Fox News National article as it appeared on May 20, 2015, by Melinda Carstensen.
Wearable technology may improve sleep, endurance and chronic pain
Sixty-three-year-old David Baker made a living driving tractor trailers in the South for 40 years. But when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2006, the condition meant the days he could still operate the equipment, much less walk without stumbling, were numbered.
Baker went on disability two years after his diagnosis, at which point he began to rely on a walker. Today, however, Baker can stand strong, most often without assistance— a capability due in large part, he said, to a bracelet infused with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) that he has worn since 2013.
Baker is one of about 30,000 people worldwide who is using the device, which was created by Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based company Active Edge. PEMF works by pulsing electromagnetic waves through the body to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. PEMFT has been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for decades, but Active Edge said its products are the first to offer these health benefits via wearable technology.
Gainesville, Fla.-based InBalance Technologies created the specialized PEMF technology that can be infused into fabric, and began collaborating with Active Edge CEO and founder Kurt Walchle after being introduced by a mutual contact through the Navy Seal Foundation.
Walchle and his wife, Melissa, had made a name for themselves in the U.S. military community for their success with Survival Straps, the couple’s previous venture which has resulted in the sale of over 1 million paracord bracelets— multipurpose bands that can be used to create shelter, traps for food, fire and more if the wearer is stranded in the outdoors— in the past six years. The Walchles began that company about eight years ago.
When Walchle heard about the potential business opportunity with InBalance, he was skeptical. But when he tested the technology himself and began sleeping better, having reduced pain in his elbow and more endurance while running, he was sold, and decided to embed the technology in the same material used to make Survival Straps.
“Our Survival Straps products have been credited with saving lives,” Walchle told FoxNews.com. “Then this technology comes along, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, is this for real? What an incredible way that we can not just help people when there’s an emergency and they really need it, but we can improve people’s quality of life.’ I thought, ‘What a gift.’”
Putting Active Edge to the test
Active Edge offers PEMFT through its necklace and performance bracelet, each which are sold on its website for about $60, as well as through its fusion belt, which goes for about $65. For now, its products are marketed as performance enhancers, but the company is working with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct separate clinical trials that can provide scientific evidence that the devices also reduce inflammation and offer a direct medical benefit. By testing its products through the DoD, Active Edge is aiming to avoid the time and money often involved in earning FDA approval— a process that could cost millions of dollars and upwards of 10 years, Walchle said.
Over the past four years, Active Edge has run about 25 independent clinical trials involving nearly 2,500 men and women between ages 18 and 82. Tests suggest the product results in a 17 percent average increase in range of motion, a 12 percent average increase in grip strength, an 8 percent average reduction in fatigue with an increase in REM restorative sleep time, and a 23 percent increase in oxygen intake.
Two separate, small clinical trials have been conducted at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in an effort to show the technology has an effect on blood flow and inflammation with thermal imaging evidence.
Robert Erickson, medical director of Gainesville Thermogarphy, in Gainesville, Fla., who supervised the studies at the University of Florida, said both trials revealed the technology changed temperature differentials and resulted in thermal imaging differences in study participants who wore them.
“In some way, this electromagnetic energy is interacting indirectly or directly with the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the involuntary nervous system,” Erickson told FoxNews.com.
The involuntary nervous system ends at the dermatome, located on the skin’s surface, which can be analyzed with thermography to study inflammation in different parts of the body including the spine, the liver and the kidneys, Erickson said. Thermography looks at temperature changes due to sympathetic nervous system changes.
“Unlike an X-ray that penetrates through the organ, [with thermography], you can get a view of what’s going on inside the body,” Erickson said.
During the first trial, a double-blind study, Erickson and a thermographer had four people wear headbands. Two headbands were treated and two were not.
The thermographer took the participants’ thermal images at baseline three minutes prior to putting on the headbands and again three minutes after wearing them.
After a separate medical company interpreted the findings, results suggested thermal changes and decreases in temperature differentials among people wearing both the untreated and treated headband, but that those changes were most statistically significant among those people wearing the treated version.
In a follow-up study involving an additional seven patients, Erickson analzyed how the technology affected thermal imaging on certain parts of the body when pulsed through other material: T-shirts, socks and wristbands.
