Summary: There is no need to read this entire post, it is long and full of science. If you want the take home message, then here it is. Lifewave patches are placebo. In other words, they are very expensive pieces of gauze with a sticky bit. If someone has told you that they cure certain conditions, then you should ask them for evidence, since there is nothing to show that these patches work, none, ever. They are making it up, or they are deluded, or they are lying. You decide. Search for evidence. I bet you don’t find it.

How would you like your pain reduced by 50 -100% in just 2 minutes?

Increase your energy and strength endurance within minutes of use.

Lose weight fast! Remember, if you are overweight, it is not your fault…

Imagine rapid, drug-free sleep…

Elevate your blood glutathione levels by over a whopping 300% in just 24 hours!

The next miracle cure has arrived. Lifewave miracle patches are currently touring Australia giving seminars on how to become a distributor.

The series of five pads are known as Energy Enhancer, Icewave, Silent Nights, Glutathione and Sp6. And like most miracle cures these guys can treat or “assist with” everything and anything.

For example the energy pads, relieve symptoms of fatigue, loss of sleep, nervousness, exhaustion, muscle weakness, drowsiness etc. and support energy production, breathing and stamina.

Icewave is the pain relief pad, and assists with the temporary relief of arthritis related joint pain, general body aches, stiffness; soreness, swelling & bruising due to falls or blows, headaches due to stress, strain or illness, spasms & cramps due to strain or injury from overexertion.

Silent night plus is for symptomatic relief due to exhaustion; inability to fall asleep, restlessness, tossing and turning, sleeplessness, due to stress or worry. Light sleeping, overactive mind, tension/anxiety, nervous exhaustion, and insomnia.

The glutathione booster is anti-ageing (and anti-autism but more on that later) and Sp6 is a weight loss and appetite control patch.

Who are Lifewave?

David Schmidt, Education: Unknown Degrees: Unknown Previous Employment: Unknown Scientific Background: Unknown Nanotechnology Background: Unknown Previous MLMs: BioForce and Vitagenix

David Schmidt, Education: Unknown Degrees: Unknown Previous Employment: Unknown Scientific Background: Unknown Nanotechnology Background: Unknown Previous MLMs: BioForce and Vitagenix

Do a Google search for LifeWave and you get a lot of hits for scam websites, pyramid marketing and multi-level marketing (MLM). On the Worldwide scam network website they get an entire page dedicated to their dubious claims.

Lifewave is headed by the patch inventor and president, David Schmidt. He is not a doctor or a scientist. According to WWSN, he has no apparent history, no formal education, no professional experience in his field, no published peer review of any research into any of the so-called technology associated with his patches or any science whatsoever.

But the health and science director of the company, Dr Steve Haltiwanger is a proper doctor with qualifications from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Haltiwanger has a public record which establishes him as an educated professional with degrees in psychiatry, neurology, medicine, chemistry and pathology, professional memberships, awards, publications, academic appointments, medical licenses, and an impressive work history that spans 34 years. However he also has a wide range of interests that run the gamut of alternative medicine, unconventional therapies, and radical theories.

Evidence that even highly educated people can believe ridiculous things.

How do the patches work?

Firstly, the patches are self adhesive, round and about the size of a nicotine patch. According to the website, they are a “non-transdermal patch that does not put any chemicals or drugs into the body” but “by stimulating acupuncture points on the body with a combination of pressure and infared energy….what that means is they will reflect specific frequencies of infrared light to the body to improve circulation and relieve pain.”

This sounds a lot like someone has put some sciencey words in a hat and pulled them put at random Mr Schmidt.

Let’s look first at the claims about infared light. Photobiomodulation is a term peppered throughout their material and this is in fact, a legitimate scientific technique. It has been shown to be effective in wound healing, but this requires light to be shone on the wound. I can’t see any evidence for light being chanelled into these pads. It just doesn’t make scientific sense.

Whilst infared light does exist and can be used for some therapies, exactly how these pads apparently do this is not explained.

The Energy Enhancer patches apparently “stimulate acupuncture points on the body for improving the flow of energy and producing drug-free energy enhancement within minutes of use”. This apparently has something to do with light being chanelled down the meridian lines.

Well I’m afraid people have been searching for the elusive meridian lines for centuries and we have yet to find them. There is still no physiological evidence that meridian lines exist.

There is also a patch called glutathione which is supposed to be anti-ageing since it will apparently; “elevate your anti-oxidant levels by over 300 percent in one day”. And the website proudly displays a graph demonstrating this increase (see above). There are articles all over the website under the research tag, but none appear in peer reviewed scientific journals. Sorry to be boring Lifewave but as a scientist, I require evidence for such extraordinary claims.

And I’m not sure how “stimulating acupuncture points through light can increase levels of glutathione”. It’s very difficult to critique this statement, because scientifically it just doesn’t make sense.

