Neuro Connect is a line of wearable technology that, according to its manufacturer NeuroReset Inc, “carries a subtle energy pattern that wakes up the sensory nerve receptors” resulting in “improved balance, control, and strength.”
I’m a bit of a science guy and techie nerd myself, so I’m naturally curious about new biohacking technologies which can improve health and performance.
Specifically, I was curious to know:
1) if any independent testing has been conducted on Neuro Connect products; and
2) if so, have these results been independently peer-reviewed and published in a reputable journal?
In this review, I will set out to answer these questions and provide context about how Neuro Connect relates to similar products on the market.
Neuro Connect on the Dragons’ Den
I first heard about Neuro Connect while watching an episode of the Dragons’ Den. Chiropractor and inventor Mark Metus and NeuroReset general manager Greg Phillips appeared on the show seeking $100,000 of funding to expand their business.
In his pitch, Metus told the dragons he worked with a “team of physicists” to develop “a technology to help people’s backs get better and stay better.” The devices, he explained, “cause the nervous system to respond when you’re wearing them and, as a result, the muscles work better, and the joints work better as well.“
How does Neuro Connect work?
According to Metus, it’s all about “quantum entanglement” which he claims “there is a flow of energy between the three clips and, at the same time, that energy pattern intersects with the central nervous system.”
Metus first demonstrates on Joe the Dragon by guiding him through the backswing and follow-through phases of a golf swing. He pushes Joe on the shoulder with and without the Neuro Connect Golf device at each movement phase, giving the impression that Joe is more stable while wearing the device.
Metus then demonstrates on Michelle the Dragon by asking her to raise her arm in front of her as if reaching for an overhead shelf. While in the extended position, Metus pushes down onto her arm and she falls off balance. He then attaches the Neuro Connect Balance device onto her shirt and repeats the test, giving the impression that her balance has improved.
In the end, they were able to entice six of the dragons to split the total investment for a shared 30% stake in the company.
Neuro Connect claims
While watching the Dragons’ Den episode, Metus threw around lots of rapid-fire techie claims and jargon which could easily confuse the lay viewer.
For clarity, I have transcribed the video, reviewed the NeuroReset website, and made screenshots to accurately list out the primary marketing claims.
Before I go on, I should mention that I searched the NeuroReset website and was unable to find a single study listed. I also conducted a search of the PubMed database of peer-reviewed literature and was unable to locate any published scientific studies on any Neuro Connect devices.
The burden of proof is on NeuroReset to provide independent objective evidence that the products actually do what is stated on the website.
“Neuro Connect™ devices carry a subtle energy pattern that wakes up the sensory nerve receptors.
“Subtle energy pattern…“
How exactly is this subtle energy pattern defined? What energy? Are we talking electromagnetic energy like a mobile phone? How much energy exactly? Which units of measure? Is it safe?
“…that wakes up the sensory nerve receptors.”
This is vague and undefined. What specifically does “wakes up the sensory nerve receptors” actually mean? Are we talking about stimulating the sensory nerve receptors? Which receptors? Where? How did NeuroReset objectively quantify this stimulation the sensory nerve receptors? Has there been any verifiable testing to validate this?
“The brain responds as it should, the neuro-pathways open, and the function of joints and muscles normalize. The result is improved Balance, Control, and Strength.”
As above, this is vague and undefined. How does NeuroReset verify changes to neuropathways? Compared to what? There are many different musculoskeletal and biomechanical pathologies that can occur in the human body, so how does NeuroReset quantify this normalisation of joint function?
How does NeuroReset quantify improved balance, control, and strength? Which objective measures of balance, control, and strength were conducted to make this claim? On which populations? Are we talking golfers? Tennis players? Runners? Please be specific.
“The muscles associated with spinal and peripheral joints begin to function normally. Improve muscle function = better spinal function. Improved spinal function = less neck and back pain.”
This claim assumes efficacy by association. It is true that improved muscle function (strength and flexibility) equals better spinal function and that improved spinal function equals less neck and back pain.
However, there is no objective, independent, verifiable evidence that Neuro Connect is capable of restoring normal function to muscles associated with spinal and peripheral joints.
“Whatever your sport or lifestyle activity Neuro Connect™ devices will help you to perform optimally.”
This is a vague and sweeping panacea claim. Has this product been tested on athletes in every sport? Which sports exactly?
“Perform optimally” can mean a lot of different things to different people. How exactly does NeuroReset define “optimally”? Be specific. What can a user expect from using this product?
