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For several years, Power Balance bracelets have been very popular among various people who believe in them. They're silicone wristbands with two Mylar holograms embedded in them that are said to help the body balance. The hologram embedded in the power balance band is allegedly designed to interact with the wearer's body frequency and react differently than other people. According to the Power Balance website, the thin polyester film hologram is designed to mimic Eastern philosophies that hold beliefs in supernatural powers and is programmed through a proprietary process. 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.
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. 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 can remain firm when pulled down.
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. He then does it for the second time. This time round he spread wearing the power balance band on his wrist. This second time always deemed to work because he now has a target to go beyond the point he initially reached. Based on natural logic and reasoning, People 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). The trick is in the 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.
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.
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). 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).
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.
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.
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