical resistance to magnetic reluctance. A magnetic field is an energy field. The earths magnetic field several thousand years ago was quite a bit stronger than now, said to be 4.5-5 gauss while currently many areas of the earth are at .4 gauss.
You stated 'Stable and healthy tissues would suddenly have their electrons stolen by your magnet'. Are you stealing electrons from your neighbor when you switch on your living room lights? Electrical current at a molecular level involves moving an electron which causes another to be moved into the vacancy.
You stated 'for people wearing a magnetic necklace, a magnetic insole or lying on a magnetic underlay, there is no conductor, ie the body, moving relative to the magnet, so no electron flow.' Before you make such statements you might consider that blood is a conductor and it does move. Not only that but each molecule of hemoglobin has an iron molecule and of course iron is magnetic. As to other cells while they don't move far they do have electrons rotating around their atoms.
You stated 'I wish people would actually do the research first and collect the evidence, rather than ignoring this crucial step and going straight to writing their book and generating an income for themselves.' Are your motives in presenting this blog altogether pure?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Jul, 2014
Yes indeed, I did state there is no evidence to support your hypothesis, and in your reply, rather than provide this evidence and prove me wrong, you merely throw out the usual 'closed-minded' insult that people fall back on when they know all too well that there is no evidence for their argument. And even you realise that your testimonial can not be considered as evidence. At least we agree there. And I'm surprised that you're still pushing that old myth that one should put butter on a burn (if you don't have a magnet handy). Also, not all burns blister, so it's no evidence that your magnet had an effect.
It really amazes me that you feel annoyed that, given 15 hours, I evidently still couldn't be bothered to find the evidence to support YOUR belief. Again, you believe it is MY responsibility to locate the evidence that supports YOUR claims. Do you not grasp that if you know of real evidence that supports your claims, you need to present it, not just hint that it exists and hope that I might be able to find it. And to then argue that I'm deliberately suppressing this evidence doesn't explain why you won't reveal this evidence and expose my duplicity. If I'm expected to easily find it within 15 hours means that you must have found it long ago. After all, I assume that you're not surfing the Internet and challenging skeptics based on nothing but your experience of a small burn, so please show us all the evidence I should have easily found.
Believe it or not, I actually know that magnets have no intelligence. You had said that magnets 'produce the force to relocate electrons', and that these 'electrons relocated by the magnetic field promote healing'. I wanted you to explain how your magnets apparently 'relocate electrons' from a healthy part of the body to an unhealthy part. This is why I talked of 'electrons stolen by your magnet'. If you argue, as you do, that electrons are relocated to parts of the body that need them to be healed, you need to explain why the part of the body from which the electrons were taken don't now have a problem. Surely more electrons now need to be relocated to heal the part from which your magnet took electrons? Also you imply that electrons are being relocated to every part of the body, not just unhealthy parts, saying that the magnet 'doesn't assign a field to one area because of a cellular need greater than another'. I don't understand why relocating electrons to unhealthy body parts will heal that part but removing electrons from or adding electrons to healthy body parts won't cause them to become unhealthy?
Also, the only people I've seen arguing that the 'earths magnetic field several thousand years ago was quite a bit stronger than now', are silly Creationists, so could you please indicate your source for this claim. And even if true, how does this support your argument?
To counter my claim that the body is not moving through a magnetic field, eg generated by a magnetic necklace, and thus no electrons are being relocated, you argue that blood is a conductor and it does move. True, but it's taking as many electrons away from body tissue as it's taking to it. Also blood flows in every direction, only some of which would be correctly aligned with the weak magnetic field to potentially cause a weak current flow, and flow in one direction would tend to cancel the flow in the other. Furthermore, it's you that haven't done much research or you'd know that the iron in haemoglobin is NOT magnetic. As your for implication that electrons orbiting atoms are somehow involved in your magnetic healing, well, you're really clutching at straws now. If this were true then your little magnets would disrupt every single atom in our body and reck utter havoc. Your thoughts, for example, would be scrambled.
Rather than accept that people who make healing claims should conduct research to prove those claims, you finish by defending people that make money by writing books pushing unsupported claims. You do this by childishly insinuating that it is me that is being deceptive and dishonest, that I have less than pure motives for criticising magnetic healing. Please explain how you think I might benefit if some magnetic therapist or magnet salesperson loses business based on my exposing the nonsense behind their claims? Perhaps I should wonder why you want to silence me, have you something to lose if the public come to see magnetic therapy as being as worthless as prayer?
Comment by valued associate, 22 Jul, 2014
As you have already convinced yourself that you are infallible and correct on this issue then I must agree with you. There are certainly areas where magnetism might harm you. I will give you some examples.
You have a child riding in your car. You fail to realize that your steel belted radials radiate a magnetic field that is very small and has little or no effect on an adult but profound effects on a youngster.
You live in a steel container home. Only the floor is made of a non-magnetic material. The structure effectively shields you from any effect of the earths magnetic field (whether beneficial or harmful).
South pole magnetism is not good for any biological organism. Perhaps this experiment would be easy for you to replicate. A Florida fisherman bought several paper cups of worms for an outing later that day. He placed them on a bench near a horseshoe magnet and proceeded to forget them for a day or so. When he came back to them the worms in the north pole had chewed they way out of the paper container while the south pole worms had died prematurely.
Another area where magnetism is not good is where north and south pole alternate as in those cheap magnetic mattresses that you lay directly upon. I suppose the problem is the same as in the previous paragraph.
Now on a different topic. Do you really believe that only creationalists believe that the earths magnetic field was stronger millenia ago? Have you not heard that the earths magnetic field tends to flip periodically? Did you suppose that this flip occurred in a binary fashion or with analog changes in amplitude? Or did you bring up creationalism as a red herring to further discount my views on this topic?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 23 Jul, 2014
Again you fail to understand how debates are conducted. You've made unconventional claims for magnetic therapy, and you've implied that the evidence to support your claims is easily found. You even insult me by claiming that since I don't mention the evidence that you're thinking of (evidently I'm a mind reader), then I'm being devious. You've replied, and yet again, ignoring my request, you neglect to produce this evidence. Have you misplaced it or what? All you do is insult me again, claiming that 'you have already convinced yourself that you are infallible'. Expressing doubt and asking you to support your claims, as you imply you can, is not a sign of infallibility, it's a sign of skepticism. No doubt you're frustrated that I'm unwilling to blindly accept your claims on faith, but you need to respond with evidence, not anger.
As for your examples of how you believe magnetism harms us all, well apart from your usual habit of providing no evidence to support that any of this is true, your examples would only harm your initial claims if they were true. As you say, you are now agreeing with me that if weak magnetic fields could easily affect the health of our bodies, then they would likely be causing us real harm rather than healing us. If their effect on body tissue is real, you evidently now accept that a magnetic field that's allowed to blindly interact with the body is likely to be more dangerous than beneficial.
As for your claim that 'South pole magnetism is not good for any biological organism', the majority of the world's population live closer to the magnetic south pole than the north (remembering that the magnetic south pole is in the northern hemisphere), and yet I've seen no evidence that they suffer unduly because of their proximity to the pole. Are you going to present the evidence, or insist that I must find it?
But of course, polarity aside, you haven't even shown that this magnetic effect on body tissue is real.
As for your worm story, well, if true, there could be many things that would explain the result that don't involve magnetism. And am I really expected to believe that a fisherman's story, traditionally never very reliable, is the best and only evidence that 'South pole magnetism is not good for any biological organism'? You even suggest I torture some worms to prove your claim. But again, it is your claim, why haven't you repeated the experiment yourself to at lest give yourself confidence that the fisherman's story is true? Why must I continually do the work to bolster your argument?
You finish by asking, 'Do you really believe that only creationalists believe that the earths magnetic field was stronger millenia ago?' Yes, creationists are they only ones I know of that make claims similar to yours. You wrote that 'The earths magnetic field several thousand years ago was quite a bit stronger than now, said to be 4.5-5 gauss while currently many areas of the earth are at .4 gauss'. I know of no scientific evidence that shows the field strength was as high as 4.5 to 5 gauss several thousand years ago. This article — 'Earth's magnetic field' — notes that 'geomagnetic intensity has declined almost continuously from a maximum 35% above the modern value achieved approximately 2,000 years ago'. I read that 35% as saying that the field strength was around 0.54 gauss some 2,000 years ago, and yet you argue that it was not 35% higher but somewhere between 1,125% and 1,250% higher, ie 4.5 to 5 gauss. There is some evidence that the field strength has been quite a bit higher than now, eg 'Geological evidence shows that Earth's field used to be twice as strong 1.5 billion years ago as it is today', and 'Ancient Earth Had Magnetic Field 3X Stronger Than Once Thought', but this would still only take it up to between 0.8 and 1.2 gauss. There is also some evidence that the field strength was often lower than what it is now, eg 'The protective magnetic field shrouding the early Earth was likely only half as strong as it is today, a new study suggests', and 'The intensity of the Earth's magnetic field over the past 160 million years: 'Whereas previous estimates for the average dipole moment were comparable to that of the Earth's present field, the new data suggest an average dipole moment of... approximately half the present magnetic-field intensity'. Of course I could be mistaken, which is why I asked you to indicate the source of your claim for 4.5 to 5 gauss. Typically you ignored my request.
You go on to ask, 'Have you not heard that the earths magnetic field tends to flip periodically?' Yes I've heard of the field reversals, but they do not 'flip periodically', as this article notes: 'Reversals are not predictable and are certainly not periodic in nature'. But yes, I agree that field strength can reduce, polarity will flip and field strength will increase again. But you weren't arguing that the field was reducing from around 0.4 to near zero and then back up to 0.4 or even as high as 1.0 gauss, you were arguing that the field strength used to be much, much, much higher than it now is. This is the claim that I want you to support. I have little time for people that rattle off numbers to support their case but then refuse to say how they arrived at those numbers. I'm not saying that you're wrong per se, I simply want to consider the strength of your evidence.
And while you're at it, perhaps you could respond to my original question, even if true that the field strength was much higher thousands of years ago, how might this support your argument that magnets heal people today? I look forward to your response.
Comment by valued associate, 24 Jul, 2014
I will keep this short so that your response might be similarly short.
Of one thing I am certain and I submit this belief without proof:
Magnetism will not cure the disease of verbosity.
There have been many studies on the beneficial effects of magnetism. Here is one of them.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Jul, 2014
So once again you reply and still refuse to reveal any evidence that might support your claims. I've asked you various questions regarding your claims and you simply ignore them, choosing instead to fall back on insults. A clear sign that emotion and not intellect is driving your responses.
You instead refer me to an old conference paper called 'Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome and Magnetic Treatment' written way back in 1976, which in turn even refers to a paper written in 1843. And just look at the vague symptoms that it claims 'Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome' causes:
'The symptoms of the syndrome are; "Stiffness" of the shoulders, back and scruff of the neck, uncertain lumbago, chest pains for no specific reason, habitual headache and heaviness of the head, dizziness and insomnia for uncertain reasons, habitual constipation, general lassitude, etc.'
I think you'll find that humans suffering from the likes of 'Stiffness of the shoulders' is not just a recent complaint due to the decreasing magnetic field. Frankly, if you have to go back decades to find a paper that supports your belief in magnetic therapy, then clearly there is no modern support.
I won't waste your time or mine by asking further questions that we both know you'll ignore.
