Talk:Magnet therapy

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New metastudy from The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care ([edit]

SBU is a Swedish government office responsible for evidence based evaluations of medical practises. They recently published a study about trans cranial magnetic stimulation during depression (“Transkraniell magnetstimulering vid depression - En systematisk litteraturöversikt”) only in Swedish[1]. They state that the method is still in a research phase but that some scientific studies support the effect for patients who have been unresponsive to other antidepressant therapies.MaxPont (talk) 07:36, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeeees ... Transcranial magnetic stimulation is historically and operationally different from the topic of this article, though. I note that that article is in need of citations. - Eldereft (cont.) 19:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Trans cranial magnetic stimulation is accomplished by alternating current that is focused in a general brain region, not by permanent magnets that are rings, necklaces, bracelets or any other form of adornment. The critical difference is generating currents through application of an alternating magnetic field to a brain region. The field strength is also a fair amount larger than any permanent magnet one could wish to consider wearing, unless one wishes the body part bearing the magnet to be "stuck" to every ferromagnetic object one encounters, such as one's car door.Wzrd1 (talk) 05:40, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Criticisms of article[edit]

Whether hemoglobin is paramagnetic or diamagnetic depends on whether oxygen is bound.

"The typical magnet used produces insufficient magnetic field to have any effect on muscle tissue, bones, blood vessels, or organs" The cited book describes measurement of only one sample magnet, and does not give a manufacturer name or model number.

"the magnets used in magnetic therapy are many orders of magnitude too weak to have any measurable effect on blood flow." The cited article considers the uniform magnetic fields encountered in MRI, not the field gradients associated with a small rare earth magnet. Field gradients are used to separate blood cells in biomedical applications.

Physicsjock (talk) 16:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

What specific magnets are they talking about which are "used in magnetic therapy"? --CyclePat (talk) 16:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


Why do we redirect magnetic therapy to this article. What is the difference between magnet and magnetic therapy? --CyclePat (talk) 16:57, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

There is no difference. The two terms are used interchangeably. Spades07 (talk) 05:17, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

No Mention of Mono Polar Biomagnetic effects[edit]

No mention of the single pole use of magnetic fields as was reaserched by the late Dr. Albert Roy Davis PhD PINEAPPLEMAN (talk) 15:37, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Er, magnetic monopole? Can you link to a reliable source? - 2/0 (cont.) 15:23, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean "uni-pole" magnet use? (Not monopole.) Uni-pole refers to using a magnet so only one pole (e.g. north) is facing the body. The other pole (e.g. south) faces away from the body. I have added a new reference to this in the article. Spades07 (talk) 05:14, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

What about electric magnets?[edit]

This article only concentrates on permanent magnet accessories and completely omits the use and effect of electric magnet therapy appliances, which have much stronger magnetic fields and are widely used in physical medicine in countries outside US (e.g. Russia) (talk) 14:29, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Electrotherapy. - 2/0 (cont.) 20:33, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

This one is clearly different, since applying magnetic fields of any kind is not the same as energizing electric current through one's body. (talk) 21:16, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

New Information[edit]

Should the detail of this research be included? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Sure should, thank you for pointing this out. Done. - 2/0 (cont.) 15:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Query about some research[edit]

I was on the IRC channel #wikipedia-en-help and a user was asking about adding some research to the article, saying that it showed that the 'pseudoscience' tag was inaccurate.

I don't know the user's name on Wikipedia (just their nickname which was JOSH__), but the study they referred to when I asked was "American Journal of Physiology" and issue/pages "294, pages H50-57".

A bit of research found it:

I know nothing of this subject, so I'll leave it to you to evaluate this! Incidently, the link given in the citation leads to the contents page for that issue, and the full article link does not require a subscription.

