Kailo Pain Relief Patches under the microscope – what’s inside?

So what exactly is Kailo? What is Kailo made of? Before we go into what I found out through my own investigation and testing of the product, what does Kailo’s designers claim it to be?

On their website FAQ page, Kailo is claimed to be…

  • made from “billions of tiny capacitors”
  • “formed on a waterproof polyester substrate and is covered with a dielectric coating”
  • “contain[s] 2 conductive metals”

While Kailo claims the product is patented, the patent that the company owns has nothing to do with pain relief, it is actually about printable flexible antenna technology. When we look at that patent, the product described has a lot of similarities with Kailo:

“The antenna system includes a substrate and an antenna. The antenna includes a conductive particle based material applied onto the substrate. The conductive particle based material includes conductive particles and a binder. When the conductive particle based material is applied to the substrate, the conductive particles are dispersed in the binder so that at least a majority of the conductive particles are adjacent to, but do not touch, one another.”

For many people, some of these terms may seem foreign, but actually, it is quite simple. A substrate is a surface that something else is placed onto. When you write with a pencil on paper, the paper is the substrate, and you are simply coating the surface of paper with graphite particles that are rubbed off from the pencil tip. In the case of Kailo, the substrate is just a flexible plastic sheet – in this case they tell us that Kailo is on a “Polyester Substrate”, most likely a common polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film, which is non-conductive. The plastic sheet is then coated with particles, before being coated again with a “dielectric coating”, which appears to be another thin plastic coating, perhaps a flexible poly-vinyl-chloride (PVC) coating like Plastisol.

So what about those particles? The patent mentions “conductive particles” – so, what are they? Conductive particles immediately suggests that the particles are likely to be metallic. However, from the quote above, it mentions a mixture with both conductive particles and (presumably non-conductive) binder particles, where the binder particles ensure that the conductive particles are spaced out sufficiently so that they don’t touch each other (this is certainly emphasized in their recent second patent).

From the main patent we learn more details about those conductive particles:

In one exemplary embodiment, a conductive particle based material is employed. The conductive particle based material includes at least two constituent components, namely conductive particles and a binder. However, the conductive particle based material may include additional components, such as at least one of graphite, carbon (e.g., carbon black), titanium dioxide, etc.

The conductive particles may be any conductive material, such as silver, copper, nickel, aluminum, steel, metal alloys, carbon nanotubes, any other conductive material, and any combination thereof. For example, in one exemplary embodiment, the conductive particles are silver coated copper. Alternatively, the conductive particles may be a combination of a conductive material and a non-conductive material. For example, the conductive particles may be ceramic magnetic microspheres coated with a conductive material such as any of the conductive materials described above. Furthermore, the composition of each of the conductive particles may vary from one another.

Interesting stuff! Judging by the colour of Kailo, it would be reasonable to guess that copper to be found in the conductive particles used in Kailo.

I placed the entire patch inside an scanning electron microscope (SEM) which allows me to examine Kailo under extremely high magnifications. Here’s a close up of the surface below…

…pretty boring! Now, I don’t care too much about looking at the surface, as I was more interested in finding out what Kailo is made of.

Fortunately, we don’t really need to guess – with the right equipment, we can find out for ourselves. I took the Kailo patch, and I lightly scratched one of the geometric pattern regions, to try to cut through some of the plastic top coating, to expose some of the internal conductive layer.

kailo in SEM chamber

 

 

 

 

By lightly scratching through the plastic top layer, I was hoping to expose at least some of the active inner material.

The SEM I used is also fitted with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) sensor, which allows the composition of the sample to be analysed semi-quantitatively. This technique is a good starting point for accurately identifying which elements are in a substance. It does not detect all elements, but it is generally good at identifying most metal atoms. Since Kailo supposedly interacts with the body’s electrical system, it’s a safe bet that it would need to contain some metal.

While the image above is perhaps a little hard to read, the take away is simple – Kailo contains primarily Carbon, Oxygen, Copper and Chlorine. Now, most of these elements are found in PVC plastic, which would make sense. The presence of Copper is also unsurprising, and matches what we expected previously. By zooming in under higher magnification, I was able to find regions within the scratched sheet that were mostly copper.

As for nano-scale? At least the particles that I found, many were far bigger than mere nanometers in size. Here’s one particle that’s quite a few microns across, that’s almost all copper.

Conclusion

The lightly scratched sample surface is far from ideal for closely examining the particles embedded in Kailo, and I did not want to permanently damage the product through more destructive tests. From the results I was able to find, I am satisfied that Kailo is essentially copper particles mixed with a binder, and then printed onto a polyester sheet, before a PVC protective top coating was applied. A significant amount of carbon was also detected, but it was hard to determine whether this was from the carbon in the plastic polymer films, or whether carbon-black particles were also added into the particle mixture. It is certainly safe to say that the copper colour of Kailo appears to simply come from … well, copper particles.

So, from what we learned, can we make our own DIY Kailo with some copper foil and a home laminator? Almost. The patent talks about dispersing the conductive particles so that they don’t touch each other, but that’s the only significant difference.

Yes, I’m being facetious, but it’s not far off…

Post-Script

This article was sponsored by … no-one! I’m a materials engineer in my real job, and I performed this work on my own time, for my own interest, and to satisfy my own curiosity. However, I do think this is more than a little ironic, as the Kailo founder, Stuart Fetzer, is apparently also a materials engineering graduate.

