Bad science Medicine Physics Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Luminas Pain Relief Patches: Where the words “quantum” and “energy” really mean “magic”

Orac discovers the Luminas Pain Relief Patch. He is amused at how how quacks confuse the words “quantum” and “energy” with magic.

Luminas Pain Relief Patches Luminas Pain Relief Patches: They cure everything through…energy (wait, no, magic).

Energy. Quacks keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means. Certainly Luminas doesn’t. Yes, I know that I use a lot of variations on that famous quote from The Princess Bride all the time, probably more frequently than I should and likely to the point of annoying some of my readers, but, damn, if it isn’t a nearly all-purpose phrase to use to riff on various quackery.

Also, if there’s one concept that quacks love to abuse, it’s energy. Whether it’s “energy healing” like reiki, where practitioners claim to be able to channel healing energy from the magical mystical “universal source” specifically into their patient to specifically heal whatever ails them, even if it’s from a distance or you’re a dog, or “healing touch,” where practitioners claim to be able to manipulate their patients’ “life energy” fields, again to healing effect, so much quackery is based on a misunderstanding of “energy” as basically magic. So it is with some spectacularly hilarious woo that I came across last week and, given that it’s Friday, decided to feature as a sort of Friday Dose of Woo Lite. It even abuses quantum theory because of course it does. So much quackery does.

So what are we talking about here? What is Luminas? To be honest, more than anything else, it reminds me of the silly “Body Vibesenergy stickers that Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop were selling last year (and probably still are) that claim to “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies,” whatever that means. So let’s look at the claims.

Right on the front page of the Luminas website, you’ll find a video. It’s well-produced, as many such videos for quackery are, and it blathers on about how the product being advertised takes advantage of “revolutions in quantum physics,” as a lot of quackery does. Let’s see how this lovely patch supposedly works.

The basic claim is that the Luminas patch is charged with the “energetic signatures of natural remedies known for centuries to reduce inflammation.” These natural remedies include “Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Amino Acids, Arnica, Astaxanthin, B-Complex, Berberis Vulgaris, Bioperine, Boluoke, Boswellia, Bromelain, Chamomile, Chinchona, Chondroitin, Clove, Colostrum, CoQ10, Cordyceps, Curcumin, Flower Essences Frankincense, Ginger, Ginseng, Glucosamine, Glutathione, Guggulu, Hops Extract, K2, Lavender, Magnesium, Motherwort, MSM, Olive Leaf, Omega-3, Peony, Proteolytic Enzymes, Polyphenols, Rosemary Extract, Telomerase Activators, Turmeric, Vinpocetine, Vitamin D, White Willow Bark and over 200 more!”

Luminas Pain Relief Patches
Luminas Pain Relief Patches: here’s the excuse to show partially naked bodies.


Don’t believe me? Take a look at this video on this page! It starts out with an announcer opining about how “energy is all around us.” (Well, yes it is, but that doesn’t mean your nonsense product works.) The announcer then goes on about Luminas somehow infuses its patches with the energy from she substances above:

…energy that your body inherently knows how to absorb and use with absolutely no side effects.

What? Not even skin irritation from the patch or any of the adhesive used to stick the patch to your body? I find that hard to believe. I mean, even paper tape can cause irritation! Fear not, though! The announcer continues:

Through the use of quantum physics scientists and doctors now have the ability to store the energetic signatures of hundreds of pain- and inflammation-relieving remedies on a single patch. Once applied, your body induces the flow of energy from the patch, choosing which electrons it needs to reduce inflammation. Science, relieving pain, with the power of nature.

So. Many. Questions. How, for instance, do the Luminas “scientists” store these “energetic signatures” on a patch? (More on that later.) What, exactly, is an “energetic signature”? How does the body know which electrons it needs to reduce inflammation and pain? As a surgeon and scientists with a PhD in cellular physiology, I’d love to know the physiologic mechanism by which the body can distinguish one electron from another, given that there really is no known biological (or, come to think of it, no physical) mechanism for that to happen and if Luminas has discovered one its scientists should be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Let’s get back to a key question, though: How on earth is all this energy goodness concentrated into a little patch roughly the size of a playing card? Physicists and chemists are going to guffaw at the answer, I promise you. First, the same page linked to above also notes that the “patches contain no active ingredients” because they “are charged with electrons captured from” the substances listed above. So is this some form of homeopathy? Of course not! Look at the video, which shows magical energy swirling off of the natural remedies and winding its way into the patch! There’s your energy, you unbeliever, you! How can you possibly question it?

But, hey, the makers of Luminas know that there are science geeks out there; so for the benefit of them included in the FAQ is an explanation of just how much natural product-infused electrony goodness you can expect in a single patch:

For the geeks and scientists among us: Each patch contains 5.2 x 10^19 molecular structures, each with 2 oxygen polar bonding areas capable of holding a targeted, host electron, creating a total possible charging capacity equal to 10.4 x 10^19 host electrons. After considering the average transmission field voltage of humans (200 micro volts) we can calculate the relative capacity, per square inch of patch, at 333 Pico Farads.

