# Any Evidence That Stones Can Cure, Etc?

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Hi,

I consider myself a rational person--or at least as rational as any human can be. I'm posting this question here because it could fit in several categories elsewhere on this site. My question is this: is there any empirical evidence--by that I mean controlled studies, not just hear-say--that any stone has any powers at all to improve one's physical or mental health?

I'm asking because some friends of mine have set up a website to sell their custom jewelry, and on their site they are making what to me seem like highly questionable health claims about various stones.

Some time in the future, they may ask me to redesign their web site, and before agreeing to the project, I'd like to be able to discuss with them the truthfulness of their claims and whether they really want to posit such ideas to gullible customers.

Any references to on-site or other resources on the subject would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Bill

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beyond personal belief in them, there is no evidence that Im aware of to support this claim.

of course it all depends on the size of the stone and how its implemented, some used properly can knock you senseless

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Other than the placebo effect, which AFAIK is still under investigation, there is no empirical evidence that stones have 'healing' properties. The problem with the placebo effect is that I could convince somebody my wooly hat has healing properties...so there is no evidence that a stone has any special properties over any other given object e.g my wooly hat.

Your friends can say pretty much what they like, as long as the word 'proof' and especially 'scientifically proven' are not used in their website. So, 'the crystals are believed to have the power to heal' is fine.

http://www.skepticwiki.org/wiki/index.php/Energy

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beyond personal belief in them, there is no evidence that Im aware of to support this claim.

of course it all depends on the size of the stone and how its implemented, some used properly can knock you senseless

hehe, drop a 5 ton stone on someone and they will never feel pain again. side effect: death, but that can be left in the fine print.

p.s. awesome quote in your signature.

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It's all new-age crap, along with magnetic healing and copper bracelets.

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oh excellent! what a wonderfully spectacular question!

the biggest most profound problem with alternative methods of healing is they apply science to solve problems. Now, the science they are aware of is always.. ALWAYS extrapolated from a brief snippet of science, of true science. An example would be microwaves are radiation, radiation is bad. Thus all microwaves are bad radiation and the atoms and molecules and such that come in contact with this radiation absorb it, change its energy qualities which can affect us. it makes logical sense, sort of. but thats not how it works. they adamantly believe this and it leads to many problems.

Colloidal silver is one of their main panaceas... also, their understanding of physiology and chemistry is more than extremely limited. they contend CS can cure.. .well anything. it does have some microbial properties, but it in no way has the scope of ability they propose.

thirdly.. without a firstly or secondly... they also feel any condition with the body is because of a mineral or compound deficiency. again, with all their claims, it is taken out of context. yes, scurvy is Vit. C deficiency, but it does not mean leukemia is a lack of taurine.

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I hear they can help treat glaucoma.

There's more than one way to get stoned.

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speaking of the ignorance these people have, i was on a CAM website earlier and saw a man explaining how his wife became very ill after a few treatments of EDTA, chelation therapy. SO, after almost nearing death, they stopped that treatment, and have now spent money on a machine... its an IR sauna. Supposedly, sweat contains 30% toxins and i guess the IR beams detect these toxins and the magic fairies remove said toxins from the body without depleting mineral content, or any depletion for that matter.

after almost dying, you would think, hey, maybe this shit isnt used in a hospital(with the exception of lead poisoning) for a reason. lets NOT buy a ten thousand dollar sauna thats probably powered by a 30watt bulb painted lipstick red. but no. they do it anyway.

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In spite of what CAM enthusiasts say, all the major forms have, in fact, been tested scientifically. For example, homeopathy. A report in the Lancet covered double blind clinical trials versus placebo for homeopathic remedies. A total of 111 studies were done, to sufficient scientific rigor to pass peer review. Final conclusion - homeopathy = placebo.

If any of these alternative remedies had passed muster, they would now be part of normal orthodox medicine. None did, and none are.

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Thanks everyone for your responses to my question. Pretty much what I expected. Now, any ideas on how to confront my friends with this evidence without alienating them? It's a matter of having the stones to do it, I suppose....

