Three grown men recently gyrated their wands inches above my lower back while I laid facedown on a red couch. Every few minutes they asked me whether I was “feeling anything.” They were hoping that twirling stainless-steel tubes full of “granulated minerals” over my body would relieve an ailment that has caused me niggling yet constant nerve pain for years. It had no discernable effect on my discomfort, but hundreds of people across the world believe these wands contain a powerful healing energy.
My wanding experience took place inside a charming 100-year-old house in Mount Vernon, New York. The homeowner, 39-year-old Paul Saenz, had invited me there for a demonstration of the AMwand, one of the many wellness products manufactured by the multilevel marketing company Amega Global. Paul is a part-time musician, a father of two, and the founder of Resonance Technology Global, through which he sells products from Amega and other companies. He acquired his first AMwand (which retails for about $305) in mid-March and became an Amega distributor soon after.
Upon entering Paul’s house, I walked in on two men vigorously wanding a third in the living room. I watched and awkwardly asked a few questions about exactly what was going on before introducing myself. The first-time wandee was Mike Joyce, and the wanders were his older brother John (aka Juicecan) and his buddy Pers Van Kragg. When I asked Mike whether he sensed anything emanating from the wand, he claimed that he felt some “general tingliness” around his back and head. Mike interrupted him to explain that it was the “subatomic stimulation of cells.” This statement made me uneasy, and I casually drifted into the kitchen to meet the rest of the guests.
Paul and his wife, Cheryl, had gathered a small group of friends and acquaintances who had varying levels of interest in Amega and its products. Some already owned or had access to wands, which they unanimously praised. Of course, Paul was eager to demonstrate the wand’s myriad abilities. After a round of introductions, we moved to his backyard to conduct a wanded-wine taste test.
The wine, Paul told me, was the cheapest his wife could find, which supposedly would make the wand’s effects all the more apparent. He set two empty glasses on the patio table and filled them. Pers and Juicecan, both wand owners, claimed that wanding wine of any caliber enhances its flavor. Paul, who moments earlier was wanding a cigarette to remove impurities, chimed in and said that he wands just about every beverage: “I have tried it with wine, water, soda, and fruit juice. It kind of takes away that back-end bitter taste.” He then filled the two glasses with wine, pushed one to the opposite side of the table, and began twirling his wand in tight clockwise circles inches above the liquid inside the chosen glass. This lasted for about five minutes. After Paul was finished, I sampled the unwanded wine. It had the bouquet of poorly aged swill and coated my tongue with bitterness. I then drank from the wanded cup. It was subtle, but it did seem to be a tad less acidic. In hindsight the improved taste could have been due to the powers of persuasion (and the fact that the second sip of any wine will taste better after the alcohol dulls your taste buds), but I was intrigued all the same…
[continues at VICE]