Health

Do those Phiten titanium necklaces actually enhance athletic ability and promote healing?

Asks Alex from NYC

October 6, 2008
Can Phiten necklaces make you win a baseball game? Is voodoo real? <br>[Credit Alan Sung]
Can Phiten necklaces make you win a baseball game? Is voodoo real?
[Credit Alan Sung]

With baseball heading toward the World Series and the NFL just getting started, not a day goes by without a televised sporting event. And people watching those games may notice an odd fashion accessory: the Phiten titanium necklace. The necklaces are sported most prominently by Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks, Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees and Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox, who believe that they enhance their physical and mental abilities. And they probably do, but more for psychological than physiological reasons.

In 1982 Yoshihiro Hirata, an alternative medicine practitioner, founded Phiten, the company that sells his titanium-infused products. The necklaces first gained prominence in Japan, where they are still popular with athletes. According to the company, the necklaces and bracelets work by stabilizing the electric flow that nerves use to communicate actions to the body. “All of the messages in your body travel through electricity, so if you’re tired or just pitched nine innings, the electricity isn’t flowing as smoothly as it can,” said Joe Furuhata, a Phiten spokesman. “Our products smooth out those signals.”

While many sports stars believe the necklaces give them luck, not everyone is convinced. Many doctors and scientists say there is no scientific evidence supporting Phiten’s theory. “There’s no science and physiology,” said Dr. Orrin Sherman, chief of sports medicine at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases. “There’s just no way the chemical structure of the body can be influenced by magnets that small. It’s all superstitions with no scientific basis.”

Sherman noted that when people interact with magnets far more powerful than the Phiten necklaces, like the magnets in a CT (computerized tomography) scan machine, for instance, they do not report any of the effects pitchers and quarterbacks say they receive from the necklace.But while the physiology behind the necklaces doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny, that doesn’t mean they do not help. Athletes are a superstitious lot. From Craig Biggio, who did not wash his batting helmet for an entire season, to Wade Boggs, who would only eat chicken before games, athletes love all manners of hokum and voodoo. If the players think they are getting an advantage from the necklace and that gives them increased confidence, then they do in fact get a positive boost from the product. “You’ve gotta believe in placebo effect,” said Sherman.

So maybe science shouldn’t stop Hideki Okajima of the Boston Red Sox from wearing three necklaces whenever he takes the mound. Sure, the necklaces don’t actually alter the electric flow in the body, but as any player who has stopped shaving during the playoffs can attest, when you’re winning, you don’t want to change a thing.

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Discussion

250 Comments

Taj Maya says:

I appreciate all the comments by folks who have actually tried Phiten products.
I have three comments: 1) There is more scientific evidence showing how titanium works on the body. See it here: http://www.acesportinggear.com/evidence.cfm (it includes references to many scientific papers). 2) Watch out for those super cheap Phitens on EBay and such – there are lots of knockoffs on the market these days. Look for an authorized dealer graphic, like this: http://www.acesportinggear.com/#genuine with a link back to the Phiten website.
3) I was a total skeptic when a Phiten rep had me try their tape on my back where I’d had ongoing back pain. In 5 minutes the pain was gone.
Thanks for listening!

jcp says:

The new Phiten Tornados are supposed to have twice the amount of titanium. I don’t think this really has an effect either way though. From my playing days I can say that any effect is marginal, and mostly a placebo one at that.

Ken says:

I’m 42 and have been an athlete for most of those years. My wife bought me a titanium ring to replace my wedding ring, before I ever heard of Phiten. Needless to say, I wear the ring everyday. The ring looks great, but I have seen no benefit to pain caused by a minor rotator cuff tear or arthritic pain in my knees. I would have to think my ring has a lot more titanium than a bracelett or necklace. My take on the titanium is: if it works for you, great. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t wear it.

kristen says:

http://www.aquametal.jp/en/index.php this is the website for those who want to find the research for these phiten products. I had pain in my chest and headaches purhaps caused by tention from stress for a couple years, wearing phiten’s products works.

Avie says:

I wonder if all you geniuses know that ALL medications are placebos and nothing not even a Tylenol can actually cure an ailment. It’s ALL in your head.

Jordan says:

Ok for the people arguing on here if they really work or not. Whether they work for scientific reasons or mental reasons or they dont work at all. Does it really matter? If they personally work for so many people then good for them. I dont know why people are stating they are garbage. Its pretty simple if you dont like them dont wear them if you do good ahead. I plan on buying one just because they look cool and hell if it relaxes me its a bonus. From seeing all the positive experiences it seems like they are doing something.

