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.
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.