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Don’t Buy One of Those Power Band Bracelets

by Brian Patterson » on Aug 17, 2011 50

About a year ago I started seeing commercials for wristbands that had amazing claims.  These simple bracelets that were either ‘embedded with holograms’ or ‘imprinted at a frequency of 9Hz’ or ‘constructed with Negative Ions’ could do any/all of the following:

  • power band bracelet scam review Increase balance
  • Improve flexibility
  • Stimulate better circulation
  • Give clarity of thought
  • Boost stamina and sports performance
  • Improve overall well-being

“Amazing!”, you maybe thinking!  Or, “What a Scam!”, you might have said.  You can see how the sales pitch works by checking out the video below.  In general, the pitch usually starts out by having someone do a stretch.  Then, they slip the bracelet on and are able to stretch even further.  There are various demonstrations like this which show how balance improves, etc.

These amazing bracelets have moved from commercials and late night infomercial fodder to malls and shopping centers.  If you’ve been shopping lately, there is a good chance that you’ve seen a kiosk well-stocked with these bracelets and a charismatic salesmen to go with them.  We all like and wear FiveFingers because we feel that they gives us an edge, a natural advantage that allows us to do more than we would be able to do in regular shoes. So, many people attracted to FiveFingers may also be attracted to the claims of these bracelets. Since these have moved into the mainstream, we decided to do some research on them to see how they work and if they are worth it.

Incase you want to see how many of these bracelets are now available, or you want to read their claims for yourself, check them out on Amazon.

The bracelets go by names such as:

  • Power Bands
  • Energy Bands
  • Power Balance Wristbands
  • Bionic Bands
  • Balance Bracelets
  • Pure Energy Bands
  • Infinity Pro
  • and many, many more…

In doing preliminar research, I found a number of articles slamming these bracelets and disputing their claims.  One of the most damming was an article on Discovery News where the maker of the Power Balance bands was forced to concede that:

We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims. Therefore we engaged in misleading conduct.

If that is the case, then how are they able to pull off the demonstrations so consistently and effectively.  In looking for a video on this, I found a great one from Brian Bushwood of ‘Scam School’.  He put together an entertaining and enlightening demonstration video showing exactly how these ploys work, and its embedded below for you to view.

In seeing exactly how they are able to manipulate people into thinking that they can stretch further or improve their balance, I’ve come to the conclusion that is this straight up fraud.  So much so, in fact, that I wonder how these are still being sold with these seemingly criminal methods.

The tests are constructed in a way that a laymen doesn’t know that slight changes are made to their body position once they put the bracelet on that lead them to believe that they have indeed become more balanced or flexible.  In fact, they haven’t, they are simply standing in a different position that allows them to physically stretch further than a few seconds ago.

These bracelets are modern day snake oil, and the people hawking them are modern day snake oil salesmen.  Our verdict:  Don’t buy them!

Have you seen these bands for sale and been curious about them?  Or have your purchased one?  Do you have any insight or thoughts?  Let us know in the comments!


50 Comments

  1. Dan

    August 17th, 2011 at 10:25 am

    A buddy of mine wears one of these.. Sharing this article with him now!

    Reply

  2. Brian Patterson

    August 17th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I should note that a bunch of celebs and athletes have fallen for this! Kate Middleton, David Beckham, Shaq, Robert De Niro, P Diddy, Gerard Butler, Rubens Barrichello (F1 driver), and many more I’m sure.

    Yikes!

    Reply

  3. Kai

    August 17th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I am not sure if these Power Bracelets are the same as magnetic bands but in case they do have some magnetic features, here is my experience: I had a magnet from a loud speaker in my front pants pocket for a week. During this week I felt really sick, nauseous all the time close to throwing up. I loved to play with this powerful magnet and got attached to it … literally. NOT. I forgot it one morning and went to school without it and all my symptoms were gone. So I tried it again, since I had a feeling that it might have been the magnet. Sure enough, I was feeling sick again.

    Lesson learned: Don’t mess with you body’s natural magnetic field. It can’t get better, but easily worse.

    My $0.02.

    —Kai

    Reply

  4. Erin

    August 17th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I have one, and so do my parents. My Mom feels it the reason the swelling in her hands ( arthritis) has subsided. Not sure if it’s really helping me, but, it doesn’t hurt me any.

