Sep 06 2012

Shuzi Magic Power Bracelet

Here we go – yet another magical bracelet claiming to improve balance, energy, and performance. This time you get to pay $100 for a black piece of cloth with a small chip inside. From the Shuzi website:

Shuzi (pronounced shoo-zee ) utilizes a proprietary chip from the United States, which is programmed to resonate with your cells’ natural frequencies and causes your blood cells to separate thereby creating a better blood flow which can lead to more oxygen through out the body.

“Resonate with natural frequencies” – they can’t even be bothered to make up their own ridiculous pseudoscientific technobabble. Improving blood flow by separating blood cells is also an old scam. We have evolved very robust mechanisms to ensure optimal delivery of oxygen to our tissues. There is no simple way to “improve” this in a healthy person. These mechanisms may not be adequate in someone with advanced disease affecting the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, neither is a little wrist band going to have any effect in such serious conditions.

The company claims that their product improves balance. Why would increased oxygen delivery improve balance specifically? It might have something to do with the fact that the balance demonstration is an old scam – a parlor trick to convince the unwary that something real is going on.

My favorite part of websites selling blatant nonsense is the tab “how it works.” You know this is going to be fun. In addition to the above claim, they write:

No battery/energy source is required. Many people ask us how this is possible.
Here is our official explanation:

It is a well known fact in the scientific community that ALL atoms are in a constant state of motion. This includes physical object atoms, such as the atoms that make up a desk or chair. More specifically, every atom in a physical object is known to “vibrate” or oscillate back and forth.

Logically, utilizing e=mc2 every atom has mass and the speed of light (c) is a constant, therefore there must be energy in every atom. Through our proprietary programming process, our chip emits sub-atomic energies powered by an atom’s inherent energy. Coincidentally, this energy stimulates the separation of blood cells in the wearer’s body which can help increase blood cell circulation. While the scale of vibration is considerably smaller for nano-vibrational technology, it is inherently the same in definition, to any other object that vibrates.

They quote Einstein and E=mc2 – it’s so sciencey. Yes, all atoms vibrate and have energy (unless they are at absolute zero). That’s called heat. None of this explains how their chip, or anything, can emit “subatomic energies” (what energy, exactly, is that?), and how this energy is transferred to the blood of the wearer. How is a computer chip “programmed” to do this? Are they saying that the energy of atoms responds to the programming inside a computer chip?

The physiology makes as little sense as the physics here. They say that the vibrational frequency (by an amazing coincidence) separates blood cells. How does that work? Red blood cells are flexible and move quite nicely through even capillaries that are no bigger across than the blood cells themselves. In healthy individuals the red cells flow without difficulty. Forcibly separating them (if that were even possible) would not increase blood circulation.

This is nonsense built upon nonsense used to sell a cheap bracelet for $100.

At least these companies seem to be burning themselves out more and more quickly. Not that these claims needed to be tested, but a recent news article reports: (here is there protocol)

The Merseyside Skeptics Society bought two of the bracelets and removed the chip from one of them. A semi-professional rugby player then took 100 conversion kicks, half with each bracelet, but without knowing which was which.

The results showed the chip had made little or no difference to his performance.

Skeptics are now playing whack-a-mole with the sports band industry.  New products keeping popping up, with a rotation of recycled pseudoscientific gobbledygook, usually promoted with the same old parlor tricks. We need to keep the pressure on to make sure that the public understands that these are a scam, and keep prodding the appropriate regulatory agencies to do their job to prevent fraud.

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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Shuzi Magic Power Bracelet”

  1. BillyJoe7on 06 Sep 2012 at 8:42 am

    Are we allowed to deride and ridicule the rugby players who wear them?

  2. Gallenodon 06 Sep 2012 at 9:46 am

    Yes, BillyJoe, you may. However, given the relative size and aggressiveness of most rugby players I suggest it be done from a very safe distance.

    Off topic but possibly of interest: Homeopathy believer Jeremy Hunt was just appointed Health Minister in the U.K. Ouch.

  3. Skepticoon 06 Sep 2012 at 10:01 am

    Sounds like the Q-Link – a very similar and equally useless product that is still going strong seven years after I wrote about it. Here we go again, indeed.

  4. Marshallon 06 Sep 2012 at 11:31 am

    I’ve always wondered where that exact description of the product came from.

    Was the guy at home sitting in a chair, wringing his hands together and cackling maniacally at all of the ignorance that would flood his bank account with money?

    Or did they hire a kid, hand-waving-ly explain the science, and tell him to write up a paragraph of how he best understood it? That sort of allows them to avoid taking responsibility for the false science–they could tell themselves they “got the gist” of it but didn’t really know the details.

    At some point, someone sat at a computer and typed that up. Who did it, and what was going through his/her mind?

  5. mikkoon 06 Sep 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I wonder where in the periodic table are the desk atoms,or table atoms?

  6. DOYLEon 06 Sep 2012 at 3:05 pm

    All you need to know about the efficacy of this product is that its proprietary.Proprietary is code for, fraudulent gimmic intended for consumption.Idiots and assholes act out in personal proprietary ways every day.

  7. Jerry in Coloradoon 06 Sep 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Agreed, the bracelet is a hoax. But their physics sounds impressive, if you just look at the terms they use.
    Speaking of physics though, two minor points: all atoms vibrate and have energy even at absolute energy (called zero point energy). And heat is energy “in motion” between objects, not that contained within a body……………as I was taught.

  8. ccbowerson 06 Sep 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I see they now have ShuziEquine for those who want to improve the laptimes for their racehorse. I still find it unbelievable that people would purchase products like these.

  9. eiskrystalon 07 Sep 2012 at 3:49 am

    Ugh, humans are so embarrassing.

    This i think is the most powerful reason for why aliens haven’t contacted us yet. We don’t yet count as an “intelligent” species.

  10. Alex Simmonson 07 Sep 2012 at 4:59 am

    Steve, great blog, a first time commenter from down under.

    The only balance these things improve is the marketer’s bank balance.

    I noted this phrase:

    “We have evolved very robust mechanisms to ensure optimal delivery of oxygen to our tissues. There is no simple way to “improve” this in a healthy person.”

    I was wondering, given the ongoing saga of “Lance-gate” (Armstrong), how would you describe the practice of “doping” (e.g. use of blood boosting products such as EPO, or reinjecting one’s own blood products) specifically designed to enable a significantly greater O2 utilisation by athletes and hence improve sustainable aerobic power output, especially as often used in aerobic endurance sports such as cycling, running, rowing, swimming etc?

    I suppose such a practice is not “simple”, and certainly not ethical, can be potentially harmful if not done carefully, nor is it permitted under world anti-doping code!

    As for the bands, seems like another tax on stupidity. Mind you, as is typical with these things, I’m sure some high profile sports people will be spotted wearing them in an effort to round up the remaining gullible crowd. Kinda sad really.

  11. honjon 11 Sep 2012 at 5:59 pm

    @mikko They’re right there, below the bullshit atoms

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