Bill

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No, I have been putting excess time at various alternative healing forums trying to save the terminally ill from death, and lessen the severity of possible misdiagnosis from alt. healers to no avail. Your best chance to do anything is to do nothing at all. they most likely believe before they purchased the stones that they would be 'cured'. i hate that word.

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Thanks everyone for your responses to my question. Pretty much what I expected. Now, any ideas on how to confront my friends with this evidence without alienating them?

I am not sure if I see the problem. As I see it, you don´t think the stones have healing powers and hence don´t want to help selling them for a lot of money. I think it shouldn´t be too much of a problem if you tell your friends that you don´t want to help selling healing stones if you don´t believe in their healing powers yourself. At least most people I know would accept if I told them that I don´t want to rip-off other people - that´s what it would be if you´re not believing in the healing potential yourself.

Convincing them to stop the whole thing is a different matter, but that´s not what you´re asking for, or is it?

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An example would be microwaves are radiation, radiation is bad. Thus all microwaves are bad radiation and the atoms and molecules and such that come in contact with this radiation absorb it, change its energy qualities which can affect us. it makes logical sense, sort of. but thats not how it works.

Hades, I think you are simplifying the process too much. While not defending the use of alternative therapies, (although I have used them to superior effect over orthodox medicine.) there is something to their logic.

Transfusion blood is heated in water, not a microwave oven. Why? Because if heated in a microwave, the blood becomes toxic and more than one patient has died as a result. So if the blood in bag becomes toxic, then what about the blood in meat? It's only logical that it would become toxic too and therefore something to be avoided. The amounts are of course smaller, but the effect may be cumulative. Without resorting to any "energy" flim flam it would seem prudent to err on the side of caution.

I'm one of those who sit in the middle. If I've got Tonsillitis I go to the local GP for antibiotics, when my appendix burst a few months ago, I couldn't get to the OR fast enough. But my wifes torn meniscus, (after 3 months of agony where conventional medicine reduced her to walking with 2 canes) was healed by alternative therapies in 2 weeks, as was my damaged lumbar disc.

Some work, some don't. I think each needs to be explored on a case by case basis. Although in the case of crystals I think you just feel better because you have something pretty to look at.

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It's only logical that it would become toxic too and therefore something to be avoided.

yes, it would be toxic but blood being transfused doesn't go through digestion like the blood going into your mouth through meats. the stomach breaks up the toxic molecules into smaller ones that aren't toxic. it should be safe.

transfusion blood however gets IV'd straight into the blood stream so the toxic parts are free to go all over the body. this is the bad bit.

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Is this

"Transfusion blood is heated in water, not a microwave oven. Why? Because if heated in a microwave, the blood becomes toxic and more than one patient has died as a result."

backed up by any peer reviewed data?

If someone died was it due to tocicity or to local overheating causing clotting?

Is this just an urban myth?

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I agree with John.

Why does microwaved blood go toxic? Or does it? I see no reason in theory, as long as there are no localised concentrations of energy, and the warming is kept to the level it is supposed to.

Microwaves are not the same kind of radiation as that given off by Uranium. In fact, we really should have two different words. Microwaves are just electromagnetic radiation of a particular wavelength - somewhat longer and lower energy than sunlight. The only special property in relation to this is that they are of the exact wavelength required to resonate with water molecules, thereby transferring energy to water, and causing it to heat up.

Why should gentle microwaves cause blood to go toxic?

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Is this

"Transfusion blood is heated in water, not a microwave oven. Why? Because if heated in a microwave, the blood becomes toxic and more than one patient has died as a result."

backed up by any peer reviewed data?

If someone died was it due to tocicity or to local overheating causing clotting?

Is this just an urban myth?

A lot of it is urban myth. See http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

The person behind this silliness appears to be one "William P. Kopp".

The best way to tell a lie is to tell a partial truth. Heating blood to be used for transfusions above 47 C, by any means, is very bad. Microwaves do have a tendency to have localized overheating. A realistic view of this issue can be found by searching PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed, for "microwave blood warmer".