Overall, the claims, instead of providing clarity, only provoked more questions. NeuroReset has a duty and a responsibility to the public and to regulatory agencies to provide clear, unambiguous, objective, independent testing results to support it’s marketing claims.
Similarities to Power Balance holographic wrist bands
Neuro Connect’s advertising claims sound very similar to Power Balance holographic bracelets and pendants. Around 2010, the company claimed that their “holographic technology” was able to “resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body to increase sporting ability.” Sound familiar?
Despite many gushing celebrity and athlete testimonials, numerous independent randomised, double-blind studies found the products to be ineffective and the company eventually conceded that the products did not work.
Power Balance Australia chief executive Tom O’Dowd admitted “we’d made claims in the start that said that our product improved strength, balance and flexibility, and we didn’t have the scientific peer-reviewed double blind testing or the level of proof that we needed to substantiate those claims.”
Power Balance was fined in multiple countries and faced class action lawsuits, but filed for bankruptcy in 2011. A meteoric rise to glory on the back of misleading claims resulting in a catastrophic fall from grace.
Evaluation of Dragons’ Den demonstrations
NeuroReset’s demonstrations as shown on the Dragons’ Den, and in the company’s YouTube videos, use similar, if not identical, muscle strength tests that were used to mislead people into buying Power Balance holographic wrist bands.
In a now-deleted YouTube video for the Neuro Connect Balance, Metus tests the product on a young lady using the same protocol he used on Michelle the Dragon. He tells her: “And we don’t absolutely know how it works. We just know that it works. It upgrades the effectiveness of your cerebellum.”
I’m not sure I know exactly what “upgrades the effectiveness of your cerebellum” means, but I do find it surprising that the inventor himself does not understand the mechanism of action behind his own product.
Power Balance was double-blind tested on six volunteers using the same test as Mark in his video (i.e., arms out to the side and downward tension applied).
In the video, Power Band Australia’s CEO Tom O’Dowd claims “It’s a frequency that’s been embedded in the mylar technology, in the hologram…. it reacts with the electrical field of your body.”
But when the Tom (the tester) and the volunteers KNEW they were wearing a Power Balance, they were all stronger.
However, when the Tom AND the volunteers were BOTH BLINDED (i.e., neither knew who had the Power Balance), the tester was repeatedly unable to determine which one of the six volunteers had the Power Balance.
Strength and balance tests exposed
So how does this balance and strength test actually work then? In this short video, Richard Saunders demonstrates that the tester controls when the volunteer is weak or strong based on whether he pushes down and away (less leverage = weak) or down and towards the person (more leverage = strong).
After you’ve watched the above video, take a closer look at these stills captured from the Dragons’ Den demonstration on Michelle (also watch the exposé by CBC’s MarketPlace).
You can clearly see that when the camera is stationary, from the starting point to the finishing point, Metus is directing the pressure on Michelle’s arm on a diagonal trajectory away from her. Biomechanically, is weaker in this position because she has less leverage and she is being pulled forward and off balance.
Once Metus puts the Neuro Connect on her shirt, he repeats the test but if you watch closely, you’ll notice he is pushing straight down instead of diagonally down and away. Michelle is stronger in this position because the applied pressure is closer to her body, providing greater leverage.
The bottom line: the demonstrations for Neuro Connect are dubious at best.
On a positive note, the company offers a guarantee and return policy.
From the website: “NeuroReset Inc provides a 100% guarantee on all Neuro Connect™ products. If you are not completely satisfied with your Neuro Connect™ devices within 30 days, simply return your product with your receipt for your money back.”
For consumers, I encourage you to look objectively at the facts:
- NeuroReset makes numerous ambiguous marketing claims that are unsubstantiated by any independent objective evidence.
- There are no published scientific studies on the product in the PubMed database
- The testing protocols used by NeuroReset on the Dragons’ Den program and in their company videos are not consistent between experimental conditions (i.e., with and without Neuro Connect devices).
If you still want to buy the product, it’s your money. The purpose of this article is merely to ensure that you are making an educated purchase.
For NeuroReset, I would encourage Mark Metus and his investors to carefully consider whether or not this is a viable long-term business venture.
The product has been launched in the absence of any compelling (objective/independent) evidence that it works and, given its striking similarities to Power Balance, could expose the company to significant regulatory action at a future date (with the possibility of fines and litigation).
In closing, I think Neuro Connect can best be summed up in the Dragons’ very own words: “This seems way too good to be true.”
I couldn’t agree more.