Skepticism

. . . And Nuke’s Eyelids Are Clogged

Well, it’s been a rough and crazy few months. Since February, I’ve been working harder at my day job than I ever have, I endured some personal tragedies and dealt with the attendant grief, I once again helped out at Houston’s Fourth of July festival, and just last week, I stood up as one of my best buds got married, while at the same time another one of my buds was getting married in Las Vegas. Lately, I’ve barely had time to stop and smell the whiskey.

But things seem to be settling down for me a bit, which means I have more time to do the things I’ve had to put on the back burner, like reading, sleeping, playing volleyball, catching a wave or two, and playing with you all on Skepchick. Why, I even had a chance to catch a baseball game the other day, and I found something to share with you all. Read about it after the fold.

Now, I’m not a huge baseball fan, and I’d rather have my lips removed than watch it on TV, but there’s something supremely enjoyable about sitting in the sunshine, cutting up with your friends, noshing on a hot dog, and sipping on a cold beer. That’s why I go to the games. I usually don’t even remember the score or which team won.

But at the game the other day, I noticed some of the players wearing what appeared to be small hula hoops around their necks. I was curious, because I often wear a little earthy bling myself. But my bling usually comes in the form of a leather choker with a small pendant attached, or something else similarly understated. These ball players had freaking equipment from the carnival Ring Toss game around their necks.baseball-necklace

So I asked the avid baseball fan in our group what was going on with the unusual necklaces, and he told me they were something called Phiten necklaces. He said a lot of ball players wear them because they supposedly regulate the body’s energy flow, reducing fatigue and thereby maximizing performance.

Well, as you can imagine, my bullshit detector started squawking like a penguin being murdered, and when I got home, I Googled like a sumbitch. Terms like “energy flow” are prominent in New Age vernacular, and I just knew I was going to discover the necklaces are made to align chakras and center ch’is, and that they smell like Chinese rain when you burn them. And I wasn’t too far off.

The Phiten website says:

Phiten products work with your body’s energy system, helping to regulate and balance the flow of energy throughout your body. Proper energy balance helps to alleviate discomfort, speed recovery, and counteract fatigue.

That’s all well and good, right? But how does it do all that?

Well, according to the website, the manufacturers have applied something called the Phild Process to create the Phiten technology that is present in the necklaces, wristbands, power sleeves, and bracelets they sell. Now, I could find no other mention of the Phild Process in relation to anything other than the Phiten product line, but apparently, the process involves dissolving titanium in water, which can then be added to the materials used to make the Phiten accessories. Says the website:

In nature, titanium is not a soluble material. However, by utilizing the high-intensity Phild Process, Phiten scientists are able to dissolve titanium in water. This creates Aqua-Titanium, which then can be absorbed into material just like a dye. The Aqua-Titanium becomes part of the fabric and can not be washed out or fade away. Aqua-Titanium most prominently used in our necklaces and apparel, where the entire fabric is permeated with Aqua-Titanium and emits energy that effectively controls your bio-electric current.

So Phiten scientists dissolve titanium in water, which is absorbed into material made into necklaces and other apparel that then emit energy  and have the power to regulate the body’s bio-electric current “by stabilizing ions”. This apparently permits a greater flow of energy with less waste. Fatigue sets in later and recovery time is shortened. And all of this magic happens by wearing some of their jewelry on the outside of the body in the neck, arm, or wrist areas.

They don’t say why it works in the neck, arm, or wrist areas. Or if it will work if you wore the noose around your waist or if you stuffed it up your ass.

But perhaps, just perhaps, it doesn’t work at all.

Um . . . Yeah, it’s a load of crap, and I’m going to go with “it doesn’t work at all”.

Now, I found out that this particular sports voodoo isn’t new. There are mentions on the Internet of Major League ball players wearing Phiten gear as early as the 2008 season and possibly even in 2007. And it looks as though some athletes elsewhere are on the bandwagon as well.korean-baseball-necklaces

But the ball game I attended recently was the first time I had seen it. And my curiosity led me to discover the nonsense Phiten is selling.

Of course, professional athletes these days have no problem paying the $20-$80 for the accessories (if they are paying for them at all), but this bit of bunkum could cost the average Joe some hard-earned cash for an ugly horse collar that does absolutely nothing.

So, unless you’re just enamored of hideous jewelry, steer clear of the Phiten stuff.

Hey, go see Surly Amy instead.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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13 Comments

  1. So titanium dissolved in water is nuclear fuel for the human body? If their special titanium can now dissolve in water, wouldn’t the jewelry fall apart when it gets wet?
    This is what happens when you skim through your education because you’re the star of the high school team. I am this close: >< to saying, "Screw the stupid." and funding my retirement with exploitive products.

  2. @QuestionAuthority: What is it with professional athletes and woo, anyway?

    ————-

    Professional athletes are, almost by definition, specialists. That is, they’ve devote pretty much 100% of their critical thinking into analyzing other professional athletes.

    They are also constantly searching for any edge at all over other specialists who are doing the same thing.

    This has two results. First, athletes are easy to sell bullshit too, and second, if one guy wears one of these things and has subsequent success, everyone will do it. Until they stop having success, and then they’ll do something else.

    Kind of like hedge fund managers, except that athletes have some clue how the games they play work.

  3. @David Harmon:

    True. And baseball players are notoriously superstitious. Tales of guys not changing their socks or jock strap when they are hitting well. And no first baseman in the Majors will enter the dugout at the end of an inning without a ball in his glove.

  4. Interesting. That whole website is like the culmination of a thesis project for a PhD in Bullshittery.

    Found a patent possibly linked to the product: #7,320,713 assigned to Phild Co., Ltd., out of Kyoto, Japan.

    Warrants further reading but I’m too tired to do it right now.

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