How cool would it be if up-leveling your energetic state were as easy as putting on a Band-Aid?
Well, that's the promise of Body Vibes, a new line of "smart stickers" that's said to rebalance the body by feeding it specific bio-frequencies—a type of vibrational pattern attuned to the body's rhythms—all supposedly able to do things like lift mood, reduce stress, or speed up the hangover recovery process. Just place one on your chest or upper arm, claim the brand’s founders, and within about three days (or less), you’ll likely start to feel a subtle, yet positive, shift.
Sound sketch? That’s what I thought when the stickers first landed on my desk. But as it turns out, doctors around the world have been using similar patches on patients for years, and Body Vibes’ early adopters—who include nutritionist Elissa Goodman, Margo & Me blogger Jenny Cipoletti, DJ Sam Black, and model Caroline Vreeland—have credited them with improving their skin, sleep, stress levels, and more.
Plus, a growing amount of scientific research is backing up the health benefits of energy healing, which involves tapping into the body’s electromagnetic field—just like Body Vibes are said to do. So, is there any kind of scientific merit to this so-called lifestyle tool?
Here's everything you need to know about bio-frequency stickers.
Your body's cellular symphony
Every cell in our body vibrates at a specific frequency, according to Joseph Unger, a chiropractor and professor who's written several books on energy medicine. “These very tiny, but very real rhythms produce a ‘symphony’ of vibrations unique to each cell and organ,” he says. “It’s part of their intercommunication system.”
But, for various reasons—like, if you're sick—it's believed that certain parts of your body may fall out of a healthy pulsation pattern. And some research shows that by exposing those faulty systems to very targeted types of frequencies, it might be possible to bring them back into balance, specifically when it comes to treating pain, cancer, and even Alzheimer's.
Some research shows that by exposing faulty systems to very targeted types of frequencies, it might be possible to bring them back into balance.
"The latest clinical trials have shown that stimulation of the body—particularly acupuncture points—with energy in the form of acupuncture needle twirling, electrical pulses, laser beams, or finger pressure can have beneficial effects for health and healing," says energy-medicine expert Shin Lin, PhD, a professor of biological sciences, director of the Laboratory for Mind-Body Signaling and Energy Research, and faculty member of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at University of California, Irvine.
Of course, these vibration-correcting modalities aren't exactly portable—and that's how the idea for the bio-frequency patch was born.
How energy frequency stickers work
The first frequency stickers were created in the '80s by wellness entrepreneur Richard Eaton and a team of bioengineers who were contracted by the US government to design "sonic weapons." (Essentially, their earlier versions emitted low-frequency, nearly inaudible sound waves able to induce symptoms like nausea and difficulty breathing.)
“I found that extremely fascinating,” Eaton recalls. “I asked, ‘Can this be turned around so we can see a positive, rather than a negative, reaction in the human body?’ The answer was, 'Yes, it can work.'”
With good vibes in mind, Eaton and his crew started creating patches made from a radio-frequency material that he claims NASA once used to line spacesuits. Each patch is said to be programmed, by means of a generator, with bio-frequencies targeting specific energetic deficiencies—there are currently 72 different frequencies available to doctors, including ones designed for allergies, migraines, and hormonal imbalances.
“Your body’s like an antenna—it absorbs energy from various sources, good, bad, or indifferent,” claims Eaton. “When you’re wearing a patch that has an energetic field, that field of energy is being introduced to the body via the patch.”
"Patches are sort of like energetic nutrition for the organ, cell, or system."
“My interpretation is that the patches are sort of like energetic nutrition for the organ, cell, or system,” adds Unger, who has seen “pretty impressive” results from using them on his patients. “They [seem to] supply the missing frequencies until the body heals to the extent that it can produce those frequencies themselves. In the energetic realm, this is state of the art.”
But here’s the thing: Although the patches have been around for almost 20 years and are utilized by nearly 1,500 health pros in the US, Europe, and Australia, there haven’t been any peer-reviewed studies that prove they work. Instead, nearly all of the validation to date has been anecdotal. (Eaton claims that the cost and resources needed to conduct this type of research are prohibitive for a small company like his, AlphaBio Centrix.) Without that scientific backing, there’s no way to definitively say whether the product’s truly legit, and Lin is skeptical. "It doesn’t seem that putting on a patch as described could generate enough energy, if at all, for this purpose," he says.
