Power Balance: increased strength and power?

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  • Published: 11 November 2010

The newest sensation since the Firepower Pill to hit the athletic world is the Power Balance band or Power Bracelet. Elite athletes (Shaquille O’Neal), celebrities (Robert De Niro and Demi Moore) and everyday people are wearing them. And like myself, a lot of people are skeptical. At AusBike I spoke Tom O’Dowd of Power Balance Australia and tested it out on our candidate, Lisa.

Note: After Publishing, the ACCC announced:

Misleading advertising claims about the alleged benefits of Power Balance wristbands and pendants have been withdrawn by the manufacturer after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervention.

As a result consumers will be offered a refund if they feel they have been misled and Power Balance has agreed not to supply any more products that are misleadingly labelled.

The theory from Power Balance is that holograms on either side of the watch like wrist band react with the body’s energy flow and this can increase your core, strength, balance and flexibility, and you will be able to sustain your peak performance.
So how did our test candidate Lisa do? Well, like me, she was skeptical as a Power Balance Australia sales person took her through a few tests. First with feet together and standing with arms stretched out stiffly she lifted one leg and and balanced. When we pushed down on her arms, Lisa quite easily lost her balance. Now with Power Balance on and repeating the same test, it took a lot more pressure before she lost her. The second test Lisa was a flexibility test with feet together and arms out and Lisa had to twist her body as far as she could go. When she then put the Power Balance bracelet on, she could turn even further –  her flexibility had increased.

Each band has two holograms, both the holograms are clearly visible, placed on opposite sides of the bracelet. The hologram contains Mylar, a material which protects electronics from interference. The mylar used is ‘implanted’ with the same frequency as the human body. This is known as the Schumann Resonating Frequency (SRF) and at approximately 7.8 hertz it is claimed to help maintain your bodies balance.
The background behind the Power Balance bracelet comes from ancient Chinese philosophies of maintaining your inner chi channeling your bodies energy so you are performing at your optimum level. With this concept, the Power Balance bracelet uses your own energy to improve your strength flexibility and balance to the body, endurance and your bodies’ efficiency. It is also said to help keep your focus, and improve your general well being.

The Power Balance Debate: Sceptics verses Believers
Each person has to decide for themself what they feel the value of the Power Balance bracelet is for them. On the one hand, we have the Placebo effect, our candidate Lisa may have expected a benefit and reacted as such. The The Australian Medical Association dismissed the alleged benefit as ”biologically implausible”.

On the other hand if you are ‘a believer’ and it works for you – then this is a motivation and confidence booster to a tune of $60.

When it comes to criticism however, the Power Balance hasn’t lasted long enough in my case for the next new trends to take over. After 3 months of wearing it, the band itself has started to deterioriate. There is a clear plastic coating is on top of the magnet strip and this coating has started to wear off with cracks appearing and revealing the metal magnet strip underneath.

The PowerBalance comes with a 30 day money back guarantee so you have the opportunity test it however when these problems came up, there was no response from Power Balance Australia. It was obviously no longer in the ‘money back guarantee’ period, though for the purpose of the review I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Online research however is in vain, unless you want to trawl through tens of thousands of Sceptics verses Believers discussions.

So what do you think? Join the BNA Australian Cycling Forum discussion on the Power Balance.

If you are curious, it comes in a variety of colours and sizes and can be purchased online for $59.95. Though don’t mistake this as a recommendation, it is buyer beware.


About The Author

has contributed this article to Bicycles Network Australia.

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