Two handles attached to a strange machine with a screen full of lights and diagrams is all that magnetic bioresonance machines need. These devices promise to diagnose and cure all kinds of diseases through the “ biomagnetism ” of the body. Behind these concepts hides a pseudoscience loaded with very technical terms and many promises. But what is real?
Biomagnetism and its promises
Known as magnetic therapy, magnetotherapy or biomagnetism, this pseudotherapy involves the use of “static magnetic fields”. Its practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of the body to these fields produced by permanent magnets has beneficial effects on health.
Isaac Goiz thought that all diseases came from imbalances of pH in the organs of the body and that with these magnets he was able to restore balance
His inventor is a Mexican doctor named Isaac Goiz, who thought that all the diseases came from imbalances of the pH in the organs of the body and that with these magnets was able to restore the balance. For this, Goiz put a series of magnets on the body of people, in concrete parts, to restore “the magnetic balance”.
In the most modern modalities, which use the bioresonance machines, they change the Magnetic field of the body by simply holding two electrodes in the hands . When taking the handles, the little machine begins to show numbers and colors on the diagram of a human body, heat maps and endless values. The premises on which they are based, however, have no foundation at either a biological, chemical, or physical level, and there is not a single scientific evidence of this.
“Magnetic fields can not change the pH of living organisms, and the most obvious proof is in nuclear magnetic resonance machines, with magnetic fields millions of times more powerful than a magnet, which does not affect the organism in the least “, explains José Manuel Gómez Soriano, professor at the University of Alicante and member of the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies (APETP) ) .
But do they work? “The short answer is no, the long answer is: clearly not”
. More recently, this concept has been modernized in what is called magnetic bioresonance in which all kinds of rituals are practiced using extremely expensive machines “, continues Jose Manuel. These machines claim to be able to cure various diseases through magnetic fields. But do they work? “The short answer is no, the long answer is: clearly not . In fact, the few experiments that have been done to date have found that is not at all different from placebo “
We are actually surrounded by magnetic fields. From those that produce the sun and the magnetic field of the Earth to those that generate storms, or any electronic or electrical device. “That is why, and due to the rise of technology, especially wireless technology, have made many studies on how magnetic fields affect the human body and it has not been possible to find any effect neither good nor bad, neither short nor long term, not even with the most intense magnetic fields “, explains José Manuel. However, that does not prevent this pseudoterapia have its followers.
What is behind a quantum magnetic resonance machine?
What are these machines capable of detecting so many pathologies (and even cure them) with a simple magnetic field ? Although the design differs according to who sells it (and there are very bulky, as we showed on the cover), the basic scheme is always the same.
The quantum magnetic resonance machine has electrodes with lsos that must be in contact . This can have various forms, although the most commercial consist of a handle or metal cap that is held in one hand. There are also bracelets or electrodes. In the most “sophisticated” cases the meter is a light with which it is aimed at the skin . In any case, it is connected to the machine itself, which consists of a free box or inserted into a briefcase.
At the same time, the machine is connected via USB to a PC, to which special software is installed. In other cases does not connect directly but the data is passed to the computer via USB . Regardless of the system, the operation is always very similar: when making contact between the electrodes, the machine begins to show lights and measurements.
Figures, colors and images of the organs or the human body appear on the computer. This also depends a lot on the device that we bought. In other cases only recommendations appear. And how do you analyze all these parameters? What's inside the box to do so many good measurements?
Actually, if we open the expensive material we will find a simple board with a five or four-pin connector, a USB connector and some colored diodes. It is assumed that these machines detect and generate magnetic fields with which they make their analyzes and cure the problems they diagnose. However, they do not find any magnetic field generator (apart from the wiring itself, of course): there are no coils, no magnets …
What they seem to do is detect this connection of the electrodes to tell the software that you have to generate a report. This asks for parameters about the person (age, sex, etc). It's the program that does the magic, creating random measurements and pre-designed images to give the feeling that something is working behind the device. For this, it is essential to have something that seems real.
Technical language at the service of charlatanism
One of the most important issues of this pseudotherapy is that plays with a bombastic and complex terminology . This language uses real scientific terms but poorly used. Its use is deliberately vague or very pedantic so that it seems to make sense, but without having it.
“[El biomagnetismo y la biorresonancia] use a terminology based on the classical theories of electromagnetic radiation by James Clerk Maxwell, but mixed with oriental terminology about the supposed energies of the body,” explains José Manuel. “But there is no pseudoterapia that boasts that it does not use the misunderstood properties of quantum mechanics (and the ignorance that the population has about it) to justify the little logic of its therapy, and biomagnetism or bioresonance they are not the exception. “
Effectively, in this therapy the use of terms is common as waves, vibrations or quantum frequencies. Also we can read things like heuristics, pH, biomagnetic pair, activated, poles, diodes, resonant, Fourier constant, cellular memory … but taken out of their strict sense and used in suggestive contexts but not precise or simply inadequate. This technique is quite used by pseudosciences to decorate with a certain pedigree and disguise a false rigor.
