the unwrinkled ear wrote:sure it's psychological. and i see what side ya'll are on.
but the basic science has been around a long time: some magnets and other metals create positive ions and dispel negative ones. it's your choice whether you want to believe in the psychology behind positive ions being better than negative ones.
As a scientist who's main non-research focus is to study how pseudo-science has infested our culture I HAVE to chime in here. I mean zero disrespect here and I'm simply trying to get the facts across.
These bracelets are complete pseudo-science bull in terms of the "movement of ions through the body". It doesn't work that way.
Magnetic metals do not "create positive ions" and/or just "dispel negative ones". Any magnetic substance has polarity, meaning an end where positively charged ions collect and where negatively charged ones gather at the other. When each magnetic object/particle interacts with another nearby magnetic object the like poles repel one another and the oppositely charged ends would attract to one another. The opposites attract because the positive ions "need" an electron to be stable and the negative ones need to ditch an electron to become stable.....thus they are attracted in an attempt to "settle down". This is a gross over simplification, but it should get the main idea across.
Additionally, organic tissue and the molecules that make them are not reactive to magnetic fields. Thank god because if they were we'd be all kinds of messed up from the natural and man-made magnetic fields that pass through us every day. You'd walk through a metal detector and pull apart if the majority of molecules were. Most natural magnetic particles are ferromagnetic in composition, meaning they contain iron...one of the few natural magnetic materials. The iron containing material are the ones most affected by a magnetic field (and the ones that can naturally create the strongest themselves). This is the kind of metal in these bracelets.
The only major iron containing part of your body is your red blood cells. However, the iron is completely insulated by the rest of the RBC and thus does not interact with magnetic fields/forces. If it did and your bracelet actually worked you'd have a collection of blood in your arm and your heart would be working over time. Bad.
The field created by these bracelets is so insanely small and weak it can't even "reach" the trace elements in your body that could possibly be moved. If these magnets were strong enough to actually affect your entire body (even though it contains near zero magnetically interactive molecules) the bracelets would be erasing your hard drive on you laptop, iPod, etc. You are just as well off taping some kitchen magnets to your body.
That said, these bracelets seem to "work" for some folks in the same way a placebo pill will. It is simply psychosomatic. The brain and its control of hormones is amazing and can have some amazing effects on how one feels. I agree that when people wear these, some of them will see benefits due to their belief in their effectiveness and thus a subconscious change in brain chemistry. If you really look at the science of magnetic fields and the type of magnets used in these bracelets you completely disprove the possibility that the bracelet's weak field has any real interaction with the body.