Alternative Medicine

From eating placenta to rubbing coffee on your skin: how celebrities

They feed us a constant diet of fads and fancies, from detoxifying drinks to colon cleansers. But there were signs in 2012 that some celebrities at least are beginning to realise that many of the more bizarre health crazes of the rich and famous are nothing more than junk science.

Magnets can improve Alzheimer's symptoms

To sceptics of alternative medicine, it will come as a surprise. Applying magnets to the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers helps them understand what is said to them. The finding by Italian scientsts, who conducted a randomised controlled trial of the treatment, suggests that magnets may alter "cortical activity" in the brain, readjusting unhealthy patterns caused by disease or damage. The study was small, involving just 10 patients, and the results are preliminary.

Clean break: 'How my habit went up in smoke'

For more than half her life, Charlotte Philby has been devoted to cigarettes, even after watching her father die of lung cancer. Then a friend persuaded her to see a hypnotherapist – and something extraordinary happened

How to beat backache

Four out of five of us will suffer at some time – but not for the reasons we think. Alison Taylor consults the experts and sets the record straight on beds, bad posture and bending

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