So basically, they’re saying that each patch contains around 86 micromoles of…whatever…and that that whatever can bind…electrons, I guess. Somewhere, far back in the recesses of my mind and buried in the mists of time from decades ago, my knowledge from my undergraduate chemistry degree and the additional advanced physics courses stirred—and then screamed! I can’t wait to see what actual physicists and chemists whose knowledge is in active use think of this. I apologize in advance if I cause them too much pain by showing them this. Not everyone’s neurons are as resistant as mine to apoptosis caused by waves of burning stupid. It is a resistance built up over 14 years of examining claims like those of Luminas.

Who, I wondered, developed this amazing product? In the first video, we discover that it is a woman named Sonia Broglin, who is the director of product development at Luminas. Naturally, she’s featured with a monitor in the background showing what look like infrared heat images of people. I actually laughed out loud as the video went on, because it shows her in very obviously posed and scripted interactions with patients with no shirts on and up to several of these patches all over their torso and arms. Me being me, I had to Google her, and guess what I found? Surprise! Surprise! She’s listed as a certified EnergyTouch® practitioner who graduated from the EnergyTouch® School of Advanced Healing. What, you might ask, is EnergyTouch®? This:

Energy Touch® is an off-the-body multidimensional healing process that allows the Energy Touch® Practitioner to access outer levels of the human energy field. It is based on the understanding that the human energy field is a dynamic system of powerful influences, in unique relationship to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. This system consists of the field (aura), chakras (energy centers) and the energy of the organs and systems of the body.

We readily accept the many ways that our body functions and is powered by energy. Our heart beats using energy pulses. Our brain and nervous system communicates with our entire body through complex energetic pathways. Our human energy field is constantly reacting in response to the physical and emotional and spiritual needs of our body.

EnergyTouch® is distinctive in the field of energy healing in that the work takes place in a more expanded energy field allowing the practitioner to work on a cellular level. Our work includes accessing an energetic hologram of the physical body, which is a unique and vital aspect of EnergyTouch® Healing. This energetic hologram acts as a matrix connecting the energies of the outer levels of the field precisely with the physical body on a cellular level.

EnergyTouch® practitioners are skillfully capable of moving fluently throughout the levels of the human energy field, to access and utilize outer level energies to clear blocks and restore function at the most basic cellular level.

It’s all starting to make sense now. That is some Grade-A+, seriously energy woo there, and I’m guessing Broglin cranked it up to 11 when developing the Luminas patches.

Next up is someone named Dr. Craig Davies, who is billed as “Pro Sports Doctor.” Yes, but a doctor of what? It didn’t take much Googling to figure out that Davies is not a physician. He is a chiropractor, because of course he is. He ha actually worked on the PGA tour, apparently adjusting the spines of professional golfers.

Then there’s Dr. Ara Suppiah. Unlike Davies, Dr. Suppiah appears to be more legit:

He is a practicing ER physician, Chief Wellness Officer for Emergency Physicians of Florida and an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida Medical School. He also is the personal physician for several top PGA Tour professionals, including Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Gary Woodland, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh, Graham DeLaet, and Kevin Chappell, as well as LPGA Tour players Anna Nordqvist and Julieta Granada.

However, his Twitter bio describes him as doing “functional sports medicine,” which suggests to me functional medicine, which is not exactly science-based. Basically, Dr. Suppiah looks like an ER doc turned sports medicine doc who was a bit into woo but has dived both feet first into the deep end of energy medicine pseudoscience by endorsing these Luminas patches. Seriously, a physician should really know better, but clearly Dr. Suppiah doesn’t. Either that, or the money was good.

Ditto Dr. Ashley Anderson, a nurse practitioner who also gives an endorsement. She’s affiliated with Athena Health and Wellness, a practice that mixes standard women’s health treatments with “integrative medicine” quackery like acupuncture, reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine, and the like.

Given the claims being made, you’d think that Luminas would have some…oh, you know…actual scientific evidence to support its patch. The video touts “astounding results” from Luminas’ patient trials, but what are those trials? Certainly they are not published anywhere that I could find in the peer-reviewed literature. Certainly I could find no registered clinical trials in What I did find on the Luminas website is a hilariously inept trial in which patients were imaged using thermography (which, by the way, is generally quackery when used by alternative medicine practitioners).

Luminas Pain Control Patches

8/Luminas4.jpg”> Luminas Pain Control Patches: Wait! Don’t you believe our patient studies that are totally not clinical trials? Come on! It’s science, man![/caption]So. Many. Questions. About. This. Trial. For instance,
So. Many. Questions. About. This. Trial. For instance, was there a randomized controlled trial of the Luminas patch versus an identical patch that wasn’t infused with the magic electrony goodness of the Luminas patch? (My guess: No.) I also know from my previous studies that thermography is very dependent on maintaining standardized conditions and a rigorously controlled room temperature, as well as on using rigorously standardized protocols. Did Luminas do that? It sure doesn’t look like it. It looks as though Broglin just did thermography on people, slapped a patch on them, and then repeated the thermography. Of course, such shoddy methodology guarantees a positive result, at least with patients whose patch is applied to an area covered by clothing. The temperature of that skin can start out warmer and then cool over time after the clothing is taken off, regardless of whether a patch is applied or not. Did Broglin do any no-patch control runs, to make sure to correct for this phenomenon? Color me a crotchety old skeptic, but my guess is: Almost assuredly not. No, scratch that. There’s no way on earth it even occurred to these quacks to run such a basic control. They can, of course, prove me wrong by sending me their detailed experimental protocol to read.

