Power Balance Bracelets And Celebrity

Power to the people! In the form of a small silicone bracelet into which is embedded a Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-esque hologram (an entire deck being outside the range of present technology).

Athletes and, even more importantly, celebrities the world over have begun to don the Power Balance wrist trinket in the pre-Copernican belief that its vibrational powers will aid them in their quest for glory.

According to the website, the bracelet is “designed to work with your body’s natural energy field. Founded by athletes, Power Balance is a favorite among elite athletes for whom balance, strength and flexibility are important.” The hologram itself

is based on the idea of optimizing the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram in Power Balance is designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body.

Shaquille O’Neal wears one. He says that it “really works!” O’Neal remembers one game in which “there were about three of my teammates with the product on and we won that game by 57 points!” His towering seven-foot-one inches and weighing in the vicinity of a Volkswagen Beetle apparently had nothing to do with it.

England’s Daily Mail, in yet another scoop, is reporting that actors Gerard Butler, Robert De Niro, Demi Moore and others more important than you or I will ever be are wearing the trinket, too. The paper quotes co-inventor Josh Rodarmel (his brother Troy was the other inventor):

Power Balance Band

Everything in nature has a set frequency. The body has a frequency and things which cause negativity to the human body – like cellphones and radiowaves – break down its natural healing frequency.

My brother and I worked out a way of putting good frequencies into our holograms so they balance out the body, making it stronger and more flexible.

The frequencies embedded in the holograms clear pathways and lead to maximum energy flow.

It works in different ways for different people. Athletes say they can last longer on the field, that they have better balance and that their muscles recover quicker.

Non- athletes say that it works for them, too, giving them extra boost off the field, in many areas of life including the office and in the bedroom

The neoprene version of the mystical jewelry is only thirty bucks, so you can afford to buy more than one. And many people have: so many people that the company is awash in the green. To bleed off the excess, the company is “partnering” with the “Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.” The OCRF is so keen on “partnering” that it does it with QVC, a cable television channel whose sole purpose is to sell useless effluvia like the…well, like the Power Balance bracelet.

Now, it’s easy to convince the bottom layer of our mental society—athletes, actors and actresses, “personalities”, chiropractors and the like—of nearly anything. So the brothers Rodarmel stunt was not a difficult feat.

They’re only mastery was in reaching a critical mass of the cognitively challenged to sport their wares. Once one celebrity is in on the cause, all the other ones want to be, too (witness global warming, Tibet, Obamacare, and on and on).

If I didn’t have a conscience, I’d be doing the same as the brothers. They’re making a fortune! The bracelets produced in bulk cannot be more than a few cents on the dollar, and they’re selling for many, many times that. Their markup is so high that it cannot be long before they’re subject to a glowing story in the New York Times.

In the interest of “objectivity”, the Times will drag up somebody—probably a physician; certainly not a physicist—to say something along the lines of “There’s no evidence that Power Balance provides a benefit.” Evidence! Who cares what those eggheads want: De Niro is wearing one and swears by it. Besides, what can it hurt?

It can’t, really. Unless you get it caught on a train door handle as the train is about the depart the station, there’s no bad thing that can happen to you when wearing it.

Unfortunately, I do have a conscience, so I cannot bring myself to duplicate the boys’ ploy. But I would like to get in on the money. What I can do is make them a little bet. I’ll bet them $any amount that I have United States of American dollars that in a planned experiment of my design, their wristband proves no better than a (similarly appearing) sham bracelet at boosting performance of any kind.

My design will be so scrupulous that any honest person will have no qualms agreeing to it. But I don’t expect the brothers to take my bet. James Randi has had a similar one standing for years, and nobody—except for the odd, delusional dowser—has ever taken it.

My test will sure be better than this one.


  1. Will yours have a money-back guarantee if it fails to provide the exact same results as the scientific balance tests “as shown on TV”? No? I thought not. Yours is a scam. How dare you mock the real thing? You’re apparently not spiritual enough for the life forces of nature to balance out the bad frequencies emanating from your bitter and confused persona. You may need to speak with Oprah for an appointment with Dr. Phil in order to cleanse the negative ions from your essence. Maybe then you could finally learn to stuff baskets.

  2. Rich

    These wristbands will, of course, boost performance. The increase in confidence is enough to do that. Recent related research shows that old people who are afraid of falling are more likely to fall than old people who aren’t. My 85-year old mother knows a lot of old people like that. It’s all in the mind. Literally!

    My mother’s other research contribution was, “the carer always dies first”. She’s just lucky she doesn’t need looking after.

  3. Speed

    “We’re off to see the wizard … “

  4. Bernie

    What was that saying about “Suckers”?

    All those people playing the various daily numbers games run by the government suffer from the same syndrome – gullibility and/or lack of statistical understanding.

  5. stosh

    As a natural cheapskate afflicted with an inherent sympathy for folks in dire circumstances, I’m always on the lookout for good reasons *not* to contribute to particular charities.

    Propagating ignorance is about as good a reason as I’ve seen for disregarding a pitch form a charitable organization, so thank you for providing me with information that allows me in good conscience to put the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on my “Ain’t Getting Any of My Hard-Earned Bucks” list.

  6. Leroy

    Thanks, but this new stuff just isn’t proven yet. I’m sticking with my mood ring.

  7. gt

    I’ve worn a power bracelet many years before this one was invented and I’ve never been unbalanced. All of its power is micro-encapsulated into a tiny enclosure that pumps out energy in a precise current flow. My bracelet can tell time too, even what time it will be in the future! These guys have a long way to go to to match it.

