What’s the deal with the Power Balance Band and are there any similarities with Q magnets? As we explain on our magnetic therapy page, some products claim to influence the energy fields around the body.
There is no research to show that Q magnets affect the body’s “energy fields” but the original research pioneered by neurologists at Vanderbilt Medical University in the 1990’s does pose a credible mechanism of action for how Quadrapolar magnets might potentially provide comfort or localized temporary relief of minor aches and pains. This effect is typically produced by applying the field gradients generated by Quadrapolar magnets directly over the painful area or the nerves that innervate that area.
Distributors of the Power Balance Band have given away and paid a number of high profile athletes to use their product. The key difference is that elite athletes from around the world have used Q magnets long term and had them prescribed by the people in charge of player welfare. Teams including the Queensland Reds, Brisbane Lions, Western Force, Fremantle Dockers.
I happened to be with a major sporting team just after they handed out the power balance band to everyone like candy. Players were sporting the new band, but for a few days or weeks at best. This is what you call a fad.
None of the endorsements or testimonies on the Q magnet website have been paid for. The only exception could be motocross rider Steve Sommerfeld who is sponsored by Lifestyle Therapies for his physiotherapy treatment and Q magnets mainly because his sport can provide opportunities to test the effectiveness of the devices and you can see some of these effects for yourself.
Q magnet therapy can be a useful addition to an athlete’s routine in managing the minor aches and pains that tend to come and go, as in the case of international rugby star David Hill. But we have never claimed they should be used for performance enhancement in healthy individuals. People selling the Power Band have demonstrations they use to support their claims of performance enhancement, but there is obviously more to this than meets the eye.
What makes Quadrapolar magnets unique? They produce a unique type of magnetic field that research shows has effects on tissue not shared with common bipolar magnets and are powerful enough to penetrate deep into the body. Magnetic field gradients are a very complex topic, they were the final piece in the puzzle in the development of the MRI for which the inventors won a Nobel Prize. At the cutting of science is the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, it contains 392 large electromagnetic quadrapole magnets.
The first clinical trial on the Power Balance has been published. The title is “The effect of close proximity holographic wristbands on human balance and limits of stability: A randomised, placebo-controlled trial”. Try this link for the abstract.
See recent news articles on Power Band.
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