How-To Guide For ReliefBand 1.5

by ReliefBand | September 12, 2017

After years of nausea, and probably more than a little retching and vomiting, you’ve ordered your very first Reliefband®. Congratulations!

Now, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of how to use Reliefband® to get maximum effectiveness for you.

Positioning Reliefband® properly on your wrist is essential for relief of your nausea, retching, and vomiting symptoms. Before you start using Reliefband®, please read the Instructions for Use carefully. You must feel stimulation in your palm and/or middle fingers for Reliefband® to work.

There’s a specific spot on the underside of your wrist where ReliefBand® needs to be positioned.



Find the starting area on the wrist. Using either wrist, the correct area is between the two tendons on the underside of the wrist – two finger-widths above the wrist crease farthest from your elbow.



Before positioning your Reliefband®, clean the area first. Once the area is clean, apply a small drop of gel and spread it in a circle about the size of a large coin with an even sheen (i.e., a thin layer with a shiny appearance).



Place the device over the gelled area and attach it to the wrist. Fasten the device snugly. Press the power button in the center of the device to turn it on. Starting at power level 1, increase stimulation until tingling is felt through median nerve in palm and middle finger at a comfortable level. Press the power button in the center of the device for 3 seconds to turn it off.

When to use Reliefband®?

You can use your Reliefband® either before or after your nausea, retching, and vomiting symptoms start and leave it on for as long as your symptoms last.

If you are highly susceptible to motion sickness, apply Reliefband® one half hour before a motion sickness event (e.g., riding in a car, airplane, or boat).

How can you be sure you’ve found the area for maximum stimulation?

After the device is turned on, move it slightly up or down, and side to side on the wrist until the maximum “tingling” feeling is felt. You will feel a tingling sensation in your palm and/or middle fingers when Reliefband® is in the proper wrist location.

Stimulation will cycle every four seconds. If little or no tingling is felt after moving it around, increase the power level to the next level of stimulation. This device has five levels of stimulation: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (level 5 is the highest setting).

On which wrist should you wear Reliefband®?

On the wrist that gives you the greatest tingling in the hand at the lowest stimulation level.

Is dry or sensitive skin a problem?

For dry skin, the gel may be lightly applied more often. If you have especially sensitive skin, switch wrists every 2-3 hours. Be sure to re-apply gel as directed.

And that’s it! Please read your Instructions For Use, and let us know if you have any questions.

Now go, and live your life in full motion!

 

Congrats, Kate Middleton – now here’s something to help your Hyperemesis

Like me, Kate Middleton has two children already - and I congratulate her on the great news today that she is expecting her third, writes Deborah O'Sullivan.



As previously reported, Kate suffers badly with hyperemesis, a serious debilitating pregnancy complication.

ReliefBand can be used as part of the treatment regime for hyperemesis, providing extra comfort and helping pregnant women to function again during their pregnancies.

A recent customer of ours was receiving injections three times a week on top of her oral anti-emetics.

Upon using ReliefBand - a non-invasive drug-free clinically proven wearable device - she's now back at work and enjoying her pregnancy again.

That's why we have just gifted a ReliefBand to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. It's gone via our couriers today.

 

 

Wearable technology offers pregnant women relief from the ‘scourge of morning sickness’

When an Irish nurse suffered badly with morning sickness during two pregnancies, the only ‘cure’ she could find came from America – now she’s bringing the solution to other expectant mothers in Ireland.

Deborah O’Sullivan, Geesala, Co. Mayo, discovered that wearing ReliefBand, an innovative product that sufferers wear on their wrists like a watch, offered her badly-needed relief from her pregnancy sickness.

“It allowed me to control my excruciating nausea and vomiting without medication and without delay,” said Deborah. Now four years later, Deborah has secured exclusive distribution rights for ReliefBand in Ireland and the UK.

“Morning sickness was a scourge for me, just as it is for many other mothers. First of all, it is wrongly named, because it lasts all day, not just for the morning,” said Deborah, a qualified Intensive Care Nurse with vast additional experience in Medical Sales.