  8. Adam H

    A friend (who has a stake in the company) tried to sell me one of the these. The “tests” he gave me were interesting – I was surprised at how better I was at succeeding in the strength games. I did see several explanations for my newfound “power”, however. First, I tried everything without the bracelet first, then with it on, so I had practiced the moves already. Second, the bracelet is heavy and I was aware of the feel of it (I’m much more apt to believe THAT affected my performance than “optimizing the body’s natural energy flow”)Thirdly, my friend could have been subconsciously easing off the difficulty when the bracelet was on (although I will NOT believe that he was purposefully deceiving me).

    The whole pitch came across like someone trying to sell me a knife. Sure, it’ll cut through a penny, but the sales(wo)man has been TRAINED to cut pennies, plus, what’s that got to do with kitchen cutlery?

    Having said that, I was ASTONISHED by the effect. It really is wierd…

  9. DAV

    Love the celeb testimonials! Reminds me of a current Geico ad: Is Shaq right about the bracelet? Is the Pope Catholic?

    That aside, there really is such a thing as Positive Thinking. It’s why placebos work. If you set out to do something but have “Bad Vibes” then you aren’t likely to do everything possible to succeed. So, yeah, these things actually work — at least as far as having a good attitude will and particularly if you cherry-pick the results. If one needs a Lucky Charm for optimism who’s to say this bracelet won’t fill the need?

    These kinds of posts are fun but ultimately futile. It’s like trying to convince a warmer to relinquish strange thought patterns. 🙂

    FWIW: I’m a confirmed Pessimist. Far better to be pleasantly surprised than constantly disappointed.

  10. Ray

    Dr. Briggs,

    I need your help. I was listening to the radio a while back and a device was being promoted which was supposed to reduce you probability of death by 50 percent. My probability of death is now 100 percent. If I buy two of these devices will I be immortal or will two only reduce the probability of death by 75 percent? Fifty percent for the first one and only fifty percent of fifty percent for the second one. Please respond ASAP as this is a matter of life or death.

  11. Be safe and buy a dozen. That way you have a 99.9585547% chance of not dying. With odds like that you can take immortality to the bank! Congratulations.

  12. Noblesse Oblige

    Be happy. If they didn’t do this, they would burn witches.

  13. Ken

    “Frequencies” huh … What are these “frequencies” & how are they measured?

    It seems that everybody knows OF these but is otherwise clueless about them.

    They’re apparently like “Retsin” (in Certs breath mint candy); nobody, for all practical purposes, has/had a clue as to what “Retsin” is …. but the mere fact Certs has it makes it all the more desirable.

  14. Dave Bob

    Last week’s post “Are student athletes worse than other students?” and now this egregious slur against the intellectual prowess of athletes and celebrities. It reminds me of an old joke…

    The university’s star football player is in peril of losing eligibility because he’s flunking his math class, so the coach drags him to the math professor and begs for a break.

    The prof (evidently a kinder, gentler sort than Prof. Briggs!) says, “OK, I’ll give him a one-question oral exam right now, and if he gets the right answer, I’ll give him a D instead of an F.”

    Coach says, “Yeah, yeah, Doc! That’s great! Go ahead.”

    Professor says, “Young man, what is two plus two?”

    Player furrows his brow in deepest concentration for a long time, then finally replies, “Four?”

    Coach, practically in tears blurts out, “Aw Doc, you gotta give him another chance!”

  15. Hasdrubal

    “Always with the negative waves, Moriarity. Always with the negative waves!”

    They seriously need an endorsement from Donald Sutherland. An encore performance as Oddball would get me to buy one, just to acknowledge the entertainment value.

  16. Ira

    I find that a six ounce bottle of vodka in my pocket gives me very good balance. It’s after I’ve taken the bottle out of my pocket…
    I’ve seen these ads and was wonder when the debunking would begin.

  17. Mike B

    Nevermind the damn power bracelet, I want to know how in the heck I can completely screw up the AC joint in my left shoulder simply by sleeping on my left side.

  18. Inez

    The comments on this page are all suspiciously written in the same snarky style… Someone really wants to discredit this Briggs guy…

  19. Rob

    Having a reasonably sophisticated level of understanding of physics, I at first pooh-poohed the bracelet. But upon watching the linked video of the tests, all doubts were immediately erased! I’ve gotta have it!

  20. Blaming your “scruples” for your failure to make a fortune bilking chowderheads is just sour grapes. Shirley you can do better than that.

    How about a “scruples bracelet”. Taps into the para-plasmic power field of your intrinstic morality (the ‘good’ section of your brain). Wearers find it easier to “do the right thing”. If everyone wore a patented Briggs Scruples Bracelet, the human goodness quotient would rise and a new era of peace and brotherhood would ensue worldwide. Only $30. Get yours today. Etc.

  21. Thanks for this article! I have encountered sales pitches for various devices that are designed to alter some energy state related to the body in some way or the other, and so far, I have not fallen for them. Your readers might now be knowing this, but in India, there was this thingie called the “Biodisc” that was supposed to do the same thing. It was marketed as a multilevel sales scheme, and ended up fooling a lot of people. And it was pretty expensive too (in hundred(s) of dollar range). When I tried to look up information about the manufacturers on the Internet, there was nothing to be found, which told me that they were doing a good job making sure there was nothing online to attract attention of skeptics.

  22. Kan

    To get strength GT recommends a watch: $15

    For flexibility Leroy suggests a mood ring: $7.99 + 1 shipping

    To achieve balance Ira carries a six ounce bottle of vodka: $5.00

    Total savings $30 – $28.99 = $1.01

    An informed consumer is a a smart consumer, and I am now both.
    Thank you.

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