Update 6th March: I returned my Kailo to Amazon, and fortunately I have received a refund from the company.

Thank you for joining me, but this the end of the ride for me with Kailo. I will be moving on to new projects from here. Feel free to email me your comments and thoughts on this Kailo series – it has been encouraging to me that my efforts have made at least some difference. Between myself and the hundreds of comments and messages I have received about Kailo from you guys, we have discussed this topic to a level far beyond what I had hoped for!

For those of you still suffering with chronic pain – you have my deepest sympathy. As someone who has friends and family that suffer from persistent pain, lets hope that new and innovative treatments continue to be developed, and that they will be put to the test to prove that they are effective beyond placebo.

74 Comments

  1. Arah

    Having former experience with powder and single crystal XRD, I’m always a fan of these and other ways of skinning the cat, such as electron microscopy. So, awesome for trying!

    And less awesome: the actual Kailo.

    To be fair to a company selling a very likely bogus product through the use of pseudo-science, it seems entirely possible that the layer you scratched was actually meant to be a “solid” sheet, and that any particulate you scanned at that depth of the nCAP was created from scratching a solid surface.

    (Assuming the surface layer wasn’t itself large particulate connected by conductive material, quite possibly as an extreme example of “scratching” the anode of the capacitor to increase surface area .)

    Essentially a capacitor is just two pieces of electrical conductor separated by a dielectric (insulator) so that they never conduct to one another, allowing them to trap an electric field when a charge is applied.

    So maybe the capacitance occurs between that (semi?) solid layer that you scratched and nanoparticles suspended in a dielectric gel beneath that layer.

    Maybe.

    In which case you’d need to focus on scanning the gel to find the intentional nanoparticles to determine if they exist and are really in the nano scale.

    The part that bothers me however is that even IF that is what nCAP is, at the end of the day nCAP is meant to be a capacitor. It still needs an anode and a cathode, with contact points somewhere, for the design to make any sense whatsoever. I just don’t see where Kailo has these contact points or how it would receive any input charge to create the capacitance electrical field, etc.

    (And I’m still stumped about Kailo having an antenna in any conceivable way, and especially one alleged to be tuned to communicate wirelessly with nerve tissue in a way that so far even the best medical scientists have so far completely failed to do.)

    So regardless of whether or not your valiant electron microscopy of the Kailo was effective to proving or disproving the scale of the particulate, any way you look at it, the best that can be said of Kailo so far is that it is just a glorified copper bracelet that (probably) won’t turn your skin green.

    And plenty of people have been using copper bracelets (with or without magnets) to alleviate pain for a very long time, with questionable success and equally debatable scientific basis. But good luck walking through even a modern drug store without finding a rack of copper bracelets somewhere. Looks like that’s all that Kailo is, in this use case.

    Unless someone from Kailo or nCAP cares to weigh in with any actual engineering or scientific data to explain the function of a feature that so far defies scientific explanation?

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    • admin

      Hey, thanks for the feedback 😉 yes, this really was a very crude analysis, mostly just for a bit of fun. I would really have liked to do a more thorough cross-sectional (properly mounted) sample but really didn’t want to destroy the Kailo as I was hoping to try the return policy — so far no refund.

      The thing about antennas is, it really depends on what kind of frequency you are trying to tune for. You don’t use the same kind of antenna for GHz as for kHz – and of course broadband antennas typically perform far worse than properly tuned antennas. Anyway, the further you go into their claimed theory of operation, the more bogus it becomes. I agree that it is a fun thought experiment to think about how it would be possible.

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    • Kevin Rochlin

      Apparently, I should have been a materials engineer instead of environmental. You get to use much cooler tools than I do. Seriously though, I do appreciate your effort to help people not be defrauded. This product is exactly the thing my aged mother would have purchased, believed it worked and then got her friends to buy. No one had a better placebo effect than she did. Keep up the good work. Also don’t let your employer know you were messing around at work with a million dollar em.

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      • Jennifer H

        Perhaps your Mom & I are the same age. I’ve had chronic pain since I was 16; just garden variety osteo-arthritis.
        Unfortunately, due to a double whammy of genetics & the Pandemic, I’ve been unable to have both hips, one knee, and both thumbs fixed. Of course, I wouldn’t want all surgeries done at the same time!
        I had both thumbs repaired around 10-15 yrs ago, but the type of repair (for all 3 joints) didn’t work out. Unfortunately, the stricture came back.
        Foot pain w nasty bone spurs.
        I avoided surgery as I was unaware of surgeons using spinal blocks. Unfortunately, I die on the table or spend 10 days in ICU with general anæsthesia.
        So… Life!

  2. Niko

    What a great study of a product. Almost bought it until I read your review. Thank you for taking the time and for your honesty, so god damn rare in today’s world. Looking forward to anything else you post.
    Not sure if you have a youtube channel, if you don’t you should, maybe more people will find your work.

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      • Marz

        Just wanted to say thank you to you for taking the time and energy, as well as money if they don’t refund you, to do this report…i was thinking of purchasing for my lower back pain, when I found this. I hope in the future there are breakthroughs in pain relief and management. So many people’s lives are affected by pain, but that shouldn’t give a company the right to scam people that are hopeful for relief. Anyways thanks again!

