Power Balance … or Placebo?

Power BalanceAh, the Power Balance band.

You’ve probably heard of it. It was ubiquitous in this year’s AFL season and made headlines around the world when the likes of Shaquille O’Neal started wearing them.

So what does it do? Interestingly, its makers are careful to avoid claiming that it does anything at all.

The “What Is Power Balance?” section of their website still says “Coming Soon”. And has done so for months.

What Is Power Balance. Hmmmm. But never mind that. Elsewhere the site is positively jam-packed with testimonials about the band’s ability to improve your balance, increase your flexibility, enhance your endurance levels and, of course, help you win basketball games. Thanks Shaq.

Now, the skeptical among us suspect there’s nothing more to it than a simple placebo effect.

After all, there’s a complete lack of scientific evidence supporting the band’s effects, not to mention the implausible idea that having a hologram strapped to your arm makes you run faster.

Still, to each his own. If you want to spend $60 on a wristband and believe wholeheartedly that it helps you, then please don’t let us stop you.

However, we here at Victorian Skeptics are nothing if not open to new ideas. So with that in mind, we would like to draw your attention to a new product which we believe will work just as well as Power Balance.


Placebo BandAnd it has one very significant advantage over the Power Balance band … it’s only $2 !!

It’s the Placebo Band from the very excellent Skeptic Bros!

But don’t just take my word for it. Just like Power Balance, we’ve got testimonials!

Fellow Vic Skeptics blogger Mal Vickers said:

“I reckon my new Placebo Band is great.  I’ve tested it loads of times on myself.  I used to carry a rabbit’s foot but after the accident with my ferret nearly choking on it I threw it out. I haven’t needed to visit my psychic crystal aromatherapist for a few days now and my rocks don’t smell at all.  You can almost hear the healing vibrations giving off twice the placebo strength, probably more.”

Skeptical activist Kylie Sturgess had this to say:

“I used to think that they were just a piece of plastic arm-candy that will just add to my growing collection of items that seemed a cute purchase but are never worn and eventually become so out of style that you can’t even bring yourself to donate them to the local recycling shop. But then I discovered – they come in red too! Thanks Placebo Band!”

And Victorian Skeptics’ illustrious President Terry Kelly loves it too:

“Since wearing the Placebo Band, I’ve placeboed myself all the way to the club championship at my golf club!”

But that’s not all. Even renowned skeptical blogger Sean the Blogonaut was willing to provide way too much information:

“For weeks now I’ve been lagging behind my opponents on the bowling green. I noticed that quite a few of them were wearing Power Balance bands. When I noticed the Placebo Bands on sale at Skepticbros I thought I would give it a try. It didn’t seem to work at first but then I tried using it more at training and training more. Now it’s in tune with my body and I’m playing like a champion. I even wear it in the bedroom. It provides strength and endurance whatever the activity. ;)”

Even some random passersby were very impressed:

“The Placebo Band has restored the harmony, energy and balance that has been missing from my life ever since 1995 when they stopped making the tan M&M’s.”

So there you have it folks. The Placebo Band is everything you’ve been looking for in physiologically ineffective wristwear.

And unlike certain other brands we could mention, it’s cheap!


*** UPDATE *** We have yet another testimonial … from Australian Skeptics Vice President and Skeptic Zone producer Richard Saunders!

I have tried the Power Balance Band, but I have to say that I feel so much better when I am wearing the Placebo Band! And what is even better, at only $2 I can give the one I’m wearing away!

8 Responses to Power Balance … or Placebo?

  1. Wow thanks for the writeup!

    For those that are interested I will be at the Vic Skeptics, Skeptic Cafe event tomorrow evening. I might even bring a few Placebo Bands along if people want to see them not do anything amazing!

    Keep up the good work,


  2. Andrew Robert Kirkhope says:

    The $2- price tag for these Placebo Bands appeals to my Scottish blood, as I wasted $60- previously on those Power Bands which didnt even give me the power to think for myself, and I just went out and bought one, money that I won’t get back.

  3. Tom says:

    Awesome write up tanks and well done, not least for beating us to the punch with the testimonials. We always appreciate and enjoy feedback on the blog http://skepticbros.com/ and now Placebo Band has it own Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Placebo-Band/102190049847580 which is great place to leave comments, testimonials and photos.
    Thanks a bunch

  4. malvickers says:

    Excellent post Matt, and err… about the money. My cheque is in the mail? :-)

  5. keng2 says:

    Hi Matt,

    A major and often overlooked feature of the Placebo Band from Skeptic Bros is that it’s COMPLETELY SAFE! – (provided it’s not taken internally).

  6. Nick says:

    So I’ll be at the Skeptics Cafe tonight, just look for the guy in the black hat, and use the code phrase “Skipper, there’s kibble on my kippers!” and you can get a placebo band off me for the low price of $2!

  7. Matt says:

    Excellent, Nick. Looking forward to seeing you there!

  8. OzAz says:

    Just got my Placebo Band in the mail, guess I can cancel Friday’s Doctors appointment now.

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