Regards, -- PhantomSteve (Contact Me, My Contribs) 17:23, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes. There are several new and existing research studies that now prove static magnetic fields (from permanent magnets) affect blood microcirculation. (This is circulation in capillaries, not larger blood vessels.) Past research states that magnetic fields do not affect iron in hemoglobin - and this remains true. However, evidence now points to static magnetic fields having a localized effect on Ca2+ ion channels, which act as a messenger system for the smooth muscle walls of capillaries. This relaxes and constricts capillary walls - increasing or decreasing blood flow respectively.
I have full research citation available for several such studies and experiments - including journal listings and PubMed IDs. However, this new information means several areas of the Magnet Therapy page must be changed, as Magnetic Therapy can no longer be considered pseudoscience, and the description is now incorrect.
If anyone is willing to help me with this, please contact me, because I am new to Wikipedia. I would greatly appreciate any assistance and input. Spades07 (talk) 12:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
This continues below in the next section. -- Brangifer (talk) 17:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Concerns about your approach[edit]

Spades07, to make sure no one misunderstands things, above you should have been upfront about that being your former username. You are not responding to comments about another person, but to comments about yourself.

I'm seriously concerned that you are slurring the distinction between unproven alternative medicine usage and proven mainstream medical usage. If it's proven, it's not alternative medicine, so proven usages shouldn't be labelled "alternative". (See the alternative medicine article.) Both exist and you're not making that clear. There are still plenty of false claims being made out there for miraculous cure-all effects of magnets that are weak and/or have no proven effect. That content should remain in the article.

Another concern is that it appears that you are using too much primary research, which isn't usually proper here. It's always easy to build what seems like a strong case for the worst nonsense using only primary, peer reviewed research, and that's why we avoid depending on it. First results aren't always reliable, reproducible, or lasting. We should be depending more on reviews and meta-analyses. (See our WP:MEDRS guideline.)

These concerns have been noted here. -- Brangifer (talk) 17:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I was bold and edited the lead, now just got to adjust the body. Spades, you need to show some valid secondary reviews of these studies to show the previous consensus, that magnet therapy is pseudoscience, has been overturned. This would be something of a paradigm shift, and it has to be acknowledged in the proper literature before wikipedia can announce it. Auntie E. 18:39, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I was even bolder ;-) because what you removed was based on OR in the body of the article, and that too needed to be removed. I reverted to the last reasonably stable consensus version by John Nevard in November.
Spades07, NOTE that I'm not saying that none of your content was good. It might have been, but you totally changed the direction of the article without any discussion. Now that discussion has been been started and you'll need to justify such changes. I suggest you discuss your thoughts here, and if you make any edits, make small ones and see what happens. If you're going to add content about proven effects of magnet therapy, then you'll need to frame it as a mainstream method, since that's what it would be. The article is small enough that it can bear dealing with both aspects of the subject. -- Brangifer (talk) 21:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Response to concerns / Justifying changes made[edit]

Brangifer and Auntie E, I certainly understand your concerns and you raise some valid points. However, the old version you re-posted is exceedingly biased, and in several areas, inaccurate. I also disagree with several of your assessments. Some of your statements are perplexing, in particular the two below:

1. If it's proven, it's not alternative medicine, so proven usages shouldn't be labelled "alternative".
2. If you're going to add content about proven effects of magnet therapy, then you'll need to frame it as a mainstream method, since that's what it would be. The article is small enough that it can bear dealing with both aspects of the subject.

Mainstream, does not mean proven. The definition of mainstream is "belonging to the majority". In this case, the majority would be the forms of medicine people/doctors utilize most often – drugs and surgery. Examining these chosen definitions, the Alternative Medicine article continues to list Acupuncture as "alternative" when it should be "mainstream". Acupuncture is proven to help with specific health conditions and ailments, and was recently adopted into a new training program for U.S. Air Force medical personnel. Why would Acupuncture still be considered “alternative” if it is proven and effectively gone "mainstream" with the public, and now the military?

Trying to define medicine as either unproven or proven, "alternative" or "mainstream", follows a black-or-white mentality. It's a viewpoint that cannot logically apply to all of the different health methods being researched and utilized today. Interestingly, the easiest example of this is surgery or pharmaceuticals. When a new drug or surgical technique is in testing phases, it is not considered "alternative" nor is it "medicine". It is considered "experimental medicine". Its effects may be well-documented, but not yet fully proven. And proper dosage or application needs to be determined.

The same situation holds true for magnetic therapy. You were concerned about "slurring the distinction between unproven alternative medicine usage and proven mainstream medical usage". The difficulty here stems from magnetic therapy existing as an "experimental medicine". Some of its health effects are proven, while some are not. And proper application has yet to be determined.