Comment by valued associate, 24 Jul, 2014
In reviewing my comments and yours for these past few days I have come to the conclusion that you are absolutely correct. There is no benefit under the topic of Magnetic Therapy. I have reached this conclusion because of my previous inattention to the definition of the word 'THERAPY'. Here is what I found under the Online Etymology Dictionary
therapy (n.) 1846, "medical treatment of disease," from Modern Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia "curing, healing, service done to the sick; a waiting on, service," from therapeuein "to cure, treat medically," literally "attend, do service, take care of"
So you see application of a magnetic field to parts of the human body is not done for the "medical treatment of disease" because that it is not medical. It is not treatment. And there is no target disease. Besides which if these conditions were true then a medical degree and a license would be required to practice medicine.
This leaves us in a quandary of why people would actually apply a magnet to their body. Obviously the action is not done in a plane regulated by the state. If it were then people would be in jail for this illegal action. It (the application of a magnetic field to the human body) is entirely legal if done for non-medical reasons or, shall we say, lawful reasons. Therefore my reasons for applying a magnetic field anywhere on earth, whether in proximity to my body or not, is for the sake of augmenting the earths magnetic field to prevent solar particles from invading and causing damage to the earth.
John, I am glad we had this conversation and have come to enlightenment on this topic. You see ... you were right all along and I certainly apologize for any perception I might have given you that my position was critical of yours.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Jul, 2014
Do I detect a little sarcasm in your reply? Perhaps we should concentrate on the modern usage of the word 'therapy' rather than how it was defined in 1846. You wonder 'why people would actually apply a magnet to their body', since they evidently don't see magnetic therapy as a form of treatment or believe there is any disease it could treat, and furthermore they have no medical degree or licence to practise medicine, even if they thought it might work.
Clearly you haven't reached enlightenment at all. As we discussed in our article — Magnets don't cure, but they will heal — the fact is that 'prospective clients are left with no doubt that magnets are healing and therapeutic'. Yes, therapists and businesses selling magnets must cunningly word their advertisements so that they don't fall foul of the law, but they are fooling no one. The huge number of people that offer magnetic therapy services and the even larger numbers that purchase these services don't for one minute think they merely doing their bit to help boost the Earth's magnetic field and deflect solar particles out in space. People strap on a magnet for one reason and one reason only, hoping for treatment of some illness or disability. Surely this much should be quite clear, the debate is not over why magnets are purchased but whether they are therapeutic.
I take heart in what you wrote: 'I have come to the conclusion that you are absolutely correct. There is no benefit under the topic of Magnetic Therapy... you were right all along', but I fear you've reached the right conclusion for the wrong reasons.
Comment by Eric, 16 Aug, 2014
Hi John, I can't speak for others, but I can speak for myself and tell you that I have used magnets to relieve pain, and they work. I had a very bad toothache and applied to the surface of my facial skin a very strong neodymium magnet (approx 105 pound pull force). I applied it on the surface of my facial skin right over where the toothache was for 5 minutes. I used the North pole end of the magnet. The magnet was a Neodymium N42 one inch cube magnet, with a rated Br (gauss rating) of 13,500 gauss, which approximates to an external gauss rating of 3,375 gauss.
After the 5 minute application to my skin over the area of the toothache, the toothache had nearly vanished! I applied this magnet again the next day for 5 minutes just as before, and what little pain I felt was no longer felt. It appears that this magnet was able to assist the body's own healing capacity to the point that I haven't had to go to the dentist and spend untold amounts of money to do something I can do for myself.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Aug, 2014
Hi Eric. Unfortunately all you've done is to ignore the phrase that 'correlation does not imply causation', which means that just because one event follows another doesn't mean that the first event caused the second. Just because you placed a magnet near your tooth doesn't mean that the magnet cured your toothache. I suspect that if you had reversed the magnetic polarity, or just placed a lump of metal that you falsely thought was a magnet, or even placed a crystal or piece of fruit that, like magnets, you believed could heal your toothache, then you likely would have seen the same result.
Recently I too had a toothache, but unlike you I didn't hold lumps of anything against my mouth, in fact I didn't do anything, but amazingly, just like you, my toothache vanished. The thing that many believers in alternative therapies fail to grasp is that many ailments heal themselves, and regardless of whether you apply expensive and worthless magnets, drink plain water in the form of homeopathic remedies, sleep in a pyramid, or dress up in a clown costume, you will given time get better no matter what you did. Unfortunately people assume that since the pain reduced not long after they put on the clown costume, then the clown costume must have healing qualities. This is very primitive thinking but it is unfortunately how healers have approached cures for most of history, meaning that healers and doctors often did more harm than good. However today it has been replaced with evidence-based medicine that is informed by randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. And these trials don't detect any health benefit from your static magnets.
You may sincerely believe that a correctly aligned magnet cured your toothache, just as religious fundamentalists believe all humans descended from a nudist couple some 6,000 years and others believe that Queen Elizabeth is a shape-shifting alien, but until you all can provide real evidence rather than just unsupported opinions, I will continue to dismiss these claims. Frankly I don't know why people such as yourself bother to try and sway my view and yet you apparently can't be bothered trying to convince medical science that it is ignoring a simple, cheap, safe and very effective healing method.
Do you seriously think that it is my skeptical view of magnetic healing that is keeping it as a quack therapy, and that if I was to change my view then the world would follow? If you are serious, convince the experts first and then get back to me.
Comment by Anonymous-17, 16 Dec, 2014
I have used Nikken magnetic therapy for years, and I wouldn't be without it. It does create circulation and therefore promotes healing and reduces pain in my muscles. I used to wake up so stiff in the mornings I could hardly walk. I invested in a Nikken mattress cover and my morning stiffness was gone. I'm 71 years old now, have used Nikken products since about 1991.
I worked in the traditional medical world and for several different medical doctors for years, after watching the huge misuse of prescription drugs given out so freely, and their side effects , I began searching for better health alternatives. Nikken magnetic therapy is one I use. It may not cure cancer, but it certainly does increase circulation and help my sore muscles.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 Dec, 2014
Apart from your empty testimony, you have given no evidence that your magnets increase circulation, or promote healing, or reduce pain. I say your testimony is empty since someone could equally say that ever since they started watching 'The Simpsons' on TV ten years ago, their acne cleared up and hasn't returned. But of course this is laughable, just saying something does not make it so. People have claimed that uttering prayers or waving a crystal or drinking chicken soup has cured them of some malady, just as you claim magnets have done the same for you, but I view this as nothing but wishful thinking, scrambling to link a natural recovery with some new (but completely unrelated) behaviour. The magnets on your bed no more help your circulation, pain and healing than does the colour of your pillows. Get back to me when you can show that your magnets are something more than mere placebos.
Comment by Anonymous-18, 17 Dec, 2014
You are quite right John, but in these replies you come over as doctrinaire and unthinking as your commenters. Maybe you are getting tired of responding to this stuff, I don't blame you. The most likely explanation for anonymous-17's observations is the placebo effect. It would be good if we could suggest an experiment that truly did compare the claimed treatment with a placebo — maybe in this case have someone else change the mattress cover on several nights and see whether anonymous-17 notices. Just a thought — I don't know what the cover looks or feels like so it may not be a practical suggestion.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Dec, 2014
Perhaps I'm becoming even more cynical, but frankly I'm suspicious of people like Anonymous-17 who troll the Internet just so they can, hand on heart, affirm to some skeptic in NZ that magnet therapy works, but not just any magnet, specifically Nikken magnets, which the writer mentions three times. It wouldn't surprise me if the writer was a seller of Nikken magnets and is merely promoting their wares by pretending to be a satisfied customer.
If my reply is taken in isolation, then my dismissal of magnet therapy might seem 'doctrinaire and unthinking'. But it must be remembered that in our main article I've clearly explained why I don't think the magnetic underlays work (which I'm not going to repeat in every reply), and I can only assume that this stance is what Anonymous-17 is challenging. I'm willing to consider new evidence for magnetic therapy, but none is ever offered, and thus I keep my reply simple: I'm still skeptical. When I tell people that I don't think that Santa Claus is real or that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago, I don't feel I need to go into the details. Likewise my confidence that magnet therapy is bunk rests on the existing science and should not be confused with unthinking arrogance.
If these people are genuine believers in magnetic therapy and have read why I am skeptical, then they would know that a mere assertion on their part that it works, while ignoring the science and placebo effect, would go no way to shaking my stance. If they really are committed to demonstrating the validity of magnetic therapy, and helping others that are suffering, why aren't they writing instead to doctors and researchers that can test their claims, and if verified, get magnetic therapy accepted as conventional medicine as found in hospitals?
Of course I agree that experiments to test for the placebo effect would be the obvious course of action, but only a skeptic or someone with scientific curiosity would suggest this, true believers would dismiss the move as a worthless waste of time, since they already know their magnets work. This is essentially always the claim they make. They just want us to concur, or at least shut up, as our skepticism is no doubt affecting sales.
Similarly I see it as a waste of time debating with people who, based on an unwarranted conviction, argue that we should dismiss doctors and conventional medicine and start searching elsewhere 'for better health alternatives'. They clearly have no understanding of history, of how the people that utilised these other health alternatives knew precious little about the human body and ill health, and how so-called healers and doctors often caused more harm than good. It is only within the last century that medicine has made enormous advances, although clearly much is still to be discovered, and our progress is only hampered by people arguing that we should swap proven medical knowledge with feel good but worthless products sold by idiots that failed high school science.
Humans are now generally much healthier and longer living than we have ever been, with no thanks to the likes of magnets or prayer or homeopathy, and I have little patience for people that assert (with no cogent reasons or evidence), that we would all be much better off if we only adopted their pet superstition or pseudoscience instead. As Mark Twain said, 'It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled'.
Comment by patty, 20 Jan, 2015
it is obvious you have never used magnets are you in town ever written this silly article. I never comment about anything that I have not tried myself to know the truth of its worth. Magnets have worked to take away my sinus headaches. They have worked to dissolve a bump on my finger joint and helped me heal faster.
I told my boyfriend who has diabetes to use magnets because his left leg was numb. A very bad sign that his leg to be cut off next. He used the insoles and when magnet on his lower back and his leg return to normal feeling. Magnets can save limbs from amputation.
if you not take the time to look back in history you will find that there was much alternative healing taking place up until the 19 twenties when Big Pharma decided they wanted to come in I'm change things for their personal profit. Doctors are certainly highly respected by me and also natural healing and alternative methods have their place in our society. Best wishes.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Jan, 2015
You're right Patty, I've never used magnets for healing. I've also never used crack cocaine, never raped altar boys dressed as a Catholic priest and never jumped out of a plane without a parachute, but this doesn't stop me arguing against these things. I don't have to try these things to reach a conclusion based on reason and evidence that they are not good for me or society.
I'm glad that your health and your boyfriend's has seen improvement, but I see no evidence that the magnets were the cause beyond perhaps the placebo effect. Along with your magnets, other people claim that the likes of homeopathy, crystals, prayer, witchcraft, herbs, copper bracelets, bare feet and channelling long dead Aztec warriors all heal disease. But if any of this were true then why do we still have or need doctors and hospitals? What fool wastes a fortune on ineffective hospital care when a carefully placed magnet or crystal will effect a cure for next to nothing? You mentioned diabetes, which is an increasing problem in society today. Why can't your boyfriend's doctor see that cheap magnets can do what he can't? And why aren't you and your boyfriend being seen on TV on '60 Minutes' or 'Ellen' or 'Oprah', publicising what magnets can achieve for diabetics? Don't you care that large numbers of people are suffering and dying because of diabetes and you have the cure?