    Reply

    • Brian Patterson

      August 17th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Good point – I guess it probably can’t hurt… but we’re skeptical that it can help when the demos they use to show the capabilities are flawed (to put it nicely)

      Reply

      • Ivan

        September 18th, 2013 at 11:08 am

        But it does hurt. It hurt my step-parent’s wallet to the tune of $225 for two of these fraudulent wrist bands that obviously were worth no more than about $6, the price you could get a very similar watch band.

        These people should be put in jail. Messing with people’s heads like that to get their money is really about the same as pickpocketing.

        Reply

  5. David Kalal

    August 17th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    First – great article. It still surprises me how gullible people can be despite the plethora of info out there. Second, “it cant hurt” is incorrect. It’s wrong to have people waste money, time and hope on fraudulent medical practices. Any “effect” that someone notices is placebo and anecdotal – thus worthless as proof of efficacy. Putting money in scammers pockets increases the chances they’ll keep fleecing people and spreading harmfully false information.

    Reply

    • Ariel ramirez

      June 02nd, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      I partially agree with you. I’ll explain why. yes it hurts people pocket wise but that happens every day out in the streets so I don’t know why people are so shocked about it. however, sometimes these people get better simply a placebo. As I assume that you know that whenever a new medicine is coming out to the market they test it against a placebo. so why is it okay for someone to consume a drug that most likely has a secondary effect rather than a placebo that most likely (unless “told”) doesn’t have a second effect. so in my opinion there is no real harm done by these people other than being clever with there product and the way they promote it. the way I see it is use who are to blame to trust anything

      Reply

  6. Beth

    August 17th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    At a gun show my boyfriend and I saw these. My boyfriend explained how it “worked” and we continue to make fun of people who wear them :)

    Reply

  7. IamKatina

    August 20th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    My husband bought me one…. Im usually very sluggish alot of body aches…it works for me! I feel great! Guess everyone is diffferent wish they had one for weight loss !

    Reply

    • kenna

      August 17th, 2012 at 11:45 am

      they do have one for weigh loss….I got one and it does work but you cant wear hem at night

      Reply

    • kenna

      August 17th, 2012 at 11:48 am

      They do work depends on where you buy them…I bought one at Sams and it works But the one I bought at the mall did nothing..I bought the weight loss one and it does work and the energy is great too

      Reply

    • Clarke

      July 10th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Hello IamKatina. I am glad that you had positive results. Yes, there is a bracelet along with a few other things that addresses weight.
      Additionally, our products have been validated at the highest level. You can read about it on my site.

      Reply

  8. Dave

    August 20th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I can imagine how you could think a cheap piece of plastic around your wrist would give you “energy”? This is placebo…nothing more. “Everyone” isn’t “different” – we are all bound by the laws of physics. I would explain the science behind this, but unfortunately you probably wouldn’t bother to believe it. If the article above didn’t convince you these are a scam then likely nothing will. If you wanna lose weight get off your ass, exercise and eat fewer calories. There is no easy fix to anything important in life…

    Reply

  9. Sam Armstrong

    August 23rd, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Who cares if its placebo effect?!?! I don’t buy into the whole medicinal aspect, but if it helps someone and makes them feel better than so be it!

    Reply

  10. Dave

    August 23rd, 2011 at 11:53 am

    @ Sam – really? So its oks to lie to people and promise them something, take their money and give them nothing all in the name of “the placebo effect”? Hmmm, if I bought a bracelet and I didn’t have a placebo response to it do you think I could sue the manufacturers for that…? Remember – don’t be so open-minded that your brain falls out… ;-}

    Reply

    • Lottie

      October 03rd, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Dave- keep in mind that many medicines you use are based 90% if not entirely off of the placebo effect!

      Reply

  11. Lucy

    September 16th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Great article and link. It never ceases to amaze me how people continue to look for the “quick fix” or the “too-good-to-be true” things.

    Reply

  12. Taylor Hamner

    February 08th, 2012 at 5:30 am

    The main reason stuff like this works is that people actually believe it will. Your brain can do amazing things if it will just let itself. If you go into this with any skepticism, you’re setting it up to fail.

