By: Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - Professional athletes like Shaquille O'Neal swear by the Power Balance products. They say the hologram technology helps them get that extra edge on the playing field, but across the country athletic trainers to physical therapists say they don't believe it.
But after a few simple tests by a Power Balance retailer and many become believers in the products.
It's a simple bracelet or necklace with a hologram about the size of a thumb print.
For $30.00, manufacturers say this piece of jewelry works your body's natural energy. They claim it increases your strength, balance and flexibility.
"When we first got these bracelets in I had the test done to me four times and I didn't believe it," Golf Headquarters Manager, Jarrod Lawrence, said. "You know we play a lot of golf around here. I couldn't get through nine holes. The back would tighten up and that's it. I put this on and I'd say in a day or two, no more issues."
Now Lawrence is a believer, but many health professionals like Gary Gray aren't. He doesn't believe this little hologram has magical powers.
"It may help psychologically but there's no scientific evidence," Gray said. "It's all based on holograms. Well if a hologram works on the bodies natural energy I should be pretty well helped, because I have several credit cards in my wallet and they all have holograms."
Gray did the same strength tests Power Balance sellers do, but he did them with milk duds and a paper clip. He got similar results.
Studies by universities and scientists seem to agree with Gray, but after selling about 4,500 of them with only a hand full of returns, Lawrence says he doesn't care.
"Either way they're still affecting how a person feels mentally. So it still works," he said.
Even though he thinks it's a crock, Gray says if it's working, it won't hurt you to keep using it.
"Sometimes that's all what it's about," Gray said. "If it gives them a mental edge then absolutely I would keep doing it."
Whether you believe in the power of the bracelets or not there's still one fact; it has become an international hit.
They're bringing in big profits for stores like Golf Headquarters and the Power Balance products are in such high demand that other athletic stores say they're on waiting lists. Some won't get a shipment of the product until January.