I have looked at history and you're right that for thousands of years all they had when they got sick was what we now call natural or alternative healing. I don't deny this, but it is also quite clear that this natural healing never worked. Modern medicine evolved when people gained the knowledge to understand the body and disease and effect real cures. It didn't come about to make money for drug companies, it came about because people were tired of death and suffering because of ill health and screamed out for something that actually worked. The likes of smallpox and scurvy went hand in hand throughout history killing enormous numbers, laughing at alternative and natural healing methods, and it wasn't until the arrival of modern medicine that cures were finally found. I hate to think what cures haven't yet been discovered because the billions of dollars needed for research and testing is all being wasted on bogus, primitive, superstitious nonsense instead. If your ancestors came back to life and saw what modern medicine has to offer, they would slap you silly for wanting to swap it for what they had available when they were alive.
Comment by David, 21 Jan, 2015
John you might like to nuance that slightly. Some natural medicines did work, and where that has been shown scientifically to be the case, the active ingredient has usually been identified and has become the basis of modern medicines — asprin for example. Most however are, like the magnets, likely to work only by the placebo effect — if at all.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Jan, 2015
Point taken David, some natural medicines did work, to a degree, and many of our modern drugs had their origin in plants, such as aspirin that you mention which was derived from willow bark, also the likes of morphine and quinine. But the number of effective natural remedies that existed throughout history were very small in both number and distribution compared to the widespread natural remedies that didn't work. Bloodletting for example was a common treatment throughout history and is almost always harmful and unwarranted. Evidence suggests that the former US president George Washington's death came about by bloodletting administered by his doctors.
Also what was called natural healing in the past and worked is now just called medicine. I wasn't clear, but I was referring to what was called natural or alternative healing in the past, such as magnets, crystals and prayer, and is still called natural or alternative healing today, it hasn't migrated to being medicine because it never worked.
However, regarding the natural medicines that did work, we shouldn't fool ourselves into believing that our ancestors had aspirin for pain relief, not in a pill of course but in the form of willow bark. They didn't. Very few had access to the effects that willow bark could deliver. When aspirin came out in 1899 the ordinary folk didn't have willow bark in their medicine cabinet that they replaced with the more convenient aspirin. And even when willow bark was available to be taken for pain relief, unfortunately the active ingredient was toxic and could cause particularly harmful gastric problems, thus as a natural remedy its use was limited. Aspirin is successful and much safer because its active ingredient is not exactly the same as willow bark, researchers took the willow bark's active ingredient and transformed it slightly to largely remove the toxicity.
There seems to be this belief that if all the good drugs come from nature, then why don't we go back to natural therapies completely, gain the same cure — cheaply — and avoid the side-effects that many drugs have? It irks me when proponents of natural therapies imply that there is a massive conspiracy going on, that evil, greedy drug companies have tricked society into giving up ancient medical treatments that could cure most any affliction and have replaced them with very expensive modern drugs and invasive treatments that are often ineffective and/or unpleasant, or even if not, the same cure could be effected safely and naturally for peanuts, and that this conspiracy is supported by weak-willed doctors too afraid to speak out. These people harp back to a mythical golden age when people communed with nature and were consequently happy and healthy, and when an illness did occasionally strike, an effective natural cure was readily available. They are nostalgic for a past that never existed.
Yes we should acknowledge our debt to nature, in that many of our modern treatments are derived from ideas gained from nature, but we should remember that it's also nature that we're fighting with our modern drugs and radiation and surgeries. Cancer, AIDS, Ebola, bacteria, viruses, diabetes and failing body parts are all part of nature, none are man made. This notion that nature is good and safe and modern medicine is bad and dangerous demonstrates an ignorance of what modern medicine is trying to combat: the negative and often fatal effects of nature. Nature isn't a god trying to help us, it's a process that doesn't care whether we live or die, and for every element in nature that we find beneficial, there is a dozen that will kill us on the spot and won't even look back. This childish and naÔve desire to return to the welcoming embrace of nature that our ancestors experienced is fuelled by nothing but ignorance.
When Mother Teresa got ill she secretly fled the slum hospitals that she run, shunning the treatment she offered to her own patients, and sought treatment in a top hospital in the USA. Likewise I'm convinced that if our ancestors could have somehow been offered our modern medicine, they would have ditched their natural cures in a heart beat. That some people want to go the other way astounds me.
Comment by Anonymous-19, 22 Apr, 2015
I would like to know if the Nikken products like wŠter filters, shoe soles, braceles , pads that state to use magnetic fields to cure illness is a scam or itīs scientifically proven real? They are very expensive too. Thanks for your advice.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Apr, 2015
The simple answer is that they are a scam, and there is no scientific evidence that they work. They are an utter waste of money, and also potentially dangerous if they divert people from seeking genuine medical treatments. If they worked then you could go to any reputable doctor or hospital and be offered a suitable course of magnets, but of course you can't because they don't work. As soon as doctors find something that works, such as antibiotics and x-rays, they quickly adopt them for use, but only charlatans have started selling magnets.
Comment by Anonymous-20, 24 Apr, 2015
Hi admin 'silly beliefs '....I wanna share my experience with you...what u wanna say, it's a scam and people who are being helped, they only being helped by their beliefs..... Ok let's suppose think it's right... But answer my question? recently before 3 daysI brought two bio energy bracelets and one quantum pendent for my family... I gave one bracelet to my father and I took one of it. And I gave that pendent to my mom... My mom used to have knee pains and unable to fold her legs and she also used to have waist pain from past 3 years...basically my intention was to bring this things is to protect Mobile radiation which is harmful for body. We used it but my mom never used to believe these things, and yesterday she complained me that she is not feeling any difference after wearing that pendent. So I took that pendent from her and gave her my bracelet, but she refused to wear that bracelet because she doesn't believe this... But after requesting she wore that...I left home and came after 3 hours after coming home she told me that her knee pain completely disappeared and waist pain also cured almost 90%. Now she can walk on stairs, fold her legs or bow down. Now she is completely well and it happened only in one day...and in this case u can't say that it's a psychology because she had a counter mindset... Today I gave that bracelet to my uncle, because he also have similar knee joint pain, so now he should be in office, on evening I ll take his feedback... There are so many demonstration about this kind of bio products... Some of them are fake, like flexibility test or finger expanding test..but some demonstration are real like balancing test and strength tests...some videos are in YouTube are trying to justify these real demos are fake, but I tried it, not once but several times and with scientific logic and observations, and I challenge them to come and prove me wrong... Maybe there is no scientific explanations but these are real. In so many cases science still not able to justify many things... One example, science told it's impossible to grow ur penis in natural way, but it's possible with jelking... So many results are there but it can't be justified in scientific way...so like that these therapies are real but u can't justify this..
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Apr, 2015
You're right, we are going to say it's all a scam. The ONLY people that say these worthless things work are the people that sell them and a handful that buy them. You're correct that there are many things that science can't yet explain, but even so, science can still show that certain things work, even though they don't know why. Science knew that the Sun was hot and burning continuously long before they understood why. Science can prove a certain drug works even though they might not know exactly why it works. If these magnetic and energy bracelets and pendents really worked as healing tools, then science could easily recognise that, just as you say you saw your mother cured in one day. If you can easily see the healing effect, why can't thousands of scientists and doctors worldwide see the same effect?
As for some other silly beliefs you have, if anything was to effectively shield your mobile phone and prevent the microwave radiation from reaching your body less than a mere centimetre away, then your phone wouldn't work, since it must be able to send microwave radiation several kilometres to reach the nearest cell phone tower. Furthermore, if your bio energy bracelets prevented incoming microwave radiation from reaching your body, then it would never reach your phone either, so your phone would never ring. An effective shield around your body and phone would be the same as switching your phone off. As for any anxiety you might have over a small penis, I hadn't heard of jelqing, but after a little research into enlargement techniques I discovered that it's just as worthless as all the rest. I suggest you read this 'Cosmopolitan' magazine article: 'What the Jelq Is Jelqing?'. Believing that you can add a few inches to your penis by a year's worth of what is essentially daily masturbation is no different to me believing I can grow a new arm if I ever lose the old one. It's never going to work.
The therapies you speak of are certainly real in that people promote them, but there is no evidence whatsoever that any of them work. That's why they're not offered by reputable doctors and why you don't get a magnet when you buy a cell phone, and it's why you have to hunt for these worthless products on the Internet. You are wasting your time and money on all of them.
Comment by Anonymous-20, 26 Apr, 2015
Ayurveda can't be recommended by a allopathic doctor, like that doctors can't recommend that things which is not their cup of coffee... But it works...soon I ll give u a lots of real evidence... Don't worry, just wait n watch
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Apr, 2015
Oh wow, I'm all abuzz with anticipation. Look, Ayurveda is nonsense, and tales of how some family member recovered from the plague or how it can cure cancer is not real evidence. Your claims are no different from my neighbour's kid saying that sending a wish list to Santa Claus really works. Don't waste your time sending us silly tales. The doctors, the hospitals, the scientists and the educated world won't believe you, so why should we?
Comment by Mike, 02 May, 2015
Magnetic Therapy works very well. I have experienced it. Also the magnetic therapist I met is a hero succeeded in healing many patients. So your article bullshits without any search of latest facts.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 May, 2015
Saying that 'Magnetic Therapy works very well' and that you know some therapist that has healed 'many patients' is as worthless as someone saying that belief in Santa Claus works very well and they've received many nice presents because of that belief. As you've shown, it's very easy to merely claim that silly things are actually true, but very difficult to show that they are. You clearly have no real evidence that magnetic therapy works, since you provide none and simply ask me to go looking for it. That's not how it works I'm afraid. If you believe in some nonsense then it's you that needs to convince others, rather than expecting us to do your work for you. Until then, the most reasonable stance is that magnetic therapy doesn't work.
Comment by John, 13 May, 2015
Last week while I was googling magnetic therapy I came across your site and read your information about magnetic therapy. Wow what a whole lot of information you made available you must've worked on it quite a bit. Anyhow after I left your site I return to Google or I found three video news reports of magnetic therapy that was FDA approved and being used in hospitals and clinics in the United States for healing bone fractures and depression and a few other things. John it seems as though your information may be a little bit outdated, and perhaps you should follow up your meta-analysis with some more recent data and then possibly revise your information. Because the way it is now it just seems a little too silly for your readers to believe.
I hope this helps you to open your mind and does not hurt your feelings.
PS. They're probably not too many people who are more skeptical than I. I am too critical and methodical to fall for placebo effects or suggestions. I recently went and had magnetic therapy done on myself just to test it. I was not only convinced it works but was also quite impressed by the results that I got.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 13 May, 2015
Oh pleeease! You don't expect us to take your comments seriously do you? You were and are about as skeptical of magnetic therapy as the pope is of God. Your ploy of starting with a compliment and finishing with the hope that we would open our minds has scam written all over it.