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when warming baby formula or breast milk(previously extracted), they suggest not using a microwave because of uneven heating. Indeed, you can create an average temperature from shaking, but with blood, an area may become warm and thus effectively kill the cells. formula can reach 170 degrees and not... 'die'. there is really no question about this.

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The best way to tell a lie is to tell a partial truth.

Which allows cause and effect to be muddled, and engages the fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc

(One of my favorite examples being that the US did not use nuclear weapons until after women got the right to vote)

This fallacy is especially dangerous in medical applications and is often abused in testimonials for things like magic stones, magnetic belts and copper bracelets. "I used X and felt better" implies that X cured the person, but one cannot know if the person would have gotten better anyway, or if it the placebo effect. Which is precisely why large-sample clinical trials are required, rather than anecdotes, so that a statistical evaluation can be assessed to winnow out random correlations.

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Now, any ideas on how to confront my friends with this evidence without alienating them? It's a matter of having the stones to do it, I suppose....
You don't confront friends, period. You talk to them, you reason with them.

You didn't tell us what they claimed about the stones. Are they saying something like, "Hematite is said to have healing powers" or "Garnet is believed to have the power to cleanse the blood". Both those statements are true. Or are they saying, "Opals have been clinically proven to cure depression"?

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yes, it would be toxic but blood being transfused doesn't go through digestion like the blood going into your mouth through meats. the stomach breaks up the toxic molecules into smaller ones that aren't toxic. it should be safe.

While I concede your possible point re the digestion, "it should be safe" isn't good enough. "I think it's safe" would be better. I don't know that it's safe and therefore don't eat meat that has been microwaved.

D.H.

A lot of it is urban myth.

Perhaps regarding water but if you follow the links on the page to the testimony mentioned in the court rulings.

Q. (by Mr. Wilkinson) What do you believe that Dr. Fred Jones should have done that he did not do with regard to Norma Levitt, please?

[objections by Dr. Jones' counsel overruled]

A. Dr. Jones failed to recognize the potential risks of warning IV solutions in the standard microwave in the coffee room in the lounge.

Q. Sir, do you have any reason to believe that the death of Norma Levitt was somehow related to a failure on the part of Dr. Puls or Dr. Hubner to maintain properly functioning, reliable blood warmers in the hospital?

A. Yes.

Q. The next criticism listed there is a "failure to stop the use of microwave ovens for warming I.V. solutions."

Footnote 1 referenced in paragraph 2 of the court findings clearly states;

Heating blood in this manner destroys the red blood cells, resulting in "gross hemolysis" of the blood, releasing large amounts of potassium. Excessive potassium, when introduced into the body, is often fatal. The practice of warming Intravenous (IV) fluids, other than blood, in the microwave was an accepted practice at Hillcrest Medical Center, as reflected in its written procedures.
(Emphasis mine)

From here. "Microwave ovens are capable of blood warming, but have been associated with unacceptable hemolysis."

From here. "The results of the present study indicate that microwaves per se are not harmful to erythrocytes but that poor penetrance of microwaves, together with insufficient blood mixing during warming, are the critical factors leading to hemolysis."

From here. "Thus, electromagnetic radiation appeared to influence the red cell metabolism, which cannot be explained by the effect of temperature alone."

So far I haven't seen much that confirms your "Urban Myth" comment. Most studies agree that the damage to red blood cells is caused by localised heating ( as you pointed out) leading to hemolysis. However as you can see from the last quote, some show another factor may be involved.

Most of the danger ( of hemolysis ) seems to come from insufficient mixing during microwaving, but during the cooking of food, there is no mixing at all. The logical conclusion is therefore that microwave cooking does indeed cause changes in the food. If I may be allowed an anecdotal comment, microwaved food tastes different to conventionally prepared food.

The person behind this silliness appears to be one "William P. Kopp".

The courts and the researchers whose papers I quoted above do not seem to regard the concept as "silliness", do they?

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While I concede your possible point re the digestion, "it should be safe" isn't good enough. "I think it's safe" would be better. I don't know that it's safe and therefore don't eat meat that has been microwaved.

