Ionized bracelets, or ionic bracelets, are a type of metal jewelry purported to affect the chi of the wearer. The Q-Ray is the most well known brand, while the lesser known Balance, Bio-Ray, IRenew and Rayma bracelets are also considered to be of the "ionized" family. Other alternative health bracelets, such as magnetic or copper therapy bracelets, are considered separate products. None of the claims to effectiveness made by manufacturers have been substantiated by independent sources, and the Federal Trade Commission has found the bracelets are "part of a scheme devised to defraud".
Marketing claims and FTC action
Western interest in the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet rose as a result of an infomercial campaign by QT Inc. which ran from August 2000 through June 11, 2003. During this time many claims were made regarding the product's alleged effectiveness, most notably regarding relief from pain and arthritis due to manipulation of a body's chi.
These claims were the topic of a 2003 injunction by the Federal Trade Commission and later a high-profile court ruling in 2006. The court was unable to find any basis for QT Inc.'s claims related to traditional Chinese medicine, concluding that it was "part of a scheme devised by [QT Inc.] to defraud [its] consumers".
In a Marketplace interview, Charles Park, president of Q-Ray Canada, explains that the term "ionized" does not mean the bracelets themselves are ionized, but rather that the term comes from their secret "ionization process" which, he asserts, affects the bracelets in undisclosed ways.
In October 1973, corporate websites claim,[clarification needed] Manuel L. Polo began investigating the effects of different metals on humans, believing that some metals offered a benefit when worn. This led directly to his creation of the Bio-Ray (Biomagnetic Regulator), the first ionized bracelet. Years later in 1994, Andrew Park bought a Bio-Ray bracelet while visiting Barcelona, Spain. Believing that it had reduced his lower back pain, he was inspired to found QT Inc., which began manufacturing and selling Q-Ray bracelets in the United States by 1996.
A placebo controlled randomized trial study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings compared the effect of ionized bracelet produced by Q-ray to an identically appearing placebo bracelet. The study found no difference between the ionized bracelet and control with respect to musculoskeletal pain, suggesting the effects of Q-ray bracelet was due to the placebo effect.
- List of topics characterized as pseudoscience
- Biofield (disambiguation)
- Power Balance
- Hologram therapy
- Magnet therapy
- Negative air ionization therapy
- QRay Ionized Bracelets
- Court rules in FTC's favor in Q-Ray bracelet case U.S. Federal Trade Commission (2006)
- A Q-Ray timeline CBC Marketplace 14 November 2007
- FTC halts deceptive pain relief claims. U.S. Federal Trade Commission (2003)
- Meet the little bracelet that raises big questions CBC Marketplace 14 November 2007
- Bio Ray
- Bratton, RL; Montero, DP; Adams, KS; Novas, MA; McKay, TC; Hall, LJ; Foust, JG; Mueller, MB; O'Brien, PC; Atkinson, EJ; Maurer, MS (Nov 2002). "Effect of "ionized" wrist bracelets on musculoskeletal pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.". Mayo Clinic proceedings 77 (11): 1164–8. PMID 12440551.