Gwyneth Paltrow's Joop company are donning their pseudoscience hats once again. After the jade vagina eggs, now it's time for some black magic stickers that are supposed to somehow make you healthy.
"We’ve been geeking out about the healing power of energy recently (see our stories on earthing, and the fascinating research at the HeartMath Institute)—so it’s no surprise that Body Vibes, wearable stickers that rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies, have become a major obsession around goop HQ."
Get a load of this:
First of all, that's a completely unacceptable usage of "geeking out." The phrasing you're looking for is "we want to sell you this completely bogus thing that doesn't do anything." But this time they went too far -- they basically challenged NASA, saying:
“Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”
As Gizmodo cheekily points out, these are sentences you'd expect to come out if you put Enya's lyrics in a blender. Thankfully, it didn't take long for NASA to jump in and claim 'bullshit.' A NASA representative said that they simply "do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits" of astronauts. Bam, strike one for the good guys! Gizmodo were quite fair and asked Body Vibes if they can support their case with actual science, which they haven't.
Richard Eaton, who is one of the creator of the Body Vibes stickers mysteriously stated that science exists, but he can't discuss it. Because it's top secret, you know.
“Without going into a long explanation about the research and development of this technology, it comes down to this; I found a way to tap into the human body’s bio-frequency, which the body is receptive to outside energy signatures,” Eaton told Gizmodo. He added that, conveniently, “Most of the research that has been collected is confidential and is held as company private information.”
Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA’s human research division, was frank about this.
“Wow,” he told Gizmodo. “What a load of BS this is.” Bam! Strike 2.
Goop has withdrawn that claim from their website but not their endorsement, though they did underline that it is not an "official endorsement." To make things even better, NASA’s spokesperson told Vanity Fair that no one has been in contact with them regarding this product. That's strike 3. No science, bogus claims, and not even bothering to ask a proper scientist, the very definition of snake oil. As Shin Lin, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, points out, the only thing that can work about these stickers is a placebo. But that's a very expensive placebo indeed -- at $120 for a pack of 24 stickers, you're better of with some of that homeopathy stuff.
This is just another brick in the massive wall that is modern pseudoscience. Every day, we're bombarded with information from all forms of media and unfortunately, much of it is highly biased or straight out bogus. Most of the time (especially in Goop articles), "keeping an open mind" means "we're making stuff up" and "alternative treatments" means "doesn't work." People love to hate on modern medicine, we love to hate on drugs, we love to hate on extensive and often taxing treatments. But these treatments work. Don't fall for the "alternative" story line. Don't fall for pseudoscience.