“And while some people only suffer for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it is not uncommon for mothers to experience morning sickness right throughout their pregnancies. Any woman who has experienced morning sickness will never forget the seemingly endless cycle of vomiting, nausea and dizziness.”

ReliefBand, developed by ReliefBand Technologies, is a wearable device that uses clinically proven technology called neuromodulation to treat morning sickness. The technology was developed for use in hospitals and uses the body’s own natural neural pathways to “turn off” nausea. It has Federal Drug Authority (FDA) clearance.

“When I used ReliefBand during my second pregnancy I was amazed by the results. My sister in law bought it in America for me. I put it on my wrist and I had positive results within minutes – I immediately felt better. I was particularly impressed by the fact that it is a drug-free solution. Pregnant women don’t want to be putting drugs into their body and, anyway, none of the pharmaceutical companies are interested in drug solutions.

“Last year, I noticed that ReliefBand was only available in America, and I approached the company as an enthusiastic previous user to see if I could distribute it here in Ireland and in the UK. They were very interested in that prospect and I recently secured exclusive rights.”

ReliefBand works by generating programme pulses that stimulate the median nerve on the arm. The generated signals travel via the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system, and the higher emetic centre of the brain.

The signals modulate the natural neural pathways between the brain and the stomach, via the vagus nerve, restoring normal gastric rhythm and relieving nausea and vomiting. Users of the product have described how ReliefBand “made my pregnancy bearable” and “totally changed my life”. It retails at €129, including next-day delivery by registered post anywhere in Ireland. It can be purchased at www.relief-band.co.uk.

“When people purchase ReliefBand, our customer service line is available to answer any questions they have about how to place it on their hands, how to set the pulse level, and how to use the conductivity gel that protects the skin added Deborah.

“The feedback here and in the USA is that it works for about 90 per cent of women, which is really phenomenal.”

https://youtu.be/PjvQ7UMUAHI

ReliefBand Eliminates Gaming Nausea

Motion sickness is one of the few things that still worries me about VR taking off in a big way. Every person is different, and while I don't get particularly motion sick, there are plenty of people close to me that do. As I was preparing to head out to E3 2016, an email popped into my inbox about a product that claimed to offer relief from motion sickness for gamers, specifically citing VR. Reliefband already has a history with preventing nausea and may just be the perfect tool to strap on your wrist when visiting your virtual world of choice.

Prior to my trip out, I had the chance to chat with the folks over at Reliefband over the phone and I had a lot of questions. Mainly, I just didn't know a whole heck of a lot about what caused motion sickness in the first place. I knew that reading in the car had made me ill a few times in the past and riding on motion simulator rides, Star Tours at Disney World for example, always makes my spouse feel sick nearly every time. The science behind it ended up being fairly straightforward and interesting, so let me break it down as I understood it.

One of the most interesting parts of VR is how it can reliably trick your brain into thinking that you're moving. You get those same flutters in your stomach that come with riding down a steep hill when on a VR roller coaster for instance. Motion sickness comes directly from this concept. When your brain is receiving conflicting signals as to whether or not you're moving, it can trigger nausea in the form of motion sickness. This explains the book in the car scenario quite well: You're in a moving car, which your body can feel, but because your vision is focused away from the passing scenery, your eyes and body are telling your brain different stories. This concept works in reverse as well, for instance with VR, where your body is not moving, but your eyes are in a VR headset tricking your brain into thinking you are moving and thus causes that same nausea.

The ReliefBand takes was originally built simply to counter nausea. Cancer patients who recently underwent chemotherapy were given additional drugs to deal with nausea. The folks at ReliefBand thought that instead of putting more drugs in their system, they could simply prevent the nausea at the source. Based on the principles of acupuncture, ReliefBand uses a light electric current in the right spot on your wrist to simply balance the nausea signal and stop you from sick in the first place. As such, it is best used to prevent nausea, though they did say it can alleviate it a bit after it has already begun.