If you had actually read our information, and understood it, then you would know that, contrary to your claim, that we do mention a specific form of magnetic therapy being used on the likes of bone fractures, and that we explain why this is not the sort of magnetic therapy that is advertised on the Internet or run from some therapist's kitchen. With all the googling and reading you've evidently done, you don't even try to use your newfound knowledge to explain why our criticism of this sort of simplistic magnetic therapy is flawed. You said you found, not one, but three video news reports that show magnetic therapy is now used in hospitals, but typically you didn't bother to provide any links to prove your claims. Thus we see no good reason why we should revise the conclusion of our article: magnetic therapy is bogus.
As for your assertion that you're a super skeptic, and yet on the basis of a single treatment you're now convinced that magnetic therapy works, this just shows that you aren't skeptical at all and that you have no idea how scientific evidence that something works is arrived at. And what affliction did you have cured, cancer, AIDS, or perhaps just a cold?
To use your turn of phrase, your comments just seem a little too silly for our readers to believe.
Comment by David, 16 May, 2015
Hi John. I broke my ankle when I was in Kyrgyzstan, and part of the hospital treatment was to have sessions with some big box contraption. I don't speak Russian, so I am not sure what it was, but I took a photo and sent to my NZ doctor. He though it might be magnetic therapy. His comment was "I don't suppose it will do you any harm". It did heal, I somehow doubt if that part of the treatment was responsible.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 17 May, 2015
Hi David. Like you I doubt that your big box contraption played much of a part in your recovery. As you'll know, the reality is that fractures generally heal naturally, regardless of whether you undergo a few big box sessions or drink a potion provided by the local witch. Also Kyrgyzstan is not known for its world class medical technology, let alone revolutionary new technology. If the Russians had developed a device that radically aided the healing of bone fractures, I think they would have marketed it worldwide and not just to the likes of Kyrgyzstan. You don't see the likes of Apple, Toyota or Hollywood limiting their products to small countries like Kyrgyzstan or NZ.
Comment by Anonymous-21, 18 May, 2015
Hi, I have 2 questions regarding this topic:
1. Are bio-north magnets classified under this category?
2. Would acupuncture be similar to magnetic therapy in the sense that both require placebos in order to work?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 May, 2015
1. If by 'this category' you mean, are bio-north magnets part of the nonsense that is magnetic therapy?, then yes.
2. If a recovery is experienced, then yes, attributing the cause to either acupuncture or magnetic therapy would be down to the placebo effect.
Comment by Anonymous-22, 22 May, 2015
science is being proved wrong all the time,if something is not proved by science then it is the placebo effect or outright quackery,the truth is nobody yet knows how magnet therapy actually works,lets just wait a little longer
you may all change your thinking yet again!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 May, 2015
I'm sorry, but your claim that 'science is being proved wrong all the time' is clearly false. You could certainly make that claim for religion and the paranormal, their failures embarrass them on a regular basis, but what scientific theories do you know of that have been proved wrong of late? Is the world flat after all? Does the Sun actually orbit the Earth? Are viruses, neutrinos and even gravity all fictional? Do gods actually throw lightning? Is cancer actually caused by demons and can AIDS really be cured by sleeping with a virgin?
Certainly scientists are adding new knowledge to many areas under investigation, and sometimes their initial ideas are wrong which cause a rethink, but it is utterly bogus to imply that 'science is being proved wrong all the time'. While there is still much to learn, our scientific understanding of how the universe works has never been stronger and so well supported by evidence.
You claim that 'the truth is nobody yet knows how magnet therapy actually works'. The actual truth is that nobody has shown that magnet therapy works at all, and many have shown that it doesn't work.
You appear to labour under the delusion that if scientists don't know how something works or how something could exist, then they will simply ignore it, dismissing it as not real at all. This is nonsense. There are many, many things that scientists can't yet explain and can't even see. For example dark energy and dark matter and what the underlying cause is of many diseases. In the past scientists had no idea what caused gravity or the plague or why certain substances helped fight off infection. But even though they couldn't explain these effects, they readily accepted that they were real. Something was causing these effects, that was obvious. They didn't simply dismiss them as imaginary because they weren't understood, they accepted that something was happening and they resolved to find out what the underlying cause was.
And it's the same with medical treatments now. If some substance or device causes an improvement in health, then even though scientists may initially have no idea why it works, clearly it does and they will continue to use it and seek to understand why it works. But just as science dismisses belief in gremlins and leprechauns because there is no evidence for them, it likewise dismisses magnetic therapy, not because they can't understand it, but because there is no evidence whatsoever that it works.
You ask us to 'just wait a little longer' before we decide on magnetic therapy, and yet it has been practised and investigated, according to its practitioners, for thousands of years and believers still can't show that it works. How much longer should we wait, another thousand years?
Clearly you believe that wearing a magnet can heal whatever ails you, but I always wonder why you guys spend your time arguing for magnets on the Internet but none of you can be bothered to confront the scientists with your evidence. Why is that? Do you not realise that it's them that you need to convince, only they can take you off the silly belief list.
Comment by BOB, 25 May, 2015
It would have been more meaningful if your correspondent had backed up his claim that science was always wrong by providing a few examples. Science is always learning. Scientific theories vary from the absolutely proven to good guesses. For instance evolution is solidly proven while the Big Bang theory could be totally overthrown in the future. But you have to start somewhere. Anonymous sounds like a bible fundamentalist who can't acknowledge science without affecting his beliefs. He has the luxury of never having to question his beliefs. They are set in stone. So when scientists say we were wrong he can sneer.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 May, 2015
Hi Bob. These sort of people seem to have a series of glib phrases that they throw out, like 'science is being proved wrong all the time' or 'you're closed minded' or 'I heard someone was cured', and they seem to think that nonsense like that should count for something. And it's rather ironic that people today use the Internet to argue that science is wrong. Am I missing something, is the Internet based on religious or New Age principles?
Comment by mike, 01 Jun, 2015
The distinction the anonymous poster failed to make is that when science uncovers new information that contradicts previous findings it tests it, validates it, and then welcomes it. Sciences relies on rigorous testing of positions and findings.
Pseudoscience does none of these things. It relies on obfuscation, anecdotes, and outright lies.
Comment by Anonymous-23, 07 Jun, 2015
I have had magnetic products for years, and for you to tell people they DON'T WORK you are very WRONG they do help with the pain enormously, I can recommend them for use on your back,neck and also the little magnets applied with little plasters to your fingers and the relief is amazing.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Jun, 2015
You may believe that we're 'very WRONG' to say that worthless little magnets 'DON'T WORK', but any pain relief you think you're getting is generated by your mind, not the little magnets. It's called the placebo effect. Sincerely believing that your magnets are doing something is as empty as those other deluded souls that believe that praying to their invisible sky fairy works or that sleeping in a pyramid works to increase energy. If we were to blindly accept your claim then we must also accept thousands of other dodgy, unsupported claims, which would get us nowhere, since experiments have shown that there is no substance to any of these silly behaviours. That's why your doctor won't write a prescription for little magnets, and you have to seek them from some fraudster on the Internet or in some dark alley. Only scientific evidence will convince us that magnets work, your heartfelt testimonial just relays what you believe is true, not what is true.
Comment by Mike, 18 Jun, 2015
But John, he used CAPS. If he's taken the time to hold down the Shift key I think we should listen to him.
Comment by Anonymous-24, 19 Jun, 2015
Would it be funny to sell magnetic products to Christians?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Jun, 2015
The purveyors of worthless magnet products will sell them to anyone that has the money, including Christians. But of course one would have to ask why a Christian would be so stupid to seek them out in the first place, since it would show a major loss of faith in their loving god. If their sincere prayers to their sky fairy hasn't already brought relief to whatever ails them then clearly they are meant to suffer. Even if a magnet did cure them, their vindictive god would just give them something far worse as punishment for their lack of faith and for going behind his back.
But strangely many Christians do buy magnetic products, which suggests that deep down they know that no invisible fairy is coming to their aid and it's up to them to seek a cure in the real world. It's just a shame that they jump from one fantasy to another.
Comment by Bob, 23 Jul, 2015
John, Notwithstanding the validity or lack thereof of Magnetic Therapy, your comment that seeks to define two types of medicine, specifying that Alternative Medicine is only valid only if it is adopted by conventional medicine is ludicrous and clearly makes your viewpoint biased. Conventional medicine is slow to adopt anything that is developed in the alternative arena. You basically said that all alternative medicine is practiced and propagated by quacks. That caused me to stop reading your article. I do not know if you have good points or bad ones. You may think that it is my loss and blow me off for not reading on. It will come down to whether you are really interested in communicating or just in publishing.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Jun, 2015
Hi Bob. We didn't mean to imply that 'Alternative Medicine is only valid only if it is adopted by conventional medicine'. Our view is that a medicine, any medicine, is only valid if it works, regardless of who discovered it and who adopts, be it alternative medicine practitioners, scientists or a coven of witches. I know of no valid medicine that is efficacious, safe, affordable and at least as good as other available medicines that has been rejected by real doctors and hospitals simply because alternative medicine practitioners or witches discovered it. Your assertion that 'Conventional medicine is slow to adopt anything that is developed in the alternative arena' is bogus. The reality is that conventional medicine is understandably slow to adopt anything that the alternative arena refuses to show is anything other than superstitious nonsense. If alternative medicine practitioners have valid medicines then they need to stop hiding them from us. Why won't they employ their homeopathic potions to cure Ebola, channel their Reiki powers to cure cancer, lay on their magnets to cure osteoarthritis, and zap us with their healing crystals to banish migraines? Their refusal to make a real and discernible difference in the world speaks volumes.
What we're interested in communicating is that there is no justification to believe that magnetic therapy works, that it is not a valid medical treatment, and that it is nothing but a money making scam. You may use your annoyance to excuse yourself from reading on and discovering the truth, and as you say, 'I do not know if you have good points or bad ones', but your admitted ignorance gives us no reason to reconsider our stance. Frankly I get a little annoyed at people who think they have somehow defended their stance by refusing to read and consider opposing views.
Comment by Anonymous-25, 31 Aug, 2015
I have used magnets for pain relief for over 25 years , and YES they work for me.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 01 Sep, 2015
To me your claim is no different from someone saying they've used chicken soup for colds for over 25 years, and YES, the soup cured their cold every time. The question that needs to be asked is why the chicken soup cured their cold, and magnets relieve your pain, but the soup and magnets don't work for everyone else, unlike, say, antibiotics and x-rays, which work on everyone, whether you believe in them or not.
Comment by Anonymous-26, 06 Sep, 2015
Modern medical medicine is a money making scam, period.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Sep, 2015
Modern medicine is a scam? So antibiotics, analgesics, blood transfusions and vaccines are a scam? X-rays and MRIs are a scam along with heart, lung and kidney transplants? Cancer and high blood pressure treatments, as well as hygiene recommendations are all scams? Methods to protect against malaria, Ebola and AIDS are a scam? ... and the list goes on and on. According to you modern medicine is apparently history's biggest scam and yet humans are in general healthier and longer living than we've ever been. How do you explain our better health if not through modern medicine? Are you going to say something moronic, like we all benefit if just one person in the neighborhood buys a silly magnet? Does its magic healing rays reach out and cure the entire community of every aliment imaginable? I think it's rather ironic that someone that supports a treatment that clearly doesn't work, is childishly arguing that the method that obviously does work is the real scam.
