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LifeWave Lawsuit: What to Know

You may have heard about a LifeWave lawsuit, but the company has dealt with a few lawsuits over the years. We break them down in this article.

evident Editorial Team
March 13, 2024
courthouse steps

LifeWave, which describes itself as a "patented life technology company," can stir up strong opinions among supporters and skeptics alike.

For many, their non-invasive wellness products offer alternatives to pharmaceuticals or other more serious medical interventions. But the company has its fair share of skeptics, whether regarding the efficacy of its products or due to its marketing tactics.

In this article, we'll give some background on the company, provide an overview of the debate surrounding its products, and shed light on some of the lawsuits against LifeWave.

Key Takeaways

LifeWave: Company Background

LifeWave, a wellness company known for its "non-transdermal patches," was founded in 2004 by David Schmidt. According to its website, LifeWave's mission is "helping people live well with wellness solutions designed to maximize the future of human potential."

The company sells a variety of products, including patches, creams, and sprays, but is particularly known for its non-transdermal patches.

The company also benefited from some celebrity endorsements. Suzanne Somers, who starred in TV roles including on Three's Company, was a long-time advocate for holistic health and an ambassador for the company before she passed away in October 2023. (She even promoted LifeWave's patches in a 2015 book she authored).

But the company has also drawn its share of criticism and skeptics, including regarding the efficacy of its products as well as its marketing tactics.  

LifeWave & Phototherapy

forest, sunbeams, trees

LifeWave's advertising states that its non-transdermal patches restore natural energy, akin to acupuncture, but by using phototherapy to stimulate the skin with specific wavelengths of light.

The specific wavelengths of light purportedly enhance stem cells and repair tissues. The wavelengths of light supposedly do this by improving peptides. For instance, the X-39 patch allegedly improves the peptide GHK-Cu. (Wikipedia describes peptides as "short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds").

As LifeWave explains on its website:

  • "Your body emits heat, including heat in the infrared spectrum. Our patches are designed to trap this infrared energy when placed on the body, which causes them to reflect it back to stimulate specific points on the skin that can promote a general state of health and healthy activity unique to each LifeWave patch."

LifeWave patches are small, circular patches that many find appealing as a holistic option that is free of pharmaceuticals or more invasive interventions.  

Is LifeWave legit?

While holistic approaches to well-being and medicine appeal to many, the National Library of Medicine noted in 2015 that "empirical research on the effectiveness of biofield therapies is still relatively nascent." Clinical studies on "energy medicine" are still few and far between, providing fodder for optimists and skeptics alike.

LifeWave touted a positive "experimental study" conducted in India that was specific to LifeWave's X-39 non-transdermal patches, though that study also noted that further research should be conducted using double-blinded placebo trials. (That study noted, " LifeWave, Inc. has developed X-39 patch with numerous intended benefits like improvement in overall energy, rapid relief from pain and improvement in overall functional vitality of the body," although LifeWave's website does not specifically mention pain relief).  And there are certainly positive reviews on the internet from people who say LifeWave's patches work.

Meanwhile, though, LifeWave patches are not FDA-approved medical devices, and the FDA has issued a general warning on stem cell therapy, stating that "unproven stem cell treatments can be unsafe" and urging consumers to get all of the facts about any treatment they may be considering.

Separate from the efficacy of LifeWave patches and other products, another thing that gives some people pause surrounding the company is its use of multi-level marketing. As the FTC explains, "Businesses that involve selling products to family and friends and recruiting other people to do the same are called multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing, or direct marketing businesses. Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes."

This is not to say that all MLMs are pyramid schemes, but some people are more skeptical of such marketing tactics given high-profile issues, including in the health and wellness industry.

LifeWave Lawsuits

LifeWave has been involved in several lawsuits over the years. For instance:

Despite some of the skepticism in the marketplace, though, there is no particular LifeWave X-39 patch lawsuit of recent vintage currently pending.

The Bottom Line

Although there is no LifeWave patches lawsuit currently pending, potential customers still have a lot to balance between the anecdotal reviews touting LifeWave's benefits and the skepticism that persists about their products. Hopefully further studies will help clarify whether happy customers benefit from a placebo effect or from concrete science related to the purported phototherapy process.

In the meantime, customers considering LifeWave products should heed the FDA's advice and conduct their own research to evaluate whether they might be a good fit for them.