Bringing the device with me to E3 2016, I was excited to give it a try, but I did face two issues. First off, I wasn't able to get into some of the more intense VR demos at the show. I did hear quite a bit about Resident Evil 7 VR making people feel sick but, try as I might, I just couldn't squeeze my way in. The potentially much larger issue was that I'm just not terribly prone to motion sickness at all. That being said, I did have someone waiting for me at home that would be able to help me: My spouse. She has gotten motion sick by everything from theme park rides to simply playing a first-person game on a large monitor. I knew she would be the perfect test subject to see just how well ReliefBand does with someone who would benefit from it.

Strapping the ReliefBand to her wrist, I sat my betrothed down right in front of our large TV to play some Mirror's Edge. This would normally turn her stomach fairly quickly. Upon finding the most agreeable setting, this was two for both her and myself, we played the game. Though she was initially quite distracted by the tingling feeling, after some quality play time, I'm pleased to say that she did not get motion sick from the game. This is just a few people, testing an already proven device, but we were both satisfied with the results and look forward to trying it out further. I will say that the higher settings, if you're not acclimated, can be very intense, so definitely work your way up slowly if you feel the need.

Already offering much needed reprieve from nausea in the medical field, the ReliefBand is a welcome addition to entertainment as well. It's a little intimidating at first, but the potential for eliminating motion sickness from VR is a major win that could help allow anyone to experience it. ReliefBand is available now and I urge you to check out more on their website at ReliefBand.com

Review unit provided by Sheree Johnson of Tandem Marketing Communications.

Product Review: Will the ReliefBand Motion Sickness Device Let Me Go Racing?

They say the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

I was blessed with an appreciation for road racing and cars that corner and handle well. Unfortunately, I’m also very prone to motion sickness. That means I can’t race cars.

Back when I was riding around in the rear facing far back seat in the Buick station wagon belonging to my best friend Stevie Margolin’s mom, this affliction was called “car sickness.” It was either in that Buick or on one of Detroit’s Bob-Lo boats that I recall first experiencing nausea when in motion.

Nausea and motion have a long association. The term nausea in fact comes to use from the ancient Greek word for boat. Up to 95 percent of the population experiences some form of motion sickness, with 5-15 percent being extremely sensitive to it. Placebos, pharmaceuticals, over the counter medications, pressure bands, and even skin patches behind the ear have all been tried as treatments to varying degrees of success and side effects.

A new wearable medical device called the ReliefBand may make that motion induced nausea a thing of the past — and finally let me go racing.

Well, at least short races.

It’s not just an inconvenience. It affects my job as a car writer.

I’ve gotten [motion] sick for my readers at least three times that I can remember. Most recently was in January while driving a McLaren 675LT in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. Last summer at a press event for the Detroit Grand Prix, I got a ride around the Belle Isle circuit in a Cadillac ATS-V driven by Johnny O’Connell, one of the Cadillac factory team drivers. I didn’t get as sick as I did in the McLaren, but then O’Connell only took me around one time. A second lap would have made the drive home uncomfortable. Once you get motion sickness, any kind of acceleration, straight line, lateral in corners, or deceleration from braking will aggravate it. You can even get motion sickness without actually moving as people can induce it while playing video games or sampling a virtual reality display.

When the Chevy Volt was first launched, TTAC’s managing editor at the time, Ed Niedermeyer, was in town for the Ride and Drive. Along with former TTAC contributor Michael Karesh and their GM chaperon, Ed picked me up at my place so I could hang out with them during dinner and karting at a local kart track. I foolishly let Ed and Mike talk me into “just taking a few laps.” As I came around the final hairpin turn for just the third time, I felt my stomach lurch so I dive bombed into the pits, scrambled to get my belts and helmet off, and dashed outside for some fresh air. The cold and rain provided some relief, but Karesh had to stop three times on the way home. Fortunately, I missed the kick panel on his Lexus.

Even veteran race car drivers, airplane pilots and boaters can experience motion sickness when they’re riding shotgun. I’m not the only automotive writer to admit getting motion sickness.

The exact cause of motion sickness is not known. A study of the neural circuits involved in nauseasays, “The emetic reflex is arguably the most complicated autonomic reflex involving the precise temporal co-ordination of multiple physiological systems including gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory.” Emesis is the scientific way of saying puking.

