Shocking News: ‘Power Bracelets’ Do Absolutely Nothing

Here’s the most unsurprising news you’ll ever read: Those Power Balance bracelets that are, or at least were, so popular do absolutely nothing for you. And the maker of them has apparently admitted that after they failed testing by an Australian skeptics organization.

The Australian manufacturer of Power Balance, the wildly popular rubbery bracelets embedded with holograms claimed to somehow adjust the body’s energy or vibrations, has admitted that there is no proof their product works.

A representative of Power Balance Australia issued a statement that read in part, “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims. Therefore we engaged in misleading conduct.”

That statement has apparently now been taken off the Power Balance website.

Saunders, co-host of the Skeptic Zone podcast, was asked by an Australian television show to test the bands on a representative from Power Balance. “I tested the head of the Australian branch, and he failed five times out of five tests. So it was pretty conclusive. These were blind and double-blind tests where he had to tell which one out of six volunteers had the band on. He was pretty shocked when they failed to work.”

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel stated that “Suppliers of these types of products must ensure that they are not claiming supposed benefits when there is no supportive scientific evidence. Consumers should be wary of other similar products on the market that make unsubstantiated claims, when they may be no more beneficial than a rubber band.”

How, exactly, were the bands said to work in the first place? Josh Rodarmel, co-creator of the bracelets, tried to explain the “science” behind his product by claiming that everything in nature has a “frequency,” and that the Power Balance bands restore a “natural healing frequency.”

When you hear something being touted with terms like “balance” and “healing frequency,” you know you’re dealing with some major league bullshit.


  1. sqlrob says

    Hey, power bands work perfectly well for their intended purpose.

    Transferring money into the maker’s bank account.

  2. timberwoof says

    These and similar were discussed by some amateur and pro ice hockey players I used to hang with; a few of us said they did absolutely nothing. We asked the rest to show the “evidence” that was presented. All they could come up with was marketing crap that said, basically, “We’ve already snookered millions of dollars out of other people with this product, therefore you should believe that it will actually make you a better athlete.”

    Some of the ploys were obvious: you step on these nubby insoles that have magnets in them and your feet tingle! (Well, I bet if you stood on nubby insoles that did not have magnets, you’d feel the same thing.) All sorts of things get used as the basis for these kinds of bracelets: magnets, titanium, crystals, holograms, and so forth. They interact with all kinds of interesting but fictional functions of the body. The target market is people who can’t tell the difference between paragraphs of words created by marketing dweebs and actual scientific evidence.

    The companies that prey on a lack of critical thinking and basic scientific knowledge is a symptom of deeper problem.

  3. otrame says

    you know you’re dealing with some major league bullshit.

    Actually, Ed. That was some pretty minor league bullshit.

  4. rdmcpeek43 says

    Please, Mr. Brayton, you’re going to hurt Shaquille O’Neal’s feelings.

    He’s been hawking Icy Hot for a decade. If one has a little itty, bitty hurt, well, it might work. If one has *real* pain,
    it’s crap.

    That’s my testimonial and I’m stickin’ to it (when do I get paid?).

  5. cry4turtles says

    And this morning, The Doctors gushed over a study out of Columbia U that found women had a better chance of getting pregnant if prayers are offered. That’s it. No skepticism, no mentioning of debunking prayer studies, but they did have a Christian woman to back the study up. I emailed them and called them out. No response yet.

  6. Chiroptera says

    Friendship bracelets don’t work either. I’ve worn one for years, and I still don’t have any friends!

  7. congenital cynic says

    I had a couple of N65 rare earth magnets smack together in my hands last year and they interacted with my bodily functions. Gave me a crackin’ good blood blister, they did. Hurt like hell.

  8. says

    There was an excruciatingly embarrassing period of time during which the stadium of the Sacramento Kings (once named Arco Arena) was emblazoned with “Power Balance Pavilion.” In return for all of those dollars spent for the stadium naming rights, the mayor and various members of the Kings wore the bracelets and made noises about how wonderful they were. It was nauseating.

  9. Brian Engler says

    The Saunders referred to in the article is Richard Saunders. And, yes, he’s been telling us about this for years, so this news isn’t new. Here he is with the SGU crew: Nonetheless, as someone else mentioned, there still are folks who believe in spurious “energy” claims such as this one, so I suppose it’s worth an occasional reminder.

  10. katkinkate says

    Chiroptera: “Friendship bracelets don’t work either. I’ve worn one for years, and I still don’t have any friends!”

    Maybe you have to give them away as presents. People like getting presents.

  11. Pieter B, FCD says

    I wrote a strongly worded letter to Costco CEO Craig Jelinek a while back when I noticed the company selling a similar product in my local store. I didn’t get a response, but they didn’t have them for sale very long.

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