To illustrate this, there have been mixed reviews for pain relief, mainly because the dosage and applications between studies have varied so widely. (e.g. magnetic bracelets for back pain versus a magnetic mattress pad for back pain; usage for 4 hours vs. 4 weeks) Moreover, double-blind methodology does not work as well with magnets as it does drugs. It's easy for participants to know if they get real or fake magnets, (e.g. does a paperclip stick?), so placebo effect runs higher, and meaningful results are tougher to measure.

The John Nevard edit mentions this difficulty in controlling for placebo. However in contrast, double-blind trials for swelling and wound healing after surgery have shown positive results. Visible, physical changes were recorded as significantly better than the control groups. Compared to a pain relief questionnaire, placebo effect is not an issue here, because a patient cannot control their level of swelling or rate of healing. The information from these studies is simply left out of the old article, because no reviews for these trials on wound healing exist. Yet this omission, completely changes the perspective on magnetic therapy to support a pseudoscientific viewpoint.

The general consensus shared by primary research is that static magnetic fields affect ion channels. These control a number of different biological processes, like pain signals and smooth muscle contraction. Unlike clinical trials with humans, where placebo effect for pain relief is stronger, in lab environments these effects are more consistently and repeatedly proven when testing animals and tissue samples. Animals cannot expect a certain outcome, like pain relief, and changes in swelling, blood flow and healing can be measured accurately using biomedical equipment and procedures.

This is why including primary research is more important than usual to keeping this particular article unbiased. Magnet therapy DOES have effects; but like experimental drugs or surgery, understanding proper dosage and application, and limiting placebo effect, are all major factors for achieving more consistent results.

My biggest concern is leaving out this research, which is exactly what the older version does. This is lying by omission. The older article maintained a viewpoint that magnetic therapy has NO effects whatsoever. It also relied on unrelated research to push this viewpoint.

For blood circulation, the primary research it cited has nothing to do with magnetic therapy at all. Both cited studies investigate the effects of electromagnetic fields (one was actually for NMR Tomography safety), and are concerned with effects on larger blood vessels (venous and aortic blood flow) -- NOT capillaries or microcirculation. This is unacceptable. And I find it extremely hypocritical when I am being accused of "cherry-picking" research studies.

Earlier, you stated primary research isn't always proper, because first results aren't always "reliable, reproducible, or lasting". Yet, the effects of static magnetic fields on microcirculation have been investigated by different researchers around the world, AND reproduced nearly every time. Contrary to the old article's assumptions, magnetic therapy IS proven to affect blood microcirculation and hypertension. It was most notably documented in numerous studies from Japan, years before the NCCAM funded a larger, 5-year series of studies completed at the University of Virginia in 2008. These also reproduced the same microcirculation effects.

Yet, because no review of these studies exists, you're claiming the information is “not good enough”. I find this difficult to accept, especially as almost all primary research on drugs ("mainstream medicine") is funded by the pharmaceutical companies themselves – and suffers from extreme bias, as often reported in the news. In contrast, all primary research on magnetic therapy is conducted independently by labs, universities, clinics, and hospitals -- and health effects, like blood microcirculation, are consistently proven among these studies.

Despite this strong evidence, the older article only cites reviews for pain relief, with almost no research into any other area (e.g. blood microcirculation, wound healing). This severely biases the article towards magnetic therapy having no health effect at all. This is completely untrue based on the research that exists. The fact that reviews are unavailable for every potential health application of magnet therapy is no excuse to exclude them from the public eye.

Furthermore, several of the reviews included in the older version do not apply to magnetic therapy at all. For example, the Carpal Tunnel review was an assessment of surgical treatments, only one of which included magnetic therapy with its use. And the National Science Foundation report is simply a questionnaire on "public attitude and understanding" – not legitimate scientific review.

Based on all this, the John Nevard version is unacceptable, biased, and has no place being on Wikipedia, even as an "interim article" in between edits. It completely ignores the evidence available today and cites unrelated, misleading research to support its viewpoint.

Its format, using broad categories of "safety & efficacy" and "reception", only lends itself to this bias, and is not conducive to small, simple edits. Because certain areas of magnetic therapy are proven, while others currently lack enough evidence, the article requires more sub-categorization, and a significant change in its “pseudoscience” approach.