    • Anthony Tubini

      Yes I too was about to purchase 2 of them I have Chronic pain, shattered coccyx, 7 ruptured discs, 5 spinal stenosis. Had 2 operations first to remove the broken off C7 spinous process that had lodged between C7 & C6 that for18 months had been nothing more than muscle pain that I was making to much of a fuss over the 2nd after 10yrs of being told that my case wasn’t urgent by the Gold Coast University hospital TRIAGE team who by the way had never assessed me and that was a 2 stage laminectomy with NO follow up Physio as promised. I was 63yrs old when I had that operation and continued with my Karate excersizes. The ONLY thing that gives me some relief is Oxycontin which seems to be the baddie these days but I get absolutely no high except the feeling that I might be able to do a bit of work rather than sit/lay and just rock back & forth SO I would give anything to relieve the pain. I’ve had that pain since 1981 and Professor Raymond Newcombe gave the court a report saying that I was young extremely fit & healthy and the disks would heal and the pain go away. In the late 2000’s A Current Affair did a program on him that I unfortunately missed but he was Canberra’s top Neuro Surgeon that all others bowed down to and his ideas were what all other N Surgeons based on and it turned out that he ruined 100’s of lives and he didn’t have any real qualifications from what my friends who saw the program told me he had come from overseas and bluffed his way in. I would give anything to be pain free or at least to a stage where it doesn’t take over my day to day functions. I continued working until I was medically retired in 1999 by which time I was managing my work by help of 200 panadeine Forte a month. The only time I have felt reasonably pain free since 1980 is in 2012 when I had my first best attack and the Ambulance Medics gave me a 2nd shot of Morphine for pain relief. I am not looking for sympathy but trying to show how vulnerable people like myself are to “cures” and see far as these Specialists who say that Opiates do nothing and people who ask for them are just addicts I would love for them to stand in my shoes for just an hour. Tony (Anthony) Tubini Australia.
      Thank you for saving me my money

      • admin

        Wow Tony, that’s sounds like you’ve been going through a really tough journey mate. Wish I had better news or other options to offer.

      • Marz

        Sorry to hear about all the pain you’ve had to endure over your life, that professor Raymond Newcombe sounds like a complete ass. I hope he has since lost his license to practice and maybe was sued. I suffer from chronic lower back pain. After my surgery my pain was still bad. My surgeon told me if the pain is still a problem to seek pain management, that’s it. Never saw him again, without insurance pain management is very expensive so I am always hoping something new will come out that will be the miracle I need…that we need. Anyways hope your able to be pain free soon and good luck to you.

    • Dawn higgins

      I have the Kailo patch and I love it I have had zero pain Sence the day I put it on so I don’t care what it’s made of because it works for me 100 percent

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  3. Bob Bohrer

    I teach FDA law. Alleviating pain without relying on a mechanism of action that requires chemical interaction or being metabolized would clearly meet the definition of a medical device under U.S. law. I believe they are in violation of the U.S. FDA law. However, magnets can do exactly what they claim the patch does, without a power source and even without direct contact with the body. I appreciate your blog entries on this.

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    • admin

      Wow, that would be quite interesting if they were to be challenged by the FDA. Thank you for your comment Bob! What do you mean about the magnets though, have there been any studies to support that?

          • Thomas Goble

            I found this shorted link to the abstract for the article link above
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25763584

            RESULTS:
            Research shows that both low energy laser and pulsating magnetic field physical attributes are effective methods for the treatment of pain and restricted mobility of the spine caused by disc herniation. Careful analysis emphasizes greater efficiency laser for pain. In contrast, a statistically greater improvement in global mobility of the spine, as well as flexion and extension of the lumbar recorded in group B, where the applied pulsating magnetic field.

            CONCLUSIONS:
            Both laser and magnet therapy reduces pain and improves mobility of the spine of people with degenerative spine disease of the lower back. Comparison of the effectiveness of both methods showed a greater analgesic effect of laser treatment, and greater mobility of the spine was observed under the influence of pulsating magnetic field therapy.

          • admin

            This article in the “Polish Mercury: a body of the Polish Medical Association”, has been cited 5 times since 2015:

            1. One was a positive polish study … that had no placebo group.
            2. Another polish article did have a placebo group found poor success from these treatments. “Conclusion: The high-and low-energy laser therapy methods used in the present article are ineffective […] and do not show a significant advantage over the placebo effect”
            3. The third, another polish study, did have placebo group, and the results “did not show any difference between the studied groups”.
            4. The fourth, found pain relief was provided by both low level laser and with magnet therapies, with greater pain relief from laser therapy… but again, did not have a placebo group.
            5. The fifth was a polish review article that called for the need for more studies in this area with placebo control groups. “Research of the highest methodological quality requires a control group with a placebo therapy.”

  4. Alison

    Thanks for investigating this. I saw this piece of news through Microsoft edge’s MSN news section, and I knew it was bullshit.

  5. Donna

    For this company to scam people that are really in a lot of pain is just plain nasty, mean and inhumane. I have suffered from chronic pain beginning Jan. 1999. for the past 5 years I have been seeing a Dr. that specializes in pain relief and he admits there is a not a cure all or anything that can stop the pain entirely. Yet I still could fall for this nonsense as I am always looking for something. Thanks for the heads up on this scammer. I may have tried before asking Dr. or made myself an idiot by asking Dr. about it. You saved me money and humiliation (-: Best yet you gave the science lesson. Thanks

  6. Rob

    Wow! The Kailo add popped up on YouTube and I thought—I bet this is from Utah. I live in Utah. We hold the distinction of being a high place holder for health scams. Maybe #1. Sad—it’s such an amazing place with wonderful people in so many other ways.