I suspect I will wait a long time. After all,

After nearly 14 years of regular blogging and 20 years of examining questionable claims, it never ceases to amaze me that products like Luminas patches are still sold. Basically, it’s a variety of quantum quackery in which “energy” is basically magic that can do anything, and quantum is an invocation of the high priests of quackery.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

99 replies on “Luminas Pain Relief Patches: Where the words “quantum” and “energy” really mean “magic””

By my reckoning, 10.4 x 10^19 electrons is 16.7 coulombs, To store 16.7 coulombs on 333 picofrads you need to charge it to 50 billion volts. Leyden would be impressed. Now I’m not quite clear on the claim, since the description says electrons per patch and the capacitance is per square inch.

But they are special electrons, like the marshmallow bits in Lucky Charms, so they probably don’t abide by the usual rules.

With all that charge, opening the package ought to result in the patches flying out like one of those spring snake gags.

You can figure out the area of the patches from their measurements. The large patches are 2.75″ x 4.0″ and the medium patches are 1.5″ x 2.75″. Just sayin’. ?

But the description says so many molecular structures per patch, not per unit area, then in practically the same breath talks about capacitance per square inch, hence my confusion: “Each patch contains 5.2 x 10^19 molecular structures,” I might be induced to think the numbers are total fabrications. But surely not!

Anyway, it makes little difference if the voltage is 50 billion or 50 million.

What cracks me up is that someone knew enough physics to come up with those numbers but not enough to know why they are ridiculous.

If they put Elvis’s mojo, or even Mojo’s mojo, into an energy patch, I might buy it.
“If you don’t have Mojo Nixon, then your patch could use some fixin’!”

I don’t know where Skid Roper has gone, but Mojo seems to have hooked up with Jello Biafra on at least one occasion. The “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” is somewhat amusing.

we can calculate the relative capacity, per square inch of patch, at 333 Pico Farads

“Capacitance.” Get it together, Random Capitalization People.

But SERIOUSLY, it has the energetic signatures of all of those herbs, spices and nutraceuticals!

-btw- more legit ( semi-legit?) pain patches and liquids contain cayenne, menthol or lidocaine:
early on, in my continuing leg injury adventure, I used a liquid form of lidocaine which seemed to be helping HOWEVER at one point, it felt as though my leg were on fire and washing it off didn’t help.
Eventually, it wore off and I felt better but swore off Demon Lidocaine.
Fortunately, I am better enough that I don’t try these products but I can see how people rely upon them when they have pain.

Perhaps this is the doctrine of signatures updated for modern times.

I don’t know how you’d get lidocaine to penetrate intact skin. Perhaps it will if it is dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). I think iontophoresis will work with lido.

@ doug:

I looked at the meds: they are OTC – standard drugstore stuff and one is 4% lidocaine/ another product has that plus 1% menthol. It did help against muscle/ nerve pain HOWEVER I had a bad reaction so I don’t use it.

Cripes, the first time I had my submandibular cyst biopsied (they eventually resorted to the aspiration gun), all I got was the cold spray, which is absolute crap as an analgesic.

Yes, it has the “signature” of a bunch of placebos, which makes it…
…a more convenient placebo!

The only thing that would be even more convenient would be placebos you can download from an app. Oh wait a minute. Haven’t we read, in this very column, about some “energy medicine” quack offering their own extra-special photons in an app?

This one sells electrons, that one sells photons, the only thing that hasn’t been tried yet is to sell neutrinos. Someone needs to put up a “surprise!” website offering “health-enhancing neutrinos,” and while they’re at it, “selected quarks and gluons.”

“We take out the strange quarks and leave only the charmed quarks, so you can have a charmed life!


Hmm, if only my close friend & coworker who does websites, had this type of sense of humor, I’d love to try it.

When you click the “Buy” button, you get a message about quantum quackery and a caution to not waste money on dreck.

BTW, if we proliferated those kinds of “surprise!” websites, they’d screw up the signal-to-noise ratio for the quantum quacks and other quacks, so badly that the quacks might suffer a loss of business, purely by way of losing placement in search engines. Anyone here up for a bit of guerrilla media?

As a chemist, I am amused by people who think that 10^19 is a large number. Or that it’s in any way impressive or unusual.

