The alternative medicine community believes that both titanium and negative ions have healing properties that promote general health of the body. Titanium improves health through easing the electric flow of the body. Negative ions do the same through neutralizing the effects of positive ions in our environment. Based on these beliefs, companies produce necklaces made of titanium and those that emits negative ions to meet the needs of believers in alternative medicine.
According to representative of Phiten, a pioneer of the titanium-infused necklace, the necklace works to stabilize the electric flow in the body to maximize performance. The claim is based on the assumption that the human body functions through transmission of electrical signals in the nerves. The medical community has yet to find any scientific evidence that supports this claim. The popularity of the titanium necklace remains despite opposing opinions of the medical community. Some Boston Red Sox and NFL players wear titanium necklaces religiously to playoffs as lucky charm.
Negative Ion Necklace
In the late 18th century, two scientists, Elster and Geitel, discovered that small particles in the air carries electricity. Those particles were later named "air ions" by scientist Faraday. It is believed that positive ions are harmful to the body and negative ions are beneficial. Negative ions are present in nature, especially near water. Many people in Japan consider certain lakes sacred sites as studies have shown that more negative ions are found in running water than in distilled water. People travel a great distance to replenish their water supply from the sacred sites. Negative ion necklace works similarly to being around water. When a person is able to regularly receive negative ions from wearing the necklace, the person is believed to have received healing properties that promote health and balance.
Alternative Medicine: Titanium
Supporters of titanium's healing power believe that titanium can relax muscles, decompose lactic aid, improve mental concentration, promote blood circulation and subsequently eradicate tiredness. They also believe titanium aids in building stamina and physical strength. Although without scientific proof behind this alternative healing, popularity of titanium necklace remains due to our quick fix mentality and the assumption that titanium necklace works because they were on TV, in print media and endorsed by athletes such as center fielder, Greg Benoit. Repeated exposure to these advertising claims affect consumers psychologically according to Michael Voight, a USC physiologist. The belief in the product's healing power also creates profound psychosomatic feelings in the users.
Alternative Medicine: Nagative Ion
The flow of electrical signals in the body cannot be influenced by the ions of a bracelet because if this claim were true, every time we visited a CT scanner (that simulates the effects of a large scaled magnet), we would feel significant improvements from having the ions of our body recharged. Some alternative medicine practitioners believe that positive ions make our body tired, irritable and depressed. When tensions are eased, the individual feels refreshed through balance of the negative ions in our environment. Alternative medicine practitioners used studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute as support. Examples used are studies that demonstrate electrical storms generated tranquilizing negative ions that make us feel better. Note that the studies are making reference to improving the ionic level in the surrounding environment, they do not provide solid evidence proving that a small bracelet can combat an environment filled with positive icons. Additionally, specific descriptions and documentation of the studies were not disclosed by the advertisers of negative ion necklace, making their claims untraceable and unreliable.
Law Suit on Q-Ray Ionic Bracelet
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered the defendants of Q-Ray, a maker of ionized bracelets to relinquish their assets in 2007 so the FTC could refund consumers who purchased their bracelets between 2000 and 2003. The appellate court of Northern District of Illinois found that everything Q-Ray said was false. The courts found that the bracelets did not emit "Q-Rays" and were not ionized. The bracelets were labeled as Q-Ray for simple convenience. The court also found that both “enhancing the flow of bio-energy” and “balancing the flow of negative energies" are empty phases. The bracelets offered no medical or therapeutic effects. Q-Ray, after its bankruptcy, changed ownership and made less therapeutic claims. Their products are now available to be purchased online and in some health food stores
Neither of these products are back by scientific proofs. Those who believe in alternative medicine can weigh the pros and cons of each product. FTC has nonetheless issued a consumer alert that recommends consumers pay attention to products that made exaggerated claims. According to various FTC alerts, companies that make impressive-sounding claims are often those that can not back their products up with medical studies. Consumers should look out for sudden scientific breakthroughs and ancient remedies that offer miraculous cures. Products that promote their ability to cure many ailments are a red flag. Companies that promises a money back guarantee without listing the company's physical address are also something to watch for.
- Scienceline Report: Do those Phiten titanium necklaces actually enhance athletic ability and promote healing?
- "Federal Trade Comission Consumer Information: Q-Ray Bracelet Refunds
- Federal Trade Comission Consumer Alert: Virtual "Treatments" Can Be Real-World Deceptions
- USA Today: What causes lightning?
- New York Times: Performance-Enhancing Jewelry Knocking 'Em Out of the Park
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