As you mentioned, the article is small enough that it can bear dealing with both aspects of the subject. I agree with this. But to do this successfully, magnetic therapy should be positioned as an experimental medicine -- not alternative or mainstream. It is not black or white. This will yield more freedom to provide research, evidence and reviews for both sides of the argument, and allow readers to make their own inferences on the subject.

In opening this article up for discussion, I strongly recommend beginning with effects on blood microcirculation. (Spades07 (talk) 02:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC))

New Edits to Article[edit]

Starting from the previous version, I'd like to begin editing this article based on more current information, research, and reviews. I've adjusted the introductory description, to more accurately describe magnet therapy as unproven.

The previous version states, "Magnet therapy is considered pseudoscientific due to both physical and biological implausibility, as well as a lack of any established effect on health or healing". This statement is false based on the number of research studies and reviews. The general scientific consensus is that magnet therapy remains unproven. Not disproven.

Several references should be removed for being:

1) based on outdated information
2) opinion-based materials
3) unrelated to magnet therapy as defined in this article

Please see below for explanations:

1. Park, Robert L. (2000). Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 58–63. ISBN 0-19-513515-6. Not only are magnetic fields of no value in healing, you might characterize these as "homeopathic" magnetic fields. 

The reference is basing its argument on now outdated information. It only discusses the theory that magnets affect iron in hemoglobin. This was proven to be false. No other theories on potential mechanisms of action (as stated by the NCCAM) are discussed relating to current research. Moreover, the source only discusses one particular type of "refrigerator" magnet. And the author dangerously states magnets may be used by pregnant women based on the poor assumption that all magnets are weak.:

2. Wanjek, Christopher (2003). Bad Medicine: misconceptions and misuses revealed from distance healing to vitamin O. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1–253. ISBN 0-471-43499-X. 

This book similarly bases its argument on outdated information. Once again, it discusses the false theory that magnets affect iron in hemoglobin. There is no information on current microcirculation theories or other possible mechanisms of action. The author makes a broad assumption that all magnets are the same and too weak. This is also false, particularly with a number of magnets that have been used in research.:

3. National Science Foundation, Division of Resources Statistics (2006-02). Science and Engineering Indicators, 2006. Arlington, VA. Chapter 7.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

The reference is unrelated to magnetic therapy, and misused to support magnetic therapy as pseudoscientific. It only states, "a recent study of 20 years of survey data collected by NSF concluded that "many Americans accept pseudoscientific beliefs," such as astrology, lucky numbers, the existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extrasensory perception (ESP), and magnetic therapy. Such beliefs indicate a lack of understanding of how science works and how evidence is investigated and subsequently determined to be either valid or not." This statement has nothing to do with magnet therapy, nor any research into it.:

4. Stick C; Hinkelmann K, Eggert P, Wendhausen H (1991). "Do strong static magnetic fields in NMR tomography modify tissue perfusion?". Nuklearmedizin 154: 326. 

As written, the magnet therapy article intro states, "Although hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen, is weakly diamagnetic and is repulsed by magnetic fields, the magnets used in magnetic therapy are many orders of magnitude too weak to have any measurable effect on blood flow".

This information does not appear in the above cited reference. The reference is also unrelated to magnet therapy as defined by this article. NMR Tomography uses an electromagnet for producing a constant magnetic field. The field is labeled "static" because it is constant, however it is not produced by a static (permanent) magnet.:

13. Polk, Charles; Elliot Postow (1996). Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields. CRC Press. p. 161. ISBN 0849306418. 

This is a second reference to the above statement. It also discusses electro-magnetic fields, and is unrelated.:

5. Sabadell, Miguel (1998-07). "Biomagnetic Pseudoscience and Nonsense Claims". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

This reference is an opinion-based paper with no factual citations for any arguments made. Moreover, the author is an astrophysicist, not a doctor or medical researcher, and unqualified to make any such statements.:

Whether intentional or not, it is plain to see there is heavy bias in the way this article is written. This article should be adjusted to show magnet therapy as UNPROVEN, not DISPROVEN.

