The Skeptic Versus The Power Balance Bracelet

Channel Seven’s tabloid current affairs program, Today Tonight had a segment this evening featuring Richard Saunders, VP of the Australian Skeptics and presenter of the Skeptic Zone, testing the effectiveness of a product called the Power Balance bracelet.  This bracelet contains a hologram this is apparently “embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility”.

The segment features Richard and Tom O’Dowd (the Power Balance distributor in Australia) carrying out two tests. The first test has Tom placing the power balance bracelet on each of six volunteers and showing how he can’t move their arms when they hold it.  The second test has Richard hiding the power balance bracelet on one of the volunteers and Tom has to guess which volunteer is holding it.

Watch the segment to see how the tests play out.

I was impressed that Today Tonight, whose segments are usually a mixture of fear mongering and promoting pseudoscience, actually showed this segment.  The tests could have been better explained and more rigorous and Today Tonight could have condemned The Power Balance bracelet as a scam, but the fact they showed a segment that might raise some doubts in their viewers is a good start.

Special thanks to Bastard Sheep for getting this onto You Tube so quickly.

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8 responses to “The Skeptic Versus The Power Balance Bracelet

  1. Howard Silvert

    Why didn’t Mr. Saunders do the test himself? Is he afraid it may work, being he is a imminent skeptic. I could do this test 100 times sometimes giving the bracelet and sometimes not and each time the people with the actual bracelet will have better balance.

    If something like this increases balance and strength just 10% then it is worth it. I have shown this to anyone who has asked and done the test. Not one person after being skeptical about it has said it didn’t help them.

    Good job Mr. Saunders. What’s next on your list!

    • There were five tests that were filmed for Today Tonight, but only two of them went to air. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the other three tests were, so I have no idea if one of them involved Richard Saunders wearing the bracelet himself.

      This bracelet does nothing to increase your balance and strength above what telling someone that their balance and strength is better would do. However, if anyone wants to spend $60 on a bracelet that makes them feel better, that is their choice. It is a nice money earner for Power Balance.

    • Howard, a reasonable guess as to why Saunders didn’t participate in any of the tests would be a conflict of interest.

      For example, if he HAD of participated in one of the tests where the results were not in favour of the balance band, he would likely have been accused of “cheating” or intentionally skewing the results.

      Given the tone of your statement, I would foresee you as being one of these people pointing the finger. He would be damned if he did participate and damned if he didn’t.

      You also cite personal anecdote as evidence.

      Trying to convince a sceptic of the Balance Band’s power by saying that other sceptical people have tried it and said it works just shows that you have little understanding of scepticism and that the so called “sceptics” are likely as gullible and susceptible to cognitive pitfalls as you are.

      Many of us will put on the band and experience better balance. Many will not. Until it has been scientifically established that it works at all, it can reasonably be assumed that it is a load of bull due to the fact that the purported method of it’s effectiveness invokes known pseudosciences that have yet to be proven in and of themselves.

      The Balance Bracelet Distributer and yourself are making the claim of it’s efficacy, therefore the burden of evidence is on you to prove it. Thus far that has not happened. Sceptics have no obligation to give “benefit of the doubt” based only on a slick marketing campaign and testimonials.

      Your Balance Band may improve your balance, but I have a ring that keeps dragons away. I have worn if for years and never seen a single dragon.

      Sound ridiculous? Want proof? Now you know how I feel.

  2. Snake Oil.

    I would like to ask any proponents;

    Any idea how you embed a frequency in a hologram? The official site does not go into any detail on this whatsoever.

    If indeed this does work, how exactly can we reliably detect this so called “energy field” of the human body?

    If such a field exists, and can be manipulated, it should be detectable by science, otherwise how would anyone know to embed a specific frequency into a hologram to obtain the desired effect of better balance? Were they just screwing around with a hologram frequency embedder one day, then realize they had 10% better balance?

    It’s pretty amazing how gullible people can be. To believe this, you really have to make a bunch of assumptions and suppositions, rather than just considering the possibility that MAYBE you can be fooled, and MAYBE the placebo effect isn’t just a fancy word scientists use.

    “Only a fool would think he cannot be fooled”

  3. Hearing Things

    Apparently there is a frequency to cure just about everything and you can buy the zapper Digital for a cost of course, this machine must be how they embed a frequency in a hologram for the power balance. http://www.paradevices.org/frequency1.html
    Cheer and have a nice day

    • Hearing Things, whilst people will say that frequencies will cure just about everything there is no scientific proof that they can do so.
      Be very, very wary about the product you sent me the link for. The woman who marketed it claimed that she could cure all diseases including cancer, but lost her life to cancer. If her products actually worked she would still be alive today.

  4. of course the body has an energy field dick snaps… every single piece of matter… or atoms hold a charge and have a resonating frequency. this has been known in basic science for years. whether or not this things works or not remains to be seen. mobile phone towers? television towers? etc if you think this frequencys have no effect on the body you got to be kidding yourself

  5. Sport scientist

    It is a load of crap. I have been working in this field for about 10 years now, and seen how people would buy anything if the marketing is spot on. What is remarkble is that the test they conduct on their website, is precisely the tests we do in sport psycology for visulization and cognitve reinforcement. It all comes back to qauntum physics, the cat is only in the box when you think it is.