Sports Bands are a Scam

St George Chiropractor

As a science-based chiropractor, I have many patients ask for my opinion one a wide range of dubious offers and products.  Usually I am asked to comment on some MLM miracle product that cures everything but no one knows how it works.  Recently, I have had people ask about the ion enhanced or hologram wrist bands.  Here is the truth.  It is a scam, save your money.

The bands are touted to promote balance and improve the energy flow through the body.  Here is a quote from a site selling the bands.

Power Balance is based on the idea of optimising the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram is designed to respond to the natural energy field of the body. The Mylar material at the core has been treated with energy waves at specific frequencies. The resulting Mylar is believed to work with your body’s natural energy flow to help enable you to perform at the best of your ability.”

I don’t even want to provide the link because it will help boost their pagerank.  But if you want to find them, copy the entire quote and pasted it into Google and search.  You will find them.

The idea that holograms printed onto a piece of mylar can some how modify the energy waves of your body (if they can even be measured) is a farce.  A hologram is a picture.  If I hang a picture of Santa Claus around my neck, does it influence the energy fields?

Even if huge stars like NBA players, soccer pros, and even Russel Crowe wear one, it does not mean they work.  All it means is that a very slick salesman duped them out of $60.

The notion that a tiny silicone bracelet with hologram discs can modify your body’s frequency is biologically implausible.  Your systems do not work that way.
The sales-scammer will probably attempt to demonstrate how effective his product is doing an ‘arm strength test’ on you.  This is where he will demonstrate how ‘out of balance’ your body is with out the band.  And with the band, you are some how more sturdy.  Its a scam.  It all depends on how the salesguy is pressing your arm.  He is causing you to lose balance by applying a directional force away from your mid line.  Here, watch this video:

 

I do feel for the people who spent the money on these products.  They got scammed.  Some victims even report an improvement while wearing it.  Any improvement or (more importantly) any NOTICE of improvement is simply placebo.  The person is looking for a result, so they tend to find one.

What really upsets me is when I see these products being sold in chiropractic offices.  This is an embarrassment to my profession.  There is no scientific data to support the claim that these devices do what they claim.  A physician has a duty of veracity to their patients.  Doctors are not supposed to lie to patients.  This is a fundamental duty listed in our code of ethics.  If your chiropractor is wearing or selling these sport bands, then flee that office.  If he is selling them, he is either lying to you about how effective they are or he is not smart enough to consider the lack of scientific evidence.  In either case, he is not worthy of your confidence.  Run, Forrest, Run.

Dr. Andrew White
Skeptical St George Chiropractor

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