FinaPete says:

I have tried just about every bracelet or necklace that claims to support athletic performance, health and balance through the use of positive/negative ions, magnets and even hologram chips. I’ve been in the fitness industry for 15 years and it’s my absolute passion to push the envelope with regards to human capabilities and here is what I have come up with.

There is only ONE hologram bracelet that is even worth anyone’s time and it’s called Chi-Aura CX2. It is absolutely AMAZING for not only me, but anyone else I’ve known who tried it. It improved balance, strength (to a point) flexibility and I would even say focus. The cons…. It only lasted for a short time and then another one was needed. Power Balance was an absolute waste of time and money. Not even worth the time to type about it.

C Prime….. Probably one of the better looking and more “high end” bracelets was definitely not as much of a jolt as the CX2, but it was a much more even key type of feeling which slowly and gradually got better. In the end it was worth the $75 investment because they last forever and claim to never lose their properties.

Trion:Z. For an inexpensive piece, it’s definitely worth a try!! This was the ONLY one which actually alleviated the HORRIBLE pain I’ve had for YEARS in my knees from football injuries. Since the first day I put one on I refuse to take it off, but it’s just for that reason. Can’t say it gave me crazy energy or anything like that because it didn’t. But for the feeling of no longer being limited due to pain, it was more than worth it! Would recommend this one without any questions

I just purchased my first two Phiten products. A titaium Yankees bracelet and also the Tribal Necklace. They definitely LOOK nicer than all the rest, but I cannot say that much about them due to my lack of experience because it’s only been about two days. I have heard that they are excellent, but also that they, like the C Prime, take time to begin to work. I will gladly post my progress with them.

I don’t work for any of these companies so it doesn’t benefit me one bit if you run out and purchase any of them. Just sharing my experiences in the hopes that it may do something positive. Everyone is different, so the chances of one product doing the exact same thing for two different people may not be there. At the same time…..Unless you’ve experienced any of these products and what they can do for you personally, your opinion is about as useless as any!

Eat The Sheeple says:

It’s a known fact that metals affect the human body. Too much iron will kill your liver, not to mention constipate you. To much injested silver will turn your body blue etc. Does titanium have ionic qualities? Yes. Would those ionic currents affect the body in a vacum, possibly. HOWEVER, we are bombarded daily by ionic/electromagnetic influences way beyond what some powdered titanium produces. So my question is how do minute amounts of an electro active metal produce effects in an electromagnetically super saturated environment. Short answer, it doesn’t. The pain relief reported is real. Pain is a purely subjective encounter, as such it is heavily influenced by the “subject”. Like the saying goes, “If you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right”. Go ahead and join the herd and buy the necklace, bracelet, creams etc. But don’t buy the BS you’re being sold about WHY it works. It works because you decide it works.

jmhouse says:

hello i am a 13 year old and around me there has been a lot of the phiten around for sports and looks and i wondered if this thing was all crap or real but i got to reading a lot of these comments just to see your opinion but as i read the most i would remember I’m a 13 year old i hate reading so i wasnt gonna read all of them but anyway when i read the first 40 i thought there are a lot of ignorant people out there and all they wanna do is fight which is stupid there is no reason everyone has there own belief in everything but i still dont know what to believe about the phiten because some people who just wanna fight so if there is anyone who wants to tell a young kid the truth with out fighting i will be getting back to see what you have to say thank you

Rafael says:

Contrary to some claims, these “devices” are not just harmless little diversions that one can try and discard when it is discovered they do not work. Unfortunately many who suffer chronic pain are desperate for relief and these snake oil salesmen take their hard earned money and laugh all the way to the bank. Not everyone who buys this junk is rich and I feel sorry for the many low income, ignorant, desperate folks who waste their hard earned money on quackery.

kiss says:

1) find someone claim it is working, close their eyes, rotate putting a fake and real thing to the place they said in pain.
2) ask and record the result.
3) if it worked, it will work.
how hard is that to prove it? test before u comment something, its not rocket science, all u need is a person who has been using it.

Karla says:

I coughed out $180 for a Qray Stainless steel bracelet three years ago. i have occasionally left if off for a day or two and pain does not return. However, i find that when i use the bracelet, i can work for 8 hours, then come home and play on computer for two hours, and then paint for two more and my wrists don’t hurt. before i was taking tylenol, applying linaments and avoiding the computer!
I can only say i don’t know how my Qray works but i feel better and i dont need the explanation why it does. So perhaps these Phiten devices help some people. I think its up to individual experience.