    Thanks for your even cursory attempt to investigate and then defend your observations. The price being asked for a pvc and copper bandage is akin to the $65 (US) being asked for a half liter bottle of chocolate flavored mangosteen juice a few years ago. Or the price being asked for 5ml bottles of essential oils today.

    I hope people in chronic pain can find relief. I hope athletes in pain can find the goals and training schedules that are in line with their genetics. I hope people who have grown past youth can make good dietary and exercise choices to help them avoid unnecessary discomfort. I hope people who work in front of a computer will get up and stretch on a regular basis. I hope I can always appreciate a body with a feedback system that lets me know when something’s amiss. I hope people will one day stop taking advantage of the desperation, gullibility and ignorance of their fellow beings.

    • Josh

      Utah is a very religious area, and unfortunately, most of these people who fall for the scam are using the same faith they have in god for these products. Ridiculous claims such as putting two of every Animal on a bot are on the same level as this product.

      Just people taking advantage of faith.

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  7. Adam

    Again, great job. I was thinking about getting one, not because I am in constant pain, but because I’m a nerd and I like useful gadgets, especially if there’s “nanotechnology” involved. Thanks for saving me $120!

    And I wonder why that AJ “Hi-I’m-mister-nCAP-distributor-guy” didn’t comment on this one yet! Especially since you just proved that Kailo is just a rebranded nCAP. He was very adamant about Kailo not having aaaaaanything to do with nCAP.

    • Adam

      I’m sorry I have to double post – I didn’t even realize that the nCAP logo is perfectly visible on the Kailo pad. Holy smokes and people dare say that one has nothing to do with the other! Ridiculous!

      • AJ

        (Adam) I have stopped posting replies as I think I have covered all my bases and said all that I need to say about the subject in the numerous threads on this site.

        I did not respond to this particular thread as I am not privy to the manufacturing process or the (we’ll call them ingredients) of the patch.

        No knowledge about something in particular = no comment from me

        Take care everyone and hold your loved ones close in this time of uncertainty. We will get through it.

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        • Adam

          AJ, you did not cover anything; there were arguments and counter arguments. You said you don’t mind selling placebo if it works. That’s fine. The topic at hand is that the company doesn’t market it as a placebo. They straight out lie and put up some scientific bogus talk to convince people to buy them.

          Based on Sam’s articles, this product is nothing more than a copper bracelet in “band-aid” form. Now, since Kailo is “using the technology” from nCAP, this statement covers both products. This wouldn’t be a problem if the product was marketed that way. But it isn’t.

          You might say – well, placebo can’t be marketed, nobody would buy it. This wouldn’t be accurate however for multiple reasons:

          – Placebo can work even if the individual does not believe it will work
          – The placebo effect is not fully understood yet, there are so many ways this can be utilized in clever marketing, without actually having to lie or mislead people
          – If we all agree that a lot of people grow desperate due to pain and are willing to try anything, they will not care if the product is advertised as placebo or alien technology

          As for the connection between the two companies, sure, there’s no direct evidence other than the presence of the nCAP logo on the Kailo pads. But some common sense and reading paints a very likely scenario:

          – nCAP tried to come up with some sort of antenna in 2013, but accidentally or not, they “discovered” that it works for pain (sometimes)
          – an indiegogo project started to fund it, which failed
          – nCAP still managed to create and sell the product, but most likely not anywhere near expectations
          – in 2018, Kailo was formed, most likely through connections in the UT LDS congregation (based on geographical addresses and the owners religious backgrounds)
          – Kailo managed a better marketing campaign and the Kickstarter project was a success, so the nCAP pads could be sold much more efficiently
          – We are here in 2020

          Starting with the fact that Kailo’s ad opens up with a lie (“Oh hey, I’m a coach and I know what pain is!” – says the paid actor), things can only go downhill from there.

          As for COVID-19, I wish you much health and strength. I do not have bad wishes towards you, quite the opposite: I hope one day soon you won’t need to get side income from dubious companies/products.

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          • AJ

            (Adam) You could be right as far as your scenario goes but I am not privy to that information just as you are not privy to that information so we are left to deciding for ourselves what we think is the real truth.

            I am also not involved with the nCAP owners so I have no control over what they do or say and rely on the information I am given from them. That goes for Kailo as well as I do not promote their product and have no affiliation with their company.

            The last comment is in response to you mentioning a “side income”. The monthly income that I generate from the sales of the nCAP patches would not even take a family of four out to dinner at a decent restaurant. I sell the patches at a 10% profit after working in the freight cost to bring them up to me. I sell these patches because they work for me. Nothing has ever worked for me like these do. I am sold hook, line and sinker and if it works for me it must work for other people and I back it up with a 37 day money back guarantee. If someone returns it I have to throw it in the garbage as I can’t resell it so when that happens obviously I take a huge hit. It is what it is. I do not need the money from this to survive.

            I should also mention that all my sales are in person and not e-commerce. I am not a big flashy salesperson who can persuade you to buy a vacuum cleaner. I am just an ordinary run of the mill guy who found something that worked for me and I want to share it. Nothing more and nothing less.

