I’ve been coming across Power Balance bracelets more and more often.
These bracelets use a special hologram (or sometimes quantum effects) to “restore your body’s electrical balance, promoting a free exchange of positive and negative ions and align your body’s energy pathways.”
They instantly provide: “Faster synaptic response (brain function), enhanced muscle response (in both fast and slow twitch tissues), increased stamina (better oxygen uptake and recovery), more flexibility (faster recovery) and vastly improved gravitational balance.”
All for only R495!
Sound to good to be true. It is.
The thing is that the salesmen have some really cool “tests” that illustrate the effects of the bracelet. The tests are well done and when administered by an enthusiastic salesman they are quite tempting.
Since hearing about this miracle product I have wanted to see the results of a double blind test.
In a double blind neither the tester nor the subject knows if the real product is used or some other fake is used. If the product really works then there should still be benefits even when the testers and subjects don’t know the product is being used.
Over the xmas holidays I was lucky enough to come across someone with the product. I immediately made myself seem geeky by enthusiastically explaining double blind tests and then conducting them.
The results were pretty predictable. You can also watch a video showing similar tests debunking the bracelets.
No effect whatsoever.
Power Balance is just an expensive placebo. Just believing that something has an effect often causes the effect! Amazing actually.
In fact, I’ve previously blogged that more expensive placebos are more effective! These are very expensive, so they must work! Right?
Breaking the spell
Now for the really interesting part. Even if it was just a placebo effect, the guy who I was testing this with really believed that there was an effect.
By illustrating that it was a fake I broke the placebo effect. So I broke his Power Balance…