Martin says:

No one knows how aspirin works, but it does work. If it worksvfor you, it works for you bif not, then not. It’s like religion. Not everyone agrees about the efficacy of prayer. There are people who can “prove” that prayer works. All these negative comments are useless and appear to be the product of congenital cynicism.

Jared says:

What? Nobody knows how aspirin works? Are you that retarded? One quick search and you can read about it all over the internet. Aspirin inhibits the production of prostaglandins.

However, that’s beside the point. I bought one of these necklaces because my friend told me it cured his herpes. On the way home, I got into a very traumatic car accident in which my arm was severed in two. Laying there in a pool of blood, I laid the necklace over my arm and it started regenerating! It was amazing! So don’t tell me this doesn’t work. I now have two working arms again. This thing should sell for a lot more than it is.

Chicks Dig Skydivers says:

I bought a Phiten and within two weeks my cold was gone! I’m a believer!

Travis says:

Some of you are being completely stupid about this. I am a skeptic so I bought one of the braided necklaces today at a Military PX in Okinawa, Japan. This is where I’m stationed. I am gonna give it a try and not even think about wearing the necklace. Some of you sound really educated and it is sad to see that college degree you earned has only do one thing for you, and that is boost your ego’s. Some of the reasoning and personal experiences I am reading is complete bullshit. You should find something better to do with your time.

Zeb says:

Ok, the only actual piece of scientific evidence I’ve seen that cited reputable sources is the page posted at the beginning, http://www.tornadosportswear.com/evidence.cfm. It has a formidable-looking list of articles cited. Until you actually read the abstracts of those articles.
Here are my criticisms of the cited sources.
1- They’re growing neurons on the actual titanium… not having them in a human being in the vicinity of small amounts of titanium.
They don’t even cite their 2nd and 3rd sources.
4- It’s rats– and they’re implanting titanium into their limbs…
5- It’s in a petri dish
6- Again, very large amounts of titanium and it’s in mice.
7- Can’t find any evidence that this paper exists…
8- No evidence of it existing…

Looka says:

Nice post zeb, I did the same thing, the research posted by tornado sports wear is misrepresented by tornado sports wear as well as phiten supporters here. Those studies are not useful in supporting the claims of phiten – it’s important to note that phiten doesn’t even attempt to cite those quack research results to support their claims. Tornado SW is in the business to sell gimmicks like phiten’s hoax products….follow the dollar and you’ll find it’s a stupid fad.

Looka says:

Travis, your post is confusing. Martin, aspirin works by thinning your blood, thus reducing blood pressure. Lower pressure reduces pain where there is inflammation because; blood flows more freely due to increased viscosity and increased flow speeds up healing.

Marcus says:

I see that everyone lists their experiences with this product, but above all…. this has not been approved in the US with the FDA because there is no scientific proof. Instead of arguing about it, research the internet… Peace!

edward says:

I particularly do not just believe in stuffs like Phiten and its ‘miraculous’ claims. Since I constantly feel fatigue and head and back aches, I gave in when one its shops had 50% off on some weird designs. I wore it that same day and in few hours, I felt better. I have been wearing it everyday and it improves my overall well-being. I know it may sound cruel, but this thing I couldnt go out without. When I forgot to wear it after shower and head to work, I felt stressed and sleepy. I hurriedly wore it and in few minutes, I felt renewed. I couldnt really explain how it did it. Go and try getting their cheapest or on sale and give it a try and check it out yourself.

Kyle says:

“These things work. There’s scientific proof.”
-No scientist ever

Streaker says:

After seeing countless athletes wearing the necklace and not finding any negative press about them, I ordered one to see for myself. Within 5 minutes of putting it on, I can feel what seems to be an increased blood flow to my head and neck and a mild “blast” of energy. At my age (59), I’ll take anything I can safely get in the energy department.

At least I’m not too old to give something new a try. I recommend making up your own mind about these and other things on the market.

Tom says:

I have been wearing a Phiten X100 necklace for over 2 years and find it does help me relax and keep the stiffness out of my neck. What sold me on the product was the nickel sized patches. We were in Seattle and came across the Phiten store there. I was given a complementary pack of 6 disks. Being involved in sports for most of my life,I’m 52, I have a few aches and pains. I put 3 of the disks on my shoulder, and within 30 minutes I was noticing the fact that I wasn’t noticing my achy shoulder. I went back and purchased an X50 necklace for my wife and I. Of course the only place to get the X100 products is from Japan, but the other products work well too. The bottom line is, if you want them to help, and think they will, chances are they will.

jakc says:

A couple of months ago I was bitten by a werewolf. I immediately purchased a Phiton necklace and have worn it continuously since then and have not turned into a werewolf! Just saying the thing works.

