If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me enlighten you. Power Balance bracelets are plastic bracelets embedded with a hologram that supposedly “works with your body’s natural energy field to increase strength, flexibility and overall performance.”
And they are everywhere! In fact, it seems nowadays that every second person you meet is wearing one.
A while ago as a joke I tweeted –
“To all you Power Balance bracelet wearers – I have a ring that repels dragons, and I am willing to send it to you for free!”
– and it caused quite a stir! It seems to me that there are people on both sides. Those who swear by them, and those who say they are a complete scam!
As a physiotherapist trained in clinical reasoning, my initial reaction was “C’mon – you’ve got to be kidding me! Where are the random-double-blind studies? The hard facts proving it works?” And the truth is – there are none. In fact in Australia recently Power Balance posted a retraction and had to apologize to consumers for misleading advertising.
But, despite all this, I am also an owner of the infamous Power Balance bracelet (someone gave it to me I promise!) and, I have to be honest, I’ve worn it a few times surfing and paddling. You see, even though my brain is telling me this thing is just a brilliant and well-marketed money-making scheme – a modern version of “snake-oil” – there is also a small part of me that wants to believe it works.
Because the truth is we all want a magic formula.
Whether it’s to sort out our marriage, increase our business, build our ministry, or get a six-pack, we are all susceptible to taking the quick and easy option. Unfortunately, as I’m figuring out, for the most part there are no magic formulas or quick fixes in life. Relationships, love and financial freedom, like “power, balance, and flexibility” take work. A lot of hard work.
The bible says it like this: “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Prov 21:5)
So… what do you think about Power Balance? Real-deal, placebo or hoax?
And more importantly, what challenge or problem in your life are you avoiding or looking for the magic formula to fix?