For a long time, conventional thought regarding motion sickness blamed the brain being supplied with conflicting information. Near field vision of the interior of the car, plane or boat says that you’re not moving. Far field vision and your inner ear says that you are moving. The problem with that theory is nobody can explain exactly what data is causing the conflict. The University of Minnesota’s Thomas Stoffregen says that makes it a non-falsifiable theory and thus not really a scientific explanation.

Dr. Stoffregen’s field of study is kinesiology, the study of the body’s motion, and his studies tell him that the problem doesn’t originate in the inner ear. but rather in the body’s system for maintaining posture. There is something called proprioception. It’s how you know your arm is extended. In addition to the nerves that trigger muscles, there are nerves that carry back information on a muscle’s state to the brain. Stoffregen says that humans get nauseated (grammar note: nauseous is an adjective) because they have not yet learned how to maintain a stable posture in the new environment.


Robert Kennedy, a psych professor at the University of Central Florida puts it this way.


“Most theories say when you get motion sick, you lose your equilibrium. Stoffregen says because you lose your equilibrium, you get motion sick.”


That would explain why passengers are more susceptible to motion sickness than drivers. The driver knows which way he is going to go and can anticipate the changes with his posture. It also explains how, for some people, the symptoms can be reduced with exposure to the motion that is causing them nausea.


People naturally wobble, it’s called “postural sway.” Stoffregen has found that people with a greater range of motion in their natural sway are more likely to get motion sickness. Dr. Stoffregen believes that until the body learns how to react to the high G forces, its posture-maintenance system can’t deal with the new environment. Some people adapt more quickly than others. In the case of video games and VR, the body may be trying to react to G forces that aren’t really there.


I’m a skeptic of alternative medicine, but it’s been shown in replicated studies that acupuncture at what is known at the P6 point, where the median nerve passes through the wrist, can alleviate nausea. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the median nerve has been shown to have similar effects. That shouldn’t be surprising. The study cited above says, “The involvement and critical importance of vagal neurocircuitry in the generation of nausea and vomiting has been well defined across several species including humans.” It’s the output side of the vagal system that triggers vomiting. Since the vagal system gets inputs from a variety of hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain structures, it’s possible that stimulating the median nerve may be offsetting or balancing the signals being sent to your stomach telling it to hurl.

That’s what ReliefBand Technologies claims. They’re a Chicago-area company that makes medical wearable devices for the relief of the symptoms of motion sickness as well as pregnancy-related morning sickness. It’s supposed to be good for relief of general nausea, but if you’re regularly experiencing nausea that’s not related to motion or pregnancy, you should probably see a doctor.

After reading a review of the product, figuring that I’m a worst case scenario. I contacted ReliefBand and they sent me a review sample. About the size of a fashionably large wrist watch, the ReliefBand is strapped tightly to the underside of your wrist after first applying a film of conductive gel (they sell their own gel, but I’m pretty sure anything that works with an EKG or heart rate monitor should work just as well). You position it over the median nerve and choose whatever of the five settings that delivers pulsed electricity at a level that will reliably stimulate the median nerve, which you can tell by tingling in your palm and middle finger.

I tested the ReliefBand at two different go kart tracks. As mentioned above, two or three laps in a pro style kart is all it normally takes to make me nauseated enough to vomit. The instructions for the ReliefBand say that if you’re using it prophylactically, to prevent anticipated motion sickness, you should activate it about 30 minutes prior to the nausea inducing activity. I turned it on, set it to the #3 position, and drove to a kart track.

The facility had electric karts. I think that gasoline powered karts would have been a more rigorous test because exhaust fumes alone can cause nausea, but I had to run an errand on that side of town. It was mid-afternoon, so I had the track to myself, which was probably good for the testing. While telling the track manager what I was trying to do, essentially try to make myself sick, he said that he sometimes experiences motion sickness when running alone. Perhaps conscious competition with others overrides autonomic nervous system events.

In any case, I was definitely trying to induce motion sickness, braking hard enough to start slides, cornering at the most severe angles I could manage while still keeping the car on the track, and in general just tossing the kart around. The fact that the kart was electric may have resulted in higher G forces in acceleration than with a gasoline kart.

