Phiten

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Phiten
Founded October 1983 (1983-10)[1]
Founder Yoshihiro Hirata, Ayako Doue
Headquarters Kyoto, Japan
Key people
Yoshihiro Hirata (president)[1]
Products Apparel, athletic tape, supports and braces, lotions and gels, necklaces and bracelets, hair-care products, health food, and other wellness-related products
Total equity ¥30,000,000 (as of May 2009)[1]
Subsidiaries Affiliates in USA, Korea, China, Germany, and the UK[1]
Website www.phitenusa.com
www.phiten.com/english/

Phiten is a Japanese company producing apparel, athletic tape, supports and braces, lotions and gels, necklaces and bracelets, health food, and other wellness-related products. Phiten also produces hair-care products under its beauty division, Yuko. All Phiten products are incorporated with one or more "Aqua Metals".[1] The name "Phi-Ten" is derived from the Greek letter "Phi" Φ, and the exponent 10. The "Phi" Φ is used as a symbol to represent the golden ratio in the natural world while "Ten" (10) used as an exponentiation base signifies the infinite possibilities at both the micro and macro level.[2]

Some Major League Baseball players wear the company's nylon-coated necklaces, although it is not known whether it is for the perceived physiological benefits, because of superstition, or a combination of both.[3] However, there is no medical or scientific evidence supporting any physiological effect of Phiten’s products,[4][5] and for many they are seen as mere superstition and ritual.[6] In 2016 instructors at the United States Air Force Academy conducted a double-blind controlled test of the Phiten titanium necklace and found that there was no significant difference between a piece of clothesline and the Phiten necklace.

Company background[edit]

The company was founded in October 1983[1] by Yoshihiro Hirata in Japan with its corporate headquarters in Kyoto. In 2008, Phiten acquired a license for the NBA and in 2011, Phiten acquired a license for the NHL.[7]

Phiten operates over 100 retail store locations across Japan. As of 2009 the company has affiliates in the USA, Korea, China, Germany, and the UK.[1] Phiten has sold over 1 billion Titanium Power Tape Discs worldwide.[citation needed]

Product information[edit]

Through a proprietary manufacturing process, metals, such as titanium, gold and silver are turned into "Aqua Metals" such as Aqua Titanium, Aqua Gold and Aqua Silver which are then incorporated into Phiten products. Aqua metals are created through a proprietary process that breaks down metals into microscopic particles dispersed in water, creating a hydro-colloidal metal. Every Phiten product features this technology.

Scientific testing of product[edit]

Instructors at the United States Air Force Academy conducted a double-blind study of the Phiten claim. Initially the instructors became interested in this product because of the companies claims that it could cause relaxation, maximize strength and energy. When looking into the product before testing they flagged several concerns; Most studies supporting Phiten were also funded by Phiten, The claims sound like the definition of pseudoscience with no mechanism to show how it could work and the claims are unfalsifiable. The packaging claims that '"not all users will experience the intended benefits."' Leaving the user to believe that it will work or it will not work. Also the instructors felt that the Phiten product was similar to other pseudoscientific medical accessories like copper bracelets, crystals and magnetic bands.[8]

Forty-eight Academy cadets wore a tape-covered necklace for 48-hours, half were necklaces purchased from the Phiten website and the other half were clothesline purchased from The Home Depot. All necklaces were the same length and wrapped in masking tape. The cadets selected a necklace from a bin and they and the instructors did not know who wore a clothesline and who wore a Phiten necklace. At the end of the 48-hours each cadet was asked to fill out a survey rating from one to nine, if they felt relaxed, angry or energized? The conclusion was that there was no "statistically significant difference" between the clothesline and the Phiten necklace.[8]

Furthermore, the instructors procured soil samples from a baseball field and analyzed the results checking for titanium. They also asked the Phiten company what the weight percent of titanium is in their necklaces, but were told it is a "corporate secret". The academy instructors learned that titanium was plentiful in the soil samples, and also learned that titanium is "the ninth most-abundant element on the planet". Which led the instructors to state, baseball players, "are purchasing Phiten necklaces to receive the purported benefits... when they are routinely performing... on playing fields that contain titanium."[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Company information". Phiten. May 2009. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  2. ^ About Us from Phiten-Canada
  3. ^ Petraglia, Mike (October 25, 2005). "Players take to unique necklace". MLB.com. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  4. ^ Do those Phiten titanium necklaces actually enhance athletic ability and promote healing?, Scienceline, NYU Journalism
  5. ^ So what's with all these necklaces in baseball? from Yahoo! Sports
  6. ^ Hudson, William (October 26, 2011). "What's the power of a good luck charm?". CNN. 
  7. ^ Van Riper, Tom (January 20, 2013). "Phiten (Maker Of Those Titanium Necklaces) Inks NHL Licensing Deal". Forbes. 
  8. ^ a b c Foster, Craig; Richard Reich; Christopher McClernon (May 2016). "Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces". Skeptical Inquirer. 40 (3): 45–50.