    Reply

  13. Jennifer Grasso-Torlish

    April 07th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I recently purchased the weight loss bracelet and if nothing else but the placebo effect works there is no harm in it. Sometimes just being aware that you have one on can do wonders.

    Reply

  14. bob

    August 03rd, 2012 at 8:00 am

    i bought two of them one for sleep, the other for minor pain, they had no effects, its garbage i returned them to BJs

    Reply

  15. hitesh

    August 03rd, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I bought two of them from BJ today. There was a gentleman who demoed all these 4 steps to me.
    After buying 2 of them i found this link. Thanks a lot for explanation. I will return them to BJ.

    Just wondering why would BJ will sell something like this, specially when they are backed up by their return policy.

    Reply

  16. Joe

    August 26th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I recently bought two of them from BJ’s and to be honest, I noticed the difference right away, it improved my workout experience, my memory was sharper, the after workout effects were basically gone. I can’t really say if this is a placebo effect, but, I will keep wearing them. My wife was constantly suffering from shoulder pain, it disappeared, her constant complaints did not help me at all. Now they are gone, pleasant dreams are here to stay11

    Reply

  17. dj

    September 03rd, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    My wife just bought me one so her mom could get the “special” price. 2 are cheaper than 1. ha. I could not believe she watsed our money like that. Walked around canton, texas flea market all day before bying it, was hurting in the hip and both calves. Put the thing on to shut the wife up and started back to the RV to rest, but noticed the hip pain was gone and both calves quit hurting, so I shopped and walked another few hours. Then went back the next day and walked all day in the 98 degree heat and no pain. The only noticable thing to me is that I couldn’t sleep with it on. Even after walking all day in the heat I could not get sleepy. I have to tak it off at night. I feel nothing when wearing it. My wife gets a buzz in the head and says her heart palpitates when she puts it on. I still don’t think there is anything to itand can’t find any explaination of what makes the little piece of stainless steel different from any other.

    Reply

  18. dmentioning

    September 14th, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Look up “tumor treating fields” and continue to flame spray concepts that allude you. Electrical fields are nothing new, however we have never before tested how they may benefit or be the cure to whatever causative agent is manifesting negative side effects such as cancer upon our bodies. Just because some physicists state that certain things are an impossibility doesn’t mean that they fully grasp the concept in question. For example, when Albert Einstein came out with his theory of relativity, there were only about 3 people in the world who really understood it. Here is a link to a Ted talk on TTF’s. http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_doyle_treating_cancer_with_electric_fields.html

    In light of this treatment our past method of cutting cancer out of ones brain seems as primal as drilling into ones head to release evil demons, but it still happened. Also, electric fields are now being linked to telepathic occurances and sixth sense abilities.

    Reply

    • Dave

      January 08th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      lol – you say funny things that made no sense but are supposed to sound scientific in order to sell cheap trinkets… so sad (sigh)…

      Reply

  19. Dave

    October 02nd, 2012 at 8:14 am

    i never believed in those, but couple days ago find one in grass. I have lower back problem (thanks to friendly people of Afghanistan) and usually after all day of work have a lot of pain. This day i was wearing it and my back was better, i still wearing it and this week did not use my TENS unit (usually have to use it at list every other day). Now seriously consider to get couple more, with other effects.

    Reply

  20. Tony

    March 09th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I bought a few of these at Sam’s Club.I am not sure if it is a mentel thing or not but I can tell you that the One i bought has made a change in the way my knees feel.I am up and down on ladders all day and also bending over to get things.This has made it eassier for me to do both.I did alos buy the sleep and stress one but it didnt seem to help much with that.If this is a mental thing then keep mentalizing on because I do feel better

    Reply

    • Tony

      March 09th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      lol as you can see it does not help with spelling

      Reply

  21. Tony

    March 09th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    The ones I bought were pure energy bands

    Reply

  22. Pam

    May 09th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    My sister is the proverbial good samaritan. She recently bought the pure energy band for herself. Later that day she noticed the cashier at another store was in pain. The cashier explained that she has had chronic back pain for years. So, my sister gave the cashier her brand new band. Today my sister went into that same store and the cashier ran to her and hugged her. She said her back pain eased the very first day of wearing it. She was smiling and laughing and thanked my sister profusely. So, my sister bought herself another one and bought me one as well. I’m a real skeptic but I’ll try it a week or so and see what happens.