As for the oxygen polar bonding areas capable of holding a targeted host electron, I should put that on an exam to see if anyone can figure out that it just seems to be a florid description of an anion. You could say that lye (sodium hydroxide, aka Draino) contains the same: wouldn’t that make a great skin patch!:)

I think that the FDA should require that, if anyone wants to use the word “quantum”, or even “energy”, about a product, they should first be able to define it. That would do the trick. Even Deepak himself couldn’t pass that test.

Chopra especially couldn’t pass the test. He has had physicists try to explain it to him while he sits there with a blank look on his face so he knows he doesn’t understand it. That’s why he prefers quantum woo – you don’t have to understand anything and can just make $h!+ up as you go along confident that no acolyte or fellow woomeister will pull you up on it even though their own version is contradictory.

Chopra can actually be pretty good on comparative religion, so it’s doubly tragic that he goes down the quantum BS road. If he stuck to religion & philosophy, and stayed the hell away from the science he knows not, he could do some good.

Part of the blame for this rests with the media for giving his nonsense attention. Same as with Nobel laureates who’ve gone down various BS roads, such as Shockley and quack racial theories, etc. Same as with Silicon Valley big-wigs, look up “transhumanism” and “Alcor” and so on.

If we tried to educate reporters, it would be a constant game of whack-a-mole, and there would always be those who resist all efforts so they can keep pursuing cheap clickbait. But perhaps we can reach senior editors and publishers, at least in the major media such as newspapers of record, radio/TV networks, and so on?

Scientists could offer their grad students incentives to do the outreach. Postal mail to publishers, that leads off with “I’m writing on behalf of Dr. So-and-So (well known scientist) at Such-and Such University (major university)…” could work, because it’s leveraging name recognition, and postal mail gets through where email doesn’t. These letters and the replies could also be published to scientists’ blogs.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Yo Garnetstar, I’ll take your “energy challenge.”

Canonically, energy is the capacity to do work.

Work is somewhat circularly defined as conversion of energy from one form to another.

Mundane examples: a generator converts kinetic energy to electrical energy; and a motor converts electrical energy to kinetic energy. The same device can be used both ways, thus we get regenerative braking in electric and hybrid automobiles.

OK, so (excess capitalization intended for effect):

Energy is the capacity to do work. The special Energy embodied in our products, does its work by multiplying the Subtle Forces of your Bio-Energetic Field…”

Uh-ohski, looks like we’ll have to require them to define “force” (e.g. a measurable influence on the motion or other behavior of an object), and “field” (an area of spacetime in which a given force has a measurable effect e.g. a gravitational field around a star).

This could actually get fun.

Canonically, energy is the capacity to do work.

Work is somewhat circularly defined as conversion of energy from one form to another.

Which is why it’s a poor definition. There was a good post on this at the old SB, maybe Chad Orzel. Definitely not Ethan. I can’t remember whether there was another physics Scibling.

Fields exist throughout the entire universe and there are particle fields as well as force fields and, of course, the Higgs field.

I’d love to know the physiologic mechanism by which the body can distinguish one electron from another, given that there really is no known biological mechanism for that to happen

It’s even better than that: electrons are particles that by definition cannot be distinguished from one another. Each and every electron is fully identical to any other electron in a very fundamental way. All electrons have the exact same mass, charge and spin, and quantum physics also dictates that it is not possible to track the trajectories of individual electrons.

if Luminas has discovered one its scientists should be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Absolutely, because it would completely overturn the amassed knowledge in the field of quantum physics from the past hundred years.

It’s even better than that: electrons are particles

The deuce you say. (Yes, I understand why one can’t walk through walls absent making a big mess).

So much so that John Wheeler wrote to Albert Einstein saying that he has figured out why all those electrons are identical. By using Richard Feynman’s idea that positrons are sort of like electrons traveling backwards in time, he concluded that there is only one electron in the universe (you test this for yourself using Feynman diagrams and it is indeed makes sense). Of course this was only an interesting idea, and no one really believes this is true.

correction…John Wheeler communicated this to Richard Feynman, not Albert Einstein.

On National Cycle to Work Day.

Back when I was working for a university press, a fine young, long-waisted lady, year after year, would implore me to ride a bike to work. And I always pointed out that my apartment was a five-minute walk from work. She wanted me to rent one anyway. I’m somewhat hostile to the attempts by cyclists to try to Borg pedestrians, especially given that they represent a greater hazard than do cars.

I agree. Cycling is for leisure. In my neck of the woods, there are numerous trails for walking, cycling, and horse riding which were originally rail lines between the city and the outlying farmlands.

I used to cycle to school in college. It was about a 15 minute ride, and parking was definitely easier. I would do it again if I lived close enough to work, or if I worked on a campus large enough to make biking an easier way to get around. It’s good exercise. But that should be a choice, never a demand from others.

I do everything by bike. But hey, I’m Dutch. I even take the bike for distances that are a 5 minute walk.
Don’t like long distance biking and hate other cyclists, who think traffic regulations are not ment for them.
On the other hand, I rather get run over by a bike, than by a car.
I sometimes hate pedestrans as well, especially when they walk on the cycleway, instead of on the footpath next to it and let their small dog run free, while the cycleway is slippery, because of snow an ice.