Joe says:

Two months ago I was in a terrible plane crash. The mortician bought a Phiten necklace and, well as you can see I am alive now and able to post ridiculous, unsupported comments on this blog about a product with no scientific backing whatsoever. Thanks Phiten!

Chase says:

I think phitens work and i have been playin sports 20 times better since i got a phiten. I had a batter bating average and more homeruns. It works in football too. also wiehts! so lola stop bein a stupid know it all stick in the mud and go outside and play a sport instead of yapen your mouth and puting others down. IM DONE! GO FALCONS AND BRAVES!

Chase says:

no offence lola science is cool i love it…. just saying it works and it was mean that u made austin fell stupid….im sorry for cllin u a stick in the mud and stuff

Adam says:

I think it does not do anything to me i bought it for $300 but i throw it away because it does not do a single thing kentu la

Joe says:

Igh wearing been Phiten for minutes twen twent twenty t-t-t-to now. Me breighn izz popsicle-ing and phizzing… ooh the static. Moo-eee bwane-o! Phiten I will o-bay.

Patrick says:

Don’t waste your money on Phiten, most of the MLB players that wear them are sponsored by Phiten so they are paid to wear them. Instead, get you some magic beans, because they really work.

Robin says:

Coming from a researcher’s point of view, we use statistics to prove a point. If there are more people who have used the product and it works then it should be noted that there is some truth that the product works. If not, the null hypothesis holds true which means the product (Phiten) does not work.

Most medical products are tested and it does not have to be 100% significant for it to be endorsed. As long as it’s significant at say 95% confidence level. What I’m saying is that there will be cases that a particular product might not work on some people but work on most. So if this Phiten product has a positive effect on more people than negative (not counting those who have bad things to say and have not tried it) significantly, then we can conclude that Phiten products works on most people but not on everybody.

Looking at a rough count among those who have posted their comments here, we can conclude that Phiten products do work for quite a number of people. For those who did not feel any improvement, it just means that the product did not work on you (like some medicine did not make you feel better).

I do agree that science is not exact, what we know of science today might be nonsense 100 years ago.

Robin says:

Are we saying that those who belief in religion are idiots? There is no proof that God exists by scientific methodologies. So don’t be fooled that something has to be proven for it to exist or work. For those who ridiculed Phiten products just because it’s not proven, please be more open minded.

Can you prove that the sun will rise tomorrow? No.

engrallandgreatest says:

I do cycling and hiking that is why I decided to buy a phiten necklace. Placebo effect or not, I believe that this works for me. I can feel the difference…

amberleh says:

I admit, with things like this I am skeptical at best and mocking at worst. My husband got one of these necklaces and just raved that he felt better and insisted that I try it. I suffer from headaches that range from mild to migraine, and they are usually a daily thing, plus I have torn the rotator cuff in my left shoulder and have really bad problems with muscle tension in my neck and shoulders due to it. My husband got me one of these, and to humor him, I wore it. No headaches. And over time, the muscles in my neck and shoulders have been getting less and less tense to the point of they don’t bother me. I tried taking the necklace off and I ended up getting a headache. Seeing as how I didn’t think the necklace would work when I starting using it, and it STILL helped, I think that rules out the psychological effect most people claim is the reason it works. Not trying to push it on anyone, but I’ll take the mockery in exchange for the relief it has given me.

Juliana says:

When I got one I went bowling and did not get tired like I do often and I also got second place out of my family and I am the youngest. I think that these do work I am just saying. And when I took it off and got so tired. I love my necklace.

Douglas Brien says:

Where is the utility patent to protect this technology? Where are the independent studies? Why do professional athletes need to be paid to wear Phiten? Just asking.

Sexaddict says:

Titanium or not, i am having a migraine and now going into my girlfriend room for sex therapy. It works ever time.

john says:

My gf son has bad headaches form time to time and he started wearing one of the titanium necklaces now he eather don’t have any headaches or when he does Thay are less painful so I do believe the necklace do work.

austin says:

these braclets really dont work i know because i have a few of them peopl needs to stop wasting there money

Robert says:

I had recently thought these necklaces were a scam, and I never saw the importance that everyone saw in them. Until, the day where I tore my rotator-cuff. I never had experienced that much of repeated excruciating pain. I went to a last resort and my good friend offered me his phiten necklace for the day. I put it on and by 10 – 15 minutes the pain was noticably less. My back muscles were very relaxed, and I felt less stressed. All in all. I do believe.

