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Building on our last example of health fads gone wrong is Biotape, the pain-relieving tape disseminated by Smart Inventions Inc. Made of a space-age conductive Mylar that connects broken circuits that cause pain, Biotape and its makers fell flat when confronted by the Federal Trade Commission, having to settle for $2.5 million in consumer refunds. The product’s website is still functional, but can now only claim that the tape connects the broken chi in all of us. Who knew that our chi was broken?
2.Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet
You’ve probably seen the infomercials on the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet, a breakthrough in science that was first marketed as a pain-relief product, but then went on to promise those who wear it enhanced performance, balance and vitality. How did it achieve its magical effects? Ionization, of course. Not surprisingly, when tested, the Q-Ray was not ionized at all and its makers were court-ordered to turn over $16 million in profits as refunds to consumers due to false advertising.
For our next bizarre health fad, we turn our attention to a South Asian nation of one billion -- India. The cow is a sacred creature in India, to such an extent that India's biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), hopes to turn cow urine into the next soft-drink craze. The RSS has been steadily building hype for cow urine over the past few years, promoting the liquid as a cure for a range of ailments including liver disease and, of course, cancer. By the end of this year, RSS hopes to release its "cow cola" to the masses, assuring the public that it will taste great. The taste, however, may be of little concern, considering that imposters have already begun selling knock-off buffalo urine as the real thing.
What better way to find out if you are fatally allergic to bee venom than by deliberately letting yourself get stung in the name of health? Welcome to the practice of bee venom therapy, whereby therapists apply bee venom to specific points on the surface of the body to cure or reduce symptoms of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, herpes, and even breast cancer. Although the practice is rare in the Western world, bee venom therapy is still abuzz in China, being offered as one of an exhaustive list of folk remedies at any of the 3,000 or so traditional folk medicine clinics across the country. While apitherapy (the medicinal use of bee products, such as honey) has some medicinal usefulness, the claims for bee venom therapy are just too far-fetched to believe
5. Hula-Hooping With Weights
This is one of the latest fitness fads and entails hula-hooping, a craze of the 1950s, with weighted hoops to trim the stomach muscles. While this fad may seem a bit crazy, popular singer Beyonce says that she does it to stay slim. Doctors have weighed in on this fad and say that it is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise and can help with weight loss, but that there is no need to use weighted hula hoops as they can cause back injuries. You can get the same results from a regular hula-hoop.
This form of exercise is touted by movie star Kate Hudson, who states that not only is it useful in the bedroom but it can help women stay thin. Doctors disagree and suggest that anything that involves wearing 7-inch spike heels is not good for any woman, especially when exercising. They add that doing so can actually cause harm to your ankles and feet. However, if you wear proper attire this type of exercise can strengthen your core and provide cardiovascular benefits. Just make sure you go for sneakers instead of stilettos!
The Bodyblade approach involves lifting a bar over your head and shaking to exercise your trunk muscles. Doctors say that this exercise can be helpful for physical therapy, but it appears to be another fad that does not have clear fitness benefits. However, they also say that there is no harm in performing this exercise.
8. Bikram yoga
Please note that this does not refer to yoga in general - but specifically Bikram yoga. I think yoga in general has many benefits when used in the right way and in the right context.
Bikram yoga was 'invented' by a guy in the 1970's, he had the bright idea of performing yoga in a room that is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't bother me that the founder of it lives in Beverly Hills and has 40 Rolls Royces (according to this article in The Times). And even the spurious health and fitness claims don't bother me that much (several Bikram yoga websites claim that it makes your body burn fat more effectively and redistributes fat in the muscle structure - hmm, so if I sit in a sauna I'll burn more fat). What mainly bothers me is a bunch of guys wearing Speedo's. Sorry, but I don't want some dude in a pair of swimming trunks doing a down dog in my face and spraying sweat all over me!
|The only time you should be wearing speedo's is if you are in a swimming pool in an actual swimming competition|
Okay, I lied the spurious health claims do bother me. As does standing on someones back while they are in full spinal flexion, McGill is somewhere in Canada, probably in his spinal lab shedding a tear. Bottom line, I don't think overstretching ligaments and tendons in a hot environment is a good idea.
9.Functional training that is not functional
Somewhere along the line functional training jumped the shark. It metamorphosed into people standing on various objects filled with air while doing a rotational lunge matrix. I was hoping this stuff was dead, but only a couple of weeks ago I saw a guy trying to stand on a swiss ball
|Functional Clown Training|
If something is functional, what is it functional for. Unless you spend your life standing on bags filled with air then there is very little functional carry over.
Functional should relate to the task at hand. For example, with some elderly GP referral clients, things like squats from a bench (getting out of a chair), step ups (for walking up stairs) and suitcase deadlifts (for picking up shopping) are all functional to their needs.
Funtional Training is Not Doing Circus evercise with no real world Purpose.
10. The Power Plate
According to the Power Plate website, this piece of equipment is backed by 40 years of research that shows “vibration training enables users to achieve a higher level of fitness.” We’re also told, “Far better results are achieved than with conventional training methods in just 10 minutes, 3 times a week.”
Plain and simple, don’t buy the hype. Don’t buy the celebrity endorsements or the testimonials that come from the people who stood on this vibrating platform once for ten minutes and said they felt sore or felt better.
Have you ever felt sore after sleeping on an uncomfortable bed? Well, this kind of soreness isn’t indicative of any muscle building properties offered by uncomfortable cots, and is the same kind of soreness you’d feel after standing on a vibrating platform for ten or fifteen minutes.
If standing on a vibrating platform offered real health benefits, subway riders would be the healthiest lot on the planet. If vibrations were the key to being fit, you’d never see a fat jackhammer operator.
I could waste hours discussing this fallacious nonsense. But I’ll keep it as short as possible.
As Madonna performs in London, the word is the aging pop star has kept her fabulous figure fabulous by using a faddish gadget known as the Power Plate. The Power Plate is a vibrating platform you stand on while assuming various positions, which – according to testimonials and marketing materials – can strengthen and tone and all that good stuff in just ten minutes a day, three days per week.
By the way, Madonna is in phenomenal shape because she's spent the past 20+ years working at it, not because she uses the Power Plate
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