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Magentic Therapy bands vs Lenz's Law

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Ljiljan, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Sooo, I work at a chemist. A few days ago I came in to find these bracelets on the counter. Didn't give them another thought until someone else brought it up. I gave them my opinion, that they're complete, designed crap for fools and for those that part with their money. Then I put one on.

    My hand felt lighter. I kid you not. My hand felt noticeably lighter. I put a few more one, and it felt lighter still. It was like an optical illusion, where your brain is telling you something, but you know it isn't true. So this got me thinking, doing a few experiments and the like - moving the bands, banging my hand around, etc.

    What I noticed was that it seemed to dull the senses - touch, pressure, pain etc. So the conclusion I have come to is as follows. Do they heal? Dunno, doubt it, I'll leave that one up to the scientists. Is there any effect or is it placebo? Well, I'm not convinced it's placebo, as I was certain nothing would be different when I first put it on. However, I'm not going to underestimate the power of the human mind. But with some thinking, I have constructed a hypothesis that I believe makes some sort of sense.

    I don't know much about how the nerve system works, though I understand it is some sort of electrochemical impulses. ie, a small voltage running on a cable from start of the nerve to the brain. Pushing speculation a bit, it is fair to say that the voltage increases for larger effects on nerve endings, ie, pain would be a larger voltage than no pain. At all times there would be some sort of voltage acting on the cable, be it the shape of the hand, clenched muscles, wind through fingers, or just the weight of your hand. At all times this voltage would be changing depending on what is happening that very moment, could be hundreds of variables.

    Now I don't think it is stretching the theory to far to say that with the changing voltage, the current is also changing. It is here that things get a bit closer to home. Lenz's Law is an extension of faraday's law of induction that states if a current is put through a magnetic field, a current and voltage is produced in the reverse direction. This voltage counteracts the voltage of the initial current and causes a voltage drop over the magnetic field. This voltage drop over the magnetic field produced by the band would mean that only a portion of the intial voltage would reach the brain, fooling it into thinking the nerves are receiving less information than usual - hand weighs less, pain upon impact is less etc.

    So does it work? Who knows. However, there would be a few points to consider.
    1) Primarily this. This would only work while the brain is still used to the standard voltages being normal. After time it would readjust to the new standard as normal, and would make taking it off a bit weird.
    2) Could potentially be dangerous if it fools you into thinking you are not as badly injured as you might be. However, if something is broken, you normally know about it, magnetic field or no magnetic field.
    3) It's a waste of money. I only bothered because I could try it for free.

    My year 12 physics is a bit rusty, and I can't really remember implications of faradays law re. static/dynamic I and static/dynamic B but I believe I have satisfactorily covered the dynamic current case. Swapping the frame of reference, a changing current is also a changing flux.


    It would be interesting to play with some Neodymium magnets, and see if they have effect.
  2. you need to do a blind study. You knowing that you're wearing one of the bands invalidates your observations.
  3. Sorry to throw a spanner into your hypothesis Lilley, but most neurons are effectively binary, not analogue. They have a threshold for input, and when they reach that threshold they fire an action potential, which is an all-or-nothing change of membrane potential that runs down the length of the nerve and triggers the release of neurotransmitters that travel over to the next neuron in the chain. Rinse and repeat.

    Obviously that is a gross simplification, but the general rule with most neurons is that they either fire, or don't fire. Mow many fire, and the frequency with which they fire, is interpreted by the brain.

    To be fair, some interneurons do use the cable properties of the membrane to sum input from many connecting neurons, and they don't usually fire an action potential of their own. But these wouldn't be used in the motor neurons or sensory neurons running to and from the wrist.

    Also, I think I read somewhere that those bands are having to remove most of the claims they make from their advertising because they have been deemed to be false or misleading.
  4. Would I be advised to wear it on my left wrist because all the metal in the right arm will either a) negate the effect or b) allow me to better reception with an iPhone 4 sans cover?
  5. Interesting... I've always discounted these as a waste of money (as you said), but with my injury, I'm hyper sensitive [mainly to cold! But touch as well on my shoulder] and about 'half' of my shoulder/arm doesn't work. I'd love to try one of these things on just to see if it does anything on my bad arm. Do some/most places that sell these actually let paying customers try before buying? I've never bothered to ask cause never really cared but you're about the first person who seemed sceptical and noticed something, not that I've done much research, just a little when they first came to my attention.