Comment by Anonymous-27, 11 Nov, 2015
What about pulsating magnetic fields ?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Nov, 2015
The magnets used by bogus magnetic therapists and found in the likes of magnetic underlays, bracelets, insoles etc are static magnets, no different to a fridge magnet, and don't emit pulsating magnetic fields. It doesn't matter what a pulsating magnetic field emitted by some expensive, complicated device found in a hospital might do, that's not what magnetic therapists are using or selling.
Comment by Juan, 29 Nov, 2015
I read with interest your post, and I would say that somehow you were right when you wrote it but you should write another one explaining thta you are talking about magnets bracelets and others that can not been prooved they are better than placebo. Though is a great placebo with no side efect.
But also you should talk about PEMF and exclude it from the article, though beying magnetic therapy it works and can be proven so.
I could not read 8 years of answers (too long and too much time to read them all), but I read quite a few. I one of your posts you said that the NASA never studied magnetic field and that it was obvious that if an astronaut loose bone mass is because of gravity. In fact thats wrong, NASA made a huge investment on (PEMF) Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Fields because in absense of them cells can not proliferate leading to degenerative processes in any living model.
Of course we can not disociate Magnetic Field in earth from Frequencies because life in Biosphere is produced under an enviroment of around 0,5 gauss (earth magnetic flux) and around 7,83Hz (lower shummans resonance frequency on earth surface).
NASA demonstrated an upregulation of more than 300 genes when they are exposed to a certain Time Varying ElectroMagnetig Field.
This findings are leading to big changes in the aproach of medicine to many diseases that up till now are treated with medicaments with very poor results and very high risk to the patients.
The brilliance of PEMF is that the worst effect a patient can suffer is... no efect, cause up till now there is no side effect described after more than 50 yearsa of use.
There is a lack between evidence based treatment and its implantation into medical common practice of sometimes 17 years, this is due to the fact that we are producing about 1.000.000 scientific papers per year and its impossible that any doctor reads them...
But patients are more aware about secondary effects of medicines and they are demanding less invasive treatments with better resaults and PEMF is giving an answer becoming more and more popular...
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 30 Nov, 2015
Perhaps Juan you should have actually read our article, and you would have seen that in the section entitled 'Magnets and their Use in Medicine' that followed the Introduction, we explained about pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) and finished with this statement:
So let's recap because this is extremely important:
Furthermore we never said 'that the NASA never studied magnetic field...'. What we challenged was the bogus claim made by the Magne-Sleep company that said that when 'the first astronauts returned to earth sick. Their illness was soon attributed to a lack of magnetism in outer space and the problem was subsequently resolved when NASA placed magnets in their space suits and spaceships'. Another false claim made by magnetic therapists was that 'physicians noted that they experienced bone calcium loss and muscle cramps when they were out of the Earth's magnetic field for any extended period of time. After this discovery was made, artificial magnetic fields were placed in the space capsules'. It was a change in gravity that caused these problems, not the earth's magnetic field. And even if a change in the earth's magnetic field caused health problems, it would be corrected by a static magnetic field, not a pulsed magnetic field.
Conventional medicine uses electromagnets with pulsed magnetic fields that have proven health effects.
Alternative medicine uses permanent magnets with static fields that have no proven health effects.
You say that 'There is a lack between evidence based treatment and its implantation into medical common practice of sometimes 17 years, this is due to the fact that we are producing about 1.000.000 scientific papers per year and its impossible that any doctor reads them...'. There is indeed a mountain of scientific papers published each year, but only one or two, if that, will concern pulsed electromagnetic fields and health, so doctors would have no trouble finding the time to read them. We don't find doctors prescribing a course of magnets, even after your 50 years of use and research, because there simply is no evidence that they work for any of the ills that the magnetic therapists sell them for. As you rightly say, 'The brilliance of PEMF is that the worst effect a patient can suffer is... no efect'. The only effect that the patient will notice is in their wallet or purse, in that having purchased a course of magnets they will now be poorer.
Comment by Anonymous-28, 03 Mar, 2016
Maybe you should read the British Medical Journal findings on the use of magnets to treat osteoarthritis
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 03 Mar, 2016
Maybe you should reread the article you linked to, taking special note of these admissions:
'The Peninsular Medical School team said the effect could be real or down to the individual's faith in the treatment.'
Please get back to us when they've decided whether the effect is 'real or down to the individual's faith in the treatment'.
'They said: "We cannot be certain whether our data show a specific effect of magnets, a placebo effect, or both.'
'A spokeswoman for the Arthritis Research Campaign said: ... "Results appear to show that wearing a magnetic bracelet does reduce pain in people with hip and knee osteoarthritis although it is still unclear whether this effect is due in some part to the placebo effect.'
'However, a spokesman from Arthritis Care said: "Clear evidence of the efficacy of magnetic bracelets as a means of treating the symptoms of arthritis is yet to be established... As a consequence, Arthritis Care does not recommend the use of magnetic bracelets for this purpose...'
'Dr Harlow and his team... said more research was needed to confirm their findings.'
Comment by Ray, 15 Mar, 2016
Hello John, I won't dwell too much but it seems that the problem with a lot of companies explanation is in the wording which is very easy to attack rather than whether magnetic therapy has a place in helping the body repair itself better than on its own and without drugs.
Iron in the blood is an FE atom whether you like it or not and a strong magnetic field will have an influence on blood as it passes through this field, IF the magnetic is strong enough, which I my hasted to add that probably 98% of products sold as a therapy product are not! Therein lies the dilemma.
Lack of evidence is not evidence that it doesn't work and it could be that it is the product and not therapy that is a problem.
Science doesn't have all the answers and have in the past, and still are, making mistakes and having to re write their theories.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Mar, 2016
Yes Ray, it is very easy to criticise the silly and baseless claims made by companies selling magnetic therapies, but regardless of how bad they are at communicating, of how poorly chosen their wording is, the evidence should speak for itself. If, as you say, magnetic therapy is truly 'helping the body repair itself', then thanks to the huge number of gullible people using magnets, the evidence would be obvious and unambiguous, even though science might not understand how they work. But even you admit that there is a genuine lack of evidence that they work. And we'd argue that this embarrassing lack of evidence, even though untold people buy and use magnets worldwide, clearly implies that they don't work. The real problem with magnetic therapy is the simple and unfortunate fact that it's based on a fantasy.
As for your claim that 'Iron in the blood is an FE atom whether you like it or not and a strong magnetic field will have an influence on blood', I'm sorry, but you've again been misinformed. What you don't seem to understand is that individual atoms or molecules (nanoparticles) often behave quite differently to a large collection of the same atoms and molecules in a bulky sample of the material. Their electromagnetic, mechanical, thermal and chemical properties all change due to the so-called 'quantum size effect'. I've read that, for example, gold can be highly reactive on the nano scale even though it's largely inert on the scale we normally handle it on, and copper, when reduced to tiny particles, can become transparent. You're making the false assumption that a single iron atom behaves magnetically the same way as does, say, all the combined iron atoms in an iron nail. Perhaps you should do a little research into blood and magnetism, specifically ferromagnetism and paramagnetism. You could start with this link: 'Does MRI attract the iron in your blood?'
Furthermore, you suggest that 'IF the magnetic is strong enough', then magnets 'will have an influence on blood as it passes', and that this influence will somehow, you don't say how, heal people of their ailments. And yet the MRI scanner uses an extremely powerful magnetic field produced by an electromagnet, of far, far greater strength than any souped-up fridge magnet, and yet the MRI scanners haven't cured a single person, nor have they noticed that the extremely powerful magnetic field had any healing affect on the blood flow of those that they were scanning.
As for your laughable and frankly childish assertion that 'Science doesn't have all the answers and have in the past, and still are, making mistakes and having to re write their theories', anybody pushing nonsense can use the same specious argument. Witches, homeopaths, psychic healers and priests can all hold out hope that in the future science will suddenly come across new evidence and realise their mistake — that magic is real after all, that pure water cures all, that gods and supernatural crap really are healing people — but I'll wager that none of this will happen. Instead of quietly waiting for science to grasp their mistake and rewrite their theories on magnetic healing, why don't you collect the evidence that your souped-up fridge magnets are inexplicitly curing people worldwide and force their hand? And probably win a Nobel Prize in the process, including the cash prize. But I'm sure it's not fame and fortune that sees you pushing magnetic therapy, it's all about the ill people you can help [snicker, snicker]. So why aren't you convincing scientists of the great efficacy of magnets and getting them introduced to hospitals and doctors' clinics, and making a real contribution to the reduction of suffering worldwide?
Comment by Maria, 24 Mar, 2016
A VERY interesting discussion on 'magnetic therapy'.
It would be very interesting to find your opinion on Far Infrared Therapy, quantum energetics of negative ion heat therapy and the extensive promotion within Amethyst/Tourmaline Biomats. A seemingly thriving business sector stemming from manufacturers across Korea/China.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 25 Mar, 2016
Hi Maria. As regards my opinion of Far Infrared Therapy, quantum energetics of negative ion heat therapy and the Amethyst/Tourmaline Biomats, you identified them correctly by labelling them a 'seemingly thriving business'. They are clearly fly-by-night businesses out to make money from suckers rather than respected medical organisations and professionals offering real, proven therapies. When we can only buy a cancer cure from an unqualified mail-order businessman rather than receive it from a qualified doctor, then we should realise that we're being ripped off. The websites pushing all this crap are chock full of pseudoscience and outright lies cunningly designed to fool desperate people that know nothing about science.
It's disappointing that our lawmakers continue to allow these scammers to make their fraudulent claims and sell their bogus products, when sellers of something as simple as a banana muffin at a local market have to jump through all manner of legal hoops to make a sale.
Comment by Barry, 29 Mar, 2016
Some months ago I wrenched my left knee quite severely to the extent that when it happened I thought that I would not be walking on it again properly for several months.
Went to the doctor who was able to get me in to have an MRI to see what the problem was. The outcome of the MRI was that it found that I had several tears in the ligaments.
The interesting thing about the MRI is that I was in some considerable pain before entering the machine and although I cannot remember exactly how long I was in the machine for it was probably around the 40 minute mark.
After getting out of the machine I had a chat to the nurse and she explained to me how it works and that the MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Because of my age, I am in my 70's, I was told that they would prefer not to operate on me but to just wait and see what would happen to the knee in the few months after the MRI. Evidently a much younger person would have been operated on as soon as possible after doing the same damage that I had done.
The outcome of the day was that after getting out of the machine my knee was not as painful and after the 80 or so minute drive home I got out of the car and commented to my wife that my knee was nowhere near as painful as it had been before I got into the machine. I walked around the yard with some pain but it was far better than when we had left to get the MRI done.
My wife purchased several knee support bandages that had magnets in them and I wore these as support for my knee as it was still tender to the touch and as I am a fairly active person I wanted to get back to my outside tasks as soon as possible.
Not claiming that the magnets in the knee bandages or the MRI itself were the reason for my rapid recovery but I was back doing the outside chores about a week after having the MRI. I kept using the magnetic knee bandages for the better part of the following three months.
It is now about a year since I first wrenched my knee and all is well and I, as well as my doctor are surprised at how well I have healed.
