The Question

Magnetic wrist bands and bracelets. They're supposed to relieve wrist pain, headaches, and a whole sort of maladies. They're supposed to work, but do they, really?

There have been several attempts to sell magnetic wrist bands and bracelets to the unsuspecting public. Just look at these examples.

However, most if not all websites are quick to give out the following disclaimers (actual quotes from a few sites that sell these things):

-"Although any claims are unsupported by medical research, many people claim to achieve a sense of well-being when wearing one of these magnetic bracelets."
- "The funny thing is, if you ask ten people who use a magnetic bracelet, you'll probably get ten different answers to that question."

It's still quite common though for several of these retailers to say nothing about the nature of these bracelets.

So this leads to the question: Is there anything behind this at all??

The Short Answer

No, they do not. Not in the way they claim anyway.

The Long Answer

One of the most common reasons mentioned on how they work is that they somehow draw blood to the wrist, because blood is a magnetic material because of all that iron. In this post, we're going to debunk that with one simple video.

The video involves just two things: a lot of blood and a high-strength neodymium magnet. Neodymium magnets are the most powerful permanent magnets around, and Braniac75 (the guy in the video) happens to be immensely attracted to them (ha, magnet pun!) , so much so that he gets huge magnets by mail for free!

Let's now watch what happens when a monster magnet meets blood.

Basically, the immense magnetic forces have little effect on the blood. Now, what would happen if a much weaker magnet (barely able to attract a paper clip) is brought next to the blood? Or your wrist to attract the blood? I'll tell you what: NOTHING happens.

Most people aware of this gimmick do say that the placebo effect may be in play here, making the users' beliefs the source of the relief they experience. In that case, there are many more ways to induce the placebo effect, and there are treatments out there to relieve wrist pain that are actually effective.

Have you ever used these magnetic bracelets? Comment below!

Sources

  1. Some random websites from Google Image search for the retailers. I'm not going to post their businesses here, for ethical reasons.
  2. Brainiac75 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFHMw64uu66VKPXq5gh29IQ
  3. http://www.sciencebrainwaves.com/the-painful-truth-magnetic-bracelets-the-placebo-effect-analgesia/