To be honest, I was surprised that I really didn’t feel any symptoms after three or four hard laps, so I pushed a little harder, now concentrating on my lines, trying to get better speed. After 10 laps, I started to feel some symptoms: a little bit of nausea, and I started to sweat — not quite profusely, but more than the temperature and conditions warranted. The symptoms subsided a little and, after slowing down for one lap, I was able to complete the rest of the 14 lap session. I wouldn’t say I was woozy when I pulled into the pits, but I did take a moment to relax and clear my head.

While getting my timesheet from the manager, he did say that I looked a little pale. I didn’t feel that terrible, but I did sit in my car with the A/C blowing cold air on my face for a few minutes before I pulled out of the lot. I wasn’t 100 percent, but the drive home didn’t aggravate things as it would have had I gotten more seriously ill. When I got home, I rested for about 20 minutes with the ReliefBand still active, and then I felt fine. Compared to how I would have normally felt after even a fraction of those laps, it was a dramatic improvement.

Still, one problem with the ReliefBand is that getting it located right over the median nerve takes some adjustment and also movements of the hand and wrist affect the conductivity so sometimes the stimulation is more intense than other times. It’s never painful, but it is noticeable and I’m not entirely sure it wouldn’t be distracting in a real race. In normal driving, it isn’t a problem.

Thinking I might not have had it turned up high enough the first time, I went to another indoor karting facility, this one with gasoline-powered pro style karts. I put the strap on a bit tighter this time and set the ReliefBand to its highest setting before running an errand that took me close to the track.

The speeds and braking and cornering forces with this kart were a bit higher than with the previous test but I still felt fine for the first nine laps. Lap ten brought some nausea but then it was almost as if I could feel the ReliefBand working as the symptoms would ebb and flow. After 14 laps in the gas kart, I actually felt better than I had after the first test, so I probably do need the higher setting. I left the ReliefBand activated until I got home about 30 minutes later. I felt fine so I took it off. I experienced no symptoms for the rest of the day.

Your mileage may vary, but the ReliefBand certainly does seem to work with my nervous system. I’m not sure it would work in a car race where the speeds and G forces can be higher than with karts, but it will definitely let me go karting with friends. To see how it works on a full sized car racing course, I’ve arranged to get a ride with Jack Baruth the next time he’s at a track within driving distance of my place. I’ll also get his opinion on whether the electrical shock would be distracting in a race.

You can buy the ReliefBand for $89.99 directly from the company. It comes ready to use, with batteries good for 150 hours of use. The current version is a little bit clunky, and the company says that the next iteration has already been designed to be sleeker. As is, I’m pretty sure it will still fit under racing gloves.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth.  Thanks for reading – RJS

This Wearable Is a Cure for Motion Sickness and Is Changing My Life

I suffer from motion sickness. Bad motion sickness.  Non-medicated, I can’t be a passenger in a car for more than 10 minutes of city driving—5 minutes on a windy road—without feeling sick. Virtual reality? Forget it, even with a double-dose of sleep-inducing medication, I can only spend about eight seconds in VR without the warning signs of an impending wave of nausea. (That’s a big problem for a journalist trying to cover consumer electronics these days.) I’ve tried chomping on ginger and ginger-filled capsules, pushing on acupressure points, and all sorts of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, settling on meclizine as my go-to; trading off 24 hours of annoying but not intolerable sleepiness and a slightly fuzzy brain for a calm stomach.

So when I spotted the ReliefBand booth at CES this year, touting a wearable that uses electric pulses to block the neurological signals that kick off motion sickness, I was eager to try the device—but was more than skeptical. I was sure that it wasn’t going to work, because if this really were possible, wouldn’t someone have thought of it years ago?

It turns out that someone did—about 20 years ago, and it’s been marketed for at least a decade as a prescription device to hospitals. And the various companies that owned the technology along the way made occasional attempts to break into the consumer market.

But more on that later.

What you probably really want to know is if the $90 gadget works. And oh yeah, it works. Amazingly, quickly, absolutely. And it is changing my life.

