Magnets and the Placebo Effect

Have you heard that the benefits that people get from magnets is just the placebo effect?

placebo – a substance containing no medication and prescribed or given to reinforce a patient’s expectation to get well.

placebo effect – a reaction to a placebo manifested by a lessening of symptoms or the production of anticipated side effects.

I recently saw an episode of the old TV show M.A.S.H. where the doctors didn’t have any morphine to give their patients for their pain after surgery.  They decided to make sugar pills to give the patients and hope that the placebo effect would get them through until a new shipment of morphine arrived.  The mind can do amazing things if we let it, or cause it to think it should.

When talking about magnets I sometimes hear that they don’t really do anything.  Any supposed benefit is just the placebo effect.  If I have a headache what do I care if the  “lessening of symptoms” is because of a placebo effect or because of drugs masking the pain?  I just want the headache gone.  The thing with the magnet, placebo or otherwise, is that there aren’t any side-effects either.

So, the next time you use your magnetic patches or magnetic insoles to take care of a problem and someone tells you that it is a placebo, just say “So what if they are!”.

Wayne Woodworth

BTW, magnets are used on animals, like horses, so they aren’t just a placebo.

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