Power Balance bracelets have been very popular amongst various people who believe in them for some years. They are silicone wristbands which are embedded with two Mylar holograms and are thought to have the power to balance the body. The hologram emblazoned in the power balance band is purportedly intended to interact with the body frequency of the wearer and react in a different way from the other people. According to the Power Balance website, the thin polyester film hologram that gets programmed through a proprietary process is designed to copy Eastern philosophies that have been holding beliefs on some supernatural powers. During the 15th Century, a German physician came up with the concept of how naturally magnetized lodestones had the ability to attract diseases and leach them away from the body. Therefore, the founders borrowed the idea that was commonly in practice in the Asian regions particularly China on fields related to medicine. They used the thought on how minerals emitted frequencies with curative abilities. They integrated the knowledge to create a prototype that would be valid in the sports industry claiming their products used holographic technology to optimize the body’s natural energy flow. The aftermath would be the bettering of balance, strength, and flexibility.
Before the power company got sued for false fully misleading the populace, they advertised the bracelet as energy balance to boost strength and flexibility by five times. The Power Balance Company claimed in a website post that has since removed, that the holograms on their bracelets would work with the body’s energy field to alter the strength, flexibility, and balance positively by increasing the body’s natural energy flow. Their rationale on how the product works is that everything has a frequency inherent to it and some rates react positively with the human body and others negatively. When the hologram in the band comes in contact with body’s energy field, it allows the body to interact with the natural frequencies stored within the hologram. They indicated that this resulted in improved energy flow throughout the human body. The companies termed the bracelet as performance enhancing technology but have since changed the wording of the advertisement on their website to avoid right interpretation and limit legal issues that may arise as a result of it. The bracelets are very popular with professional athletes, celebrities, and musicians who wear them out of a belief that they will have the power to balance when executing their obligations. Some other people such as celebrities wear them as the way of endorsement to them. There have existed a lot of testimonies from athletes about how they have been helped by power balance bands to improve their performance. Some people’s belief in it has is deeply entrenched such that they cannot be convinced to do away with them by anybody from any quarter. However, research conducted by the University of Wales proved otherwise on the product. In a turn of events, the balance significantly decreased but not a conclusion to the lack of performance. There was no change in performance on the wearer in addition to no physiological or biological effects. The bracelet had only a placebo effect.
Scientifically, there has not been any study that has shown that the bracelet works. There has also never been any natural science that remotely indicates that frequencies can be captured and bottled in a hologram. There are theories, which seemingly convince some people that the bracelet works. While some would view, in such a case of the three tests by the Power Balance company spokesman and his partner in trying to validate his claims as a reality, others would view it as utter trickery.
There are three ways of discrediting the three demonstrations that got shown on the video. The first one is the Placebo Effect. Placebo effect is a treatment that basically has no therapeutic effect. It’s in most instances given to an individual to deceive the person into thinking that the treatment is active. The placebo is made in such a way that it’s similar or resembles the active while it’s just functioning as a control. The main purpose is to deter the recipient from recognizing that activeness or inactiveness of treatment since expectations could have an impact on the efficacy of the results. Thus, all that is meant to be achieved is making someone perceive an improvement in the well-being due to personal expectations as opposed to that actual treatment. It is like believing or expecting that a medicine or procedure would cure an ailment or behavior, it definitely will. What is apparent, though, is the fact that the pill or procedure does not have anything to do with the healing. In the video, the tester in the first part try to balance by putting feet together and hands on the side. With the power band on, he remained firm when pulled down by his colleague.
The next test is whereby the Power Balance band is involved in a flexibility test. Here, the demonstrator tries to stretch and reach the farthest he could without the band. He then does it for the second time. This time round he spread wearing the power balance band on his wrist. The second time is in many instances deemed to work because he now has a target to go beyond the point he initially reached. Based on natural logic and reasoning, People are always likely to work harder towards outdoing the previous trial. It is because of this that he did better the second time than the first one. Regardless of whether he wore the band or not, he was very likely to stretch further during the second trial.
The third trick lies in the strength. Here, the tester insinuated that the power bracelet band would enable one to stand on one leg and at the same time have the arm to the side and have the partner push down the hand. Without the band, they tend to fall off balance, but when they put on the power band, they do not fall off balance. This trick based on fundamental physics that is being misused to mislead people that do not have knowledge of physics (Porcari 230). The trick is in fact that for the first time, he pushes down and out of the body which pulls him off balance. During the second instance he just pushes down and to his body which is not pulling him out of balance, and therefore he remains steady (kochsporting n.p.).
Although there are no reservations on any method of testing the bracelet’s effectiveness, the tests were evidently full of flaws. It is not certain how much pressure the tester was exerting on the body and if the pressure used each time is the same. The tester may also have unconsciously changed the resistance when the bracelet is on and assumed that the band is helping them. To conclude, the psychological effect of thinking that the bracelet help, contributed to the belief that it worked.
The other test is in the kinesiology test which tries to demonstrate the working of the band. There is testing of the balancing by applying resistance in diverse ways. Numerous flaws and problems arise in the testing of the bracelets effectiveness due to many reasons. One of them is that people’s flexibility seems to get better in the first stretch, the second and subsequent regardless of whether they are wearing the bracelet or not.
Pseudoscience which entails making claims that lack supporting evidence to confirm their accuracy is tempting because it is easy and gives convincing lies about the natural world so fast. It is state of negativity about scientifically supported subjects and involves making claims that are not accurate or confirmed with supporting evidence. It gets put in a way that it looks very sophisticated, official and undeniable. Pseudoscience thrives heavily on personal validation of facts (Coker 64). It is common with peddlers, actors, and advertisers of new merchandise. It is important for a person to develop solid critical thinking skills and employ skepticism whenever a new product comes their way. Whenever evaluating claims are made it is right to be keen because they may get used in propagating a far-reaching offense on innocent people. In conclusion, Power Balance bracelets used tricks for an ignorant audience by physics. It has no discernable effect on the wearer, whether or not he or she is wearing one with a hologram, as long as the wearer doesn’t know. The bracelet is of no consequence (Verdan 2115). What is more, there was no available scientific evidence to back the claims. It became easier to dupe clients and the public into believing in ancient medicine and curative ways that were false all with the sole purpose of maximizing on sales of the new product.
Coker, Rory. “Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience.” Retrieved December 9.2002 (2001): 62-73.
Porcari, John et al. “Can the Power Balance Bracelet Improve Balance, Flexibility, Strength, and Power.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 10 (2011): 230-231.
kochsporting. “Power Balance Test Video.” Online video clip. YouTube, 30 November 2009. Web. March 10, 2017.
Verdan, Princess JR, et al. “Effect of the Power Balance Band on static balance, Hamstring Flexibility, and Arm Strength in Adults.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 26.8 (2012): 2113-2118.