I am not saying that I believe or disbelieve magnetic therapy but, if I ever do suffer pain in any of my joints in the future and need to wear a bandage I would elect to have a magnetic one, just in case!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 29 Mar, 2016
Hi Barry. Well, I'm glad you've recovered from your knee injury, but I doubt if that MRI scan or the magnets in your bandages played any part. For a start, you're confusing highly specialised, expensive, powerful, pulsed electromagnets with simple, cheap, weak, static magnets. The magnets in an MRI are electromagnets that produce varying, powerful, switchable magnetic fields whereas ordinary magnets, such as in your support bandages, do not, their magnetic field is weak and static. Both MRI and fridge magnets may have 'magnet' in their names but they're quite different in the magnetic fields they emit. My point is that if the MRI magnets had a healing effect on your knee, the magnets in your bandages couldn't have continued that healing since they work differently. It's a little like saying that if some UV radiation is good for our health, in that it stimulates the creation of vitamin D, then uranium radiation is probably beneficial too, but of course it's not, the two kinds of radiation being quite different.
MRIs are often used to scan for ligament tears and yet no one else has noticed that they reduce pain and boost healing of these sorts of injury, so I doubt that they do. Something thing else likely caused you to feel less pain, perhaps it was all just a placebo. I've read that a 'mild to moderate knee ligament injury may heal on its own given time', and that one of the things you can do to 'speed the healing' is to 'Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves on your knee to control swelling'. Surgery is not always needed and even your doctor was prepared to 'just wait and see what would happen to the knee'. Your 'knee support bandages' would likely have aided your recovery, but the fact that they had magnets in them was as worthless as if they had Baseball Trading cards in them. People wear special belts, insoles and bandages etc and swear that the magnets in them help, but what's really helping is the support they offer, or that they remind the wearer that they have an injury and to take it easy.
Your doctor may be surprised at how well you've healed, but the reality is that everyone heals at different rates, and you may have healed just as quickly without the MRI, just relaxing at home with some ordinary support bandages. You'll never know. Again, knee ligament injuries are common and if MRI scans healed them then I think doctors would have noticed, and surgery would have long ago gone out of vogue. For future joint pain you may opt for bandages containing magnets — 'just in case' — you might also say a prayer to Jesus, sacrifice a goat to Kali, drink some homeopathic chicken soup, and wear a crystal around your neck — 'just in case' — but beyond a slight possible placebo effect, I can't see any of these things helping in the slightest.
Comment by Anonymous-29, 22 May, 2016
I used to suffer terrible headaches and extreme muscle weakness. My doctor told me I suffered fibromyalgia. I thougt I would end up in a wheelchair at the age of 40. Came across Nikken magnets by chance. Got to try out sleeping on the magnetic mattress by a friend. Sceptical because nothing happened! However, after three weeks I noticed that I could get up from bed without pulling myself up holding on to the bedside table. After six weeks I noticed greater flexibility and mobility in joints. Something was happening here! I was also dreaming much more and the quality of sleep was much better. I have been sleeping on magnets now for about 10 years. I have also a Nicken necklace around my neck every day. The improvement in my health did not happen straight away, it took many years and little by little. Today I do not suffer from headaches anymore and my muscles are normal. I have a clean bill of health. In my case Nikken magnets proved to be a real miracle. I have only used Nikken magnets so I cannot comment on other magnets on the market and if they would have worked too. I am not a Nikken consultant.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 May, 2016
First, you say that, 'I am not a Nikken consultant', but then that's just what a Nikken consultant would say, and since you mention Nikken five times, if they're not paying you to promote them, they should be.
Unfortunately, I see in your story nothing but wishful thinking, and it reveals nothing that connects buying a magnet one day and improved health some years later. Think about it this way. Would you believe someone if they said that as a teenager they often suffered from bad acne, but then they started sleeping on 'Star Wars' bed sheets and wearing a plastic light sabre necklace. The improvement in their health did not happen straight away, it took many years and little by little. But now they do not suffer from acne. Their love of 'Star Wars' proved to be a real miracle.
I'm hoping you'll argue that it's highly unlikely that their 'Star Wars' bed sheets did anything for their acne, and that simply time, coupled with changes in diet and lifestyle, saw their acne reduce as they got older. Many of our afflictions simply get better without us doing anything, it's called healing. And it's the same with your magnets, I can see no connection between them and your case of fibromyalgia. As for your magnetic necklace, I view that as nothing but a magic pendent, a worthless object that you, and others, believe can cure any ill in the body, even though it's only worn around the neck. At least the magnets in the mattresses cover the entire body, although even then, I see them no more improving health than 'Star Wars' bed sheets. Just a lot more expensive. If you thought the mattress magnets were working, I don't understand why you'd then go and buy a magnet necklace, and risk interfering with whatever the magnets in the mattress were doing. What was it going to do if the mattress was already working? And if you thought that wearing a magnet around your neck all day would give you added healing power, then why not also buy and wear magnetic bracelets, magnetic belts, magnetic underwear, magnetic insoles etc for wider coverage, like your mattress, and improved healing? Maybe then you wouldn't have had to have waited for many years to see real improvement. Or just maybe your body got better on its own, perhaps helped by many things that would have changed in your life over those many years, and the magnets had nothing to do with it.
Comment by Anonymous-30, 20 Jul, 2016
Hi John, I have a background and qualifications in electronics and avionics. I also have a degree in physics, chemistry and education, followed by studying for masters in orthopaedic mechanics and a PhD in clinical research. with that background I have lectured around the world on the subject of dynamic magnetism used as a therapy. Despite applying logic, and quoting empirical research, those who use static magnetic bracelets will argue that they work. I have also suggested that those buying such products do so after sufferring some conditions after a length of time will credit the device for their conditions that naturally resolve. I believe the psychology is simply this, 'it cannot do any harm so just in case there is something in it I will continue to use it and look for improvements in my condition giving it credit if any should be noted'. I like to quote Faradays Law that states something along the lines that 'An electric charge exists in space only when a magnetic field is either rising or falling' i.e. when it is dynamic. The same applies in bodily tissue and it is these charges that may be therapeutic. The transfer of energy from an electromagnetic source requires a frequency component. Static magnets do not possess this and would sit at zero in the electromagnetic spectrum along with any ability to induce and charge and therefore currents into tissue. Finally, the relationship between ions, either cationic or anionic molecules entering cells would only generate an interactive field if their transit speeds were extremely high approaching that of light. The slow migration clearly is therefore not magnetically interactive with any static device. The same would apply to haems within red blood cells.
I note that you look at some specific magnet therapy sites and their claims, perhaps you could also visit Bioflow websites and their associates. Think you will find them interesting!!
Keep up the good work
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Jul, 2016
Thanks for your comments. I agree that many maintain a belief in static magnetic bracelets by arguing that they see results, but then kids say the same thing about Santa Claus. Likewise the psychology that it can't do any harm is persuasive, one which we might all succumb to if suffering chronic pain. However this argument is used across all alternative therapy fields, from homeopathy to psychic healing, and there are many distressing cases where people have opted for some quack therapy rather than seeking medical diagnosis and potential treatment. If used in addition to conventional treatments, then magnetic therapy will only be a waste of money, but if used instead of, then it could reduce quality of life or even be life threatening, not by any harm the magnets cause, but by people ignoring effective treatments and/or diagnosis of real problems.
And as to how magnetic therapy might work, at the end of the day it wouldn't matter if science had no idea how it worked, if the evidence showed that it did — somehow — work. There are many things in medicine and science that we utilise without fully yet understanding the mechanism. But unfortunately for magnetic therapy, there is no good evidence that it works at all, so wondering about a mechanism is moot. It's like wondering how it is that fairies can fly.
Comment by Anonymous-31, 20 Aug, 2016
I believe magnetic therapy may be the only answer to cancer mmr t-cell growth replication via static discharge and might help pull mercurys aluminium and nanomite tech to help brake down metals before binding with cells theoretically the only thing that can stop these new age vaccines is e.m.p
Or electromagnetic feilds
its crazy how many deaths are blamed on defective hereditary. g-nomes when vaccines can now splice with dna
2010 America wanted to commend trials of a vaccine that is activated through static shock and binds to dna
The Shock and Awe Approach to Delivering DNA Vaccines
Recently scientists made a dna vaccine f.d.a approved that can potentially be activated through static shock (zika virus)
Who did they test on first
How An Electric Shock Could One Day Protect You From Zika
Your pretty much stuffed if you have mmr t-cell growth tumour too many electronic devices and an ioniser = potential dna g-nome defect and death!!
But please refer to this study!!
Biomenginering and biophysical aspects of electromagnetic feilds
Static discharge comes from all electronic devices !!
Page 216 I believe static discharge mmr and ion/dna mutation
Monoclonal antibody therapy
Each antibody binds only one specific antigen.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is a form of immunotherapy that uses monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to bind monospecifically to certain cells or proteins. This may then stimulate the patient's immune system to attack those cells. Alternatively, in radioimmunotherapy a radioactive dose localizes on a target cell line, delivering lethal chemical doses. More recently antibodies have been used to bind to molecules involved in T-cell regulation to remove inhibitory pathways that block T-cell responses, known as immune checkpoint therapy.
Do not leave your child near static discharge In case of g-nome mutation??
We have so much electrical equipment in our house and all the hospital trips with electrical equipment creating static discharge!!
It isn't on the warning label for Samsung ioniser not to use around tumour patients or those suffering ion deficient g-nomes every hospital has ionisers in there ventilation systems
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 21 Aug, 2016
You ask for our thoughts on your comments. Well, none of the articles you linked to support your belief that magnetic therapy will cure cancer, and frankly we suggest that your thinking on the matter is a little confused.
You mention your belief that magnetic therapy could cure cancer via static discharge, but there's clearly no evidence for that, and that's not how static magnets work anyway. Hint, they employ magnetic fields, not electric fields, ie static discharge. You also seem to suggest that you're against vaccination, mentioning 'mercurys aluminium' and saying that 'theoretically the only thing that can stop these new age vaccines is e.m.p ... Or electromagnetic fields'. And what do you mean by 'e.m.p', surely not an 'electromagnetic pulse' that results from a nuclear blast? But anyway, we don't see the connection between vaccines and 'cancer mmr t-cell growth replication'. Vaccines aren't designed to cure cancer.
You then say that, 'its crazy how many deaths are blamed on defective hereditary. g-nomes when vaccines can now splice with dna', and link to an article that you claim shows that 'America wanted to commend trials of a vaccine that is activated through static shock and binds to dna'. We assume by 'g-nomes' you mean genomes, and we would have thought it is well proven that many people do die because of defective genes that they've inherited. Again your implication seems to be that vaccines are the problem. Furthermore, the article makes no claim that the new DNA vaccines that are being investigated 'splice with dna' or 'binds to dna', as in splicing to the DNA of the person receiving the vaccine. As the second article you link to notes,
'Traditional vaccines — like for the flu or measles — contain whole viruses. They're crippled or inactivated. ... By comparison, a DNA vaccine contains just a tiny piece of a virus's genetic code. It's harmless and easy to work with.'
These small pieces of virus DNA, or plasmids, cause an immune response in our bodies against that particular virus, the DNA does not splice into our DNA. Also the vaccine is not 'activated through static shock' as you claim. The small electric shocks are used to try and increase the cellular uptake of the vaccine when using a new method of delivery called electroporation.
