"Magic Bracelet"

JANUARY 01, 2003

Last year a company was advertising a special ?ionized? metal bracelet that supposedly sent out electrical waves to relieve pain. The cost of the device was $100. According to a report in the November 2002 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, after 28 days, 77.4% of arthritis sufferers in the group that wore the ?ionized? version of the bracelet reported a distinct diminution of pain. Yet, 76.7% of patients in a placebo group who wore a nonionized bracelet supplied by the same firm reported virtually the same results.

Most scientists would assume that a placebo effect is at work. The company supplying the ?ionized? bracelets, however, claimed that 3/4of the people who wore them reported pain relief. So, regardless of the science, the company is not making