Gotta be honest here. When my wife and I were in Amsterdam, we both thought that the bicyclists they were some of the biggest jerks we’d ever seen. Try as we might to stay in the footpath and obey the traffic signs and lights, we still had multiple near misses in just four days in the city.

I used to cycle to school as well and survived two near death experiences. I would definitely not use it for commuting these days. Motorists hate us even those of us who are polite. But I love long distance cycling. In fact I’m in training for my 7th consecutive 210km Around The Bay cycling event held in Melbourne each year in early October. And I do all my training on the rail trail that extends 44km into the countryside from where Ilive. I pity those who have to train in the city.

I presume that those in Chicago who bicycle on the sidewalk (which is prohibited if one is over 14 years of age) and wear helmets are doing the latter in case they get clocked. The next time I hear “on your right/left,” I’m moving in that direction.

Problem in the UK too. Some tw@t in a track suit talking on a mobile phone while riding on the pavement. Makes me want to kick his wheels in. Not only is it illegal (But not really enforced) but bloody dangerous too. I always ride on the road. Unless there is a specific cycle path. Don’t get me started on running red lights. Grrrrgh.

Same. But mostly out of self interest. I never ride on footpaths – because cycling on the road is faster. And I always obey traffic lights – because motorists don’t see cyclists and their cars hurt when they hit you. I also wear a helmet and not only because it is legally required. I have been hit on the head several times and was grateful my head was covered by a helmet.

But some pedestrians are a bit of a worry as well, especially on shared trails where I cycle. Dogs are rarely under the control of their owners. Either the leash is way too long or the dogs actually disconnected from their leashes. Having walked my dog in the past before arthritis put an end to that (the dog, not me.Yet!), I sympathise. My solution is to slow down to a speed at which I am able to come to complete stop before hitting the dog as it inevitably walks directly into my line of travel. I also make a point of exchanging some pleasantry with its owner, hoping, I think in vain, that they will take better care of their mutt next time.

When I pass a pedestrian from behind. I have learnt that the only unambiguous call is “rider” – in a strong voice and at the the right distance. You approach them from the centre of the trail and sway to whichever side they don’t move to, because their choice is totally unpredictable, even if they are walking well to one side of the trail. When I approach from in front, I keep to my left (I live in Australia where we drive on the left) and hope that the pedestrian will sensibly move to their left as well. This is usually the case but also not guaranteed. The occasional pedestrian already walking on the left side of the trail will inexplicably move to the right side of the trail despite putting themselves into my direct line of travel.

in a strong voice and at the the right distance

Just bear in mind that not everyone can hear. It’s too long a story for me to recount in my current state of exhaustion, but quite a while ago, I basically wound up with a partial lateral meniscectomy as a result of impacted cerumen. And random street violence coming from behind. It was about a year before I stopped cocking my fist if anybody approached me too quickly from behind.

@ Orac,
Amsterdam and cyclists, that’s some combination. I think a Dutch lawyer started a case against the city council, because they should do more against cyclists, who didn’t follow the law. Alas he lost his case. (Actually, finding a cyclist who follows the rules, is something like finding a needle in a haystack.)
I still remember seeing a friend of my mother, a very civilised lady, cycling against the traffic, something that annoys the hell out of me and make me want to scream.

I can’t say I never cycle on a foothpath, but only if there are no pedestrians, or just one or so and I limit my speed to walking-speed.


Yes, I am well aware that not everyone has good hearing. I see many octogenarians walking on these trails. So, I should add, that I never hold it against pedestrians when they seem to do silly things.

Just yesterday there was a schoolgirl about fifteen years of age using part of the trail to walk home from school who was walking on the left side of centre of the trail and moved to over to the right side when I warned her by calling out “rider” (from past experience, many pedestrians don’t hear you coming and are startled when you pass them, so often it is for their benefit) and then followed up with “passing on your right”.

I always show pedestrians the utmost respect because they are doing exactly what I do – enjoying exercising on a nature trail – just using a different method. This is also partly so that they we remain on friendly terms because you often meet the same pedestrians repeatedly. I never reprimand dog owners for the actions of their dogs even when it is because they are not controlling their dogs. I understand that they prefer not to have their dog on a leash however impracticable.

a total possible charging capacity equal to 10.4 x 10^19 host electrons

OK, fine. Now, how long does it take for all those fancy electrons to be released? A few picoseconds, I’d guess, if the capacitance is of that order of magnitude. Not much point using a patch, then. Better just to rub an amber rod with a black cat fed with turmeric at midnight and apply it to the base of the victim’s skull, but there’s probably not so much money in that.

True, I suppose. There’s always someone willing to pay for witchcraft. After that it’s all down to the marketing.

Actually, Rich, while I do have several pieces of Baltic amber and some curry powder, I think that getting the semi-feral black cats to stay still long enough will be somewhat of a bitch.

I am reminded, somehow, of Doctor Science’s statement that you can generate animal magnetism by rubbing Amber with a cloth. But it all depends on Amber’s mood.

