Fans seem not to care that there’s no scientific proof – they insist the rubber bracelet with the shiny hologram chip makes them sleep better, energises them and dissolves pain in an instant.
Sports legends such as soccer superstar David Beckham believe the bracelet improves their balance and makes their muscles recover faster. Even people who don’t play sport swear by the bracelet – which retails at R400 in sports shops – and some say it has renewed their zest for life and improved their sex-lives.
George Bush wears one, as do Demi Moore,Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
And all this even after one of the seven manufacturers of the popular bracelet, which has drawn millions of people across the globe, recently admitted there’s no scientific evidence for its claims that it improves strength, balance and suppleness.
Despite this, sales continue to boom and it’s expected this company alone will make a profit of at least R35 million from bracelet sales this year.
It started three years ago when two brothers came up with the idea while experimenting on their kitchen floor in Orange County, California.
Josh Rodarmel (28) explains that every object in nature, including your body, has a particular wave frequency. Things that affect it negatively, such as cellphones and radio waves, break down the body’s natural healing frequency, he says.
So he and his brother, Troy, came up with the idea of developing a hologram full of good frequencies – and the result is that shiny chip in the bracelet.
In addition to “scientific” explanations salespeople are quick to take you through a ritual to “prove” how powerful the armband makes you.
You’re asked to stand on one leg with your arms stretched out at your side as if you’re about to fly away. They then push down on one arm until you lose balance. Then they repeat the exercise with the bracelet pressed against your body and, hey presto, you’re standing strong.
It’s nothing more than a party trick, scientists say on YouTube. The first time they push your arm outwards, which makes you topple over and the second time they push your arm towards your body, which makes you stand steady.
So at the end of the day does it matter whether it’s the hologram or conviction that gets your body into tiptop shape?
Power Balance designer Josh Rodarmel says it doesn’t matter whether it’s the hologram or the placebo effect that makes the bracelets effective. The point is the bracelet works, he says, and urges people to try it for themselves.
Read all about it in YOU, 20 January 2011.