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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Sympathetic Resonance Technology

by Josh DeWald

May 24, 2013

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Donate When researching one of my previous MercolaWatch articles, I stumbled on a reference to "sympathetic resonance technology" (SRT)*. The study authors may as well have said that the subject wore a Q-Link pendant, as SRT is not really a generic term, but actually a trademarked marketing term used for a single set of products. Sciencey!

According to the Q-Link website:
... Sympathetic Resonance Technology (SRT), which is based on the fundamental scientific discovery that every physical system has fields of energy that permeate and surround that system.
So fundamental that there is no reference to it that can be found in Google Scholar.
In humans, the principal energy system is known as the "Biofield" - a term officially recognized by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
When they cite the NIH, they wisely did not specify the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) which does happen to be a division of NIH. While I'm not sure why it matters that "Biofield" is an "officially recognized" term, NCCAM refers to it as a "putative (yet to be measured)" field. Their examples are Reiki and Healing Touch. So don't be fooled into thinking that the NCCAM "recognizing" biofields implies anything whatsoever about efficacy (or even plausibility). Even NCCAM doesn't go that far.
SRT is an array of proprietarily identified frequencies that support and enhance the efficiency and performance of various organic and inorganic systems. Biological, electrical, chemical and other physical systems influenced by SRT applications exhibit increased functionality, coherence, structural integrity and other positive characteristics and benefits.
Word stew. Apparently these frequencies are so proprietary, that even their products cannot be allowed to product the frequencies properly. When Ben Goldacre took an SRT pendant apart, he discovered that the various pieces inside it aren't connected to each other. A fancy-looking surface mounted piece (which is perhaps supposed to be where the "magic" happens) was essentially just a wire and, in any case, not connected to the rest of the circuitry.
SRT has proven its effectiveness in a wide range of experiments, including trials at UC Irvine, University of Vienna, and Imperial College London, all of which demonstrated significant effects on living systems.
There are 15 "studies" referenced.

The first four "studies" use the results of a "Meridian Stress Assessment", apparently based on the notion that "Different organs are associated with different energy meridians, and health problems in various organs are believed to manifest themselves as energetic disturbances in the associated meridians". Leaving aside that there is no scientific validity to meridians in the first place and so who knows what they are testing, the bulk of the subjects (10 or so) don't appear to have had any sort of blinded placebo control. It'll come as no surprise that in the samples where there was no "deactivated control" the "average toward ideal" was quite a bit higher than the rare cases where the charts there is a comparison with a "control".

Apparently demonstrating the true range of effects the device supposedly is capable of, subjects included golfers runners, students and tests ranged from "blood morphology" to skin conductivity and muscle strength. The linked PDFs rarely mention blinding or controls (even when the titles do, the methods listed don't).

The real fun is that two of the studies use Applied Kinesiology -- high on the list of quackery -- to test muscle weakness and claimed some improvement from those wearing the bracelet. There is no indication of blinding or controls. I'll just leave this here:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Piu75P8sxTo]

Even granting that some of the studies, at least in their descriptions, had blinding and "inactive" controls, it is expected that occasionally things that don't work (or that have very weak effects) will show positive results. That is just the nature of statistics. And certainly the manufacturers are not going to display on their site negative studies. As there are no other references to SRT in standard scientific literature, we have no way of sussing out the ratio of positive to negative studies. Truly sound studies would probably have been published somewhere other than the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (and, at that, it appears only two of them were).
Though every wearer's response to Q-Link products is unique...
Read:"Whatever good things happen to occur while wearing this, go ahead and attribute it to our product."

Other references:

http://www.badscience.net/2007/05/the-amazing-qlink-science-pedant/

http://www.skepdic.com/qlink.html

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/ak.html

* In looking for addition references, I stumbled on the fact that Dr. Steven Novella, who has apparently written on just about everything, came across SRT in the exact same Australian "autism" study.

by Josh DeWald

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