    Reply

  23. Clarke

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Hello Pam. It is good to be a skeptic. I am. However, despite my skepticism I am now convinced that at least with the company I am involved with that our products work. And if that is not enough I have documented scientific proof that it does. You can read more at my blog …. Chipsterhealth.com.

    Reply

  24. Kai

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Can you explain how it works? I am a scientific interested person and I’d like to learn more about the way it works. Maybe some charts, graphs and control group results with statistical significant material.

    Thank you!

    Reply

  25. Clarke

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Dave, Tony, and Brian. The ancient Chinese and Indians were understanding the energy of our bodies long before western civilization began to even grasp this. Acupuncture, Ayurveda, even chiropractic practices have been effective for millennia. My company has not only combined the best of the old and new, but we back it up with scientific proof. Period.

    Read more at my blog: Chipsterhealth.com

    Reply

  26. Clarke

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Kai, there is much that is proprietary. However you can go to my site and download the PDF file on the reprint from the Alternative Therapies Journal published in The Index Medicus. Watch Dr. Gupta’s video as well. http://chipmeglennc.cieaura.com/medical_journal.html

    You can read more about this on my blog site as well. Feel free to email me.

    Reply

  27. Clarke

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    dmentioning. Well said.

    Reply

  28. Kai

    July 10th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    It would be nice to seem mathematical approach, maybe some Feynman calculus, the strength of the force can be calculated in a series of steps which assign contributions to each of the types of Feynman diagrams associated with the force. Or other QED effects, such as pair production, electron-positron annihilation, Compton scattering, etc.

    This is the kind of evidence I am trying to see.

    Thanks again.

    Reply

  29. Anne

    November 19th, 2013 at 12:37 am

    My girl friend bought one at a boat show this past weekend. She broke her neck last year and it still hurts most everyday. They told her to wear it and bring it back to get her money back if it did not alleviate the pain. Within an hour, she said her pain was gone. I bought one after that and had a grueling workout this morning and can not believe that I do not hurt. Today my friend played tennis and her neck did not hurt. She usually has pain for a full day after tennis. I am always a skeptic but swear it works for us!

    Reply

  30. Kathy Javier

    December 02nd, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I bought a Pure Energy Bracelet for back and joint pain. I had an apt. for a back procedure and canceled it. Once I put on the bracelet the pain went away. It might be the, “Dumbo’s Feather” affect. But, I don’t care, my back doesn’t hurt, I’m sleeping again and I’m not getting an epidural shot into my spine.

    Reply

  31. angelo

    January 08th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    That vid showed some of the things the salesman had me do…. 8-( I got the Pure Energy Bad ones….
    For me they last about one year, you see i can not sleep with it on either. So the daily taking it on and off wore out the rubber band part. I went back and they gave me a new one free as long as i gave them the broken one.
    The second one lasted the same, about a year, before the band broke. I have not bothered to get it replaced, and just put it in my pocket most days. The last few months i have not and am not sure i noticed, but today i started putting it in my pocket again and i feel less fatigued ??????
    not sure why but I’m gonna use it until it stops being useful.

    Reply

  32. Dave

    January 08th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    The disclaimer at the bottom of the website says it all:

    CieAura products are sold for learning, self-improvement and simple relaxation. No statement contained in this writing, and no information provided by any CieAura employee or retailer, should be construed as a claim or representation that these products are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease or any other medical condition. The information contained in this writing is deemed to be based on reliable and authoritative report. However, certain persons considered experts may disagree with one or more of the statements contained here. CieAura assumes no liability or risk involved in the use of the products described here. We make no warranty, expressed or implied, other than that the material conforms to applicable standard specifications.

    Read: these trinkets are BS, the “science” we put out means nothing and there’s really no proof…

    Reply

  33. DOUG

    February 27th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    EVER HEARD OF THE SCHUMAN RESONANCE? EVER WHY BEING IN A FOREST OR WALKING ON THE BEACH FEELS SO GOOD? EVER THINK THAT SCIENCE DOESN’T KNOW EVERYTHING? EVER THINK YOU MIGHT LEARN TO TRUST WHAT YOUR BODY FEELS? EVER HEAR OF CELLULAR CONSCIOUSNESS? DO YOU KNOW WHAT KINESIOLOGY IS? THE WORLD ISN’T FLAT AND THE UNIVERSE DOESN’T REVOLVE AROUND THE EARTH.