Handcuff, rope and the whip. Hand that to Amber and she’ll take care of your pain 😀

Not need for pain patches…

Al who’s finding it hard to type on a keyboard while being handcuffed and roped out

I was thinking, more efficient to sell 330 picofarad capacitors, with instructions to tape one lead to your arm and leave the other lead pointing into the air to “receive Healing Energy from the Life-Force Field.”

The leads would have to be curled up into little spiral curleycues, so the pointy ends weren’t sticking out, otherwise potentially serious injuries could occur.

Our competitors’ quantum healing patches quickly wear out. And they have to be applied as soon as you remove them from the packaging, otherwise the electrons wear off, much as overcooked vegetables lose their nutrition. But our Life Force Capacitors never wear out: they keep delivering Energy from the Life-Force Field, for as long as you wear them! You won’t ever have to buy another one, unless you lose yours or want to give them away as gifts.

Imagine going to a healing-woo convention and seeing people running around with capacitors taped to their arms, with curlycue leads sticking up.

That would be worth all the effort.

Damn, I really want to try this, just for the sake of seeing the pictures of wooskis with capacitors taped to their arms.

When the game gets old, shut down the website, post an official-looking “FBI notice” on the home page, and start spreading conspiracy theories about “government suppression of alternative medicine.” Then track the conspiracy theories to scope out how they propagate. A couple of years later, publish a story about the whole thing.

The leads would have to be curled up into little spiral curleycues

Please, no string theory.

The good thing about this ‘therapy’ is that you can have acupuncture for free if the cats is not amused by these shenanigans

OMG, I was laughing hard! Thanks…

Through the use of quantum physics scientists and doctors now have the ability to store the energetic signatures of hundreds of pain- and inflammation-relieving remedies on a single patch. Once applied, your body induces the flow of energy from the patch, choosing which electrons it needs to reduce inflammation. Science, relieving pain, with the power of nature.

Does anybody else see the direct self-contradiction? In quantum mechanics, multiple electrons must enter into a wave function as an antisymmetric superposition because they are fermions, which gives what is called exchange symmetry. The Pauli exclusion principle is a direct consequence of this. What I mean is that quantum mechanics says that electrons are so indistinguishable from one another that the wave function containing them is a sum of all situations where they have all individually traded positions in the configuration –at risk of repeating myself, literally because you can’t tell them apart.

Really kind of amazing: invoke quantum mechanics in the first sentence and then immediately posit a situation in the exact next sentence that quantum mechanics, by its very nature, says can’t happen.

Perhaps each electron is quantum-entangled with another electron in a much more advanced civilization’s hospital light year’s away where alien physicians do the choosing for us?

Through the use of quantum physics scientists and doctors now have the ability to store the energetic signatures of hundreds of pain- and inflammation-relieving remedies on a single patch.

Apart from what others above have noted about this statement: The map is not the territory. We can compute the energetic signatures of the relevant molecules. We can store the results for hundreds of such molecules on media the size of those patches. That does not mean we have actually exposed the patient’s body to any of those substances–it’s more like taping a solid-state memory device (such as a thumb drive) to the body. And I suspect it is just as theraputically effective.

In addition, I have an instinctive distrust of quantitative statements based on color scales where they do not show me values. I refer to the diagram in which they claim to show a reduction of inflammation in a matter of minutes. How do I know that they haven’t fiddled with the range of the color scale between the “before” and “after” pictures? How do I know it is not the result of somebody walking off the street (or removing his shirt) and then sitting in an air-conditioned room for a few minutes? The one thing I do have to work with here is the relative levels, and I see that in general the parts of the body that have relatively high values of what they are measuring in the before picture have relatively high values of that quantity in the after picture. If these patches actually did anything, I would expect the parts of the body that are marked as having had patches put on them would see a greater reduction, and I am not seeing that in the diagram.

This is really just an expendible-buy-some-more variant of the magic-infused silicone wrist bands that first appeared several years ago. The magic in the wrist bands was better because it could make its way to the target site all on its own.

Someone made a ton of money off those silly bracelets; they re-named the basketball arena in Sacramento for them. I haven’t seen any ads for the bracelets recently, are they out of style or am I not watching the right ads?

Orac, I was wondering if you could comment on a new book by a Dr. Tom Cowan (he has been favorably reviewed by “Dr.” Mercola, if that helps 😉 ). He has polluted our local public radio current affairs program a couple of times and I would like to find a SBM review of his work to forward to the local news team. Here is a link to his interview (I don’t know if the booked the composting lady as an ironic comment).

I’m guessing that’s not the same Tom Cowan who used to play in defence for Huddersfield Town…

Whenever Orac highlights one of these scams, I always wonder how successful they are, how many people actually buy these things. All we can know here is that somebody with a sizable chunk of cash to invest thought this would be a winning item and funded the rather splashy (and definitely professionally produced i.e. not cheap) promotional video/website/etc. I’m pretty sure some of the past Friday Woo -ish howlers – e.g. Bill Gray’s coherence apps, QUANTUMMan – are no more than the failed pipe dreams of would-be alt-med entrepreneurial titans. The websites are ghosts that never get updated, or the LLCs are shuttered, other business records show no activity, or the proprieters are still busy working their day jobs, or something… But maybe the fact these things keep appearing is evidence that some of them have worked, well enough to encourage other overly-ambitious woo impresarios to try?