I first got an evaluation unit from ReliefBand in February. That evening, my husband and I had tickets a show in San Francisco; in rush hour, that’s anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half away, much of it in heavy traffic. I hate navigating the traffic and the city driving, so my usual plan would have been take a meclizine earlier in the day and hope it doesn’t knock me out during the show. I decided to instead try the ReliefBand, warning my husband that if it doesn’t work it could be a rough evening.

The device isn’t intuitive to use; even though the brochure says “slip it on your wrist” you have to follow instructions, though they are straightforward: measure two finger widths below the crease of your wrist and feel for a spot between the two tendons, rub in some of the conductive gel included with the product, then strap it on. Push the on button; push it again to raise the level of electricity until you feel it down to your middle fingertip: there are five levels, I felt a noticeable, but not uncomfortable, tingle at level 2.

This Wearable Is a Cure for Motion Sickness and Is Changing My Life



Photo: Tekla Perry



I suffer from motion sickness. Bad motion sickness.  Non-medicated, I can’t be a passenger in a car for more than 10 minutes of city driving—5 minutes on a windy road—without feeling sick. Virtual reality? Forget it, even with a double-dose of sleep-inducing medication, I can only spend about eight seconds in VR without the warning signs of an impending wave of nausea. (That’s a big problem for a journalist trying to cover consumer electronics these days.) I’ve tried chomping on ginger and ginger-filled capsules, pushing on acupressure points, and all sorts of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, settling on meclizine as my go-to; trading off 24 hours of annoying but not intolerable sleepiness and a slightly fuzzy brain for a calm stomach.

So when I spotted the ReliefBand booth at CES this year, touting a wearable that uses electric pulses to block the neurological signals that kick off motion sickness, I was eager to try the device—but was more than skeptical. I was sure that it wasn’t going to work, because if this really were possible, wouldn’t someone have thought of it years ago?

It turns out that someone did—about 20 years ago, and it’s been marketed for at least a decade as a prescription device to hospitals. And the various companies that owned the technology along the way made occasional attempts to break into the consumer market.

But more on that later.

What you probably really want to know is if the $90 gadget works. And oh yeah, it works. Amazingly, quickly, absolutely. And it is changing my life.

I first got an evaluation unit from ReliefBand in February. That evening, my husband and I had tickets a show in San Francisco; in rush hour, that’s anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half away, much of it in heavy traffic. I hate navigating the traffic and the city driving, so my usual plan would have been take a meclizine earlier in the day and hope it doesn’t knock me out during the show. I decided to instead try the ReliefBand, warning my husband that if it doesn’t work it could be a rough evening.

The device isn’t intuitive to use; even though the brochure says “slip it on your wrist” you have to follow instructions, though they are straightforward: measure two finger widths below the crease of your wrist and feel for a spot between the two tendons, rub in some of the conductive gel included with the product, then strap it on. Push the on button; push it again to raise the level of electricity until you feel it down to your middle fingertip: there are five levels, I felt a noticeable, but not uncomfortable, tingle at level 2.





Trying on the ReliefBand Wearable for Motion Sickness







It was a hairier drive to the city than usual that evening—due to road closures for Super Bowl events in San Francisco, we had to turn the navigation over to Waze, which sent us winding through narrow alleys and making frequent turns to get to our destination. To my shock, I felt fine. Absolutely fine. And my husband was feeling pretty good as well. “That’s the first time we’ve ever gone anywhere that you haven’t at least sighed, if not complained, when I came to a fast stop,” he told me. I turned the ReliefBand off as soon as we parked, and felt that momentary pre-nausea feeling. I turned it back on, and it went away. I decided to give myself five minutes to stabilize as we walked to the theater, after that, I was fine.

A few days later, I was driving my son over to Santa Cruz on Highway 17—a twisty mountain road, the motion effects worse on a sunny day as the light strobes through trees. I was fine, because I was driving. He isn’t super sensitive to motion, though mountain roads sometimes affect him, and checking his phone for texts doesn’t help. About half way there he put his phone down and stared straight ahead. “Mom, I think I’m getting sick.”

“I have that gadget in my purse if you want to try it.” I talked him through putting it on. And five minutes later he was madly texting (I’m not so sure that’s a win, but at least he wasn’t sick.)