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  8. Janet

    Thanks, I just saw that and was really interested since I have so many bone spurs on my clavicle that are not repairable. I was thinking maybe something like the earthing blankets that people sell. I guess I will save my money it sounds like I could just buy some copper tape and put that on my shoulder I don’t need the lamination pouch.I have always been curious about copper because I’m over 60 And always remember the older people wearing copper bracelets copper rings or copper necklaces on their bodies because they believed it was healthy. So I do wonder what is the effect of copper on peoples bodies.

  9. M Clark

    There are many other “nearly miraculous” real medical solutions for chronic pain. One, which I had never heard of, was successfully done on my neighbor who had severe knee pain. Radiofrequency neurotomy uses heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves and temporarily turn off their ability to send pain signals. The procedure is also known as radiofrequency ablation.

    Needles inserted through your skin near the painful area deliver the radio waves to the targeted nerves. Your doctor will use imaging scans during radiofrequency neurotomy to make sure the needles are positioned properly.

    Radiofrequency neurotomy is most commonly used for pain in the back, neck and buttocks (sacroiliac joint). It may also be helpful for long-term knee or hip joint pain.

    I am sharing this in hopes that others will find relief as my good friend did.

    • Emily C

      Hi M Clark.

      I went through those same treatments. I suffer from multiple kinds of arthritis, joint damage from an accident, immune disorders, food/environmental allergies and fibromyalgia.

      My pain was not relieved after years of treatments. It got to the point where my doctor had to treat both sides of each vertebrae. From top to bottom and including my superior gluteal nerves. Time between treatments shrunk and became needed monthly. I highly advise against the use of Radiofrequency neurotomy. It only increased my pain.

      I do suggest the use of tens units for non-drug pain therapy, food plans with added tumeric and other antioxidants, Omega 3’s, plus exercise. I have a neural occipital lobe stimulating tens units implant and it does help. There are other tens units which you do not need to implant for the same effective treatments now. Unfortunately, I have such chronic, continuous pain and need a constantly strong pain signal blocker implanted. I am treated by the best doctors of Beth Israel Deaconess which teach at Harvard University in Massachusetts. I hope this helps.

  10. Joseph Pearson

    If you take the Kailo patch and attach it to a cube steak and run an electric current through it, it will revivify the meat and grow a nano cow that will not defecate because the nano cow is already made up of bullshit. This is proved in Latin as follows:

    O sibili si ergo, fortibuses in ero.
    Nobili dem ist trux si insidem caus an dux.

    P.S It’s a joke in Dog Latin. Read out loud.

  11. WhollyUnconvinced

    Comments were closed on the first thread, but I just came across this after seeing an ad for the nonsense product, and searching for the drama and debunking I knew must be out there.

    I really wanted to point out something that I consider evidence in support of the placebo effect, and one of the ways you can test for the presence of placebo with a product like this, which I haven’t seen mentioned in any of the comments I’ve read so far.

    The fairly high production quality of the marketing campaign and the “street testing” shown in the ad that I watched, as well as the pseudo science explanation of how it “works” are important, because they’re planting the idea in people’s heads that it stops pain. If you were to approach someone who suffered from chronic pain, and (gently) slap one of these in just the right location “between the pain … and your brain!” As their tagline recommends, the effect would almost undoubtedly be confusion as opposed to pain relief.

    That’s why they put so much effort into the ads showing “random street people who suffer from horrible pain” having how the magic pain relief sticker works explained to them in all its nonsensical glory. That’s the setup for the placebo effect to work. If you bought a pad, you watched the ad, you know what it’s supposed to do. For the 3rd party snake oil salesman who was all over the other thread, I absolutely guarantee that before you hand over one of these pads after your “face to face sale” you’ve taken plenty of time to explain how important it is that you find “the sweet spot” so those nanotech resistors can work their magic.

    This was a fun little series of blog posts to read, and the comments were at times utterly ridiculous, and I wanted to contribute my own 2c to anyone who might not understand how important knowing what a placebo is supposed to do is to achieving the placebo effect. (And I challenge any of you firm believers to do a blind trial on friends or family who you know to suffer from specific pain) when it doesnt do a thing for them without you “prepping” them, maybe you’ll see the light.

    Oh, one other small none that I just remembered. The implied mechanism is blocking pain signals to the brain (or rather enhancing them) if this was the actual mechanism of action, the easiest way for anyone to use the product effectively would be to simply place it on the back of the neck, effectively working its magic on ALL pain signals coming from anywhere on the body, and yet they dont suggest it, because that concept would be much harder to subconsciously sell than the usual “place it near the source of the pain”.

    Have a great day, and again, thanks for the entertaining read.

  12. Sylph

    Thanks for your article!
    I had little doubt that the product was likely relying on the placebo effect, but people really *do* feel relief from the placebo effect as long as the believe it, so I think the pseudoscience used to sell the product is less of an evil than many people commenting here.
    You can look at the company as ‘taking advantage of those already in a vulnerable position’. I understand that.
    However, we can also look at this company as trying to provide a believable placebo to help people.
    Yeah, it’s a stretch, but it’s not quite as black and white as some commenters seem to suggest.

    As for your articles, I found them educational, but I do disagree with some parts, such as your claims that in order to interact with an electrical system direct contact is required. Anyone who’s understood a dynamo or motor understands that electrical systems don’t require contact to be interacted with.

    Now I’m not saying that the product works. I am totally sure that it’s snake oil. I just wanted to either correct, or ask for additional information about one of your disproving points, because it doesn’t fit in with what I know about electrical systems.