You then refer us to a second article and claim that, 'Recently scientists made a dna vaccine f.d.a approved that can potentially be activated through static shock (zika virus)'. Again, the vaccine is not 'activated through static shock', and the article clearly says that no DNA vaccines have been approved by the FDA.
But then you flop back to cancer, claiming that, 'Your pretty much stuffed if you have mmr t-cell growth tumour too many electronic devices and an ioniser = potential dna g-nome defect and death!!' You apparently believe that the connection between cancer and electronic devices is that, 'Static discharge comes from all electronic devices !!' That is not true. When you shuffle across the carpet and then touch something that's earthed or at a different electrical potential , say some metal fixture or another person, you'll sometimes experience a small electric shock. That's a static discharge. Most electronic devices these days are well insulated and you won't get a static discharge on touching them. But even if you did, there is no evidence that suggests that a static discharge causes any harm whatsoever. Your advice, 'Do not leave your child near static discharge In case of g-nome mutation??', is completely unwarranted, as is your fear of your Samsung ioniser. It won't harm 'tumour patients or those suffering ion deficient g-nomes', and frankly we're not sure there is even such things as 'ion deficient g-nomes'.
Your comments jump from magnetic therapy to cancer to DNA vaccines to static discharge, and you imply connections that are harmful to our health, and yet we would suggest that you're badly mistaken. Magnetic therapy is useless, vaccines save lives, and static discharge is rare and harmless.
Comment by Anonymous-32, 11 Sep, 2016
From my own experience it isn't silly!! In the mid 80s I was in a snowmobile accident. I had 150 stitches in my face broken knee cap. Swelling bruising all over. My mother took my to a private clinic. That used a magnetic device called a mazzer. With in one treatment my swelling went down so much I needed to have my full length cast replaced and the bruising and swelling went away almost imeadiatly. i was shocked on how well it worked. But this device seems to have been wiped away from the healing practice. I have researched and this no where to be found. In my mind the big pharma didn't want any cheap alterative. Have you herd of it
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Sep, 2016
I suspect that any private clinic that would put you in a full body cast when all you had broken was your knee cap didn't know what they were doing and/or were simply ripping you off. And no, we've never heard of a magnetic device called a mazzer. That fact plus the reality that you can find no use of it in modern medicine shows that it was either just another fake device used to con people, or a real device that was being trialed but that was quickly proven to have no healing effect whatsoever.
It is pure nonsense to suggest the 'big pharma' has suppressed it. Look at all the silly magnetic healing devices that can be bought easily online, all of which are claimed to work, and yet 'big pharma' hasn't bothered to suppress any of them. How did they manage to wipe the mazzer from our memories when they have failed so miserably with all the rest? It's inconceivable to think that 'big pharma' could, or would, threaten every single person on the planet that tried to sell a mazzer. I mean think about it, if 'big pharma' is so skilled at getting rid of stuff from the market place, why don't they turn their attention to all the illegal drugs that must be impacting on their profits, why aren't they suppressing new surgical techniques that remove the need for their drugs, and why don't they stop doctors from recommending lifestyle changes that will keep us healthy and off the drugs sold by 'big pharma'? Please stop being so paranoid.
Comment by Anonymous-33, 09 Oct, 2016
Ah wrong. Improve circulation I know I use them.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Oct, 2016
Sorry, but individual testimonials are worthless, and are only offered when people have no evidence to back up their claims. Can you provide the reputable studies that show magnets improve circulation, and how they might do that?
Comment by Anonymous-34, 18 Dec, 2016
"Healing Value Of Magnets Demonstrated In Biomedical Engineering Study". It's not all hype.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Dec, 2016
Nothing in that article convinces us that the magnetic therapy industry is not all hype. All you've done is desperately search the millions of published articles on medical studies and found one, and only one out of millions, that has done some initial research on whether magnets might help reduce swelling in rats. This was a single study published way back in 2007, and what has come of their initial claims of efficacy? Nothing.
Finding an isolated scientific study that investigates magnetic therapy and that claims there might be something to it, is no different to finding rare scientific studies that claim prayer can heal, that mediums can talk to the dead, and that psychics can predict the future and move things with their minds. What you need to produce are the many robust scientific studies that replicate the initial study and prove that it works in humans. And let's remember that the magnetic therapy industry is not 'a $5 billion world market' (as the article notes) simply because it claims to be able to reduce swelling in your pet rat, or even in humans, but because it can cure everything from cancer and AIDS to severe pain. Even if in the future (as the article states) specialised magnets 'could be used much the way ice packs and compression are now used for everyday sprains, bumps, and bruises', that still leaves 99.99% of claims made for magnetic therapy as utterly bogus.
Comment by Anonymous-35, 13 Feb, 2017
You are WRONG about magnetic therapy. I am proof and my chiropractor will tell you also. I have a lower back problem and x-rays show a progressive curbing of the spine. My lower back had advanced to the point it would go out four times a year from only once or twice in 14 months. I got a magnetic waist brace and bought a magnetic shower head and after 16 months my back pain was much less severe and my lower back only went out only once after 16 months0f use and that was over 10 years ago. My lower back has Not gone out in 10 years. I had a bad fall and my shoulder was damaged so I went to my chiropractor back in 2011 and he did an x-ray to check and he had another x-ray from 2004. He ask me after telling me my shoulder was just bruised inside and no damage and nothing was broken. He ask me what I was doing for my back which surprised me and I ask why. He said my x-ray showed my back was in much better shape over my 2004 x-ray and was very surprised this could happen. I told him I was using a magnetic brace at home at night and using a strong magnetic shower head. He ask where I got my shower head and that he wanted one. He was extremely impressed. I am a new person and find it hard to believe how much better my back feels. I will Never be without my magnetic shower. I go outside and do a lot of bending and work that I once could not do and sometime my back feels tight and I get in shower for about 10 minutes and almost instant relief.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Feb, 2017
Sorry, but nothing you've said has convinced us that we're wrong. First, you say that you are proof that magnetic therapy works simply because you feel better. You bought some magnets and since then your back pain is less severe and your back hasn't gone out in 10 years. It's great that you're feeling better, but your experience isn't proof that magnets were the cause of your improvement, they were merely something you wasted money on in the last decade. Imagine a skydiver whose parachute failed but he somehow survived his fall, which has happened on very rare occasions. Should people believe him if he claims that the aviation experts are WRONG and that he is proof that parachutes aren't needed when jumping from planes and are just a waste of money? Of course not, since one person surviving a jump is not proof that parachutes aren't a good idea, just as one person buying a magnetic shower head and feeling a bit better isn't proof that magnets are a good idea. What you are doing is confusing cause and effect. You've begun to feel better and you've looked around to locate what might have brought about that change. And with no evidence that they truly were the cause, you've embraced some magnets that you'd bought as causing the effect, your health improvement.
But was it the magnets? Think back over what else you may have started doing on a regular basis 10 years ago? Eating pizza every Saturday night, using a cell phone, driving a different car, spending more time on the Internet, giving up on a certain physical activity or sport, changed your career etc. Any one of these changes and a thousand others might have brought about a change in your back. Maybe the radiation from your cell phone improved your back or a different posture in a different car? Why point to magnets when it could be one of many other things that changed in your life 10 years ago that has brought you some relief? One obvious thing that may have helped your back is your use of a magnetic waist brace. Of course we don't think the magnets helped in the slightest, but a brace is an 'orthopedic appliance used to support, align, or hold a bodily part in the correct position', so wearing one could help your body heal. And since a brace is not normally as comfortable as wearing no brace, it reminds its wearer that they have it on, and so reminds the wearer not to overexert themselves and do silly movements that might cause pain. So your brace may really be helping, its magnets just made it more expensive than it should have been.
As for your magnetic shower head, that's a complete waste of money. The scientific fact is that you can't magnetise water, at least not permanently, and certainly not with the likes of a little shower head. If you'd read our article you would have read where we said that while it's true that very powerful magnets can have an effect on water molecules, this effect is very, very small and only temporary. The Earth's magnetic field, which affects every one of us continuously, has a magnetic field strength of only around 0.5 Gauss, so clearly to have an effect your magnetic shower would have to be higher that that. Let's double it. But to give a glass of water a magnetic field strength of 1 Gauss, you would need to expose it to magnets with a field strength of 100,000 Gauss. That's getting up around the power of the superconducting electromagnets used in large and expensive MRI scanners. But even this would be a waste of time, and money, because as soon as you remove the external magnets, the extremely tiny magnetic field in the water immediately disappears. Even if you built some massive apparatus to weakly magnetise water, as soon as it exits your magnetic shower head, the water reverts to normal. Whatever water falls on you is just ordinary water. And of course whatever little magnets you have in your shower head, being woefully weak, wouldn't have magnetised the water to any measurable degree even while it was in the shower head. If you're still not convinced that magnetised water is a scam, fill up a glass with water from your shower and see if you can get metal objects to stick to it. After all, this is what magnets do. And yes, after 10 minutes in a nice, hot, relaxing shower you may well feel some relief, but so does most everyone, and we don't have magnetic shower heads. Making us feel better is just something showers can do.
As for quoting what your chiropractor thinks about the state of your health, that's like quoting your local witch. Only when real doctors, and a great many of them, produce convincing evidence for the efficacy of magnetic therapy will we begin to think it's not all just a moneymaking scam. And why did your chiropractor want a magnetic shower head but wasn't apparently at all interested in a magnetic waist brace? If he concluded that magnetic fields were repairing your spine, how could he know that it was the magnets in your shower head that were responsible and that the magnets in your waist brace were doing nothing? By not inquiring about your brace, even your chiropractor is implying that your magnetic waist brace was a waste of money. But ironically the supportive nature of your brace might actually have been of some help, just get rid of the magnets to save on weight, comfort and money, whereas the magnetic addition to your shower head was truly the item that was a complete waste of money.
Comment by Ron, 15 Feb, 2017
Hi John. Reading comment 234 above from Anonymous and the reference to the writers Chiropractor motivated me to write this. Did you ever consider that Chiropractic could largely be pseudoscience or have you read articles along that line? There is a lot of stuff out there that strongly suggests it could well be. Multiple reviews have found no evidence that chiropractic manipulation is effective, except possibly for lower back pain. Articles abound questioning the effectiveness of chiro. A couple of yrs ago I read a very motivating book on subluxation and was sure chiropractic was my answer to some problems I have that are suspected as being caused by poor posture. I checked the website of my nearest practice but was shocked by the prices and the many ongoing visits required. Being a bit cheap, I was put off but inevitably decided on some research. I was bowled over by so much suspicious stuff and negative comments in the net it finished me altogether. The industry appears to strongly hold the belief that nearly all illnesses are caused by subluxations in the spine and the book emphasized this constantly. Its focus is on structural aspects, like some therapists and doctors, without focusing on the real and actual source of the pain. Therefore it is frequently wrong and the common outcome quoted by many patients is the problems simply return. A chiropractor is quoted as saying that it is the number one alternative to medicine. Others say subluxation was invented purely for profit. It has also been recorded that some people have died at the hands of chiropractors. I don't wish to rubbish the whole industry as I don't have enough info to do so and maybe there are some real mavericks working in there amongst many well meaning and basically good people.