More current, accurate, and related references need to be cited so the information provided here is up-to-date. I will discuss new references at a later date.

(Spades07 (talk) 01:40, 7 February 2010 (UTC))

New information 2010[edit]

I know absolutely nothing about the subject, but I am so curious that at least science these days should have the equipement that give results wheter or not magnetic theraphy is effective or not. I have some knowledge of modern machinery and cannot accept the term unproven. I really await for the terms approved or disapproved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Static Magnetic Field Therapy: A Critical Review of Treatment Parameters —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Where to sort this piece?[edit]

I don't know exactly where to sort this piece of text (found in section whose scope changed to "methods of application"). It's not simply a wp:weasel word-like "some use it for ...", but rather "this article says that some use it for ...", but does not specify any efficacy, so inclusion in the "Efficacy" section is not really motivated. Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:15, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Purported benefits may be specific, as in the case of wound healing, or more general, as for increased energy and vitality. In the latter case, malaise is sometimes described as "Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome".[1]


  1. ^ Sabadell, Miguel (1998-07). "Biomagnetic Pseudoscience and Nonsense Claims". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
That's a link to a what appears to be a blog post entitled, "Biomagnetic Pseudoscience and Nonsense Claims", which refers to a conference proceeding (i.e. not peer-reviewed). I think deletion would be the best approach. -- Scray (talk) 13:46, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, or simply avoiding re-insertion into the article. Mikael Häggström (talk) 09:02, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

How can this be "statistically significant"?[edit]

The 2005 English study on menstrual pain ( claimed that there was a significant reduction in pain with magnet therapy. When reading the study, however, it actually says:

  • "Pain score differences (McGill pain score before - McGill pain score after device) were -17 (-53, 13) (median and interquartile ranges) in the magnet group and -5.0 (-29, 27) in the placebo group."

Now, how can that possibly be statistically significant, when even the interquartile ranges overlap substantially? Until an explanation is made, I'll remove the "statistically significant" part and replace with the data itself. Mikael Häggström (talk) 09:11, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

There is an important distinction between statistical significance and biological significance. Biologically, is the difference between pain scores of -17 and -5 significant, particularly in light of the extreme overlap in the two groups? Statistically, it is highly plausible, with a study of sufficient size, for such a difference to be significant. If it's a reliable source, notable, consistent with scientific consensus, and the difference is a primary conclusion, then it's reasonable to include (i.e. I would not second-guess the statistics in a RS). -- Scray (talk) 17:08, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for explanation. I had misinterpreted the given interquartile ranges as confidence intervals rather than prediction intervals, with the latter indeed being able to overlap and still having the study getting a P value below 0.05. I'll reinsert the "statistically significant" note. Mikael Häggström (talk) 03:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Horse hoof "Power Pads"[edit]

An image off the NASA photo galleries shows the "Power Pad", essentially a horseshoe's insole liner, the material for which their lab developed. This is all well and good for impact management, but they also put in magnet in there (as mentioned in the commercial sites) claiming this helps circulation and injury prevention [2] [3]. If it's a dynamic magnetic field, it will have some physiological effect, but if it's a static magnet like we see in this article, then it won't. These articles seem to be as similarly inaccurate in their wording (the magnets attract the iron in the red blood cells to them) as the usual magnet-therapy nuts, so I guess I'm just wondering what's going on here. SamuelRiv (talk) 19:19, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

The US DoD was researching insoles based upon that research, what is always missed in the patent medicine industry is the fact that the device that was tested in both cases was TWO magnets, with same poles facing each other, to use repulsion as a shock absorber, which was found ineffective by the DoD, as field strength is too low for practical use.Wzrd1 (talk) 05:44, 5 March 2012 (UTC)


I forgot to add an edit summary so I'm posting this here.

I reverted this because the study is not about the same type of magnet therapy this article covers. The study presented is about pulsed electromagnetic fields and in a totally different context. Furthermore, it's a WP:PRIMARY study and does not meet WP:MEDRS. Noformation Talk 00:15, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

For reference, the original text, improperly added to the article space and not discussion space:
There are trials that definitely show clinical effect using active & passive magnetic fields. These need to be reflected for accuracy & completeness in your page. Christopher Rochester.
1. [4]
2. [5]
But I agree with the above assessment. SamuelRiv (talk) 23:03, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Jan 2012 Reader Comment:[edit]

The following portion of the opening paragraph of the article is woefully absurd -- "Although hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen, is weakly diamagnetic and is repulsed by magnetic fields ..."

