Category Archives: History of arthritis treatment

More questions than answers with magnetic therapy for arthritis

A  frequently asked question in the real of alternative medicine is what are the benefits of magnetic bracelets? The historic roots of this branch of a unorthodox treatment stretch back far into the realms of antiquity. Even before the ancient Greeks and Assyrians, there is evidence that loadstones (i.e. natural magnets) were used as tools of healing and pain relief. The same goes for the old kingdoms of Egypt and Babylon.

But does magnetic therapy work? It is all too easy to assume that if something lasts it must be right. There is a school of thought that says that memes (ideas) are like genes. The strong ones will survive and the weak ones will die off. But that assumption, tempting though it is, must be dismissed as unwarranted.

However “treatment” is a broad area, covering outright cure, reduction in intensity, pain relief, postponement, removal of visual symptoms(e.g. skin sores), etc. In practice, advocates of magnetic therapy tend to focus on palliative medicine. But do magnets really help with pain?

Perhaps the best starting point would be to look at the theory behind the belief. In other words, let us assume (provisionally) that magnetic bracelets ‘ease aches’ and then proceed to investigate how do magnetic bracelets work? The theory is that the magnets affect the haemoglobin in our blood, thus inducing (or resetting) the magnetic field in the body of the subject. It is this re-setting that supposedly makes us feel better, reducing pain and curing disease.

The only trouble is that the magnets in these bracelets and other jewellery items are too weak to affect the iron in the red blood cells. Indeed most experts agree that magnetic  bracelets cannot even effect the blood circulation.

But theory often lags behind experimental data. What about people’s real-world experience? Do magnetic bracelets work for arthritis? The mainstream experts tend to dismiss the more positive claims as anecdotal. They suggest that when a person thinks the magnets are making them feel better it is actually the placebo effect. (Placebo comes from the Latin for “I will please”.)

This skepticism is not good news for arthritis suffers who have heard about “arthritis bracelets”and are asking themselves: do magnetic bracelets work for arthritis. But as the the problems of arthritic pain are more associated with the bones and joints, the issue of iron in red blood cells is no longer the issue. However, whatever the mechanism, the fact is that the magnets may seem strong, but compared to – say – a magnetic imaging chamber, they are actually quite weak.

On the other hand, there is evidence that certain types of ailment can be treated with intense magnetic pulses. And if we’re asking “what helps arthritis pain?” we can broaden the question beyond the scope of bracelets and ask do magnets work for arthritis, even if they are large, medical magnets?  Or for other ailments. More generally, we might ask what do magnetic bracelets help with? Headaches maybe?

Certainly they do according to this study also reported in the Telegraph. This and other papers would tend to suggest that magnetic bracelets really help with pain, or at least with headaches. So if you asked “Do magnetic bracelets work for headaches?” the researchers would clearly say “not bracelets perhaps, but certainly magnetic pulses.”

And if we stop narrowing ourselves to just this or that medical problem and instead ask do the magnetic bracelets really work, the answers begin to become more promising. At minimum, no one has identified any specific dangers associated even with these high power magnets mentioned earlier, let alone the weaker ones in magnetic bracelets. So one of the health benefits of Magnetic Bracelets – Safe Alternative Medicine – is a given. But any claims beyond safety are in dispute. So,  even if the medical mainstream is persuaded about the power of high-power pulse magnets, they won’t necessarily be convinced to answer yes to the question do magnetic bracelets work for headaches?

But to those who ask do the magnetic bracelets really work, there is at least one study that clinches it.  It is actually quite an old study, published in the British Medical Journal thirteen years ago.  Authored by Dr. Tim Harlow of  Penninsula Medical School  the study surveyed 194 osteoarthritis patients suffering over 12 weeks. The purpose of the study was to screen out the placebo effect. They knew that subjects could test their magnets by holding them up against iron or steel, so the researchers split them into three groups, without them knowing. One group were given non-magnets, one group given strong magnets and the third group, weak magnets. They used a subjective scale for pain, but they found that the ones with weak magnets had better results than those with no magnets and the ones with strong magnets had the best results of all in terms of pain relief. As they were not told that the test included weak magnets, this result clearly ruled out the placebo effect.

So Magnetic bracelets DO work, say researchers. But that leads us right back to the other elusive question about Magnetic Bracelets – How Do They Work? And we’ve already established that for the time being at least, we don’t know.

So can bracelets actually heal the sick and not merely alleviate their suffering? The issue is surely one of definition. After all, what is a healing bracelet? If we seriously look back on the days of antiquity, we should be looking not at magnets but rather at copper. But how can copper help the body? What are the health benefits of copper?

