What if there was a sticker that could help you manage your anxiety? Sort of like a nicotine patch, but instead of getting you to quit smoking, it sends out frequencies believed to have harmonizing effects on the human body that'll supposedly put you in a good mood, give you more energy, make you more productive, or just generally chill you out. The brand Body Vibes claims to have invented just that — and with cute, holographic designs, to boot.
Body Vibes discs are essentially 1-inch patches that come in seven different varieties: Anti-Anxiety, Beauty, Energy, Focus, Self Love, At The Beach, Flower Power, Relief, and Mood Boost. Sold on ShopBodyVibes.com and at Barney's, the cheapest pack of a singular type is five patches for $30, or you can get 10 for $60. You can also also get six- and 12-pack variety sets at $36 and $64, respectively. According to the brand's website, they have three layers: an adhesive similar to Band-Aids, a decorative top layer, and the active layer, which is "made of mylar embedded with carbon alloy fragments and crystalline structures, designed for the purpose of storing and transferring radio frequency in the form of sub-harmonic signals." More on that storage later, I promise.
On the wellness product believer scale that goes from Complete-Skeptic-Who-Won't-Even-Try-A-New-Vitamin to Total-Embracer-Of-The-goop-Lifestyle, I fall somewhere in the middle. I get that to reach a conclusive verdict about a product's efficacy usually takes years of research and testing. To me, just because something doesn't have loads of scientific evidence behind it doesn't mean it absolutely won't work for someone (whether due to placebo effect or some other untested factor) — but it does mean I will be skeptical about it and won't necessarily expect it to be effective.
In other words, I'm down to try stuff that has at least been proven to not immediately kill the people who use it. With that parameter met, I embarked on a monthlong journey with Body Vibes.
The Body Vibes website has a very thorough FAQ page, but even after reading it several times, I still wasn't quite sure what the stickers were supposed to be doing to my body. So, I reached out to the brand's founders, who explained things to me further. "To put it simply: Body Vibes are frequency patches that work with your body’s electromagnetic field to communicate and enhance the body's natural energetic systems," co-founder Madison DeClercq tells me over email. "Once the sticker is applied, the body's electrical impulses begin to mimic the frequencies programmed into the sticker. An energy shift occurs when both get into the same rhythm. This process is known as sympathetic resonance."
The company claims that a technology called "bio energy synthesis" is what makes the patches work. (Body Vibes has a Technology page on its site that directs readers to the website of Energix, the research and development company behind the tech, that has more info on it.) Body Vibes co-founder Leslie Kritzer says she was introduced to the technology "through my husband, who was given bio-energy patches by his naturopath to help manage his pain from a rheumatoid arthritis flare up. After witnessing his transformation, I requested a few of these patches for my own struggle with chronic anxiety and fatigue and was impressed with the results."
I still wanted more clarity on exactly how the stickers work, so I also asked Richard Eaton, president and CEO of AlphaBio Centrix, the parent company of Energix, to break it down for me. "I wish I could give you a simple explanation on how the energy discs and the technology work, but there’s not a simple layman’s term," he says over email. Eaton goes on to explain that he believes "every living human being has a natural vibrating rate" and that these stickers "are programmed with harmonic frequency and co-mingle with the body’s energy field." Back on the Body Vibes FAQ page, the brand explains that "these frequencies are recorded, condensed, and stored within the Body Vibes sticker, in much the same way that you would save a file to your computer’s hard drive." According to Eaton, the discs have been "shown to improve the body’s ability to work more effectively." Basically, it's just generally supposed to make my body... better.
I asked about any third-party, peer-reviewed studies I could check out on my own. Eaton explains that independent research on bio energy-engineering has been happening since 1888 (you can read all about the men who conducted the research he mentions — Dr. Royal Raymond Rife, Robert Otto Becker, Georges Lakhovsky, and Fritz-Albert Popp — on the Energix website) but says that "unfortunately, at this time there are no known articles or journals that I have found that will give a conclusion to bio energy-engineering," the theory behind the discs.
Of course, I wanted some thoughts from outside the Body Vibes fam, too. Robin Berzin, MD, founder and CEO of Parsley Health, tells me she has never used Body Vibes before, nor is she aware of any third-party, peer-reviewed studies of the technology behind the stickers. "I would be hesitant to recommend them [to my patients,]" she says. "Things like anxiety and a lack of focus or energy, which Body Vibes stickers claim to help with, need to be treated by getting to the root of what is causing your anxiety or why you’re feeling zapped of energy." If you're experiencing changes in mood, Berzin recommends talking to your doctor before trying any at-home treatments. "Lifestyle changes such as nutrition, sleep, meditation, and exercise are more likely to help you resolve issues for the long-term," she explains.