... Consider oxy-Hb and deoxy-Hb -- One coordinated state of hemoglobin is diamagnetic, and the other is paramagnetic.

Also, there is no such thing as being 'weakly diamagnetic', a compound is either wholly diamagnetic, or it can be paramagnetic to varying degrees.

Finally, Magnetic fields do not 'repulse' diamagnetic compounds, rather they have no effect.

The original author should check his/her science. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT Noformation Talk 06:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Please see diamagnetism, as many of your statements are incorrect. SamuelRiv (talk) 03:01, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Information found but not in any scientific publications[edit]

I read about how Russia would beam electromagnetic pulses at their US embassy, to drive them crazy. Then them having to put shielding to prevent the effects. I also heard and read about how Nasa uses magnet therapy to protect the astronauts from being far away from the Earth's pulse of 8hz/sec. This information is out there. Does anybody have a clue why there are no sources? Could this be real, but the science behind it is not disclosed, therefore making it not notable? Companies have trade secrets, in my opinion/theory there could be a lot of science on magnet therapy that is only not publicly published, or not. For instance why market magnetic jewelry, they speak as if they know something the public doesn't know of, yet nothing to little can be found on efficacy? The last part was for conversation; I'm interested in the efficacy not knowing a secret that doesn't belong to the public. Sidelight12 Talk 01:00, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Take a look at null hypothesis. Roughly, it's all fiction until someone argues otherwise via peer-reviewed scientific literature. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:58, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
"Does anybody have a clue why there are no sources?" I have one clue. Most scientists think it's all bunk, and they mistakenly think that people will recognize that it's bunk. Since no scientists ever comes up to say that it's bunk, people think that there is no opposition from science, and advocates can manufacture all sorts of cranky pseudoscience without any challenge from academia. Several archaeologists wrote that this was the case with Erich von Däniken: his theories were so outrageous that no archaeologist or historian bothered debunking them, the people never got to know that von Däniken's theories were based on extremely flimsy grounds and that they had zero support from academia.
Another clue, Advocates promote all positive news about their theory, even if they know it's biased, unbalanced or simply false. Advocates never mention negative news. Those news might be in other languages or otherwise difficult to obtain. For example, PowerBalance Admits Their Wristbands Are a Scam: "We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.". Read Power Balance, check its sources, check how many times the manufacturers made publicity of the negative scientific results, and how many times they claimed falsely that there was scientific evidence supporting them. Decide by yourself if you can trust claims in advocacy sites of "we are backed by good-quality scientific evidence".
Consumer associations and watchdog associations are usually good sources. For example:
"One sure sign that magnetic therapies are scams are their repeated misuse of scientific terms. “Electromagnetism,” “electromotive force,” and “polarity agent effect” all sound very scientific, but in the context of the ads for such products they make no scientific sense. The fact is that the human body has an almost unmeasurably weak magnetic field. If it were otherwise, medical devices using much stronger magnetic fields, such as MRI’s (magnetic resonance imagery), would play havoc with your body. No, pulling scientific terms out of thin air does not mean your product is based on sound science". Magnetic Therapy: Cure or Hoax? by The Consumer Warning Network.
Another clue. Advocates and sellers never make publicity of negative results, they only mention positive results and anecdotal cases. In Laundry ball you will find that several consumer associations carried tests and had negative results. Those results are never mentioned by seller of those balls. Any ambiguous result will be spinned and biased and it will be presented to you as a positive result.
Another clue. Advocates invent scientific support and will lie to you to get your money out of your pocket and into their pocket. For example, it appears that the NASA claim is completely made up out of thin air[6]. Trust only reputable sources.
Another clue. Advocates pay famous people to wear their products and influence people. Famous may or may not believe that they work. This was done with Spanish celebrities and football players to open the market of Power Balance wristbands in Spain. The Spanish Ministry of Health warned of this practice and said that the scientific community considered the product to be a fraud, and there were lots of other warningsSanidad advierte contra las pulseras holográficas: esta es su historia (in Spanish. This will never be mentioned by advocates and sellers.
Another clue, related to TippyGoomba's argument. You can't prove a negative. It's very difficult to prove scientifically that something doesn't work. And testing efficacy takes lots of effort and time. Advocates take advantage of these facts. And, if a product gets tested and found to be bunk, it can re-labeled under a different name to keep selling it. And most scientists don't want to spend a lot of time and effort only to see that some crook simply uses a marketing strategy to keep making money out of people. --Enric Naval (talk) 22:29, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Database of research papers[edit]

