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So, I again find myself writing on my positive experience with a LifeWave patch...this time the new Aeon product which is aimed at reducing stress and its consequences, both as a standalone product, or as part of LifeWave's Y-Age system which also incorporates patches designed to increase levels of glutathione and carnosine in the body.
Having last year completed a Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional medicine, including a dissertation which involved performing a systematic review of the medical literature, I am quite familiar with the 'hierarchy of evidence' which is revered in academia, and perhaps most of all in medicine. In modern medicine if an intervention does not have numerous randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews of such trials supporting its use it is dismissed as useless or a scam. Now I understand the rationale behind this system and to a point agree with it.
Living with a multi-system illness (chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) ) for the past 20 years has, however, taught me to have an open mind when it comes to treatment options that on the face of it, appear to be nonsense. Such is the case with LifeWave patches. As commentators on many 'scam' and 'sceptic' websites have pointed out - LifeWave hasn't exactly been very clear on the mechanism(s) by which its products are proposed to work - and their explanation seems to have been amended on more than one occasion. At first there was heavy use of "nanotechnology" in promotional materials and now the explanation seems to be firmly centred on stimulation of various acupuncture points. This includes the addition of small plastic beads the wearer places in the centre of each patch before application, apparently to apply gentle pressure to the acupuncture point the patch is placed over. In my personal experience the patches produced pronounced physiological effects without these beads so I suspect they may just be a means to placate various regulatory bodies with an acceptable explanation of the patches action.
Besides the suspect (and changeable) explanations of how the patches work there is scant evidence from research studies supporting their use either. LifeWave says it is dedicated to research and surely now has the funds to perform quality clinical trials, yet I have yet to see such research. The studies that LifeWave talks about on its website and in promotional materials are small and appear to have been conducted by individuals connected to the company in some way or another. Hardly credible or reliable evidence.
Given all of the above and the fact that LifeWave uses a multi-level marketing (MLM) business model, I can't blame people for being highly sceptical.
BUT...no matter how much my rationale and analytical brain complains...each LifeWave patch I have tried myself has worked exactly as advertised, including the new Aeon patch. Not only that but the effects have been of rapid onset (within an hour of first application), pronounced, and persistent i.e. the effects don't wear off, become less pronounced, or disappear completely with continued use of the patches - as one would expect from the placebo effect. Nor importantly, have I experienced a single negative side-effect.
LifeWave report that studies have shown the Aeon patch balances the autonomic nervous system, reducing sympathetic activity while increasing parasympathetic activity, an effect that would be expected to reduce symptoms of stress and physiological effects associated with it. One such consequence of stress is inflammation and LifeWave say one study showed the Aeon patch was able to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a sensitive marker of general inflammation now commonly used by your doctor.
After two weeks of using the Aeon patch I can say that after just an hour of wearing the first one I began to feel brigther in mood, more relaxed, and more able to enjoy the simple things. I found myself laughing out loud at TV comedies and wanting to go out for walks, which I hadn't done for a while. I even did some paperwork and housework - which I hadn't done for even longer! Beyond this I feel more like myself and hopeful for the future, rather than fearful.
In conclusion, the absence of evidence or understanding of how something works...does not necessarily mean it doesn't work. Scientists still haven't fully explained how antidepressant drugs, first produced more half a century ago, exert their effects. My point then is this - if like me you are suffering from a multi-system illness - sometimes you have to be open to things you perhaps wouldn't ordinarily be (keeping safety in mind of course). You never know in what form relief may come. I suspended my disbelief and gave LifeWave patches a try and am reaping the rewards. I like my new open mind, it gives me hope that I will stumble across other unexpectedly helpful approaches to achieving even better health in the future.
For those of you who might be interested in learning a little more about LifeWave patches and how they work I thought I would pass on this information supplied by the company this week.
I received the information in an email as I have used a number of the patches and found them to be quite helpful, particularly the energy enhancer, glutathione (Y-Age), and Silents Nights products. I'm not suggesting by any means these products will cure chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, autism, or any other environmental illness....but in my own experience they can certainly provide an effective means of drug-free symptom relief and improvements in well-being and daily functioning.
LifeWave patches purportedly work on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - specifically the system of energy meridians said to carry Qi (life force/energy) around the body. In essence the patches work in the same way as acupuncture - but are obviously more practical to use.
There has been much debate over whether energy meridians actually exist and whether TCM is effective so LifeWave has provided links to a number of scientific studies appearing to demonstrate using modern technology that these meridians are real. See Fifth Geek for tech information.
I'll let you make up your own minds and please feel free to comment on the subject below:
Information Provided by LifeWave
There are various articles proving the existence of meridian channels throughout the body, and some of this evidence has been documented for over fifteen years. We thought you could benefit from the research that validates the existence of meridians - and learn what ancient Chinese medicine has known about for thousands of years!
Here is a brief summary of some notable research articles. The abstracts for these articles can be found on www.PubMed.gov, a resource website provided by the United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
In a 1993 study from the Fujian Institute of TCM, researchers used infrared imaging to map meridian channels over the surface of the body. Sampling the infrared signals of "isoenergy" radiated from the body surface, results showed that "594 lines of radiant track have been recorded, [and] their courses coincided or basically coincided with that of the classical Fourteen Meridians" (Hu X, Wu B, Wang P. [Displaying of meridian courses travelling over human body surface under natural conditions] Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 1993;18(2):83-89).
Click here to read the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8070048
In a related study, the same researchers found that of 164 recorded infrared radiant tracks, approximately 40% travelled down the midline of the back and generally coincided with the Governing Vessel meridian and Urinary Bladder meridian. Also, the intensity of radiation varied within the region (Hu X, Wu B, Wang P. [Displaying of the infrared radiant track along meridians on the back of human body] Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 1993;18(2):89, 90-93).
Click here to read the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8070049
In a 2005 summary article, researchers analyzed 29 studies that used various methods to detect the biophysical characteristics of meridians. The results clearly showed that "meridians and acupoints objectively exist" (Tu Y, Wei Y. [Advances of studies on the biophysical characteristics of channels and acupoints] Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2005 Nov;25(11):817-819).
Click the link to read the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16335213
In a 2007 study using infrared thermal imaging, researchers observed for the first time the "time dependent evolution of the infrared radiant tracks" along the meridian channels. This gives clear evidence that the radiant energy of each meridian changes over time and offer new possibilities in the evaluation of meridians and their acupoints (Chen L, Hu X, Li H, et al. [Appearance of human meridian-like structure and acupoints and its time correlation by infrared imaging] American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2007;35(2):231-240).
Click here to read the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17436364