He and the thermographer used digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) scans of people not wearing the treated technology as a baseline to compare imaging before and after wearing the devices.
Participants wore the treated devices anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, and again— this time through their own analysis— Erickson noted statistically significant differences in thermal imaging and temperature with the various materials.
“We’re ultimately composed of atoms,” Erickson said. “The electromagnetic environment can have a physiological effect on the body.”
None of the participants in either study reported any adverse side effects from the devices, nor did they feel the electromagnetic currents being generated through the material.
The research involving Active Edge’s embedded technology has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.
The future of Active Edge
The DoD is currently testing Active Edge technology and the preliminary results are “outstanding,” Walchle said, but, due to a confidentiality agreement, he could not reveal more information.
“We’ve figured out how to shoot radio frequencies at a product that will attach to the cell wall and stay within the product— and that’s a big deal,” Walchle said.
Walchle added that while the FDA has approved the use of PEMF devices that can be used only about 200 times, some Active Edge products have six-year-old technology that still work.
As the DoD continues to test the technology, Active Edge is aiming to have at least a half of a million products on the market within the next year, Walchle said. For now, the company is preparing to release its next product, the Active Edge Sleep Shirt, online Wednesday. The shirts will be sold for $49.
Walchle, who said he’s struggled with restlessness since he can remember, falls asleep quicker and stays asleep more soundly with Active Edge technology.
“I’ll sleep seven to eight hours now, and it is the craziest thing to me,” said Walchle, who added that the company’s independently run clinical trials suggest 80 percent of the people who wear the devices notice improved sleep.
Paul Tesori, of Ponte Vedra, Fla., has spent his entire life playing golf and the past 15 years caddying. Tesori told FoxNews.com that his Active Edge bracelet has reduced joint pain and helped increase the fluidity of his golf swing.
“I made a ‘1’ the other day and said if I break seven today, I’ll become a part owner,” Tesori, 43, joked.
Philip Gordon, 54, of Gainesville, Fla., works at a local country club and enjoys playing basketball in his spare time. He’s been wearing the Active Edge bracelet for about a year.
“When I don’t have it on, it seems like I get tired quicker,” he said. “When I put it on, it seems like I can play longer … and from my energy level, it seems like I get a second wind.”
As for Baker, the former tractor trailer driver, the technology has reduced his tremors so much that he seldom uses his walker anymore. He has also been able to change the oil in his pickup truck and even rebuild the deck in his backyard.
“I’m doing more,” Baker told FoxNews.com. “I’m more energetic now, and I know that I won’t stumble and fall. I’ve got more confidence now.”
Survival Straps™ Stories
Survival Straps® was very fortunate last Friday to host the Wounded Warrior Project® Soldier Ride here at our offices in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Over 50 Wounded Warriors showed up and rode more than 40 miles over 3 days. They are all healing from things like physical injuries, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress. To witness these men and women suiting up, interacting with each other and encouraging each other was a thing of beauty. They were an incredible inspiration, not only to us, but to every person they rode by.
At the end of the ride on Friday they presented us with a WWP flag in which all the Warriors signed. We will cherish this flag forever. We have been pretty outspoken about our support for the men and women in uniform. And yes we have donated money and lots of products to try and help. But when a Warrior comes up to you, shakes your hand and thanks you for helping and being a voice for them, it will knock your socks off. Survival Straps® will continue to do everything we possibly can to help support these incredible men and women.
Thank you for believing in our mission to make great products in the USA that help to support America's Heroes. Doing business with us over the last 8 years has enabled us to be involved in things like Soldier Ride to try and help make a difference. Thank You!
In light of the blizzards that have recently been circulating, we thought we would share a story of how Survival Straps saved the day in a snowy situation:
Casey out of Jacksonville, Florida wrote:
My husband, Troy, and his co-worker/friend, Eric, are Supervisors for a Gold Mine in Alaska. Part of their job is to hike in to the wilderness to stake new claims and test new equipment. Back in April, they had to hike several miles, over mountain ridges and through the Alaskan Wilderness in an attempt to capture a cell signal to bounce back to camp. There was only one pair of modern snowshoes, so they took the antique pair off of the lodge wall for Eric to use. Several miles into their hike, the bottom of Eric’s snow shoes fell apart.
