Blog Post

Can a Bracelet Convey Energy?

DK asks: "I noticed at Christmas time these Alex and Ani bracelets were very popular.  I even saw they come with the Blessed Mother and saints varieties. They have a tag on them that say ' infused with energy ' and I was wondering if you knew anything about these. And how they would even do that? I went to their website and it is definitely new age talk there."

Yes, I've seen this jewelry line which is designed to please just about everyone on the planet. The bangles include charms of everything from the Blessed Mother to Buddha to the Eye of Horus (an Egyptian amulet worn for protection).As for the positive energy these pieces are supposed to convey, this is all in the mind of the creator, Carolyn Rafaelian(who comes from a family of jewelers), who named the jewelry line after her two daughters.

Her website states: "Rafaelian believes that every individual has a positive message to share with the world and by incorporating powerful symbolism and design into each (+) energy piece, Alex and Ani provides a vehicle for the wearer to express their individuality in an organic, spiritual way."

Elsewhere on the site we learn that the core principle of the company is belief in the power of positive energy.

"Inspired by the wisdom of ancient thinkers, Alex and Ani researched the most effective methods of designing our products with the beneficial positive energy that scientists refer to as vital force," the site explains. "Ancient and modern traditions refer to vital force by many names; chi, prana, etheric energy, life force, zero point energy, homeopathic resonance, etc."

Regardless of what name is used, there's no such thing as this "energy" force. Even though scientists have been looking for it since the days of Sir Isaac Newton, it's just not there. Known as a "putative" form of energy, the National Institutes of Health refer to any product or practice based on its existence as being "among the most controversial of complementary and alternative medical practices, because neither the external energy fields nor their therapeutic effects have been demonstrated convincingly by any biophysical means.”

This imaginary energy, described by the Pontifical Councils of  Culture and Interreligious Dialogue as "the new age god," is the basis of a multi-billion dollar New Age industry where people are raking in millions plying their phony wares to an unsuspecting public. In fact, many of the practitioners don't understand it either and often confuse the putative energy known as "chi" for veritable energies that are known to science, such as monochromatic radiation, sound waves, etc.

But Alex and Ani is a lot more than just an attractive line of jewelry and could come with more than just a nice look. As this article in Business Week states, " . . . (T)he company uses numerology to choose the most auspicious dates for store openings and occasionally employs shamans to bless its workplaces.” How much of this "blessing" ends up on the jewelry is anyone's guess.