Benefits of Titanium Discs
Titanium discs are actually magnets coated with carbonized titanium. These discs are sold with the claim that they offer a number of health benefits, all revolving around muscle relaxation and overall boosts of energy. Many professional athletes, including Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, wear these necklaces and believe in the positive changes that the discs bring to their health.
For pain in the shoulders, lower back, and other joints or muscles, practitioners apply the discs with the tape provided to make the pain stop more quickly than it would have had the patient taken an anti-inflammatory, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Proponents of the discs claim that the pain stops very soon after the discs are in place.
Augmenting Neurological Responses
When patients attach the disc near clusters of nerve endings, called "motor points," the magnetic forces inside the disc may amplify the responses of those endings, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The end result is faster muscle movement and higher performance levels.
According to the Phiten company’s marketing materials, patients who apply the titanium discs to various points on their body claim that, in athletic pursuits after removing the discs, it takes significantly longer to encounter fatigue than it does on days when they do not apply the discs.
Real? Or Psychosomatic?
According to Dr. Orrin Sherman, the chief of sports medicine at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, "There’s just no way the chemical structure of the body can be influenced by magnets that small. It’s all superstitions with no chemical basis." According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the "majority of rigorous trials…have found no effect on pain." However, the NCCAM also notes that the number of factors that can influence the results of this sort of study, such as the placebo effect, and that many studies have had too few participants or were not long enough to claim scientific validity, and suggests that more study is needed.