On 14th January 2011 I received an email from a sports equipment retailer offering me the chance to purchase Power Sports Bands. This was merely days from the Australian skeptics scoring a major victory over the Power Band, requiring the manufacturer to offer refunds to those that wanted them.
The temptation was just too much and I found myself unable to resist. Rather than just unsubscribing this time I was going to tell the proprietor what fools the company were (yeah, I hate smug skeptics too, but sometimes the urge just takes over!)
I embarked on the following email conversation. (I would like to point out that I did not set out with the intention of this becoming a blog, so some of my emails are a bit lazy, but what the heck!)
This type of band has recently been discredited, particularly in Australia. I am extremely disappointed that your company would promote such a sham item and, as such, I have unsubscribed from your mailing list and will ensure that I never purchase ANY items from you.
Yours in disappointment,
I am out of the office for the rest of the day – I will reply to your email properly when back in, but rest assured we wouldn’t sell anything we don’t back and believe in. That’s not who we are or how we play – there is a substantial difference between I-ONICS and the Power Balance the Australian government discredited.
Steve,When we first came across the products, we bought a very expensive ion meter, to make sure that the I-ONICS products were emitting the ions that were claimed, and they were (in fact most were quite a lot higher than claimed) – so they are not just rubber bands as the Australian report said.
These negative ions help to rebalance an ionic inbalance in your body – and allows your body to then operate closer to its maximum potential.
For the record, Power Balance claims ‘hologram technology’ tuned to your body’s frequency engage with your body’s energy fields. Whether that’s right or not, I really don’t know, but I do know that I-ONICS have a physical, measurable effect in the ions they release.
Of course the key is the link between the negative ions and the benefits on your body – so there are a number of tests you can try – they are documented on our website – you can do them with your friends so you know the effects are genuine, not us manipulating the demo. Of everyone I have shown the product to in person, not one hasn’t seen an improvement.
I hadn’t envisaged entering into a dialogue about this, but since you are being so open about things it would seem rude to ignore your offer. I have to say though that I am still very dubious about the band and how it could possibly affect sports performance. Specifically, I have done a bit of ‘Googling’ around “ion therapy”, as well as looking at the tests that you suggest people do when they try the band themselves. There seems to be a lot of “new-age” associated with these things and I was particularly concerned that one of the exact tests appears in this video that I found on YouTube.
You seem like a thoroughly reasonable person and I would advise that you watch the video all the way through to see why I am concerned. What I would say is that the video talks about the person who is applying the forces being complicit in a scam and I do realise that you are suggesting that people do their own tests with a friend, so I am definitely not suggesting that you are scamming anyone, but I am concerned that the tests you suggest are very flawed and can easily lead to confirmation bias, whilst the flexibility test you suggest will always lead to positive results.
A further concern is that I have tried to look into what might be giving off these ions and my initial research has suggested that the only substances capable of doing this long-term could be dangerous. Do you know what is in the band that does this? My initial reading would suggest that this is not possible, or that the product would have a natural shelf-life. I should point out that this is the area where I have the least information, of course, so my research is not ideal at this stage.I look forward to hearing back from you,
All this said, I have spoken about your band with some friends at football. They have a range of views about this, but what we have agreed is that if you are serious about sending us one to try then we will put it through its paces in some blind tests (using a normal charity wristband, as well as no band) but not the tests your website suggests as we think they are flawed. Depending on the results we get, we would be happy to provide testimonials for your website.
My address is:
(Address withheld to protect the innocent)
What size would you like?
I did try to distance myself from the video’s agenda as I agree that they were clearly trying to make a point. It was the flexibility test that I was interested in, together with the idea that these were not the most scientific tests to be doing. (I have a grade A in GCE PE and very nearly did a Sports Science degree, you know, lol!)
Anyway, I’ve measured my wrist and a ‘large’ would seem the best fit, particularly if my friends try it too.
All the best,
That’s on its way to you, should be there tomorrow or following day
Looking forward to hearing how you get on with it
So, there it is, the story of how I came to be in possession of a very special band that was going to turn me into a superman…or was it??
Anyone who has already jumped to conclusions about the outcome of these tests receives minus points for not being a proper skeptic. I did actually put the band through its paces, as best I knew how, as I was desperate to see whether it possesed enough power to resurrect my hopes of playing for the mighty Doncaster Rovers. My follow-up post explains how things worked out.