I just came across this database of research papers on magnet therapy.
I don't see it mentioned (though maybe a mention has been archived). I haven't poked into it very much, but it seems a worthy resource for citations in this article.
Bn (talk) 06:23, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Meh, same old commercial junk. There might be something buried in there, but it would probably be easier to search it out directly than to try to wade through that site any further. - 2/0 (cont.) 10:31, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Study shows magnetic field can reduce swelling[edit]

Put that back in. It is a secondary source. The disputed edit says exactly what the source says. Fix it, but don't delete it. - Sidelight12 Talk 21:36, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

It is just relaying the press information from the primary (as it says at the foot of the page "Source: University of Virginia") and not adding any additional scrutiny or peer review and so is not, in WP:MEDRS terms, a secondary source. The question is, why is this piece of unverified animal research worthy of mention here, especially when its implications run against the grain of the reliable secondary sources we are using? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:22, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
agreed with alexbrn here... the article is not a secondary source as defined in WP:MEDRS. For health related information in WIkipedia, a reliable secondary source is something like a review published in a medical journal; the goal is to ensure that that health-related content expresses the consensus of the medical community. Universities often put out splashy press releases when primary research is published and these do get picked up by the news. Sidelight I understand why you might think any of those news reports are 2ndary sources but they are not the kind MEDRS is looking for. Jytdog (talk) 12:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Its a secondary source, because it analyzed the two studies. Even if it were only a primary source, its reputable and important. This is something that Wikipedia readers want to know about. I see a misinterpretation of what medrs is. This is censorship. - Sidelight12 Talk 00:02, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
jeez louise, it is not censorship it just a disagreement over the MEDRS guideline. I am not sure what "two" studies you are talking about, btw, as the story is based on 2007 publication, the abstract of which is here and which describes all the experiments discussed in the article. Also, as Alexbrn pointed out, the article says it is sourced from a UVA press release, which is here and if you read that, you will see that did no "analysis" - they just repackaged the press release. Jytdog (talk) 00:48, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Medrs is grossly misinterpreted. See WP:MEDRS#Avoid over-emphasizing single studies, particularly in vitro or animal studies. You're making arguments that are not even supported in medrs. - Sidelight12 Talk 03:26, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I've lost track of what's going on. Is someone suggesting an edit here? If so, please restate it. TippyGoomba (talk) 04:37, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
from about blood vessel contraction and dilation, and reduced swelling in a rat study. - Sidelight12 Talk 05:02, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I was looking for something like "let's change X to Y, here's my source". TippyGoomba (talk) 05:07, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
And find a better source. This one fails WP:MEDRS, in particular Avoid over-emphasizing single studies, particularly in vitro or animal studies and (don't use) Popular press. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:06, 26 September 2013 (UTC)


we are having some tussle over the lack of efficacy statement. yes, the conclusion of the 2008 review is "The evidence does not support the use of static magnets for pain relief, and therefore magnets cannot be recommended as an effective treatment. For osteoarthritis, the evidence is insufficient to exclude a clinically important benefit, which creates an opportunity for further investigation." The first statement is the key one - there is no evidence that magnet therapy is an effective treatment. That is what we need to communicate to readers. We are not here to sell magnet therapy. I added a 2012 review that came to the same conclusion for OA. 4 years later there was still not enough evidence to say it works. Jytdog (talk) 13:48, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd reverted on the assumption that the 2008 review was the most thorough one to date, if it was the only one we were quoting, and it seemed odd to only be including half of its conclusion. If the later review covered the missing ground, it's much better to have both. Thanks. --McGeddon (talk) 13:53, 29 June 2015 (UTC)