In addition to the expense displayed in setting up Luminas, I also interpret this as a straight-up scam, not the work of ‘true believers’. It’s not just the totally nonsense invocation of quantum physics. The clinching howler for me is the list of EVERY popular supplement “and over 200 more!” Gee, that’s a lot of energy to stick in one little patch. They must be using the quantum magic to keep all the different vibrations from all those different substances from interfering with one another or combining in a way that really f***s you up. And, yeah, I’m sure there’s an exhaustive complicated manufacturing process involved in charging the patches with electrons from each of those substances – which conveniently leaves “no active ingredients” in the product.

I hope Orac follows up on Luminas at some point in the future where it might be evident whether or not they’ve found a viable market and are making any money. If they do well that would be another drop of depressing news in the giant ocean of gullibility, magical thinking, conspiracy theory, denialism that seem to be pandemic here, at what is most likely the sunset of homo sapiens sapiens…

What with all this “quantum” stuff, I am sure they have someone on board to make sure they get it right. Probably someone even more qualified than Sean Carroll and Lawrence Krauss combined.

Probably someone even more qualified than Sean Carroll and Lawrence Krauss combined

Please don’t give them the “multiverse.”

Defibrillator pads…now those have some real electron charge. Why doesn’t Luminas sell those?

As I understand it, the typical defibrillator tops out at something around 400 joules. I re-ran the pad numbers assuming this time that the total charge was distributed over the area of the big pad, so the voltage would be reduced to only 4.56 gigavolts. For the total pad capacitance of 3663 picofarads, that works out to 3.8 x 10^19 joules – about a hundred million full charges for a defibrillator, or about 10500 kilowatt hours. Seems to me like that would really put the flame in inflammation.

Perhaps agencies in charge of airport security should be alerted.

OT but Mike Adams will soon be ranting…

( NYT) It seems that Alex Jones may have deleted evidence he was ordered to save of Sandy Hook conspiracy mongering he broadcast: the parents of the murdered children are trying to sue his pants off**, threatening his lucrative supplement, survivalist business.
He’s been taken off facebook, you tube and pirate radio.

But he’s available on Mike’s new

** which may be just but profoundly unattractive.

“The basic claim is that the Luminas patch is charged with the “energetic signatures of natural remedies known for centuries to reduce inflammation.” These natural remedies include “Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Amino Acids, Arnica, Astaxanthin, B-Complex, Berberis Vulgaris, Bioperine, Boluoke, Boswellia, Bromelain, Chamomile, Chinchona, Chondroitin, Clove, Colostrum, CoQ10, Cordyceps, Curcumin, Flower Essences Frankincense, Ginger, Ginseng, Glucosamine, Glutathione, Guggulu, Hops Extract, K2, Lavender, Magnesium, Motherwort, MSM, Olive Leaf, Omega-3, Peony, Proteolytic Enzymes, Polyphenols, Rosemary Extract, Telomerase Activators, Turmeric, Vinpocetine, Vitamin D, White Willow Bark and over 200 more!”

We’ve known about Acetyl-L Carnitine for centuries? Who knew!

But the reference to K2 is really what caught my attention. I wonder what the DEA will think of that after what happened in New Haven the other day.

Ah, so that’s what K2 is! I’d just assumed they were referring to the mountain (it seemed as reasonable as everything else). has a frequently asked question section:


A. Do not cut the patch. If you cut the patch, the charge will be lost and the patch will no longer be effective.

@ Narad or Denice Walter,

Is there a simple and an cost effect way to determine the validity of such a statement without purchasing the luminas patch?.

Please advise.

You brought it up, Michael. Either you come up with a clever work around, or you buy one, cut it, and see for yourself.

The rest of us have better things to do.

@ Panacea,

Thanks for doing better things! The patch must have been cut at one point in the manufacturing process. It must be one hell of a trade secret wherein a second cut completely destroys it efficacy. I know of only one other product that fails completely after being cut and that’s a water balloon.

I’m sure they’ve worked out that they need to cut before charging. But then again…

For anyone with even a basic layman’s knowledge of Quantum Physics, the nonsense in this claim is obvious. However, there are much less obvious forms of quantum quackery that can, and do, fool people even with advanced knowledge of QM.

The following video was made by Quantum Gravity Research. This organisation employs physics PhDs to do research into QM so it uses real physics. The problem is that its founder clings to the old “consciousness causes collapse” version of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

The vast majority of present day physicists who do favour the Copenhagen interpretation have long ago jettisoned the “consciousness causing collapse” nonsense because the evidence against it is so overwhelming.