In addition to the above, this pseudoscience also takes advantage of the lack of scientific studies in this regard to campaign their wide.
In addition to the above, this pseudoscience also takes advantage of the lack of scientific studies in this regard to campaign at ease. The only possible investigations are those that show that its application has no real effect beyond placebo . However, there are no studies to show that magnetism changes the pH in the cell, for example, because it is a meaningless concept.
This lack of studies is used by its defenders to make a fallacious argument: “That they demonstrate that biomagnetism is a pseudoscience”. Although in reality it is the other way around, a therapy must prove to be effective, and not the other way around. This fallacy of ad ignorantiam argument is one of the most wielded among pseudotherapies.
100 and a ways to sell a rip-off
Unfortunately, biomagnetism and magnetic bioresonance machines seem pretty business profitable There are several exploitation models associated with this pseudotherapy. From the university master's degrees and courses, they can cost thousands of euros, until the sale of own biomagnetic resonance machine .
These machines cost between 1,200 and 400 euros , and consist of a briefcase with a device and some handles, normally. When grasping the handles, the machine, or software associated with it, gives values on various parameters such as : “Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, gastrointestinal, hepatic, biliary, pancreatic, renal, pulmonary, cerebral, osseous, bone mineral, rheumatoid bone up to blood glucose, basic physical condition, human toxin, trace elements, vitamins, immunology, prostate, male and female genitals, skin, endocrine, amino acids, eyes, heavy metals, allergies, obesity, collagen, large intestine, thyroid, meridians of acupuncture, pulse brain heart, lipids, gynecology, menstrual cycle, sperm and human elements, among many others “[Sic].
It goes without saying that there is no logical basis, nor scientific evidence, that supports the possibility of measuring so many parameters (many of which is they are ambiguous or directly false) holding diodes. In addition to diagnosing, this machine is capable of “healing”, “changing the biomagnetic resonance of the body.”
This is another exploitation model: “diagnose” or “treat” people with this machine. This type of treatment is carried out by individuals or “clinics” of “alternative medicine”. The cost of therapies varies greatly depending on who offers it. The therapy is also offered in the veterinary field in the same way that it is done for humans. In short, this therapy is likely to be used in almost any type of field and in a thousand and one ways. How to take advantage is just a matter of originality.
Who wins with these therapies?
José Manuel does not hesitate for a moment in the answer: “ There are people and companies that take advantage of the desperation of the sick and the knowledge that we normally have all on these subjects of physics and biology to make their August practicing complex rituals with magnets at a not inconsiderable price per session or selling devices that can cost more than € 1000 “.
Many of the people who offer these services are true believers, alienated by ideas that seem easy to understand but have no real basis. “Nowadays, pseudosciences are a business that moves billions of euros in which, practically, everything is a benefit, because does not require any prior research or experimentation nor is any control required from the authorities “.
This raises the following question. Is it legal to sell a machine that does not work? To answer, José Manuel has consulted with some of the lawyers working with the APETP: “The laws on misleading advertising and on products with alleged therapeutic action clearly say that the promotion and sale of these products is not legal and more if in their advertising they expose supposed cases of patients “, comments.
” In concerto “, continues,” Article 4 of RD 1907/1996 of August 2 on advertising and commercial promotion of products, activities or services with intended health purpose, as well as Law 41/2002, of November 14, basic regulatory of the autonomy of the patient and rights and obligations in the field of information and clinical documentation and Law 34/88 of November 11 General Advertising between others, they explicitly forbid it. The problem is that in Spain there are many very good laws but few bodies responsible for enforcing them “, states bluntly.
Face to face against biomagnetism
Imagine that we are affected by a case of this type, what can we do about the suspicion of fraud? “From the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies we are preparing guidelines to explain what to do in each case, because for a person who does not know the laws is very difficult to know .”
According to José Manuel, each The situation depends on some factors such as the type of sale, its source, if it occurs in a health center, or a center that is presented as a health service but is not really registered as such …
“In each situation, the actions are different, but the simplest thing is for an affected person to go to the nearest municipal consumer information office and file a complaint, and we can also go to consumer protection associations like OCU and FACUA. “
” In each situation, the actions are different but the simplest thing is for an affected person to go to the nearest municipal consumer information office and file a claim. We can go to the consumer protection associations like OCU and FACUA or make the corresponding report to the police or to the nearest court, “he says.
” In all these cases it is advisable to have the bill and the advertising they offer or receipts for payments for services rendered, “he continues. “The more evidence the better, if you are a registered doctor you can report it to the corresponding school and the Medical Association, although there are some schools in some autonomous communities that not only do not report these practices but defend and promote them ”
Even so, the response to pseudosciences is increasingly strong, as we saw recently . Health professionals are increasingly aware and prepared against the pseudoscience that parasitizes the system with different strategies. Little by little, citizens are also more educated against this type of scams. Although much remains to be done.