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In the 1920’s, there was a health trend.
Something very new, very sexy, and very appealing: Radium.
So yeah, like, literally radioactive water… Ain’t hindsight sweet?
“Before the atom bomb made radioactivity very scary”, radioactive water was being marketed and sold as a health product.
We look back on this as an OBVIOUS & ridiculous example of less advanced/educated people falling under the spell of Novelty, it would be absurd to think we aren’t falling victim to similar cases every day.
Here’s a list to trigger you, Q: What do these all have in common:
– Radioactive water
– Magnetic, performance enhancing wrist band (come on, who had one? 🖐)
– Ammonia (1)
– Expensive wine (2)
– Essential oils (3)
– Putting the same amount of weight on both sides of a leg press
– Kissing a boo-boo A: Placebo and/or dark magic
– Placebo doesn’t have any objective effects, only subjective. Which means it may help distract* you which may be a harmless, or potentially helpful intervention. However in the case of illness or disease, as serious as cancer or as “mildly as asthma, this can easily slide to being dangerous or even lethal.
*Basic distraction also reduces pain – think, showing a toddler something shiny after they fall over, as does releasing endorphins
Extracts from the brilliant book:
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
By Steven Novella