Sunday, July 13, 2014

#1117: David Schmidt

David Schmidt is the founder of LifeWave, and the inventor of LifeWave’s trademarked “nontransdermal energy patches”. The patches are allegedly based on nanotechnology and “needleless acupuncture to gently stimulate points on the body that have been used to balance and improve the flow of energy in the human body for thousands of years,” in order to help manage pain, improve sleep, increase energy, suppress appetite and support detoxification by affecting your chi or something, and “communicate with your body like a cell phone.” The descriptions of the mechanisms are, in other words, your standard New Age mumbo jumbo. Yet his company has testimonials! They also have some “studies” published in pseudojournals such as TANG International Journal of Genuine Traditional Medicine (even the name reeks of lack of professionalism), and their own health & science director Steven Haltiwanger concluded after careful and thorough research that LifeWave was “the most exciting technology that he had seen.”

The patent application for the patch, however, was apparently rejected - partially, one suspects, because Schmidt signed the patent application “Dr. David Schmidt” despite lack of any accredited degree – which is not a good sign regarding its efficacy and usefulness. The product has, however, been promoted by “LifeWave Ambassador” Suzanne Somers, which is likewise not a good indication of its efficacy. Their Australian branch has received smackdowns from the TGA for their advertising, after the TGA panel found that it was not the case that “the material provided by the advertiser constituted even minimally persuasive evidence that the advertised products could have the therapeutic benefits claimed in the advertisements.”

There is a resource on the patches here, though its trustworthiness has not been independently verified. There is a pretty decent resource here, however.

Diagnosis: The Internet is pretty much crammed with these kinds of businesses, and LifeWave is little different from most – a magic product, claims to the efficacy of which are backed up by a whole mythology of cargo cult science. We will just have to assume that Schmidt actually believes the patches to be efficacious. 

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