    Reply

  34. Dave

    February 27th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Ha ha ha… that guy! ^^^ it’s hard to make stupid look that easy… ;-)

    Reply

  35. debbie lee Chan

    March 09th, 2014 at 2:19 am

    If it works for some people the mature response is to be glad for them, not to laugh at them. This is a lesson most kids learn in Kindergarten.

    Reply

  36. debbie lee Chan

    March 09th, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I was in a car accident and broke my back and leg. I tried the pain band and to my extreme surprise it worked. The sales person said that it doesn’t work on everyone but on just those unique individuals who are hypersensitive to frequency energies. What the sales person did not have any knowledge is that every time I would walk past an electrical transformer I would mentally become anxious and physically become nauseous. I could not explain it. But if I have been experiencing a placebo effect, great, as long as I am not agonizing in pain. No one can take my money from me. I weight the risk and benefits, decide, and then willingly hand it over. This is one of the tenets of capitalism. The end result of no more pain is worth every penny I spent on the “Pain relief Band.”

    Reply

  37. Clarke

    March 09th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Kathy, I appreciate your comment about Cieaura’s PureEnergy Chips. They have been proven to work on 80% of the people who wear them and without side-effects. I consider that pretty successful. I hope you’ll refer your friends

    Clarke/Chipsterhealth

    Check out my blog Chipsterhealth.com

    Reply

  38. David

    March 09th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    “Proven” lol, I do not think that word means what you think it means….

    Reply

  39. Clarke

    June 06th, 2014 at 12:40 am

    There is scientific proof of Cieaura’s products. Published in the Alternative Therapies [ The Index Medicus ] You can request it from me and I will forward to you via email.

    Reply

  40. David

    June 06th, 2014 at 7:02 am

    From the Ciearua website (note the hocus pocus mandatory disclaimer that they had to put immediately below it): “Research has shown that each of the millions of molecules in a cell vibrate at their own vibratory character to regulate the body. When these vibrations become abnormal or out of sync, the result can be illness, fatigue or other problems. CieAura converts natural vibrations into intrinsic energies and embeds various proprietary formulas of these intrinsic energies into the hologram on the CX2 Plus wristband using trade secret technology. CieAura’s energies interact with the body’s vibrational system to move your body to its optimum vibrational level and achieve desired results. CieAura’s wristband technology is the strongest known to man. The bracelet works non-invasively by stimulating specific acupuncture meridians.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. If you have a pre-existing condition, please check with your healthcare provider before using.”

    There is not one single scientifically accurate statement in that entire paragraph – its a lot of mumbo jumbo that’s meant to sound like science in order to sell a product which has no effect other than a placebo.

    Reply

  41. Tammie

    July 31st, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Placebo???? Here’s my story:My daughter coaches basketball and purchased one for her lower back. She had to ride to AZ from Cali for 6 hrs which was seriously painful for her. Once she got to Az, she was sold a energy band and her ride back to Cali was painless. But this didn’t convince me. I’m a skeptic, also. But I’m wise enough to know that we humans don’t know everything. But what really convince me was when she got home and told me about the bracelet, I told her to put it on my grandmother who had been having major challenges with getting herself up, standing, & walking. She has severe arthiritis and is in need of a hip replacement. This would be the true test for me. Well, I told my daughter to slip the bracelet on her as a gift and do not let her know about the claims of band. So she slip it on her wist while she was helping her and told her to attempt to move on her own. Any other time, she would have needed assistance just to stand up. My grandmother was reluntant at first due to all the issues she had been having. But my daughter insisted that she try on her own. She was able to get up on her own, and walk with her walker all the way from the bathroom to the front door. She was so elated by the relief that she started praising God for her healing. It was touching moment for us all. We all were in tears because she had been suffering so bad for weeks and the doctors couldn’t do anything for her but prescribe pain meds which was keeping her drugged up and out of it.
    So I’m convinced that it works. Maybe not for all people but it helped my 92 yr old grandmother and my family feel extremely better. Whats bad about that?

    Reply

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