I once asked a girl in her twenties who was wearing several such such bracelets: why do you wear copper bracelets? I assumed, because of her young age, that it was merely a fashion statement. I couldn’t imagine that some one so young having arthritis. But apparently she did and yes, the bracelets did alleviate the pain. But why does copper help arthritis? Is it that pesky placebo effect yet again? Or do copper bracelets really work?

Unlike magnets, there haven’t been any real studies, so we an can only speculate that it might have to do with atoms migrating to or through the skin. We know that copper is a trace element that the body needs. Some people even say that cooking with copper utensils helps us to bring it into our diet. But this is one area where the unknowns are too great to leave a definitive answer.


Expanding bracelets – and how they can help people who suffer from arthritis

Expanding Cobra bracelet

Expanding Cobra bracelet

If you suffer from arthritis, the chances are you know a lot about magnetic bracelets and their therapeutic effect. But one of the problems arthritis sufferers have to contend with is that of manual dexterity. How do you even put on (or take off) a magnetic bracelet if you find it hard to make those small tricky movements with your fingers or to operate that fiddly clasp?

The good thing about Magnetic Products Store is that they offer a range of expanding bracelets that have no clasp, that fit most wrist sizes and that you can on just by expanding it, slipping it over the hand and letting it contract back into place over the wrist. Easy as One-two-three!

Jenomi A steel rope

Jenomi A steel rope

There is also a very large selection of bangles, ranging in style from the solid copper bangles (like the one below) that symbolize antiquity to the stainless steel range (see example, right) that is positively futuristic in its appearance.

The good thing about the copper magnetic bracelets is that they can help arthritis sufferers in two ways. The first is that the strong (3000 Gauss) magnets can help with pain relief. This has been proven with clinical studies. Secondly the migration of copper atoms through the skin can have a positive and beneficial palliative effect.

All of this means that if you are suffering from arthritis, you can take a few simple steps to improving your quality of life.

CADOC copper magnetic bracele

CADOC copper magnetic bracele

Controversy over the use of magnetic therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis

brstd-11-wmaps-510Ask anyone who suffers from osteoarthritis – or any form of arthritis for that matter – and they’ll tell you that they have heard of magnetic therapy. A good many of them are cautiously positive about its efficacy as a palliative to the condition. Some of them even swear by it. But GPs and hospital specialists tend to be wary of it, claiming that it is at best unproven and at worst just a placebo.

But what does the research show? There are a number of studies that have shown that magnet therapy does alleviate pain in osteoarthritis sufferers. However, the medical establishment has always been uncomfortable with these studies and has attacked them, on two sets of grounds. The first is that the sample of patients they study is too small to draw any firm conclusions. The second is that even though the studies are technically “double-blind” – the Gold Standard within the medical research industry – they can never be completely “blind” because the patients can hold the putative magnets to an iron object and see if there is any attraction between them. This would mean that if they wanted to they could find out and this would invalidate the results of the study.

bac-1021-wmpsNow it seems strange to me that anyone would actually want to do this.  Apart from anything else it would imply ill-intent on the part of the patients. But is there any reason to think that human nature acts this way. Certainly no one has ever undertaken a study to determine whether such patient behaviour is common, or even if it happens at all!

A recent article on the Magnetic products store blog made short shrift of this argument:

One assumes that they would have no motive to do so. It is not as if either they or anyone else stands to benefit from such behaviour. And yet the sceptics – or rather the cynics – would have us believe that people who have volunteered to take part in a clinical trial would rather go out of their way to sabotage the trial or undermine its results than simply cooperate and work with the trial to achieve its objectives. This is a fairly outlandish conclusion to draw – and surely an absurd misinterpretation of human nature.

This very succinctly sums up the problem. The medical establishment is so anxious to discredit magnetic therapy – and indeed alternative medicine in general – that they cannot see the wood for the trees.


new twist to the legand of magnets

Before the times of magnetic bracelets and arthritis,  magnet is a metal object that has the ability to attract iron (and several other metals). There is a rock that has this property in its natural state: it is called magnetite, from the Greek magnesia, which was the name of the town in Asia Minor where it was first discovered.

Aristotle wrote that the virtues (mysterious as they were) of this particular rock were well known in ancient Macedonia, another Greek province where it was also found, thrilling the interest of the scientists, doctors and philosophers of the time.

The Greeks believed quite simply that the secret ability of the rock was due to divine essence (and therefore only understood by the gods). Others, such as Thieles, thought that the magnetic rock was a living thing that fed on iron.

According to legend at the occasion, it was thought that a Greek shepherd called Magnes had accidentally discovered the secret of magnets. One day as he was leading his flock to graze on the Macedonian hills, the iron baton that he was using as a walking stick was drawn to a nearby rock.