However some have a vested interest in this idea and, as the video reveals, they cherrypick the science that seems to support their interpretation and ignore the multitude of disconfirming evidence. And they actually lie about there being no deterministic interpretation of QM.

Despite the backing from many physics PhDs doing this research, the idea is BS. The organisation was setup by Klee Irwin who made a fortune selling fake medical remedies. But it takes more than a smattering of knowledge of QM to see through it all.

If nothing else, it is a testament to the adage “sex sells” – watch it to see what I mean 😉

And they actually lie about there being no deterministic interpretation of QM.

Beg pardon? I have little interest in “interpretations,” but that’s likely because I’m weary of MWI babbling around the Intertubes. It’s not “shut up and calculate,” but yes, the measurement problem is a real thing even if the Schrödinger equation is nominally deterministic.

If you can take it, check this out.

That link is to the ideas behind the group that calls itself “Quantum Gravity Research”. Forget about anything written by this research group. It is not peer reviewed. It is based on the underlying idea that consciousness collapses the wave function, a totally discredited concept that used to be promoted as an outworking of the Copenhagen interpretation but has long since been excised from that interpretation by the vast majority of today’s physicists on the basis of experiments in QM. Although the research is conducted by phd graduates, the organisation is actually funded by an individual who made his fortune selling medical scams to an unwary credulous public and who effectively believes The Matrix was a film about science.

Nice piece here, though (h/t Peter Woit). My few remaining neurons are never going to get it together to grasp geometric Langlands or representation theory, unless I start with Charles Pierce. I like his brother better in any event.

Unfortunately this is way beyond my pay grade. I don’t have any formal training or qualifications in QM, just enough to have a reasonably well developed layman’s BS meter for quantum woo (I hope).

I don’t understand your lack of interest in interpretations of QM.

The trick is to separate the physics from the interpretation. The fun is to see how some people who are committed to one interpretation or another denigrate other interpretations but seem blind to the problems with the interpretations they favour. For example, some people who favour the Copenhagen interpretation and criticise the MWI seem to be unaware that the Copenhagen interpretation is similarly burdened with its “multiple paths” which amounts to “infinitive paths” all of which much be traversed. And MWI is more parsimonious with one less assumption. Not that I support MWI, only that I find the discussion interesting.

And the Pilot wave interpretation is attractive because it is both mundanely physical and determnistic but, on the other hand, it requires the existence of global hidden variables which is problematic from the point of view of the very real evidence for non-locality, and it is at least incomplete because can’t account for special and general relativity. But who knows what future discoveries may yield.

I will read your link though.

I don’t understand your lack of interest in interpretations of QM.

Decoherence is decoherence. The interesting question from my viewpoint is whether GR needs to be quantizted or QFT needs to be superseded to get further. This requires experiment primarily, which, absent serendipity, requires connection to theory (or the other way around). I have no objection to the philosophy of physics, but at some point it’s just navel-gazing or worse.

^^ Let me try it this way: Are the “many worlds” a well-ordered (transfinite) set? If yes, which SR would seem to require, what’s labeling them? If no, then you’re just back where you started, whether the question is nonlocality or the simple emergence of classical behavior of quantum systems.

Dear Luminas,

In addition to ferking up all that quantum-y stuff, it would be Berberis vulgaris, not Vulgaris.


Carl Linnaeus

The parents donated $50,000 to the children’s hospital where she was treated, so I think they know who did all the work.

Follow-up: Apparently the child was first diagnosed with a primary brain tumour which is almost uniformly fatal and she was given weeks to months to live. However, a follow-up scan showed cavitation or cyst formation which created doubt about the diagnosis and therefore the tumour was biopsied. This changed the diagnosis to Juvenile Xanthgranuloma, which is essentially an abnormal proliferation of a type of blood cell called a histiocyte. So this was actually not a primary brain tumour. This changed the prognosis because these tumours can be treated and cured with chemotherapy. Her treating specialists were obviously still concerned because the site of the tumour and therefore were guarded about her prognosis. However, this is no miracle as it is being portrayed in the media. She was cured by chemotherapy administered by paediatric medical specialists.

Hmmm … an oxygen with two “electron binding spots” [???] …maybe it’s … WATER!!

ps://”> Luminas Pain Relief Patches: Here’s the excuse to show partially naked bodies.
I don’t see the picture but at least I got the description 😀

Yeah I tried for that was well, but the link disappointingly led nowhere. 😉

I’ve had Lyme disease for the past 4 years and just started treatment for that 2 months ago. To my surprise the patches do take away the radiating stabbing pain I get when my body is at rest.

I have to wear a lot though. 8 patches on my back and 3 per hand. It says they work for up to 3 days but I wear all of them for about 5 days and have success.

I put on 5 patches before bed one time and I was wired beyond belief and couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me.

The patches are really affordable the way I use them and are providing a lot of relief while this long 9 month treatment plan unfolds

Isn’t it pretty obvious that Dr. Craig Davies is a Doctor of Pro Sports? There are very few university medical schools (maybe Palmer College?) offering that degree, so I expect his services to be rather expensive.

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