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iRenew and QRay: The Return of the Magical Energy Bracelets

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, infomercial viewers convinced themselves that wearing a metal bracelet on the wrist could relieve pain throughout their bodies. At least one Spanish infomercial selling such a bracelet aired, but the most popular example of this genre was the infomercial for a “non-medical device” called the QRay Ionized Bracelet:

The infomercial is at pains to distinguish the QRay (“The World’s Only Ionized Bracelet”) from those inferior magnet and copper bracelets. By the time this infomercial aired in 2001, bracelets claiming to miraculously cure aches and pains had been already been sold, but QRay wants everyone who wasted their money on those products to go ahead and give Q-Ray a try—because it’s ionized!

Five years after this infomercial aired, a federal court ruled that Q-Ray engaged in “false and misleading” advertising. Not only did the court find the benefit claims of immediate pain relief to be false, but it also found that the bracelet wasn’t even “ionized” at all! Q-Ray was forced to offer refunds to consumers who bought the bracelets between January 1, 2000 and June 20, 2003.

This court ruling was devastating not only to the marketers of QRay but to customers who bought one thinking it would give them incredible super powers, much like Wonder Woman’s wrist bracelets.

Undaunted, the marketers still sell the QRay online, although you won’t find any mention on the website of the bracelet being “ionized.” And now another bracelet has made its way onto a TV infomercial, the iRenew Energy Bracelet:

The difference in the marketing of the iRenew bracelet (and the recent QRay efforts) is that it promotes itself as a device that provides “balance” and “energy” instead of pain relief. And those people who bought a copper bracelet that didn’t work…and a magnetic bracelet that didn’t work…and a ionized bracelet that didn’t work can rest assured that iRenew is different because it “uses natural frequencies.”

Infomercials peddling these types of health bracelets were parodied in the Spanish-language movie, Ladron Que Robar A Ladron (“A thief who robs a thief”), which is about a sleazy infomercial producer:

The Magic Bracelet’s claims of miracle cures are actually a lot more credible—because that thing is one whopping hunk of metal!

Comments

  • 4 Responses to “iRenew and QRay: The Return of the Magical Energy Bracelets”

  • Comment by Travis Roy on September 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

  • I’m going to buy one and take it to a volcano in Mordor.

    Comment by Al Frank on September 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

  • I had one of the older Q-Rays or a knockoff – it was supposed to have two magnets in the end. I had thought that maybe it would elevate blood flow (young minds, such imagination).

    There was a small difference. It made my hand hurt more, oddly.

    Comment by Jeff W. on September 4, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  • Well have been reading a lot of reviews about the iRenew and the QRay but I tend to believe that they work only because of person experience.
    I never used to but recent developments have changed my mind drastically.
    My mother gave me my grandfather’s Qray as a memento. I wore for about 2 years. Recently I took it off for about a week. The pains, and aches and listlessness that had slowly( and without me really paying attention)had disappeared while wearing it came back with a vengeance.
    I put it back on again last night before bed and today I feel much better. Now I decided to look and see what the QRay really did because I want a new band.
    The reason I had taken it off was because it kept getting caught on things and banging around while I was at work.
    Now I want to keep wearing it or find a new band that wont annoy me while working. My pain is so much less then when I am not wearing it.
    And just to set things straight I am 38 yrs old female and had no idea what the QRay was really all about until I took it off.

    Comment by Tereca Ford on May 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

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