Since then, I’ve been using the ReliefBand in just about every situation in which I would normally pre-medicate with meclizine. In April, we took a cruise. Let’s just say I took far more advantage of the nightlife this time, not having to fight the meclizine sleepies. I hardly turned it on after the first day—cruise ships are pretty stable until they aren’t—at which point, I’ve learned on past trips, it’s too late to medicate. The only time I medicated (and got sick anyway) was for a snorkel trip, not exactly a situation in which I could wear an external electrical device. However, though I did get sick, I do believe the gadget helped me recover faster—typically, I would have been sick all afternoon, and needed at least a two-hour nap to reset my stomach. I did lie down and close my eyes for a while, but using the wearable I was happily eating lunch in a little over an hour.

These days, I also use a ReliefBand in situations that I wouldn’t have medicated for, but that sometimes prove stressful—like all cab and Uber rides, even short ones (you never know if the driver or road conditions are going to be motion-sickness friendly).

Finally, in May I gave ReliefBand the ultimate test: virtual reality. As a New York Times subscriber, I received Google’s cardboard VR glasses, a low-cost version with a relatively sluggish response to real-world motion guaranteed, for me, to trigger nausea in seconds. I won’t say ReliefBand solved the problem, but I was able to tolerate about half a minute before the symptoms got worrisome; that leads me to think that I might be able to spend a few minutes with ReliefBand and a better VR system.

While I’m clearly in love with the gadget’s function, its form leaves a lot to be desired. It’s too big and the hard plastic shell makes it seem like a cheap  toy—it reminds me a lot of a wearable “compass” that came in a $10 explorer’s kit for four year olds (along with useless binoculars and a canteen). Still, wearables are so common these days that even chatty Uber drivers didn’t question what I was fiddling with on my wrist, assuming it’s some kind of sport watch. And the small flexible battery door is a disaster, nearly impossible to close once opened.

CEO Nick Spring admits to all of this. In addition to my criticisms, he pointed out that the strap is hard to manage one-handed; that’s because, he says, it was designed for nurses to put on patients, not for people to use themselves.

Here’s that backstory I promised. Nearly 20 years ago, Spring said, a group of researchers at a California company, Woodside Biomedical, working with researchers at Penn State University, came up with a device called Accutens that, they determined, by electrically stimulating the T6 acupuncture point on the wrist, worked as well as current medications to prevent motion sickness.  In the early 2000s, Abbott Laboratories purchased Woodside and began developing the technology into a product. Abbott later spun Woodside out again. Along the way, the device received FDA clearance for use in chemotherapy and post-operative sickness, and made some inroads into hospitals as a prescription-only device; a later prescription-only version, the PrimaBella, got some traction as a treatment for morning sickness. A nonprescription version was marketed at various times to pilots and boaters. The current version is an update of that model.

Spring came on the scene in late 2014, joining the company and leading a management buyout in July of 2015, at which point the company changed its name to ReliefBand Technologies and by December had scooped up US $5 million in venture capital.

“With the evolution of Fitbit and other wearables,” Spring said, “wearable technology has come of age. And, it seemed, the next evolution of the market, from wearables that measure to wearables that actually provide therapy, was about to come. ReliefBand offered that kind of solution, though the design was pretty basic.” Spring also said attention that’s lately come to neuromodulation technology has made people more comfortable with the idea of using electricity to affect the nervous system.

Now, he says, the company is in the midst of a major redesign, updating the electronics to reduce the size, changing the material, switching to a rechargeable battery, making it water resistant—essentially, turning it, he hopes, into a hip-looking wearable. Future versions, he says, will communicate to mobile phones, relying on smarts in the phone to determine when your world is rocking and turn the wearable on automatically. What he’s not changing, he says, is the algorithm that triggers the electric pulses. “If you stimulate the nerve constantly, it stops reacting,” Spring says. ReliefBand says it has figured out how to time the pulses so they are frequent enough to block nausea but not so frequent as to have the nerve tune them out.

Spring expects to unveil the new version at CES 2017. I plan on being one of the first in line to buy it, and if it’s cute enough, it just may join the Fitbit on my wrist daily. In the meantime, I carry the current version with me, ready to strap on, always.