Turning around and trying to trudge back through the 4-inch-plus deep snow without the shoes was NOT an option. Troy knew he had to do something, so he sacrificed his Survival Strap to use, along with branches from the trees, to fix the snow shoes. Because of the paracord, they were able to fashion a makeshift bottom to the shoe, continue their work and complete the hike back to camp!
Have any cool stories about how you use your Survival Strap? Don’t forget to let us know! Email us your story with pictures to stories@.
Don’t have a Survival Strap yet? Get yours here: www.survivalstraps.com
“I’ve owned the firefighter survival bracelet for over a year and deployed it for the first time yesterday. When a 16 year old fell over 60 feet from a waterfall and landed on a rocky outcropping, my fire department was dispatched to respond. I hiked in with the engine and rescue companies to begin treating the patient, who suffered serious injury and required chest decompression in the field. While the high angle rescue team was setting up to hoist the patient out, we used my survival bracelet to help shuttle medical equipment to the patient’s side. A fantastic product that performed exactly as I expected. Thank you for such a well-made, American product!
You never know when your SurvivalStraps gear will come in handy. Our American-made gear is built from military grade 550 paracord and is so tough it can move 200 pound logs to rescue people who are pinned under them! Read Adrienne Wimmer’s story below of how her Survival Strapped saved her 4th of July. We’re glad she was strapped!
Hello my name is Adrienne Wimmer and my husband and I purchased the bracelet. As a medic it was an extra tool for me. Unfortunately I had to use it this 4th of July.
We live in Currituck, North Carolina on the water. We had a horrible storm come through a few days before blowing debris all over. On July 4th we were swimming and jetsking and tubing when my 13 year old daughter Alexis stepped on something very sharp. It ended up being a huge log weighing well over 200lbs! The adults and my daughter were floating it up to remove it when it slipped and pinned her lower leg under the water. She started to panic and was screaming so I undid my strap and made a loop and tied a knot slipped it around the end of the logg and she was free. Without this things could have been very bad and she could have been seriously hurt. Thank god I had this. Pictures attached of the water. The log out of the water with strap attached and my daughter.
Every day at Survival Straps we receive word from a customer or two who has used his or her Survival Straps gear in an emergency! Have you used your Survival Strap recently? Send us your story and some pictures and we’ll send you a replacement strap. Just shoot us an email (stores@), or send us a letter-the long handed way-to 1106 A1A N, Suite 100, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, 32082 with your information and we’ll get back to you. Here’s a story from our friend Beth of hows she used her strap during a Half Ironman!
T-minus 30 minutes until race time (5am) of the Half Ironman Florida 70.3 we noticed a missing piece of equipment to secure a water bottle to our athlete’s bike. After searching for possible fixes, the one and only true cure was my survival strap (light duty survival strap with plastic clasp). The survival strap was able to affix the bottle to the bike effectively. The athlete completed a 56 mile bike course without the bottle budging at all and claiming that the survival strap worked better than the normal rubber band mechanism. Thanks for a wonderful product we are looking forward to finding an even more awesome way of using it again!
Every day at Survival Straps we receive word from a customer or two who has used his or her Survival Straps gear in an emergency! Have you used your Survival Strap recently? Send us your story and some pictures and we’ll send you a replacement strap. Just shoot us an email (stores@), or send us a letter-the long hand way to 1106 A1A N, Suite 100, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, 32082 with your information and we’ll get back to you. Here’s a story from our friend Jeff of how he’s used his strap!
My name is Jeff Bova and I am the Transportation Captain for a new television series called “Longmire”.
We are shooting the television show in and around the Santa Fe, NM area and as such, move great distances between locations. We move a lot at night after working 16 or more hours. Two nights ago we were moving from Las Vegas, NM to Glorietta, NM and I was working on getting the last two cast trailers on the move to the next location. Of course nothing goes wrong until the middle of the night, with limited resources and time. The last trailer’s light cord wouldn’t stay connected and we can’t drive 50 miles with no lights at 11pm. After trying unsuccessfully to jam the connection in, I finally sacrificed my survival straps bracelet, which I use as a medical alert bracelet, to tie the connector in place. We made the move successfully with no further problems and thanks to the rigging of the umbilical, no ticket from the New Mexico State Police. I purchased the survival strap first, because of your support of the wounded warrior program, but also because of the business that I am in and to use as a medical alert identification tag. I thank you for a great product and for your support of our wounded veterans. I will be placing my order for a replacement today.
