Do energy bracelets actually do anything?

Energy Bracelets

Other than looking cool, energy bracelets are claimed to have the ability to enhance performance or improve balance while you go about your day. Are these bracelets actually legitimate or is it just the placebo effect at work?

                                                power-balance-bracelet-black                              powerbeads 

The Claims

Most of the companies that advertise “power bracelet” products often claim that the bracelets have holographic technology. Most people do not even know what this means. It’s a brilliant tactic used by the manufacturers since its vague and is often dismissed by consumers. According to Mack Lemouse, the holograms are supposed to resonate at the same frequency at which your body’s cells do, thus causing your body’s performance to be enhanced. Lemouse later explains that holograms do not even create vibrations/ frequencies but rather just refract light. Another part of this claim that is not valid is that our cells vibrate. If they do not vibrate in the first place why would someone want a bracelet to vibrate them? Not all bracelets claim to use holographic technology however.

Other brands of power bracelets often claim that they have negative ion power. Negative ions do exist and are exposed to us when we are near waterfalls, strong ocean waves, and heavy rainstorms. They  even provide health benefits. When we breathe in these negative ions and they enter our bloodstream, our bodies release increased levels of serotonin, which can help with anxiety, stress and depression. Since negative ions actually do enhance our bodies in some way, people often believe that these power bracelets help us. There is just one problem; the negative ions that are supposedly in the bracelet do not enter out bloodstreams when we wear them. Scientists have stated that while there is no proof that these bracelets actually help us in any way, they are not harmful and the placebo effect might possibly enhance your performance if you really desire to improve.

The Placebo Effect

The only proven way that these bracelets can help enhance performance is by the placebo effect. According to the English Oxford dictionary, the placebo effect is a beneficial effect, produced by a placebo treatment, that cannot be caused by the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief that it is. When athletes wear these bracelets, they often believe that the bracelet will cause them to play or perform better, thus causing them to try harder. Since they try harder, they usually do end up playing or performing better. The first thing the accredit this success to is the power bracelet that they are wearing. What really happened was the placebo effect.

The Worth 

Is it worth it to buy a power bracelet when you come across one near the register at a store? As long as it is not terribly expensive, there really is no downside to buying one. The bracelet may not be able to deliver what it claims to, but by simply having it on your wrist while you play a sport or exercise may cause you to think that it is enhancing your performance, this causing you to try harder. These bracelets are also somewhat stylish for athletes to wear. Several athletes like Ryan Howard and David Ortiz wear these bracelets. They may be getting paid to do so but if you really want to wear one, go ahead and buy one.


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3 thoughts on “Do energy bracelets actually do anything?

  1. Taylor M Lender

    My grandparents are super into these things. My grandma also wears crystals because she thinks they will help her feel better. I think these things really do work for my grandparents because of the placebo effect. They really do think these objects help them, and us grandkids are not going to spoil their fun. Since no one has told or proven to them that the bracelets and necklaces do not have any real power, they keep on noting positive effects. Should people who read this article, like me, still buy a bracelet even though we know it has no real benefits? Is the placebo effects still effective even after the bracelets effects have been disproven?

  2. Lauren Messing

    Hi David! I found your article to be very relative and interesting. You could not go to a store without there being balance and energy bracelets for sale. People LOVE to wear them and truly believe that it was beneficial and effective. I happen to agree with you. There is not way that a piece of rubber or plastic on my wrist is aiding me to perform better at whatever it is that I am doing. People used to try to balance on one foot with and without the bracelet on and, for an explanational reason, it would always work better the next time. The plausible explanation for this would be the placebo affect, as you stated in your blog. Here is an intriguing video that shows someone testing out the power balance bracelet. Enjoy!

  3. Hannah Katherine Morrissey

    I can remember walking through the mall and having kiosk people ask me to try on bracelets that would “drastically improve my balance”. I never believed that a flimsy, plastic bracelet would actually improve my entire body’s overall stature, but I always wondered secretly if they actually DID work. This post was very informative. Its interesting to think that the bracelets work more in a psychological manner versus actually improving your physical body. I’m not sure if that means that they are worth as much as they are sold for, but the extra push of encouragement from a bracelet couldn’t hurt. Great post!

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