Alas, the industry seemed to be cast into poor light when the Guardian newspaper published a story about the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) in a huge debate, and court case, with the science writer Simon Singh who ultimately won the case. The BCA was accused of trying to stifle scientific debate. Subluxation has various explanations depending on the part of the body in question but in a nutshell it is a partial dislocation or a slight misalignment of vertebrae. Years ago my wife was suffering nasty pain around her neck and upper back region. A colleague suggested an Asian guy she knew would put it right in minutes for cash in hand. In desperation she visited him. In 3 mins and $30 later after some powerful jerky twisting movements we heard a click. Healed, problem gone thanks very much. The pain did ease about 80%. Trouble was in 24 hrs it was back 100%. In the end it was RSI. John, it would be great to hear your comments on all this. Surely, the way I see it, couldn't a quality physiotherapist deal with most of these conditions etc, after all they are appropriately trained health workers, are they not?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 16 Feb, 2017
Hi Ron. Having read books and articles that have investigated the claims behind chiropractic therapy and its efficacy, I think you've summed up chiropractors very well. Chiropractic was dreamt up in the 1890s by a deluded charlatan called Daniel David Palmer who was into bogus spiritual and magnetic healing. In her book, 'Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All', Rose Shapiro noted that even before Palmer came up with chiropractic, sensible people were rightly critical of him,
"... as a piece about him in a 1894 edition of the local newspaper, the Davenport Leader, shows. 'A crank on magnetism has a crazy notion that he can cure the sick and crippled by his magnetic hands. His victims are the weak-minded, ignorant and superstitious, those foolish people who have been sick for many years and have become tired of the regular physician and want health by the short-cut method ... he has certainly profited by the ignorance of victims, for his business has increased ... he exerts a wonderful magnetic power over his patients, making many believe they are well. His increase in business shows what can be done in Davenport even by a quack'."
Shapiro explained that 'Palmer decided that there must be a single cause for all diseases', and that 'the idea for chiropractic came to him "from the other world" during a sťance, when he believed himself to be in contact with a deceased physician, a Dr Jim Atkinson.' In 1895 Palmer claimed to have cured deafness and a heart condition by realigning the spine of two patients, and he wrote, 'then I began to reason if two diseases, so dissimilar as deafness and heart trouble came from impingement, a pressure on the nerves, were not other diseases due to a similar cause?' Palmer later wrote that, 'Ninety-five per cent of all diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae'. And so chiropractic began, and Palmer decided that,
'Diseases are conditions resulting from either an excess or deficiency of functioning. The dualistic system — spirit and body — united by intellectual life — the soul — is the basis of this science of biology, and nerve tension is the basis of functional activity in health and disease ... chiropractors correct abnormalities of the intellect as well as those of the body.'
In Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst's book, 'Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial', they write that,
'Palmer used the term 'subluxation' to describe a displacement in the spine, which resulted in a blockage of the body's so-called 'innate intelligence'. He developed a theory whereby innate intelligence acted as the body's guiding energy, carrying both metaphysical and physiological significance. This is why he believed that blocking its flow seriously disrupted the body's harmony and could lead to all manner of diseases. It is important to stress that the term 'innate intelligence' is utterly meaningless beyond Palmer's unique view of the human body. ... In short, Palmer's 'innate intelligence' and 'subluxation' carry no scientific significance.'
Of course this talk of the body's 'innate intelligence', coupled with Palmer's silly belief in souls, spiritualism and talking to dead people, is all complete nonsense. It's similar to and just as nutty as talk of chi, meridians, chakras and life forces, things for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Because chiropractic claims that 95% of all diseases are due to problems with the spine, that means they are not great supporters of germ theory, the medical theory that argues that many diseases are actually caused by 'germs', eg bacteria and viruses. Thus chiropractors are often found telling their patients not to get vaccinated, and no doubt implying that washing your hands and other hygienic measures are a waste of time. So not only does chiropractic not cure ANY diseases, it is far worse than merely useless since it's spinal manipulations can cause real harm, even kill on rare occasions, and by turning people away from genuine medical advances, eg vaccines and antibiotics, chiropractors are a real threat to the health of society. On top of being dangerous, they are also very expensive compared to conventional medicine, both because their consultations are costly but also because they push the belief that every member of your family should be seeing a chiropractor, whether they feel unwell or not, and that visits are life long. As Shapiro noted in her book, when B J Palmer took over chiropractic from his father,
"In his 1926 work Selling Yourself he suggests that chiropractic patients should never be told they are well, only that they are getting better. If a patient asks if chiropractic treatments are to be continued for life, the pat answer should be: 'No, only as long as you want to stay healthy'."
That's the statement of a true scam.
In their book Singh and Ernst advise us that,
'the scientific evidence shows that it would be unwise to visit a chiropractor for anything other than a problem directly related to your back.'
As you say Ron, the only thing that chiropractic might be effective for is some back problems, but even then it makes far more sense to visit a qualified physiotherapist or doctor, because they will be far cheaper and you don't run the real risk of them harming you by trying to cure a disease that they haven't got a hope of curing.
'the dangers of chiropractic therapy can be serious and in some cases life-threatening.'
'they are exposing them to the hazards of X-rays, temporary adverse reactions, spinal injuries and even stroke.'
Of course it must be said that today not all chiropractors are deluded quacks. Some acknowledge that 'subluxations' have never actually been seen, even with all the sophisticated diagnostic equipment we now have, and that the silly 'innate intelligence' isn't real and that misalignment of the spine isn't the cause of disease. They support vaccination and have received an impressive medical education, and generally behave like real doctors and focus on just treating the spine and back problems. But the difficulty is that if you go to a chiropractor today, you won't know if you're seeing an enlightened medical practitioner that has dismissed much of chiropractic as superstitious nonsense, or one of the majority that sincerely believe that by subjecting your spine to more trauma than a professional wrestler or the victim of a high-speed car accident receives, they can cure you of short-sightedness or bed-wetting.
And it's not just Britain where chiropractic organisations try to silence revelations about what they do and that they're not real medical doctors, even though they pretend they are. Back in 2008 we wrote this post: 'Chiropractors attack NZ Medical Journal'.
Comment by Ben, 19 Feb, 2017
I was inclined to agree with you regarding chiropractors, although I do not share your certainty. However my wife suffered severe back pan for about three years and neither doctors nor physiotherapists were able to help. The pain got steadily worse.
Out of desperation she went to a local chiropractor. I was rather dubious. I thought she was wasting her time and money and risked making matters worse. I too had read much of the literature including Simon Singh's article. By the same token things were desperate enough to try something different. Three months later her back is as right as rain.
I do not know what to make of this. I doubt whether it was any type of placebo effect. Nor do I think the problem came right of its own accord. After every visit she noticed an improvement.
Possibly we should not be so ready to dismiss treatments just because they are not "mainstream" medicine. No doubt there are charlatans out there but if one examines the history of medicine, that science has thrown up a fair number of charlatans with crackpot ideas. Presumably had you lived in the 18th century you would have endorsed leeches and bleeding as standard treatments because they were considered 'mainstream'.
I can see you as one of those denouncing anaesthesia because it was 'unnatural' to ease pain.
No doubt you will dismiss al of this, not that it bothers me. In some ways I think you are very similar to the religious zealot proselytising on street corners. I can imagine your standing in the street dishing out leaflets denouncing anything you do not understand and haranguing those misguided enough to believe in something that you regard as nonsense or that does not meet with your 'scientific' approval. Tolerance does not appear to be in your vocabulary.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Feb, 2017
If you'll reread our comments Ben you'll see that that we noted that Simon Singh said that 'the scientific evidence shows that it would be unwise to visit a chiropractor for anything other than a problem directly related to your back', and we reiterated that 'the only thing that chiropractic might be effective for is some back problems', so your wife getting relief from a chiropractic visit for a back problem doesn't conflict with anything we said against chiropractic in general. Report back when she visits for the likes of a urinary track infection.
But let's think about her first use of a chiropractor. A few months ago I too had a sore back, and each morning I had a cup of coffee, and each morning I noticed an improvement. After two weeks the pain was gone and some four months later I'm still pain free. So was it the coffee that fixed my back, just as the chiropractor fixed your wife's back, or do our backs sometimes get better by themselves? The truth is that it's impossible to know whether the coffee or the chiropractor made any difference. One example can give us ideas for further testing, but by themselves they tell us nothing.
As for your suggestion that we should ignore charlatans today simply because there were charlatans in the past, that would be the height of lunacy. Perhaps we would have endorsed leeches and bleeding in the past, but we would have likely done so because the medical fraternity supposedly possessed more knowledge than we mere peasants did and argued that there was good evidence that those methods worked. That is the complete opposite to today where the medical fraternity argue that there is good evidence that chiropractic is largely bogus and potentially dangerous. We are not arguing for what is mainstream but for what is best supported by evidence. So yes, we do dismiss what you say. It's utterly ridiculous to say that we would have been one of those people 'denouncing anaesthesia because it was 'unnatural' to ease pain'. Since every organism in nature that experiences pain goes to great extremes to ease pain, this means that inventing anaesthesia is perfectly natural. We think you're confusing us with silly and cruel Christians who did indeed refuse anaesthesia to women in childbirth, saying that it was God's will that they suffer. Furthermore, we certainly don't argue and promote what is natural over what is unnatural. Living in air-conditioned houses, inventing MRI scanners, wearing glasses, flying around the world in jets, landing rovers on Mars, none of that is natural, but you don't see us arguing to return to nature. We argue for reality, and whether something is natural or unnatural, if there is good evidence that some natural fruit and some unnatural antibiotic will benefit us, then we will support the acceptance of both. It's all about evidence of efficacy and safety, and not about opting for what is natural over what is unnatural. For example, Ebola and earthquakes are natural and they kill, vaccines and blood transfusions are unnatural and yet they save lives.
You say that you see us as 'very similar to the religious zealot proselytising on street corners ... denouncing anything you do not understand', and effectively dismissing anything 'that does not meet with your 'scientific' approval'. Again you completely miss our argument, and that of Singh etc. We don't dismiss chiropractic (or homeopathy or psychics or gods etc) because we don't understand the claims that chiropractors (or homeopaths, psychics and priests) make, we dismiss them because we do understand them, and yes, we regard them as nonsense. And they're nonsense because their claims have no evidence to support them, and much evidence to suggest to any reasonable, intelligent person that their claims are nothing but primitive, superstitious fairy tales. And no, they don't have the backing of the scientific community, and since nothing even comes close to successfully describing how the world works as science does, one would be foolhardy to ditch science in favour of a quack in the 1890s who claimed he got the idea of chiropractic from something the ghost of a dead person told him.
You finish by saying that 'Tolerance does not appear to be in your vocabulary'. My dictionary defines tolerance as 'The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others', and so you're correct that we have no tolerance for the practice of chiropractic. We don't "recognise" their beliefs, in the sense of accepting the validity of their claims, nor do we "respect" their beliefs, in the sense of showing deferential regard for them. But in the sense that we don't attack them on the streets, fire bomb their offices or harass them, then in a very important but poorly defined sense, tolerance is most definitely in our vocabulary. But again, in the true sense we do indeed lack tolerance towards chiropractors, just as we lack tolerance towards Muslim terrorists, priests that abuse children and those that try and teach intelligent design in schools. And we're proud of our intolerance, our willingness to speak out when we believe someone else is doing something wrong, rather than just letting them be. So can we assume that tolerance is in your vocabulary, and it extends to Muslim terrorists and abusive priests, or is it just for those that you really do agree with?
Return to Article
Add a Comment