You better stop eating then. Nothing is safe. Eating raw meat, fruits and vegetables is definitely unsafe. You are potentially eating live pathogens. Proper cooking kills those pathogens, but also creates carcinogens. Never, ever eat barbequed meat. It is potentially loaded with carcinogens.

D.H.

Footnote 1 referenced in paragraph 2 of the court findings clearly states;

Heating blood in this manner destroys the red blood cells, resulting in "gross hemolysis" of the blood, releasing large amounts of potassium. Excessive potassium, when introduced into the body, is often fatal. The practice of warming Intravenous (IV) fluids, other than blood, in the microwave was an accepted practice at Hillcrest Medical Center, as reflected in its written procedures.

(Emphasis mine)

Is this what you are afraid of? Do you think the microwave creates potassium out of thin air? Any form of cooking (versus simple warming) will rupture blood cells and change the blood chemically. The problem with using a microwave to warm blood is that microwaves have local hot spots. The blood in these hot spots is cooked, not just warmed.

The courts and the researchers whose papers I quoted above do not seem to regard the concept as "silliness", do they?

Neither those papers nor the courts said anything about the silliness one sees on the web. The problem with microwaving blood for transfusion is that the typical microwave may cook the blood. When you microwave meat, you want it to be cooked. Avoiding eating microwaved meat because microwaving blood for transfusions is harmful is indeed silly.

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From here. "Microwave ovens are capable of blood warming, but have been associated with unacceptable hemolysis."

From here. "The results of the present study indicate that microwaves per se are not harmful to erythrocytes but that poor penetrance of microwaves, together with insufficient blood mixing during warming, are the critical factors leading to hemolysis."

From here. "Thus, electromagnetic radiation appeared to influence the red cell metabolism, which cannot be explained by the effect of temperature alone."

So far I haven't seen much that confirms your "Urban Myth" comment. Most studies agree that the damage to red blood cells is caused by localised heating ( as you pointed out) leading to hemolysis. However as you can see from the last quote, some show another factor may be involved.

Most of the danger ( of hemolysis ) seems to come from insufficient mixing during microwaving, but during the cooking of food, there is no mixing at all. The logical conclusion is therefore that microwave cooking does indeed cause changes in the food. If I may be allowed an anecdotal comment, microwaved food tastes different to conventionally prepared food.

The courts and the researchers whose papers I quoted above do not seem to regard the concept as "silliness", do they?

The last abstract makes no mention of investigating uneven heating. Do they address this in the paper itself? Absent that, the only conclusion you can draw is that uneven heating causes the problems, and not a direct cause of using microwaves (i.e. it is not a radiation effect; you could get it with conduction in a device some appropriate geometry)

When preparing food, you rely on conduction to even out the temperature differences from the spatial variation. One can make the case that this is not very different than a conventional oven, since you rely on conduction to heat the interior, so I don't think that saying that microwaving causes changes is a logical conclusion at all. You get temperature gradients in both cases, and it would depend on specific cases to see which one has larger ones.

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microwaved food has a different taste b/c its a different method of cooking. steaming, boiling, frying baking all produce different flavors. If you choose to accept vibrational frequency memory as a reason not to ingest microwaved food b/c it can distort magical body energy chi resonance leading to cancer or some other disease like Huntington's or Tay-Sachs(and this is the claim that Trudeau and concubines make), thats awful logic.

At last count theres over 30 mutagens in a typical thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy

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John.

If you are quoting court records to try and make a scientific point, why don't you go all the way and quote Mrs. Jones snake oil blog instead?

Lawyers are not scientists and the history of law includes thousands of examples of total scientific nonsense. In fact, many lawyers will go to extreme lengths to prevent proper scientists testifying. Guess why. Lawyers do not stand for the truth. They stand for getting their own way regardless of the truth.

As far as cooking meat is concerned, microwaves have been used for this purpose for decades now. There are lots of ambitious epidemiologists out there who would just love to prove a connection between microwave cooking and any kind of ailment at all. No such connection has been even sniffed at. After all this time, that means that it is enormously probable that no such connection exists.

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