    • admin

      Thanks for your comment Sylph 🙂

      Regarding the electrical system comment, I do take your point that my language there was too simplistic. You are correct, Dynamos, generators, etc are all interacting, but the interaction is indirect. A changing magnetic field is inducing current to flow through a conductor – induction, not conduction. I was trying to clarify that Kailo is not conducting anything – it is not an electrical interaction with the body as claimed (e.g. like TENS). If were to consider that Kailo is working inductively, then that would be a different type of mechanism to what kailo has claimed.

      For interest sake, Nerve signals actually do give off some some extremely minor magnetic field disturbances. However, these disturbances are so, so, so incredibly weak, that we literally have to use the worlds most sensitive magnetometer (aka magnetic sensor) to detect them.

      The question about the ethics of selling a placebo product are challenging. For example, by informing people that this product is a placebo, for some (not all) people this would be likely to influence their placebo response. I have questioned whether what I am doing by warning people is thus doing more harm than good, after all – they do offer a money back policy, right? I wrestled with this question for a few weeks early on (and it was one of the things that prompted me to actually try Kailo out on myself and others) but I have not been persuaded to change my mind.

      I would describe myself as a truth seeker – both for myself, and to bring truth to the world too. I do not take well to being lied to. The amount of effort that they have gone to with the high quality marketing campaign is astonishing; this is no benevolent not-for-profit org, that is trying to do a social good. Regardless of their “accidental discovery” story, I certainly believe that this is no “accidental deception” by Kailo. Rather, I think this is a shrewd business strategy that has been executed deliberately to fraudulently deceive desperate people, and I do not believe it is justifiable at any level.

  13. Joe

    Sam – loved the SEM/EDX work.
    A million years ago when I managed a microelectronics lab, we always got a big kick out of finding the “imprinted” logos of the semiconductor manufacturer. Some die designers would go to great lengths to hide the image. I think I still have a photo of the “Silicon General”.
    Now, why would they do such things, one might ask? One answer is that it is used for patent infringement lawsuits. There are companies that make more money from this than they make from sales of the product itself.
    Since you read the nCap patent, you saw how perfectly broad all the claims are. This is by design. Using that broad language allows them to file patent infringement lawsuits. Some poor startup comes along and makes a widget and the next thing they know they are being sued. It is then cheaper for them to settle and pay a(n) extortion… err… fee than challenge it in court.
    As you have previously noted, patent claims don’t have to be proven.
    We had a person try to hire our lab to “prove” his claim that his invention was an infinitely small bandwidth filter worked. We were to prove this by injecting a signal at the input and then find there was no output. Umm… I could just cut the wire between two connectors and have the same. Needless to say, he would not allow us to take the covers off of the “invention”. We passed on the honor.
    It came as no surprise that you found the nCap logo!
    Cheers!

  14. Jen Rees

    I use this and have real success in pain relief. If it is the placebo effect I hope it does not stop now I have read this! I have it between my torn tendon and brain and I can feel that it is warm and my pain is less. in order for it to work, I have had to try many different spots to get it to work. When I wear it I can walk so much better.

    • Diane Voigt

      I have been wearing one for 1 week and sure feel much better. Have lower back pain, trouble when I sit and when I stand back up. It has been wonderful to get up and down without pain.

  15. Dr. Houser

    A little background on myself – I’m a Chiropractic Physician, but pride myself on being an evidence-based practitioner. The chiropractic profession has it’s roots in philosophy, but I try to steer clear of the pseudoscience, on which many of my colleagues unfortunately base their clinical decisions. So, that being said, I had never heard of this product until one of my patients yesterday mentioned that he tried and failed to notice any significant changes after using Kailo patches. This patient has a slight language barrier, and I fear that only made it easier for this company to prey on him. He ended up buying 5 of these patches, because obviously when you buy more, you “save” more (he still spent almost $300 for these patches that did nothing for his pain). I told him I’m sorry that these expensive devices didn’t help, but I assured him that I could help with physical medicine. I told him that I was unaware of this product but would so some research. Like you, and many others, I could find no sound scientific research to explain the mechanism of action or the basis for application of such a device. So I appreciate your time and energy spent on providing at least semi-scientific explanation and proof for efficacy of this device, which is far more than the company itself has done!

  16. Anne Walker

    Thank you so much for taking the time to review this patch. I have Fibromyalgia and OA affecting my hips, knees and lower spine. I am in constant pain and like a lot of people in my position, where opiates don’t work on chronic pain, am always on the look out for something to try to alleviate at least some of my pain so I can have a near normal life. I was considering buying this patch, despite it being so expensive – as I am on disability benefits, £80 odd pounds is lot of money to me… thank goodness I read your review before I was scammed out of my money. It is quite deplorable really that someone would prey on people who live in pain in this way as chronic pain can make people desperate for a solution. Again, Thank You.

  17. Dave

    It works with some and not with others. If it doesn’t work, you get your money back. What’s to lose? When you are in pain and unable to get help many people spend far more than this (and can’t get their money back!) seeking relief

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    • admin

      What’s to lose? Well, with that kind of attitude, all kinds of things can be justified. If you’re so willing to suspend your critical thinking functions, then I really have no idea why you would even bother to seek out and read my articles. I’m very suspicious of people who would be willing to pay $100 for something that they know is most likely to be just a placebo. I’m personally very averse to the feeling of being duped, hoodwinked or scammed — hence my quest for truth and evidence.