Take A Pass On Morning Sickness

Are you looking forward to getting pregnant, but not to morning sickness?

Of course! No one wants to experience nausea and vomiting at any time, and definitely not during the days and months that are supposed to be filled with joy.

But, for many, morning sickness is just going to happen. Typically, it starts a few weeks into the pregnancy and is over by the beginning of the fourth month.

We all have friends or family members who did not experience a “typical” pregnancy. For them, morning sickness was a constant companion during the majority of the 40 weeks. Ugh.

The statistics jump all over the place, but most women will experience morning sickness. Some healthcare professionals believe that morning sickness is a good sign, as it indicates a strong pregnancy, so that’s a plus . . . right?

If you end up in the majority and have morning sickness, there are things you can do to alleviate the nausea. We recommend that you start out by wearing a ReliefBand, because, you know, that’s who we are and we know that it works for a lot of pregnant women.

Also, eating a little bit several times a day seems to help. It’s enough to keep the stomach acids from getting to you but not so much that you’re stuffed and uncomfortable. Eat foods that make sense – nothing greasy or fatty. And nothing too smelly – food smells can bring on the nausea.

Make sure you get plenty of fluids throughout the day. It helps to stay hydrated. Some people put lemon slices in their water or tea because they feel it helps with the nausea.

Ginger is a favorite of those experiencing nausea from motion or morning sickness. Ginger tea might do the trick.

There’s a form of extreme morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. If you have any questions or concerns about what you’re experiencing during pregnancy, call your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms. Morning sickness is normal, but hyperemesis gravidarum can put you in the hospital. Don’t hesitate to talk to someone if your nausea is too much.

Morning Sickness Beyond Three Months

Giving birth and raising a child—there’s nothing like it, right? Starting or growing your family is what it’s all about. Humans are tribal by nature and we all want to be a part of a clan, our own clan.

Pregnancy, on the other hand, can feel isolating. Your partner wants to help, your parents fuss and make casseroles, but at the end of the day, it’s you and Herbert or Harriet, your baby-to-be.

Morning sickness, the nausea and (sometimes) vomiting that strikes multiple times throughout the day, can be pretty awful. But it’s considered by many doctors to be an indication that the placenta is developing as it should, so it’s a good thing. To the doctors, it’s a good thing. To you, not so much.

The better news is that typically it’s gone after about 12 weeks, except when it’s not.

Some pregnant women experience morning sickness during their entire pregnancy.

There are a few things you can do to get through morning sickness, whether it lasts for 12 weeks or 40 weeks:

  • Keep plain crackers by your bed and munch on them before you get up in the morning, or anytime during the night if you’re feeling peckish.

  • Eat five to seven small meals spaced out over the day.

  • Stay hydrated!

  • Don’t stay in stuffy areas, and keep the air moving by opening a window or turning on a fan.

  • Put on your Reliefband® before you get out of bed in the morning, and anytime you feel a hint of nausea coming on.


Morning sickness can be managed, and the symptoms of nausea and vomiting can be prevented or treated by wearing a Reliefband®.

You will at some point stop feeling nauseous and deliver Herbert or Harriet!

One thing to consider: If your morning sickness seems excessive – you keep vomiting and food just won’t stay down – contact your healthcare provider. You may have hyperemesis gravidarum, and that requires medical attention.

New Year’s Resolutions

Are you making resolutions for 2017?

It’s traditional. When we turn the page to a new year at the top of the calendar, we want to kick out old habits and start new ones.

Most of us choose at least a handful of health-related resolutions. Here are some you’ll find on lots of lists this year:

Move more. Check with your healthcare provider to find out how much more you can move each day. Stairs instead of elevators?

Less soda, more water. Hydration without the sugar!

More greens, less grease. Yes to salad, no to pizza. OK, no to so much pizza.

Increase vacations, decrease stress. Relax. It’s good for you.

Sleep more. A lot more.

Use Reliefband. Fast relief from nausea and vomiting associated with morning or motion sickness. Yep.

What’s on your list? Share in the comments — doesn’t even have to be in the health column:)