Even so, Unger and Eaton are able to rattle off story after story involving people whose symptoms were relieved after wearing the patches. Two of those were Los Angeles esthetician Leslie Kritzer and her husband, who got them from their naturopath and saw great improvements in their anxiety and rheumatoid arthritis pain, respectively.
“I started feeling this was something very important and powerful, and yet I didn’t enjoy wearing them because they looked like hormone patches,” Kritzer says. So she reached out to Eaton and eventually convinced him to let her and business partner Madison De Clercq rebrand and redesign 12 of the frequency stickers for a consumer audience. And thus, Body Vibes was born.
Turning space-age technology into a lifestyle
“We wanted to create a lifestyle tool for our clients in the skin-care world who are having anxiety or problems focusing or sleeping,” says De Clercq, also an esthetician. The initial set—patches are sold in packs of 10 for $60—includes frequencies for workout endurance, sleep quality, hangover recovery, mood elevation, and skin inflammation. The duo is also collaborating with nutritionist Elissa Goodman on two new patches for detoxification and hydration, which they sell as a special variety pack for $68.
Goodman came on board after experiencing positive results from Body Vibes firsthand. “I'm convinced that the Chill and Sleep smart frequency stickers improved the quality of my sleep and [gave me] more peace of mind during stressful times," she says. "I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. I’ve also seen a significant improvement in the tone of my skin since I started religiously wearing the Unicorn Skin sticker—I feel and look more hydrated and have noticed a glow that wasn’t there before."
For the most noticeable results, Kritzer and De Clercq recommend choosing a “cocktail” of frequencies and wearing them together for at least a few weeks. So for my experiment, I settled on a combination of Mental Focus—which is said to stimulate cognitive clarity, hormone balance, and mood regulation—and Self Love, which they claim promotes “courage, healing, and self-confidence.”
What happened when I tried bio-frequency stickers for myself
They also gave me a few things to keep in mind before getting started. “The experience is not going to be the same for any two people, because we all have a very personal relationship to the movement of energy,” says Kritzer. “Some people get an immediate feeling like, ‘Wow, this is really beneficial.’ But then I’ve had some clients come to me and say, ‘I cried for 48 hours like I’ve never cried before. But now I feel the best I’ve felt in years.’”
The pair advised me to keep each patch on for 72 hours at a time before switching to a fresh one, and to place them on the upper left side of my body. (According to Chinese medicine, energy enters the body on the left and dissipates from the right.) They also stressed that patience is key, and that the results are usually subtle. “These aren’t meant to sedate or over-energize the body—they’re about balancing,” says Kritzer. “When you’re on them for a little while and they’re doing their job, there’s no crazy sensation, other than you just feel good. It’s when you’re not on them and you’re having one of those stressful days that it makes such a big difference.”
In total, I wore the patches for two weeks straight, and I must admit, I did feel a shift. I noticed that I was a lot more productive during my work days, and I wasn’t as distracted as I usually am. I also found myself coming up with lots of exciting ideas for new personal projects and feeling really good about my ability to actually pull them off.
I noticed that I was a lot more productive during my work days, and I wasn't as distracted as I usually am.
But then I stopped wearing the patches, and everything changed. It’s hard to explain, but in the weeks following I felt weaker somehow, like my energy was scattered. Not only that, but I also began to feel a lot of doubt around the goals I set for myself in the previous week. The same thing happened to Caroline Vreeland, who's also a fan of Mental Focus and Self-Love. "At first when I started wearing Body Vibes, I wasn't sure that I noticed a significant difference," she says. "It was when I stopped wearing them that I realized how much more balanced and calm I felt with them on."
Of course, this could be for lots of reasons other than the patches—like my hormonal cycle or skimping on sleep in favor of watching Master of None. Lin suspects it's the placebo effect in action. "It is highly possible that wearers of the patches gain some real benefits, but it's most likely due to the placebo effect—which isn't necessarily a bad thing," he says.
Given the lack of significant research around the patches themselves, it’s easy to brush them off as pseudoscience. I certainly did before I tried them. But after hearing so many accounts of positive results while researching this story—and experiencing some noteworthy shifts of my own—I hesitate to dismiss them altogether.
If you have an open mind and some money to burn, by all means, give ‘em a shot—just make sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms, too. I mean, it’s certainly no weirder or more dangerous than surrounding yourself with crystals or microdosing LSD, right?
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