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new balance 3090 A bracelet that restores balance This kind of snakeoil salesman just came into my shop to pimp out his product, which is some version of an ionized bracelet. The only thing he claimed it could do is help me balance. Obviosuly I was hugely skeptical, so he put me through two tests. Test one, stand on one foot, hands outstrectched and empty. As soon as he exerted a little bit of pressure on one hand I couldn't help but tip that way. Then repeating the test holding the bracelet, he could not knock me off balance. I was keenly conscious of the amount of force he exerted, and trying to be aware if he or I did anything differently that could queer the results, but nothing like that was readily apparent. Test two, feet close together, hands at my sides balled into fists and empty. He pulled down on one fist. I was able to counter at first but eventually he pulled so hard that he knocked me off balance. Then we repeated the test while I was holding the bracelet. This guy was literally hanging off my arm and I was able to keep my balance. Again, like in the first test there was nothing different about the way he conducted it that made me feel it was anything but legitimate. I was pretty amazed and wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't undergone the tests first hand. He was either unable or unwilling to articulate what the bracelet was about, other than to drop the words "titanium", "shakras", and "quantum physics". I believe he was honestly ignorant about the forces at play. He was a salesman after all. Does anybody have any clue what this could be about? I am totally willing to be convinced that some sort of physical placebo effect took place. But I'm equally likely to be convinced there's something to the magical bracelet. posted by vito90 to health fitness (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite I am totally willing to be convinced that some sort of physical placebo effect took place. But I'm equally likely to be convinced there's something to the magical braceletwhich is why it worked for you. I have seen this demonstration done, and the key is to have an uninvolved third party in the room watching what is going on. The test subject (you, in this case) can be observed to try so much harder the second time. this is partly the result of suggestion, and partly because the first time you didn't know what to expect, but the second time you were prepared for it. When I saw it done it was with a magnetic ball, but it could have been anything although some mystical unexplainable handwavingly vague pseudoscience talk might increase the power of suggestion. posted by foobario at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2007 [1 favorite] Was it the qray? It's supposed to restore your yin/yang balance, or something I think the salesman just used an extra "balance" trick. posted by Liosliath at 2:31 PM on July 13, 2007 The same "test" is used on several people to sell orthotics towards the middle of this infomercial, so you can be sure its a stupid trick. posted by DanielDManiel at 2:44 PM on July 13, 2007 It wasn't a Qray, though I got the impression it's modeled on the same idea. It was a leather strap with a metallic piece, picture a wrist sized belt with ornate buckle. posted by vito90 at 2:47 PM on July 13, 2007 I was thinking more or less along the same lines as foobario it's simply the power of suggestion coupled with previous experience. Penn Teller conducted a similar (albeit nonscientific) experiment to see how women reacted to a particular type of cologne. Women were all over the second of two twins to approach them. It had nothing to do with the cologne and everything to do with their state of mind. Having been through the process with the guy once (they were told it was the same fellow both times), they felt at liberty to snuggle up him the second time around. That aside, you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the bracelet by visiting the official website. The FAQ section is particularly illuminating: How does the Balance Bracelet acquire its unique properties? The bracelets are treated in a chamber where they absorb the properties that have created their world wide demand. The actual process is a proprietary one used for over 20 years. They're manufactured by PermaHealth purveyors of such fine products as the QLink pendant, designed to "resonate lifesupporting frequencies in the biofield".