Of course there are plenty of testimonials from satisfied customers, even some pretty important people like Olympic athletes and National Football League players. But I will get onto this a bit later.

In any case, none of this is important when you discover that LifeWave products are homeopathic. Which means that they likely have nothing in them. So what’s the point in discussing the science if what we really have here is a piece of guaze and some water, maybe. Mr Schmidt claims they contain amino acids, oxygen sugars and water and it’s the amino acids that do all the work. But all I found on the website was a list of homeopathic ingredients.

So if they contain water and oxygen how can they cure autism?

According to an audio testimonial buried in the bowels of the website, the glutathione patch has been helping kids with autism. There are two testimonials, one from a father of a 6 year old boy who says he has tried everything including foot baths (?) and as a last resort sought a blood transfusion for his son, to remove the mercury from his system deposited following immunisation. I assume the reference to mercury comes from the scaremongering about thimerosal, the organomercury compound used as a preservative in some vaccines (but as I discussed last week, thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in the year 2000 as a precaution and recently the Autism Omnibus case in the States ruled there is not link between autism and thimerosal).

You might be wondering how Lifewave get away with making such extraordinary claims about a homeopathic patch that likely contains no active ingredients. Well here’s the trick. They don’t officially claim their glutathione pads assist kids with autism – a couple of satisfied customers do. You won’t find this claim in any of their promotional material or on their website. And whilst it is clear from the testimonial that the client was told this by a Lifewave distributor, Lifewave do not have control over what the their distributors say. Whilst they can request they do not say this, ultimately they do not have control. So that’s them off the legal hook.

Dubious and deceitful. Especially when it come to an emotive and debilitating illness like autism for which there is currently no cure.

Lifewave are currently in Australia doing seminars and recruiting distributors.

Stay well away.

———–

Postscript: According to the WWSN, Lifewave backed out of the JREF 1 million dollar challenge because as they said; “the challenge is for testing claims of the paranormal”. Randi responded, “If this thing works as claimed, it is paranormal. There is no scientific principle by which it can work, so it is – by definition – paranormal. In any case, we agree to accept it as paranormal for purposes of the challenge, without reservation.”

A paper from Dr Steve Haltiwanger, entitled The Science Behind Lifewave Energy Patches, not published in a peer review journal, makes for some fairly entertaining reading.


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  • Anna

    I sure they paid you to say this or you are like fake news just talking out the side of your neck because if this was such a good product then they would not charge so much for this fake product

  • Kim

    The patches never claim to “cure” anything. Rather they claim to help with various issues. Sadly, the author who is anonymous and therefore cannot be verifed, has chose to ignore the science behind the modality. Take this for example: http://lifewave.com/pdf/Research/Research-AeonAutonomicNervousSystem.pdf And like all the research done on the patches, those conducting it have no conflict of interests. Can’t say the same about Big Pharma or Big Agri-science. Most drugs studies are industry funded and thus unreliable. Further, the majority of drug benefits have been proven (by their own studies) to be based on the placebo effect, especially so for antidepressants. The difference is, you may get some placebo effect-type benefits but you also get all the toxic, synthetic chemical risks. But that’s ok because it’s all about the profit$!

  • MIstwalker

    I smell a company plant. No one would have this kind of reactionary anger just because they disagree with someone over whether or not a product works. I think this article’s comments are peppered with remarks from the company pretending to be customers.

  • MIstwalker

    We have no way to indeoendently verify your claims. Anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of evidence available, as it doesn’t control for things like the placebo effect, people healing normally, or people simply lying.

    People aren’t “haters” because they don’t automatically believe every nonsense claim people want to spout. If you do this, you’re going to end up with a lot of very silly ideas in your head.

    So no, being skeptical isn’t being a “hater”, it’s just choosing not to be a gullible jackass.

  • irridescent

    Totally agree. I used today the energy patch for the first time in the hope that will elevate my energy levels. They made me feel less energetic than normal, to the point where I spent nearly the whole day in bed feeling lethargic. I’m not sure what made me feel worse, since I truly believe that there’s nothing in these patches, but I can confidently say that they did not improve my energy levels whatsoever.

  • MeAgain

    ‘Within seconds’?? Seriously? The ONLY things that works within ‘seconds’ is medication going in IV! I have a friend and her husband pushing this crap so I thought, yeah, I’ll help them out and buy them. I have dealt with chronic, severe pain for over 15+ years. Soooo, naturally, I am willing to try ANYTHING in hopes that it will work. First of all, like I said, nothing works in ‘seconds’ except pushing medication by IV. Second, you don’t know much about science, do you? Third, I spend $300. Like I said, I wanted to help my friends out, and at the same time, hope that there MIGHT be something to help with chronic pain besides the narcotics I have to take. My friendly ‘distributor’ tried telling me that the patch would actually work through my clothing. I was having a day of pain with my back and let her stick a pad to the outside of my clothing. I couldn’t believe it when she asked me, after 10 seconds, if it worked. Seriously? When I said NO, she suggested I wear them home. But I went one better and spent $300 on the Pain Patch box with the IceWave, Aeon, & Glutathione patches in it. It’s been a week and I can honestly say: THEY ARE A WASTE OF MONEY. THERE IS NOTHING IN THEM. HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE IS WATER, WATER, WATER….OH….AND AN ATOM-SIZED DROP OF SO-CALLED MEDICINE. These patches are the most expensive pieces of plastic I have ever owned. I think I’ll post them up on the wall and practice my dart throwing….try to aim for the center of the patch…..the part that supposedly will help with pain.