BC says:

The part that I find the most interesting and telling is the fact that the Phiten website does not share any detail on the health benefits of this product. The only comments about health are extremely vague. If a company is either unable to prove the value of their product or does not list the value of a product on their marketing materials, you do have to ask some questions.

I am not saying the product does not work, but this certainly develops some skepticism. I think the power of the placebo effect can dramatically impact someone’s mindset, which can certainly make a product worth buying, but that does not mean the product works. In addition, the Phiten website suggests that “Phiten is a health and wellness product designed for healthy consumers.” You can read into that comment in many ways based on how they have worded that.

James says:

How many of these pro Phiten comments are from the same person or individuals who profit on exploiting on the hopes of others? Sufferers of real pain seek options and spend the little money that they have on scams such as this only to be frustrated yet again. All of the “citations” listed so far are from sites which would benefit the sale of these products. Like those chiropractors who claim to be able to cure everything from herpes to warts, this is exploiting individuals. Companies have a right to sell their wares regardless of how fraudulent they may be, however they should not be allowed to market it as a proven solution since there are no non-bias studies to support their claims.

Ben says:

If it works for me why would I need science to prove to me that it does not. Science tells us that we came from monkeys. I still haven’t seen one monkey turn into a human. Nuff said!

Alex Lui says:

Placebo has a long history of success. If a necklace can bring out the placebo effect without costing you a fortune, why not?

If you only need to believe something stupid to make you pain free, why not?

Who is the idiot?

Sheeple Are Yummy says:

Looka,

In the spirit of sharp shooting I gotta take a shot at you. Aspirin doesn’t thin the blood, it’s what’s called an anticoagulant among other things. This just means the blood doesn’t clot as quickly, leading some the believe the blood is thinned. The same is true for Motrin (Ibuprofen) and other NSAIDs.

Now on to the subject of titanium, volcano rock, copper magnetized bracelets and magic mud from the blue lagoon. If anyone’s got money to burn go ahead and buy one of these magic talismans. Actually, I think Phiten is running a special right now; if you buy two necklaces they’ll throw in a pair of Boots of Agility for free. Which will come in handy because with your newfound energy and youthful exuberance you’ll need the extra balance these’ll provide you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making fun of the people who’ve tried these “remedies” and found relief. If it works for you then keep on keeping on. But just remember, you could get the same effect from wearing an indian horsehair tribraid buffalo biscuit jock strap (even the ladies). The reason no scientific data is provided proving the efficacy of all these magic metal impregnated jewelry accessories is because THERE ISN’T ANY. Not to say it doesn’t work however, because it does. If you don’t feel pain, then you don’t feel pain.

On a side note, I’m selling coffee impregnated paper airplanes that will provide the exact same results as Phiten necklaces for $5 less!! All you need to do is throw them in each of the four cardinal directions every morning and wait for magic. I promise, something WILL happen.

Alex Lui says:

Please study more about placebo effect, it does work. We always need a mean to bring it out. The magic of placebo is that you may not need to believe to make it work and it always work for some people.

My point is: which way is more convenient; cost less and work for you personally.

Some people are suffering from psychosomatic illnesses which are related to stresses and they are clearly related to something in their minds. If anything that can change their minds are their minds.

Your airplanes may not be durable and cause too much hassles to fly it.

Alex Lui says:

Do your Study of placebo effect first, please.

Alex Lui says:

Many licensed doctors are using placebos to help patients to relieve their pain.

Are they liars? Yes.

Are they helping the patient? Yes.

Placebo does cause your brain to secrete chemicals to help you feel better and work like a real drug.

Sheeple Are Yummy says:

I guess I was misunderstood. I agree the “placebo effect” is real and it produces real results, i.e. reduced pain. However, it is accomplished by manipulating your perceptions and expectations NOT dealing with the root cause. Take the psychosomatic stress pain you mentioned, the cause is stress and inadequate coping mechanisms, not the lack of wearing a necklace. My whole point is if you’re going to consciously manipulate your subconscious, at least do it with your eyes open. Because your wallet sure is.

And by the way you can do it and save $5 along the way…..

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