Indebted to your company,
Jeffrey P Bova
“Longmire” Television Series for the A&E Network/Sheppard-Robin Productions.
Wear it. Unravel it. Survive it.
It’s always exciting to read Survival Stories and see pictures that our customers send in via email (stories@) or in a good old-fashioned letter. Here’s a story we received yesterday of how our handy, 550 military spec paracord bracelet helped to save Troy Curnow’s hide while he was hiking in Alaska:
“I purchased a survival strap for my husband (the wilderness adventurer) while we were living in Colorado. We moved back to Jax, Fl last year, and come to find out you guys were based here all along! That’s besides the point, though, because my husband left in February to work on a Gold Mine in Alaska, and actually had to use his survival strap in a survival situation! Here’s his story:
My husband, Troy, and his co-worker/friend, Eric, are Supervisors for a Gold Mine in Alaska. Part of their job is to hike into the wilderness to stake new claims, and test new equipment. Back in April, they had to hike several miles, over mountain ridges and through the Alaskan Wilderness in an attempt to capture a cell signal to bounce back to the camp. There was only 1 pair of modern snowshoes, so they took the antique pair off of the lodge wall for Eric to use.
Several miles into their hike, the bottom of Eric’s snow shoes fell apart. Turning around and trying to trudge back through the 4+’ deep snow with out the shoes was NOT an option. Troy knew he had to do something, so he sacrificed his Survival Strap to use, along with branches from the trees, to fix the snow shoes.
Because of the paracord, they were able to fashion a makeshift bottom to the shoe, continue their work and complete the hike back to camp!
How have you used your Survival Straps gear? Send your pictures and stories to stories@. If you use it, we’ll replace it-for free! How’s that for a lifetime warranty?
We love the Survival Stories customers send into us about the many incredible ways they have used their Survival Straps gear. Here’s a great story from Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 3rd Class, Kirk Lites, of how his Survival Strap helped him out!
My name is Kirk Lites. I am currently serving in the United States Navy as a Master-at-Arms, and am currently located in Sicily, Italy. I ordered a Survival Strap bracelet from your company about a month ago and was actually excited to be able to use it a few days ago. Here is the story as to why I broke the bracelet down:
It all started as a regular day at work, get up before the sun, arm up, take over the watch at the main gate here on base. About 2 hours into our shift my supervisor began to have trouble opening a drawer full of M9s in our weapons safe. After about an hour of pulling and prying on the drawer to little or no avail, we had to call the duty armorer (the safe expert) to see if there was anything he would be able do to get this drawer open. He arrived and he again tried pulling and prying, event went so far as to borrow as ASP baton from another sentry to lodge in the drawer for leverage to pry it open. Still nothing. He takes a step back, scratches his head and says “You know, we could really use some 550 paracord right about now.” Lucky us because I carry 2 of your straps in my duty bag. I say to him “I actually have some in a bracelet that I ordered from survivalstraps.com!” We went back and forth for a second about how he didnt want to break up my bracelet, and I explained to him your websites policy. Finally he gave in and allowed me to use my bracelet. Once we got the cord out and ready to go The duty armorer, myself, and another gate sentry all 3 began to pull on the weapons drawer and after 4 good tugs the drawer slid open and we were able to continue our daily duties as gate sentries. The drawer actually had an M9 handgun lodged between the top of the safe and a hinge on the back side of the drawer. We may have damaged the weapon, but all in all, your bracelet kept us from having to take apart the safe as well as the drawer to remove the weapon that was stuck!
Thanks for your support of the military and a quality bracelet!!
Kirk E. Lites, Jr. “
Have you used your survival strap? Send us your story and a picture of how you’ve used your Survival Straps gear and we’ll replace it for free (shoot us an email at stories@)!
We love to hear stories from our customers of how they’ve used their Survival Straps® gear in an emergency! Have a story? Email it with photos to stories@!
“Howdy fine folks at Survival Straps! My sister got me and my brothers these bracelets for christmas, and I finally have a cool story as to how I used mine.