So, not surprisingly, the brand swears by their products, while the medical doctor is quite a bit more skeptical about these crystal-infused stickers. With both extremes in my brain for consideration, I began my month-long Body Vibes Journey, hoping they'd give me that general "I'm better" feeling the brand's claims seem to indicate they'd have.
Each sticker is supposed to last 72 hours (through showering, sweating, and any other shenanigans you might get into) so I planned to change mine out every three days.
I asked DeClerq and Kritzer for some tips for getting the most out of the patches. They first and foremost suggest drinking at least two liters of water per day since, according to them, water conducts electricity and therefore should help transmit those frequencies into my body. DeClerq also says, "Wear the sticker on the left side of the body, close to the heart as research shows energy enters the left side of the body. Key placements are on the chest, the upper arm, or back of the shoulder."
Saturday, August 4
Since I am a beauty editor, I started with the Beauty stickers, which have a glorious unicorn on them. The brand's website promised they would "restore spiritual order" and that the sticker is "said to bring inner peace and strength, and to reflect light and beauty."
One major thing I learned from this experiment is that taking a photo of something on your own back is quite difficult. Still, here you can see the sticker poking out of my dress on my left shoulder blade, one of the spots the brand recommends sticking them.
Immediately after I put the sticker on, my left arm started aching. Like, a lot. I also felt a little nauseated, but that's fairly normal for me in the mornings. I have no idea if either of these things were related to the sticker, but both sensations went away after about an hour.
Sunday, August 5
Here's a photo of my sweaty back at the gym that proves these things really do stick.
The Body Vibes FAQ page cautions that "detox symptoms may occur as the added frequencies may cleanse the cells from toxins and inflammation. Some customers have experienced an emotional release as this is a common effect of many vibrational modalities such as energy reiki, massage, and acupuncture." On my second day of wearing the sticker, I was incredibly moody for no reason at all, which I chalked up to the "emotional release" the brand warned about.
Another side effect (of the sticker, or maybe just the fact that I was in a bad mood?) was feeling restless come bedtime. I usually fall asleep by 10:30 p.m. no matter how hard I try to stay awake to finish the episode of TV I'm watching, but on both Saturday and Sunday I was wide awake well past midnight.
Monday, August 6
I barely slept on Sunday night, but woke up feeling rested. I didn't crash midday as expected, even though the sticker did fall off my back right after lunch.
I was still feeling sort of cranky, which made me think my mood was tied more to a stressful week at work than the Body Vibes.
Tuesday, August 7
I applied another Beauty sticker in the morning. My mood was starting to improve, and I was getting sleepy at a normal time again. I have no idea if this was related to the stickers.
Friday, August 10
Just to see what happened, I switched my sticker placement to another recommended spot: on my left rib cage. I didn't notice any difference in how I felt, though it was slightly easier to take a photo of the sticker in this case.
Thursday, August 16
Throughout the week, I kept assuming that the stickers must have fallen off because I felt so decidedly the same as I always do. However, to the adhesive's credit, these ones stayed stuck for the full 72 hours. I decided it was time to try a new type of Vibe from a variety pack the brand sent me — one that had a clearer description of how it was supposed to affect my body and mood.
Friday, August 17
Leading up to the weekend, I put the energy sticker ("This frequency is said to assist with endurance and empowerment," the description reads) on my chest.
About five minutes after applying the sticker, I got shaky and sweaty, as if I'd chugged a couple cups of coffee. I felt sort of hot and shivery at the same time. Even though these weren't exactly pleasant sensations, I was excited to finally feel like something was happening — and that it might be because of the stickers. The jittery sensation evened out by the time I got to work an hour later, and I just felt generally alert throughout the day.
I assumed sleeping would be more difficult with this sticker, but if anything, I slept more soundly that night than I had in the past week and a half.
Was this actually jolting energy through my body? Was I experiencing extreme placebo effect? Were the shivers and shakiness caused by being just a little bit hungover from the birthday party I attended the night before? Did I sleep more soundly because my chakras had been aligned, or because it was Friday and my body was ready for a weekend off from work? Who the eff knows.
Saturday, August 18
I wore the energy sticker to a Renaissance Faire. It really helped add a touch of magic to my medieval look. Also, I didn't feel tired?
Sunday, August 19
One thing I definitely knew was caused by the sticker is the very mild allergic reaction I started having to the adhesive when it was on my chest. The site does warn that although the stickers are non-toxic and made from the same stuff as most adhesive bandages, people with sensitive skin might notice some irritation. Apparently, that's me. Although I'd had no issues when the Vibe was on my shoulder, my chest skin under the sticker turned a little red and began to itch.
