When Barbara MacIsaac puts on her black hologram wristband every morning, she feels like she’s just loaded a pack of batteries.
“I can’t really even explain it,” said MacIsaac, a restaurant owner from San Juan Capistrano. “I just have this energy level that I’ve never had before. The only thing that’s changed is I’ve started wearing my bracelet.”
According to The Orange County Register, two Orange County companies, Power Balance and EFX, command the market in hologram wristbands and pendants, which cost about $30 and claim to optimize the body’s own frequencies to promote balance, flexibility and strength. Both brands have celebrity athlete endorsements and sell products online, at sporting good stores and at public events.
Power Balance declined to give sales figures, but EFX said it has sold more than 2 million products.
Josh Rodarmel, one of the founders of Laguna Niguel-based Power Balance, said the technology is based on Eastern philosophy to allow users to achieve their best.
“It absolutely is never to be a substitute for hard work,” Rodarmel said. “It’s about making you the best you can be.”
Doctors say the holograms don’t work, but can trigger the placebo effect, where about one-third of patients will experience relief of symptoms from a sham treatment.
“If you believe you’re taking something that’s going to decrease your pain, you probably are going to get a decrease in pain,” said Dr. John Heydt, who specializes in sports medicine at UC Irvine. “It may elevate your normal endorphins. If you feel better wearing these, they’re not harmful.”
Photo by Power Balance.