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Snake Oil? Hokum? or Health Aid?


Right. So this is a photo of my wrist – and as you can see it sports a black silicone band, reputed to defuse negative ions and also a magnetic bracelet.

Both the negative ions and the magnetism have various health claims from improving blood circulation to having a beneficial effect on pain relief and insomnia.

There are plenty places on the internet where you can buy ionic wristbands and magnetic bracelets

There are an equal number of sites which will tell you that these things just don’t work and not to waste your money.

So let me give you the benefit of my experience. I have tried various copper and magnetic bracelets for pain/stiffness relief for a few years. I don’t think that they had much effect if any. I bought one of these ionic bands some time ago. What I did notice was that when I removed the band, I somehow felt ‘different’. There was almost a tingling sensation all over (particularly on the wrist I had removed the band from).

However any relief from pain was marginal. Then, as the original band had become a bit tatty I bought a new one (the one in the picture). I wore it all the time but had no particular expectation.

Then, a few weeks ago, after wearing the band for a few months, I realised that my aches and pains had really subsided quite a bit.
I can’t put this down to anything in particular but maybe, just maybe it’s the band or the bracelet.

Maybe it’s not, but if that is the case then where would an improvement in mobility and pain relief have suddenly come from?

The scientific wisdom is that these things will only work if you believe that they do. In other words a placebo effect. I had no particular expectation either way and yet the pain relief came along almost unnoticed.

Any readers had any experience with either item?


9 Responses

  1. Rab,

    The scientific wisdom is that if you are suffering from aches and pains you ask a doctor what is the cause and how it can be cured.

    If he recommends a bit of rubbery material, OK.

  2. Rab,

    Your article reminded me of when I lived in Zambia. It was reported that a baby had been born in a provincial hospital, complete with beard, the ability to speak and also apparantly to walk. The baby warned of a great disaster that was about to happen to the Zambian people and before jumping from his bed, running out of the hospital and disappearing into the bush, he said that the only way to avoid this was to wear a necklace made from Pawpaw seeds. Spokesmen from the government would appear on TV and state that “the government and its party deny any truth to this preposterous rumour that is circulating”. Meanwhile it was clear to all, that both he and the TV interviewer, were both exercising due diligence by wearing their Pawpaw necklaces.

  3. I wonder if you have stumbled on to something here Rab, maybe there is a market for smaller versions of this bracelet as a non chemical replacement for Viagra.

  4. I need one for my knee….ouch!

  5. Well if it works, don’t knock it.

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