Monday, August 20
To kick off week three of testing, I switched back to the shoulder placement, which hadn't been causing me any irritation. I also decided to try a new sticker: Focus, which has a sweet Illuminati-esque design. The Focus Vibe is supposed to "increase productivity. This frequency is thought to enhance creativity, communication and mental acuity." I did have a very productive morning; I had a ton of things to get done before our September issue launched the following morning, and I had no problem staying on track. Of course, I didn't really have a choice since I was so pressed for time, but I'm happy to believe the sticker had something to do with my productivity since I want to stay on our overlords' good sides for when the New World Order takes over.
Thursday, August 23
Perhaps because I was starting to feel sad about summer coming to an end, I decided to try the At The Beach sticker next. According to its product page, this one is supposed to "harmonize relationships. This frequency is said to heal conflict and to connect us to others." I asked the Body Vibes team for a little extra insight on this one. "At The Beach is a wonderful option for city dwellers and people who are not able to get out in nature too often," DeClerq explains. "Our bodies are designed to resonate with natural frequencies from nature, ie trees, flowers, and water. As electrical beings, humans become more grounded and balanced when in nature and near water, so this Frequency is great if you want to feel calm and at ease."
I wasn't going through any particularly notable conflicts in August and I actually do get out into nature fairly frequently, so this may not have been the best sticker for me. I felt exactly no change in my physical or mental self while wearing it.
Monday, August 27
For my next experience, I went with the Self Love sticker — the brand's second most popular seller after Anti-Anxiety, according to DeClerq — which is supposed to "assist with transformation and miracles." While my mood was generally untransformed, we did get to order the most delicious pizza for lunch during a shoot and it arrived in under 30 minutes, which I consider fairly close to miraculous during the NYC lunchtime delivery rush. Sadly, the sticker fell off shortly after I had finished my food, and no further miracles occurred that afternoon.
Tuesday, August 28
Thanks to Labor Day and the day-long shoot I had on Monday, this week was a short work week. In anticipation of being fully stressed out, I decided to try the Anti-Anxiety sticker. The alleged effect of this one might seem straightforward based on the name, but the site says it's specifically supposed to "to help transform fear into forgiveness." I was fully ready to forgive myself for fearing I wouldn't get my work done by 3 p.m. on Friday.
I put the sticker on my chest, since that seemed the be the most effective, based on my energy experience. My morning started out as stressful as predicted. Who knows if I would have felt even more anxiety if I wasn't wearing the sticker, but I definitely wasn't calm through Tuesday.
Thursday, August 30
The Anti-Anxiety sticker started to get itchy, just like the Energy one had when I put it on my chest. Eventually, I absentmindedly scratched it off.
Friday, August 31
For my final seven days of testing, I decided to try "cocktailing" a couple of the stickers, which is another technique the Body Vibes site recommends. To start, I mixed the Beauty and Energy stickers. I still think the Energy sticker was the one I may have seen the most effect from, though I didn't notice the same immediate result as I did the first time I wore it. I rocked this combo until Sunday night, at which point the Energy sticker fell off and I was left with just the Beauty one. I noticed no difference between when I had two stickers and just one on my back.
Tuesday, September 4
For my last three days of testing, I wanted to cocktail the two wildest looking stickers: the previously mentioned Focus sticker with the Illuminati-esque symbol, and the Flower Power, which is "programmed with frequencies from the hemp plant" and has said plant as its design. I put the Flower Power sticker on my chest (I wasn't in the mood to have people asking me why I had a weed sticker on my back) and the Focus sticker on my shoulder. I felt incredibly agitated all morning, though I did get a lot of work done. The guidelines on the Flower Power packaging cautioned that "some customers have experienced an emotional release as this is a common effect of many vibrational modalities such as energy reiki, massage, and acupuncture." That could certainly explain my crankiness, which seemed to subside by the afternoon.
After my 30-day journey with Body Vibes, I can confidently say that one experience was consistent: having friends and strangers say "Oh, you have a sticker on you!" and pull it off me.
Otherwise, I'm still not sure how much of an effect these had on my mood or health or general "bettering" of my body's harmonic frequencies. There were definitely moments where it felt like something was happening — like the brief shakiness after putting on the Energy sticker, or the productivity that happened on the same day I first tried the Focus sticker. But as with most things in this space, it's hard to tell if those moments were pure coincidence. I won't pretend that the fact that this supposedly groundbreaking technology of bio energy synthesis has reportedly been around for over 200 years, yet no one has bothered to do any true scientific research on the topic, doesn't make me extra skeptical.
However, in my reporting for this piece, I also didn't find any research saying the technology definitively doesn't work — and that feels promising. During my time wearing the discs, I certainly didn't feel any serious negative effects. If you're excited about trying every buzzy new wellness product and in the mood to play with some holographic stickers, there are probably worse ways to spend $60.