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(NanoVi Photos)

A Seattle startup that sells a device to help bodily cells recover has accumulated some big-name endorsements.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd is a fan of NanoVi and he recently converted his All-Star colleague Miguel Cabrera. The device has also drawn praise from biohackers, race car drivers and competitive cyclists.

The shoebox-sized NanoVi creates “structured water vapor,” a misty air that carries a signal meant to help cells perform better. The idea is to lower oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses in the body that naturally occurs following exercise.

Eng3, the startup that makes NanoVi, claims that the device can reduce the amount of blood lactate buildup in the body during a workout, lead to faster muscle recovery, improve immune system markers and reduce inflammation.

Kirk Bradshaw, who owns the Bellevue, Wash.-based Athletic Training Institute where Boyd trains, said he’s “a big naysayer” on most new sports medicine gadgets. But he was won over after using the Nanovi and reading up on the science behind the device. Bradshaw said that his athletes have reported sleeping better, feeling more refreshed and recovering faster.

Bradshaw said one of the goals of the institute is “to callous the human body to handle more stress.” In addition to the NanoVi, the center uses hyperbaric oxygen therapy, red light therapy and an infrared sauna to promote recovery.

Eng3 has around 10 employees and was self-funded by co-founders Hans Eng and Rowena Gates. Eng founded the company in 2003 but didn’t begin selling the NanoVi until 2010.

“Everything that gets done in the body is done by proteins,” said Gates. “NanoVi influences cellular water in a way that makes it possible for proteins to fold more regularly.”

Boyd, who first used the device following surgery four years ago, said that he has kept it in his recovery protocol ever since. The company said Boyd nor the other athletes were paid for their endorsements.

People interested in the potential anti-aging effects have also embraced the device. Bob Troia, a biohacker and blogger, tracked his body’s progress while using NanoVi. Of the experience, Troia wrote that “almost instantly I began to experience improvements in both my strength workouts as well as endurance.” Troia also said that his levels of oxidative stress went down and that he lost weight.

Eng3 sells the recovery devices directly to consumers as well as to fitness and wellness centers both in the U.S. and internationally. The baseline model costs $5,000 and the most powerful version, which was recently released, is $14,000.

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