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Power Bracelets: Are they for me?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Power Bracelets: Are they for me?

Walking through the mall a week ago, my friend and I were being harassed by the workers at a kiosk for power bracelets. We politely declined, but they started telling me how awesome the bracelets were super amazing at increasing strength, power, and balance.  Of course, me being who I am, asked how a little bracelet could, without any exercise or training, make me stronger and more powerful.  Let me give you some insight: there was no science at all behind his answer, but he did tell me that lots of professional athletes use them to help with strength and power. Clearly I'm skeptical, but I decided to look into it and find out more about these "magical" bracelets.




What's the deal with power bracelets?
The main claims of the power bracelet are that they use "holographic technology" that responds to the "natural energy field" of your body to increase your sporting ability.  Sounds pretty darn scientific to me! There were all sorts of paid professional athletes as spokespeople saying that there was scientific research to back up the claims...not so.  In fact, there were numerous studies disproving that there was any effect at all, including placebo effect.  Two of the largest studies were performed by the University of Wisconsin and the Independent Investigations Group which found that all of the claims related to the power bracelet were bunk.  Sorry dudes and dudettes, but they don't work....and the company was actually sued for false accusations and were forced to refund all bracelets they sold under false pretenses.  But, if you just want to look super cool wearing a plastic bracelet on it, with a hologram sticker for $30, be my guest!



Do any of the health bracelets work?
Since I figured that the power bracelet is a bunch of crap, and despite two of my friends touting how awesome the Ionized bracelets are.  One claimed that their balance is so much better wearing one...and that they are so much stronger.  Again, I called BS early on, but I figured I'd check this one out too.  It is hard for me to wrap my brain around a bracelet totally changing how your body functions and reacts, but I am all about it, if it works!  The most famous is probably the Q-Ray Ionization Bracelet, it supposedly works with your bodies Chi to relieve bone pain from arthritis and muscle pain.  It first came to the market in 1996 (in the US- they had been available in the EU for years before) and millions of people bought them, thinking they would be relieved from chronic pain merely by changing/manipulating their Chi. In 2002, the Mayo Clinic performed a rather large study, in which they found that there was no significant difference in comfort levels between placebo and non-placebo groups.  In other words, the Ionized bracelets are bunk too....and they can cost up to $350!  All that being said, there are plenty of people that wear them and absolutely swear by them, I guess those people just aren't in any of the study groups ;)

My best advice? Skip the bracelets and if you want strength lift weights, for balance try yoga, and if you want pain relief, talk to your HCP about anti-inflammatories and physical therapy!  Your money would be better spent on co-pays and gym memberships than buying these bracelets.  Hold onto your cash and remember that if something seems to good to be true, it is!!!

Yours in Good Health
B


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