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Can a shirt really improve your posture?

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Try this on for size: there's a shirt that helps your posture - all you need to do is put it on.

It sounds too good to be true. Yet the "Posture Shirt," made by Alignmed, reportedly does just that.

According to a recent article in USA Today, the list of well-known Posture Shirt wearers reads like the who's who of professional athletes: Peyton Manning, Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and several Kansas City Royals pitchers have all donned the shirt.

But does it work? And is it any good for the rest of us who aren't professional athletes? Our founding partner, Frank N. Darras, put the shirt to the test - and even he was surprised by what he experienced.

How it works

"Posture shirts do basically the same work as kinesio tape - the black strips seen pulling Olympians' shoulders and backs into place on the volleyball court. Unlike the tape, there's no precise spots or application - just put the shirt on. Variable stretch sections in the back of the shirt - the company calls them "neurobands" - work on the postural muscles in the upper body, including stimulating the muscles to hold your shoulder blades pressed against your rib cage." (via USA Today)

To put it in the words of Alignmed, the shirts-and their neurobands-use controlled resistance to train the body to do things it should be doing correctly and to maintain good posture.

Alignmed currently has five different products available for men and seven available for women. The company makes product recommendations based on what ails you - such as arthritis, chronic fatigue, and scoliosis - but says that their products aren't just for pro athletes or those with an injury or physical ailment.

Who should wear them?

Although the shirts have gained attention because pro athletes wear them, they're not even the ideal customer. If you sit for prolonged periods-say, while driving or at a computer-then you could benefit from Alignmed.

You probably know that prolonged sitting isn't good for you. It can cause discomfort, numbness and spine misalignment - and even lead to cardiovascular disease, pinched nerves, and a myriad of other physical injuries.

The posture shirt isn't a magical solution to these problems. However, the way it stimulates muscles to practice proper position throughout the day could alleviate pain or even prevent injuries associate with misalignment. The potential benefits of wearing the posture shirt make it worth exploring. That's why Frank N. Darras, founding partner of DarrasLaw, put it to the test.

The test

When Frank Darras heard about the posture shirt, he thought it was too good to be true. It took a referral from a trusted source to give the shirt a second look.

"I heard about the posture shirt from our firm's stockbroker and pension analyst," Darras says. "He saw an article in USA Today and raved about how much he loved the way his posture improved and his back pain diminished."

The stockbroker liked the shirt so much that he bought two more - that way, when one was in the washer, he still had another ready to wear.

"I thought if my buddy-a former elite football player-and athletes across all professional sports were touting the benefits, it couldn't hurt to add it to my Ironman training routine," Darras says. "Honestly, I thought once you put the shirt on, it would be more mental than physical. But I was dead wrong. I wore mine the first time for three hours and it felt fantastic."

Darras is currently training for the IRONMAN Canada. Since he'll be in the water for the first 2.4 miles, followed by a 112 mile bicycle ride and finishes with a full marathon, Darras says he needs all the upper and lower back support he can get.

"The fit, the feel and the effects of this shirt were awesome," he says. "I was skeptical at first but I'm pleased with the support I felt in just a short time of wearing the shirt."

How to get it

Alignmed products can be purchased directly from their website. However, as they're considered medical devices, their products may also be obtained through a prescription.

Prices vary depending on the product and what it's meant to do. The most affordable shirt costs $95, but you can also purchase customized versions at a higher cost.

Fortunately, in his research and purchase of the posture shirt, Darras uncovered a deal by using the code DOPEL, which provided 10% off your purchase.

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"Everyone who seeks a product like this should have the opportunity to afford it," Darras says. "Whether you are an elite athlete, sitting at a desk or training for an IRONMAN this thing is incredibly helpful."

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