Saturday, May 2, 2009

Belbin & Agosto: Guinea-Pig Time on "Rachael Ray"

You might have heard that Belbin & Agosto put in an appearance on Rachael Ray’s daytime talk show this past week—not to cook, but to participate in what was called a “Human Lab” to study the effects of different products on back pain. I don’t watch RR, but I taped Belgosto’s episode. Here’s a synopsis:

+ The subjects in the Human Lab were Laura Wilkinson (Olympic Platform Diver), Peter Vidmar (Olympic Gymnast from 1984; the oldest “subject” by far), and Belgosto.

+ All subjects discussed their chronic back pain… Belgosto mentioned they’ve been together now for 11 years. (And their backs have bothered them all along.)

+ Each subject received a product/device of some kind that they were asked to try for some undisclosed period of time. Wilkinson’s product was called the Back 2 Life Therapeutic Massager, Vidmar’s was the Dr. Bakst Magnetic Back Support, and Belgosto’s was called the StressRoller.

+ Wilkinson’s Back2Life was a motorized device that let her lay on her back while her legs were elevated and eased back and forth, gradually relaxing the lower back muscles. She said it wasn’t a cure-all, but it worked well as far as loosening her up was concerned.

+ Vidmar’s magnetic back support was a device worn under clothes; the magnets were supposed to work in a way that alleviated pain (OK, it was much more detailed than that but I wasn’t paying complete attention). He said he liked the support and the “warming sensation” he got from wearing the device… he also appreciated its convenience (claiming he even wore it when he was sleeping).

+ Belgosto’s StressRoller looked very much like two tennis balls encased in black rubber, but, um… surely there was more to it than that :-) They both thought it worked quite well—footage was shown of them rolling with it on the floor, as well as standing up against a wall. They liked that it traveled easily, was very user-friendly, and said they’d recommend it to other skaters, adding that other skaters were watching them use it at competitions.

+ Finally, they brought all the Olympians out to recap their experiences while a back pain specialist was on set with Rachael Ray to explain how each device produced its results. When it came to the StressRoller, the expert as much as said the device is essentially 2 tennis balls taped together (ha!), but it’s a strategy that seems to produce good results. For their part, Belgosto said they’d tried in the past to manipulate tennis balls in a sock, but it was very awkward compared to the StressRoller.

+ Oh, and later in the show Ms. Ray cooked up a Spanish-style meal of chicken & rice & green beans & olives. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that in an RR recap, right?)

So… operators are surely standing by somewhere if you’d like to purchase the StressRoller, for yourself or a friend, for only $19.95. Get it now, before Belgosto gets roped into an infomercial deal with them and the price shoots up as a result!

The segment hasn’t made it to You Tube yet, so instead I’ve got Belgosto’s recent Worlds FD as the
Clip of the Day.

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