Speaking of her childhood home in Oakland, Gertrude Stein famously said “There’s no there there” because the house no longer existed. The phrase has come to mean that nothing significant exists in that place. And that’s just what I found when I looked for information about Boliav Therapeutic Detox Socks and their claim to lower high blood pressure. There was “no there there”, no significant information, nothing that I could wrap my head around. My computer suggested I might want “Bolivia socks”. That probably would have made more sense.

The claims:

  • Say good-bye to high blood pressure.
  • Experience the comfort and the benefits of foot reflexology with the Therapeutic Detox Foot Socks. Made with scattered nanometer sizes tourmaline particles that work as acupuncture proved its ability for healing benefits, particularly decreasing blood pressure on the spot.
  • It is a non-invasive method that helps to remove energy blockages and imbalances. This area points on foot are the best acupoint for lowering blood pressure.

But wait! There’s more! It regulates blood flow, regulates the nervous system, relieves insomnia, relieves leg pain and leg fatigue, aids digestion, relieves stress, and is “suitable in low temperatures”. All that while fixing your blood pressure without medications! Such a deal!

Confusingly, the socks are also said to be magnetic, and the claims for the socks segue into claims for a hypertension laser device: “Before lasing, put a light guide plug on the therapeutic head and then put the therapeutic head into the nasal cavity. Simply wrap it around your wrist. and let it do its work.” Whaaat?

They offer not a speck of evidence to support these claims. According to. Stephen Barrett on Quackwatch, “Reflexology is based on an absurd theory and has not been demonstrated to influence the course of any illness”. I’m not going to waste my time on this nonsense. I will simply dismiss it. As Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence”.

Sure, a foot massage may feel good, but I find it appalling that customers are buying these products on the basis of such incoherent marketing. My cardiologist has been adjusting my meds trying to get my BP under better control. He has not suggested detox socks and if he did, I’d probably laugh all the way to a new cardiologist.

Author

  • Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

Posted by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.