  18. Sammy Andersson

    Thank you!
    You saved me from buying a “Kailo-bundle” and today I’m glad to read your comment about the product.
    I had the same suspicions as you, before I almost ordered the product, but with a illness as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrom) and unbearable pain 24/7 for almost 5 year now and you have tried almost everything what the medical faculty has to offer, you ARE willing to try almost everything you read about, even though, as at this time, it was a product that you get suspected of being a “fake” from the first moment. In some strange way, you don’t want to believe it’s something wrong with it, you just hope it will help you.

    Sammy Andersson

    • admin

      Thanks for writing in Sammy. I can certainly empathise wishing that it wasn’t fake too. We could certainly do with some breakthroughs in these areas, for especially for relief from chronic pain conditions — I do know that there are smart people out there studying these things. I’m sorry I don’t much to offer, other than my best wishes on your journey, and prayers that the future looks different to the present.
      Best,
      Sam

  19. Lauri

    I am glad I read your posts about this product. My mother is in a lot of pain, and I wish something like this could help her, but I am always wary when it sounds too good to be true. You have done an amazing amount of work checking on the viability of this product. Your knowledge and understanding in this field (which is obviously your expertise) is very obvious, and I appreciate that you have made it public. I do have one caution for you, however. In one post, you point out that the author of the Kailo information misspelled the word “anesthetic” (as if that is further proof that they are not to be believed). Yet in your articles, you yourself misspelled the words “skeptical” and “analyzed,” and there were also a few grammatical and punctuation errors. Your bringing attention to Kailo’s spelling error magnified your own spelling errors. Your argument was stronger without that accusation.

    • admin

      Thanks for your comment Lauri. Yes, I am far from perfect, make no mistake about that 😉. I agree with your point that it was not an important point to mention, and did not significantly reinforce my critique of the product.

      I would like to mention that those two words are correctly spelled in Australian English, which has come slight differences with US English. E.g colour vs color. I do appreciate that the audience for this article is mostly “stateside”.

      • Lauri

        Ah, I have now been educated about more words that are spelled differently in Australian English. I tip my hat to you!

  20. Lori

    Thank you Samuel. I enjoyed reading your journey with the Kailo Pain Relief Patch. You saved me some money! I have some chronic pain, but nothing to the level that I have read here.

  21. Helen Collins

    Hi
    I can’t thank you enough.
    I’ve quickly read through all your articles on this and you’ve saved me £80.
    Also I’m part of a peer support group for people who live with chronic pain, and I’ve passed on the links to your pages on this.
    We are suckers for this kind of longed for quick fix, so you’ve probably saved us as bunch of people on benefits around £1200 between us.
    So Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  22. Hi there.. I ordered the patch in May and it arrived last week…I have a n
    umber of back problems which make it difficult to walk so was really excited to receive it. When doctors tell me that there is nothing to be done I look for other solutions….
    So I tried this miracle patch and, for me at least, it has no effect whatsoever so will be returning it …
    Even though it seemed far fetched I had to try and now I know!
    Many thanks for your information

  23. Bob Inman

    I have a Kailo patch that I have been using for a couple of months and it has consistently helped me with back pain relief. It works and it has a 100 percent money back warranty if you don’t like it.

  24. Daniel L Cox

    Hello Samuel,
    Thank you for a fair review.
    As a chronic pain sufferer from breaking my back and neck while in the Army I have studied pain relief products extensively. My goal is to get off of the mega-doses of Morphine I am currently on. Through the VA Medical Center System, I also use acupuncture and spinal alignment with an Osteopath.
    The Kailo seems to be a rehash of the Q-Link Pendants of 10 or 15 years ago (microwaterman dot com/Q-Link/Q-Link-SRT-3_Pendants.html).
    You mentioned the Placebo Effect as one reason these products with no documentable scientific basis for working appear to provide relief. There is something else most people do not know about or understand. Chronic pain is cyclical. By that, I mean that a person with chronic pain actually will feel better for a while for no known reason, then the pain returns. This cycle repeats itself year after year. Why products appear to help is people only spend money on something like Kailo when they are at the bottom of the Down cycle of their pain. Then, while using it, their pain heads toward the top of the Up cycle so they feel the product works and tells everyone how great the product is. When the pain starts returning, not knowing the cyclic pattern of pain, they chalk it up to the product doing all it could for them and move on to the next snake oil or woo-hoo science product. They don’t spread the news of the product “failing” like they did when it “worked.” It is also felt that people do not like to think they were taken in by the slick marketing and they just wasted at least a hundred dollars on something else that failed them.

  25. AM

    now we have this light generating device Taopatch (link removed by admin)

    “Taopatch Team
    PROJECT OWNER
    Hi Josh – Thank you for reaching out. The Kailo Pain Patch is mainly used for pain relief. Taopatch can be used to help with pain, balance, and focus.”

    • admin

      Taopatch looks to be another scam, just like kailo. However, their one scientific study they reference in their video is behind a 45 euro paywall, so I am unable to critique their science. However, looking at the authors profiles, none of them have a background in nanotechnology or medical devices of this nature. After being out there for three years, the paper only has one citation — by one of the authors no less, which indicates that the paper had little to no actual scientific impact — i.e. it looks like the scientific community might be ignoring their unbelievable claims too.

      The “Dr Fabio Fontana Taopatch biomedical scientist” also does not seem to have any published papers or research.

      The whole thing appears to be being promoted by Enventys Partners, oh, and Kailo is on the Enventys Partners portfolio page…. what more do you need to know?

