Psychology

Negative Ion Bracelet – Just Another Myth

Recently, I happened to receive an email from a reader about the authenticity of Negative Ion Bracelet. Although I do have a preconceived idea about it, I did a little research on my own just for the sake of second opinion.

Recently, I happened to receive an email from a reader about the authenticity of Negative Ion Bracelet. Although I do have a preconceived idea about it, I did a little research on my own just for the sake of second opinion.

As posted earlier, pseudoscience is not something I enjoy and this very thing – the negative ion bracelet unfortunately or fortunately comes under pseudoscience.

Pseudoscience has been a base for many that has successfully bamboozled enough people into thinking that whatever they do is purely scientific. By defending their claims from scientific scrutiny and fooling people, commodity based on pseudoscience has taken a deep root in today’s society manifesting itself in different phenomena.

Negative Ion Bracelet

One of its manifestation is Negative Ion Bracelets. For some years now, these bracelets are being sold with claims of boosting strength, preventing sickness, etc., by strengthening immune system by increasing the negative ions in the body.

The manufacturers use some basic science to their advantage. When an atom gains an electron, it is converted into a negative ion, and studies have shown that negative ions impact health in a positive way, like increasing heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, etc.

On the contrary, positive ions have adverse effects on health and the sources of such ions are cellphones, computers, Wi-Fi, etc. Using the conclusions of those researches, creators of these bracelets claim that the bracelets are negatively charged and influence body’s physiology increasing the negative ions and decreasing the positive ones, thus increasing the strength.

It has not been proven that these bracelets impact the ionic balance of human body in any way nor do they counter the positive ions generated by electronics or environment, but many people seem to get the desired benefits after wearing the bracelets, like some people don’t get sick, some can sleep better, etc. What is behind such improvement could be a mere ‘Placebo Effect.’ After wearing the bracelets, the wearers are somehow forced to believe that they got the strength they desired which actually is not the case. This has been proven by the study where half the patients suffering from chronic pain were made to wear the ionized bracelet and the other half the regular bracelet (Placebo Group).

Results showed a significant improvement in pain in both groups, but no difference was observed between the group wearing placebo bracelet and the group wearing the actual ionized bracelet.

Moreover, a piece of metal or anything cannot generate positive or negative ion on its own that would result in change in the net charge of the material spontaneously.  To change the net charge, energy must be provided and sources of such energy are chemical reactions like that occurring in a battery or if a machine is plugged into an outlet.

Most of the buyers of these products are athletes.  They would fall for any scam that claims to boost physical strength and are unaware of the real science and don’t bother researching to find out if the product is really a result of scientific research thereby falling prey to claims based on pseudoscience.

Such practice of blind faith, I believe, will prevail in the long run as long as people give in to claims based on pseudoscience.

20 comments

  1. The placebo effect however, is a very real science. My personal fascination is with the sub-conscious mind. I believe from some resesarch papers I have done that the “placebo effect” is merely using the right kind of communication to get the subconscious mind to help acheive the desired effect. (It is not mind over matter – that is trying to force the conscious mind a.k.a. useless willpower to make a change.) Instead, when people are truly convinced, like people who bought this bracelet, their subconscious mind is on-board… this is the control center of the body. I don’t own one of these bracelets. I just think if something makes someone feel better it isn’t the something… it is their subconscious mind. If they had to buy a bracelet to trick their brain into helping them feel better, then that really isn’t the end of the world in my book.

    I think it would be really cool if we could teach doctors to communicate with patients (WHILE ADMINISTERING PROVEN TREATMENTS) in a way that triggers the placebo effect in the subconscious mind to get even more effect from the treatment. I am not advocating for abandoning useful medications and treatments, but instead augmenting them.

    The more and more we advance in brain scanning tech I think we will move more in this direction.

    Just my two cents. I wrote a kind of cool paper on it if you are interested. (not promoting, it was for school a while back… just in case you wanted to read more)

  2. Thanks for the visit and comments on quickmeups.com And yeah I saw this one coming and have never bought one. I live in Chile (full of copper) so there are many copper bracelets which are promoted along similar lines as the negative ion bracelets. Now I will say that copper is anti-bacterial, but whether this converts to joint help or overall wellness, I doubt, more likely just another placebo. Take care.

    1. If it wasn’t for people who despise pseudoscience, much more people would have been fooled but seeing people like you gives a hope the pseudoscience will one day be a history!

  3. Thanks so much for the article 🙂

    I’m sure you cleared up A LOT of confusion for a lot of ambiguous consumers who just didn’t know where to look for a good source of information.

    1. You’re welcome. 🙂
      Well, I just don’t know why people fall for such stuffs!it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research before buying something, right?

  4. I think a large segment of the cosmetics industry is hugely guilty of perpetuating pseudoscience. Walk into a Sephora and you’ll see Revitalizing Serums that imply unrealistic benefits and charge $100+ for a 2oz bottle of oil. It’s claims can’t be imperially tested or be subjected to FDA regulation so long as the wording on the cosmetic labels are written with enough finesse.

    1. You’re right! All we can do is tell people of the reality of these pseudoscientific products. Most people don’t even know about it.

    1. I dont know about those cough drops but if they contain a valid chemicals, then yes it’s possible to get rid of cough but be careful that might be a scam too. Also, it could be dangerous to take meds without a doc’s consent. Isn’t it better to do a little research before using anything? Better safe than sorry, right? 🙂

      1. A good point. Based on my limited research at the time, they seemed legit, and actually they were the only over-the-counter cough medicine that did not contain a certain ingredient my doctor told me I should avoid. Still, I felt a little dirty trying them, kinda like walking into an acupuncture therapist’s office for cancer.

      2. Well, thank you for sharing your experience and be careful with meds and everything! Sorry, been busy lately and couldn’t reply on time. 😉

    1. Yes, it’s definitely important but what about all the electronics in our daily lives, they emit lots of positive ions. There is no way to avoid them, or is it there? Unless we just turn them all off. 🙂

      1. No, its just a question of shielding, or, reorienting the direction of travel of the positive ions. Its something industrial designers will need to factor in.

        Here’s something that might interest you: a Japanese scientist found that water needs to have a 6-pointed star like a snowflake. Most city water cannot form one. Its depleted. But it can be reconstituted.

      2. Thank you for sharing that! So now what we can do is hope for researchers to come up with inventions to shield us for negative ions. Sorry for the late reply!

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