Do Power Balance bands help you pump up? -

Power Balance Band: Does it Work?

NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is just one of a legion of top athletes and celebrities paid to endorse Power Balance wristbands.

The power behind the band is supposedly its shiny, holographic decal. The company claims this decal emits a frequency that helps align the body's natural energy field and improves balance, flexibility and endurance. But do these wristbands really have the power to pump you up?

"Whenever I first worked out with it, I noticed a little something," says Corey Sperier, an athlete who looks for any advantage when it comes to improving his competitive profile. "It put a little extra pep in my step."

Fred and Betty Landry also say that wearing the bands helps them in their Tai Chi class, of which many participants have medical conditions that affect their balance.

"I have aches and pains," says Betty. "They have subsided since I started wearing the band."

Despite many glowing reviews, however, many consumers still have doubts. A study at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse showed that students using Power Balance bands in a variety of tests experienced no direct, verifiable benefits.

Corey offers his own explanation for the results he's had: "I guess since I paid for it, I wanted to believe in it," he says.

Arend Van Gemmert is a researcher in Louisiana State University's department of kinesiology, who has a background in psychology. He notes that the simple act of buying a Power Band could be the real power behind it.

"The fact that you are already trying it means you're giving it a chance," he explains. "If you are giving it a chance, you already have an expectation that it will work."

This is also what is known as the placebo effect.

Even Power Balance admits that not everyone benefits from wearing its product. But Fred Landry, who suffers from severe diabetic neuropathy, says: "Maybe I'm getting help. Maybe not. Whatever benefit I get, that's good."

So do Power Balance bands really work? It's hard to tell...maybe it just depends on where you think your real source of power is coming from.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.


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