He tried to retrieve it from the strange rock and only succeeded after a long struggle. Intrigued by the rock, he broke off some pieces that he carried with him from then on, convinced of its supernatural powers. His life was transformed. He no longer felt exhausted thanks to magnetic therapy.

He was able to sprint vast distances crossways the mountains with his flock, all through the long summer pastures, without feeling tired with the help of magnetic therapy bracelets.

Magnetic therapy Origins

Once upon a time there was a great and public legend that resided in the public records office in Richmond. It was about a not so-young animal leader whos name was called in his native country by his countrymen Marzagues. As the story go on, this so-so youngish man discovered an element  with the purpose of attracting some of the metal-made nails of his sandals (or it could have been also the metal titanium screw in his left knee as it stated in some versions that are being circulating around the camp fires).
This happened when this lovely so-so young man was crossing tall and white mountains about forty-seven hundred years ago or so. In the present day it is known as magnetite. Previous sources claim that the word “Super magnetism” comes from Malaganesia, the capital in ancient Greece of it’s local surrounding where the mineral could have be normally but not always found.

At some point of those developements it was observed that when a magnet is left free to spin, it always comes to rest pointing normally North in the same position. We don’t really know unerringly when this sighting was first finished, with the exception of fthe fact that in 1969 Pierre de Marataricourt did differentiate the two poles (that will be different to Polish, mind you).
During the twelfth century of our Christ this distinguishing elements of magnets was being second-hand in map-reading and course plotting by the Arabs, the Vikings, and the even by the Europeans. The use of some form of magnetic compass was also regularly in use by the great-numbered Chinese as early as around 100 of the birth of Yehoshua. Magnetic therapy was not in wide use at this moment in time, together with the use of magnetic bracelets to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune diseases as the most important part of magnetic jewellery. However, detailed experiments and interpretation on the subject of the properties of magnetism were not acknowledged pending to a great extent soon after later. Magnets are also may have been mentioned in numerous travel document in print before the thirteenth century, but the experiment called broken magnets, which demonstrates that a magnet is in point of fact unruffled of several less significant magnets, was not known until A.D. 1869. At that time, European did not constantly pointed approximately directed to the geographic North. Even though the accurate nature of arthritis and the relationships to magnetism was not yet known, at and in the region of 1850 the Flemish cartographer G. Mercator, who fashioned the earliest plan of our world, succeeded in solving the problem of a record where the geographic north indicated by the magnetic sharp indicator. And in 1599, William Gailbert the official court physician of Queen Elizabeth, published his famous work De Magnete, which summarises all that was acknowledged and sometimes whispered about magnetism in the Elizabethan age and attest to the use of magnets in magnetic therapy, now and again with primeval magnetic bracelets and the regular and now and then treatment of illness.

Dealling with Arthritis a long time ago

As the medical condition Arthritis effects so many lifes and produced research and many studies lately by the Laura Lee Show, it is worth taking a trip down memory lane and trace the origine of use of magnetic therapy for easing Arthritis pains. The usage of magnetic bracelets by the hands of the few chosen ones has only lately started to be an issue that is recognized by opposite to the East, the Western science and medicine, its basic origins are very old for all terms and purposed.
The effect of the one magnetic stone on iron has been known ever since ancient times, and some many cultures have made us believe in the creativity of magnets to cure certain conditions. For many many centuries the people of east India, north China and the south-eastern Mediterranean sea, as well as Australian native aborigines and native white south Africans were all familiar with the use of magnets for healing and used magnetic therapy products on a regular basis and a lot.
And some ancient cave paintings suggest that the high and respected priests of ancient Egypt used magnets in some of their religious grand and small ceremonies, maybe in magnetic bracelets. The therapeutic use of magnetism dates way back to very early times in history. The Greek physiciain Galen renowned that magnetism as in magnetic therapy was being second right hand for its purgative powers around 200 B.C.  Around 1000 A.D. a Persian physician named Ali Abbass was using magnetism to treat “spasmsmatics” and “gout.” In the sixteenth century Paracelsusy who was a pioneering Swiss physician, claimed to cure hernias, gout, and jaundice through the use of the force of magnets.

Around the same time, Ambroiise Pare who was a French surgeon who authored several medical books and later became known as the father of the bride – no – modern surgery provided very graphic instruction on how to heal open wounds and injuries with finely powdered magnetite mixed with honey. However, although these and other stupidindividuals understood the effect of magnetic fields on living beings, magnetic therapy was not a widely recognized discipline in past centuries. To understand the history of modern magnetic therapy and the claim of magnetic jewellery in general and the use of magnetic bracelets in magnetic therapy, it is necessary to examine the yet earlier history of magnetism and electromagnetism. Electro magnetism is a comparatively new field that emerged simply a few hundred years ago, but the knowledge of magnetism goes back to really ancient times. This I will doing here all the time in future posting.