  • Helena

    I had two put on my upper back and shoulder, now I am a sceptic buttttt this worked! Ok not completely but it took the pain from 10 to 5 and what a relief! I hate to say it worked but you must give credit. I didn’t care how it worked but it did! And thats good enough for me. There are haters and they have their motifs but I’m sure they haven’t tried this. By the evening I was nearly all good down to 1 on pain, Aaaahhhhh. Slept good too.

  • Guest

    Yes some. but you may not like my answer… placebo effect.

  • Ron

    All you skeptics are just that skeptics. My wife has a bad ankle and I placed one on it immediately her pain level dropped from an 8 to 0 within seconds. Grow Up people before discrediting a product try it on someone

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  • firedrill

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Lifewave claims in their website video that their gluthathione patch can elevate the gluthathioine level in a person with gluthathione deficiency by 300% in 5 days. Gluthathione level can be determined by blood test. So, it is a simple matter to verify this claim.

  • iknowiknow

    Tell a long life clusterheadache sufferer they don’t work. They have stopped her headaches 7/10 times, no drug on the planet can come close to targeting the pain let alone stop it, it just re routes itself simple. All your statements are as potentially evasive as you claim LW testimonials to be. Baseless, unrefined, unsupported, unlearned. There’s been plenty of tests done on the Glthne patch, ive used them, and was looking for an excuse to write it off. They work, and all this crap about David Schmit having no work history is embarrassing, for you. US defence don’t employ people to engineer cutting edge tech for the NvySls if theyre likely to get a piece of sticky tape with some water in it to help with performance enhancement. Ya just not helping yourself attacking someone on this level with thin, ignorant and beyond childish barely related gibberish with total disregard, like your some science icon and everyone just laughs with you naturally whatever is said. I got news for you, like it or not the whole science story is flawed and corrupt just like everything else and you’d be struggling to join the dots if you’d paid any attention.

  • IQ:10^(10^100).

    lifewafers are smarter than yews. Theyre thin and absawbent, jus purfict for carumele and chocalete laiering. Theyre seeing the big picature without being qwalifyed bullshit artists which is why yew arnt in it…..its so much bigger withowt you and your suedough brand of science explynation, ova stretching the space canvas. Sorry I have autism from unessessarie vaccinations. Dr Rachie how old are yoo, 12?

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  • Andy

    So I found this thing on the internet – I think it was called Goggle or Google or something – and anyway, you can use it to search for stuff. So I gave it a try and I put “DrRachie” in it, not expecting to find anything, but whaddaya know, you’re not nearly as well hidden as you think you are “Maggie”.

  • DrRachie

    Just a note “Educated”, in my opinion, high level qualifications are not necessarily required to critically analyse pseudoscientific claims. By the same token, tertiary qualifications do not necessarily mean you are equipped to do it either.

    I know plenty of examples of people who have > PhDs/MBBSs who are tricked by this kind of stuff. You just have to look at Dr Oz or Dr Mercola. Closer to home, Dr Viera Sheibner is an anti-vaxer with a PhD in micropaleontology.

    On the other hand, look at Seth Mnookin who has written very good critical analyses of anti-vaccination claims. He’s not a PhD or an MSc etc. James Randi has a background in magic, which IMO gives him an even better insight into how people can be tricked.

    I’m curious to know why you suggest someone needs quals in science or med to critique claims such as above?

  • DrRachie

    If your last sentence is meant to read “maybe they now work after 4 years”, well, unless they’ve changed the formula from “nothing” to something then the answer is no.

  • Educated

    @Chris, the four year old post was something I came across whilst researching. Caught your attention ! Maybe the last post was four years old is that the things actually work ??

  • Chris Haynes

    Funny coming from someone who comments on a four year old article. And her identity is a very badly kept secret, especially if you listen to the radio in Australia. Here is a hint: http://www.skepticzone.tv/

  • Educated

    Maggie, you seem very good at Pooh poohing others but not brave enough to use your real name or qualifications – so do we have to believe that you are also not qualified in Science or Medicine ? Come on, put up or shut up – you are an Aussie like me! Dr. Robert Allen B.Med.Sci., MSc. PhD (Melb)

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