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Healing powers?

Seth Goldin
The Cavalier Daily, January 21, 2008

Laura Hoffman's article on a University study of magnet therapy ("University researchers explore the healing powers of magnets," Jan. 18) serves as an embarrassment to the University community and the good, evidence-based science being practiced here. The evidence for the efficacy of magnet therapy is at best inconsistent, and at worst, downright lacking. The token skeptical sentence in her article addressed not the actual efficacy of this pseudoscience, but rather, ineffective products in a legitimate market. No product in the magnet therapy market is legitimate. Scientists don't understand the mechanism for how this therapy works because it doesn't work and there is no such mechanism.

Some say that even if the magnets don't work, the placebo effect is worth it for the remedy, and at least such therapy isn't harmful. The harm comes from people wasting their money on a pseudoscience rather than seeking legitimate, effective, evidence-based treatments for their pain.

Seth Goldin
CLAS II