      Hopefully the FDA will catch up to Taopatch USA sooner than later.

  26. Rita Laxton

    Two serious falls with a back already operated on three times have left me with severe lower back pain whenever I walk or stand.
    After 2 years of constant pain only partly alleviated by physical therapy and daily doses of otc and prescribed pain meds I decided to try something new. Opioids and TENS didn’t work because mine is nerve pain, not muscular. Though the nerves do affect my muscles as well.
    I carefully read the science (I’m a retired professor from a medical university). I did as much due diligence as I could. The jury was still out but I decided to bite the bullet and undergo several sessions of platelet rich fluid and stem cell injections into my spine.
    Apart from the horrendous cost ($ thousands, not covered) the pain over the first few days was excruciating. Scream, scream, scream kind of excruciating. I had 3 protruding discs and the added pressure of almost a pint of liquid intruding on my nerves was unbearable.
    Then the pain receded. Over the next few weeks it lessened. To the point when it was somewhat less than my original pain had been.
    Did it go away completely, or even mostly? No. Did it last? No. Within 6 months I was where I’d been before. In pain. I needed more back surgery.
    Then CoVid19 intervened and I’m still not ready to share a hospital floor with dozens of very sick people (I live on the West coast of the US).
    So I live with my pain, pretty much unable to do anything physical, such as home exercising, gardening, painting or even cooking.
    Would I do it again? Probably not, unless the processes improve. Would I recommend it to others? Jury’s out. Study and then judge for yourselves. The technology is still exploratory. But people younger than me need to be willing to push the envelope.
    And SAM – I admire the social services you’re doing for others. Lots of good preliminary work. You’ve saved a lot of people a lot of money and disappointment. Wish you could be exposed to a wider audience.
    My advice to people in pain? Recognize you’re vulnerable to scams because you’d do anything to break the cycle. Try leading edge medical advances if you can afford them (they’re almost always out of pocket). Recognize that they may not work on you, or only work partially, or only for a while.
    And steer clear of “too good to be true” solutions. They invariably are just that.

  27. Teemu Parkkunen

    I now received email from them: Kailo Clinical Trial Preliminary Results. October 27, 2020

    https://gokailo.com/blogs/kailo/kailo-clinical-trial-phase-one

    Interesting to see where this path shall lead to:

    “Interim Results from the IRB-approved PREVENT Study, aimed at evaluating Pain Severity and Pain Interference in patients with mild, moderate, or chronic pain conditions over a period of 30 days using the Kailo Pain-Relieving Patch, showed positive and statistically significant results in patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and patient preference over oral medications. “

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    • admin

      Very interesting … but no mention of the study methodology, e.g double blind, with placebo control group. Will wait for the peer reviewed paper to be published before reserving judgement… it’s much easier to get up at a conference and spout rubbish so I reckon this is all intended to kick the can down the road, with regard to showing clinical proof. Happy to be proven wrong. Clarity Science also doesn’t strike me as particularly credible as a testing house, but I will hold back my verdict till I see the paper.

    • Jennifer Hill

      I am quite appreciative of the work you’ve done in exposing this scam. As a person with quite nasty chronic pain, I’d give a great deal should someone actually come up with a cure; I’ve been fighting it since my late teens/early twenties & have just turned 65. I do better in the warmer months, although back, hips, & knees hurt year round. It is my hope that, this Spring will make a difference as I’ve a surgeon I trust who is interested in taking care of the large joints of my lower body & getting me into water therapy.
      I’d hate to be throwing money away; actively GIVING it over to a scam artist! It disgusts me that such people blithely defraud those of us who are often desperate for sleep or a short walk. How are they able to live with themselves? I think also of those who are in worse shape than I am, especially those who live on a tiny income! There’s a place where scammers should reside: in the icy reaches of the depths of Hell!

  28. Bob

    I look forward to seeing the study in published form. For the record, just in terms of the Kailo summary, “positive and statistically significant” is not necessarily clinically significant. For example, a 1 point positive change on a 20 point scale might be statistically significant in a given study but it isn’t large enough to be meaningful to patients (which is clinically significant).

  29. Carole B.

    If it doesn’t work I will return. My pain deserves a chance to try this.
    Anyone in constant pain will try almost anything for relief.

    • Jennifer Hill

      Carole, I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve had nasty, pervasive, chronic pain since my very early 20s. I had pain prior to that, but I caught Hepatitis A at 23 which left me in pain, ever since. I don’t know why, but suspect my immune response mechanism triggered & never really went back to normal.
      I’m now 65 and have chronic illness, as well. My liver & spleen have never calmed down, either, which is immensely frustrating.
      I was at the ER, recently, and in barged one of the doctors, his self-righteous attitude on maximum, accusing me of having been a drunkard in my youth. I am not, nor ever have been, a drinker. I would occasionally have a nightcap on cold, Winter nights, but I would often go 10 to 20 years & not drink any. I prefer tea!
      I had a wee “chat” with Mr Obnoxious, setting him right down, quickly. He behaved more appropriately, thereafter.
      It’s frustrating enough to be sicker than a dog without having to educate some fellow who has decided you’re a derelict before meeting & speaking with you. Next, he’d have had me sleeping under a bridge!
      Life goes on. Unfortunately, the pain does, as well. I’ve found little which truly helps.
      Some people find marijuana useful, but it isn’t for me. I can’t abide the smell & it has never appealed to me, at all.

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