    Thanks for that at least, I have a doctors appointment today, I'll see if the chemist I use has them, a friend I've known for like over 20 years works there, so if they do sell these, I'm sure she'll let me try one, even if it's not policy or whatever.
    Oh, gotta also respond to this. It seems the neurosurgeons/doctors who worked on me don't know THAT MUCH about the nervous system also. They basically told me they have no idea if I will heal, I will just heal if I do, I won't if I don't. So far I've gone from 100% dead arm so to speak to a vast improvement, still couldn't shoot hoops or bowl with it but it's good enough for me not to worry about it too much, I'm even feeling hopeful enough of being able to work again, trying out some job applications and see what they think, no idea if I'll even get a [positive] response, had a couple rejections before interview and one interview at a friends workplace, would have been great, almost 6 figure job and work from home, IT security stuff but after several weeks, I was off the short list and someone else got the position, still, gives me hope that someone interviewing me thinks I'm not totally useless :) Maybe if I can tell them I bought one of these bands and they totally fixed me LOL
  6. zenali: so for instances of greater pain, is it just more neurons firing, or are the same ones firing a greater potential?

    With the neurons firing, would there still be some sort of electrical current passing to the brain? My point being, that binary is still changing - on, off, on, off etc.
  7. They don't do a thing, but out interest which ones were they...

    Can get you these cheap though...

  8. My flatmate is Chinese and he believes in all that natural medicine shit like removing excess wind from the feet and rubbing with a silver coil. He says it makes him get well sooner.

    I explained to him that it's the placebo effect, it only works if you believe in it, so it will not work for me.

    In the same way praying to the sky fairy helps people get better sooner, but only if they know they are being prayed for.

    I'd put these magnetic thingies in the same bucket. If you believe that it works, it will probably help you.

    I'm a grumpy cynic so it won't work for me.
  9. :-k All Chinese medicine is a placebo effect??? A billion Chinese probably don't agree with you...

    Just going back to the band, how can a hologram improve your balance etc.??
  10. So do numbers == proof now??? Apparently there are 2 billion Christians, can we call that case closed then???
    They can't...
  11. Ok, try this Stigger, herb X has been seen to achieve effect Y for some 4000 - 5000 years. You're banking on placebo effect? Isn't that just slightly an arrogant westerncentric point of view?
  12. I'm going to make a hypothesis here and say "It's possible that the reason that your hand felt 'lighter/different' was because the wrist band was either restricting the blood flow to your hand and/or pinching the nerves in the wrist".

    *yah I'm a sceptic about those magnetic products as well*
  13. You do like phrase's like "arrogant westerncentric point of view" I've noticed...

    You'll notice that I never said natural medicines don't work, obviously many do but by the same token an awful lot of them are tosh.

    What I said was the number of adherents doesn't equal proof...
  14. On the subject of what the central nervous system, and, in particular, a damaged central nervous system can do, MrsB highly recommends the book "The Brain that Changes Itself". Haven't read it myself yet, but, in spite of the title, it seems to be a proper account of cases where people who've suffered severe neurological damage have succeeded in retraining themselves to perform functions/use senses which previous neuroscience thinking suggests they no longer have the neurological equipment for. Modern day Phineas Gauges, if you will.

    Quite relevant to bikers I suspect.
  15. That's coz as a lot, we're arrogant and science driven making us poo poo anything that doesn't fit into that paradigm.

    Actually you said numbers prove nothing and more than intimated that Chinese medicine was total tosh. On what basis do you say that a lot of natural therapies are tosh? Where do you think scientific remedies came from?

    ...well the bulk of western civilisation believes in modern medicine, so where are you going with this adherents thing?
  16. Arrogant is a value judgement you may be prepared to bandy about I'm not. If by not fitting into the science paradigm you mean without evidence then I'll quite happily accept that...
    No I said numbers don't equal proof, and said nothing of the sort about Chinese medicine. I statement about natural remedies being tosh comes that when tested in double blind tests as lot of them prove not to work. I know full well where medicine gets a lot of it's knowledge from as I think you'll find my quote
    I'm not sure where this is going either, but actual Doctors push medicines and therapies that have tested and provable results, and when they prove not to work they abandon them...
  17. How do you feel about accupuncture?
  18. From what I've read it's been proved to work for some things, but far less than what it's said to work for, and probably doesn't use the methods that it's said to either...

    So from my point of view I don't discard it, but I probably would rely on it to cure my cancer...
  19. Western people put faith in western medicine. Same as I'd say Chinese people put faith in chinese medicine.

    As I said in my first post, a billion might disagree that all chinese medicine is placebo effect... nothing actually wrong with that statement... and if that billion believe it based on what they've seen... there's a plausible suggestibility in that observation don't you think?

    Western medicine hasn't tested every herb for every claimed effect, so the western paradigm of "it's all tosh" or "most of it is tosh" is a sweeping generalisation not based on a lot of evidence but a fair degree of arrogance IMHO.
  20. classic :rofl: