Sunday, June 29, 2008

The "Coghill Supermagnet"

So there's a quack called "Dr Roger Coghill" who gets a fair amount of media attention in the UK, and some well-deserved smacking from time-to-time at the hands of Ben Goldacre. Goldacre recently took Coghill to task for some nonsense in the UK Daily Mail regarding a supposed link between cell-phone towers and suicide rates. (This smacking was picked up by PZ Myers and is noted in Pharyngula.)

Good quacks need a range of products, and Coghill is no exception. One that caught my eye checking out the on-line store was The Coghill Supermagnet. It's not cheap at GBP38 and some change. Here's the blurb (emphasis added):
Alternative treatment for aches, sprains, muscular pain and many other conditions.
Designed after a thorough review of the literature and intensive laboratory research, this set of magnets enables you to apply the right strength in exactly the right place and for the correct number of applications as uncovered by scientific studies from many countries.
Our unique method of superposition can deliver fields from 450 to 2450 gauss at the pole face, just in the therapeutic range. These magnets are a neodymium, boron iron mix, and are extremely difficult to degauss. In fact we guarantee them for 30 years in normal use, and they carry a 60 day money back guarantee: you simply cannot lose in trying them for aches sprains and muscular pain, but for a complete list of its many uses see our book, The Book of Magnet Healing listed in the catalogue.
So I reckon this is all bollocks. But just in case, I sent the on-line store a polite email saying I'd appreciate it if they could "direct me to the peer-reviewed research publications in which the laboratory research is reported". Updates to follow as events unfold. I'm especially curious to get to the bottom of the "unique method of superposition", and their manufacturing process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go and read Magnet Therapy by Dr William Philpott.
"Just because it aint drugs doesn't mean it don't work!"