This years Consumer Electronics Show was home to a wide variety of health and fitness products, each one claiming to be more efficient and heal you better than the last. Eventually I came across the Reliefband, a product that at the time I had written off as severely exaggerated and debatably impossible, due to their claims they could instantly relieve you of nausea, whether that be motion sickness, morning sickness, etc. I remained hesitant all the way up until one came in the mail, and now I’m not sure I can live without it.
As to avoid misrepresenting exactly how the band works, they explain the science behind it as such;
“The unique neuromodulation technology was developed for use in hospitals and alters nerve activity through targeted delivery of gentle pulses to the underside of the wrist to “turn off” feelings of nausea, retching and vomiting. It works quickly without side effects.”
I understand how unreal all of this sounds, and to someone with next to no knowledge in biology, ‘neuromodulation’ may as well be a term out of Star Trek… but I can personally attest that the device functions exactly as it claims to.
In order to test the Reliefband I had to make myself sick. I went about this in the two most foolproof ways I know how, reading in the car and getting irresponsibly drunk.
The motion sickness was absolutely no match for the ‘low’ settings of the band, immediately relieving the nausea I would normally feel for 20-30 minutes after reading in the car. Admittedly I still didn’t feel like reading, but I was blissfully without discomfort or pain.
The hangover nausea similarly was taken care of with a ‘medium’ setting, allowing me to eat a hearty breakfast early the following morning (a feat that shouldn’t have been possible until early afternoon). I was still vividly aware my body wasn’t ‘fixed’ due to changes in temperature, sweating and a mild headache – but the nausea was nowhere to be seen.
Reliefband Premier is a very sleek device, with a dark grey rubber band, metal clasp and smooth black display. It’s reminiscent of a Fitbit and is rather fashionable in 2020. The blue LEDs are simple and elegant, however there’s nothing discrete about the buttons or exposed charging port. I won’t hold those against the product, simply because the functionality far outweighs a minor aesthetic flaw.
As far as battery life is concerned, the Premier lasts for days at a time if not in use (worn in preparation for nausea) and will run for 18 hours of continued use at a medium power level, which should be more than enough between charges.
Putting any concerns you may have to rest, the neuromodulation technique used by the Reliefband has no lasting effects, will not make you drowsy, can be used in conjunction with alcohol, safe to use with medication as well as when driving. It’s versatile and non-invasive (unless you’re squeamish with mild vibrations in your forearm and hand).
Outside of it’s FDA approved use of easing nausea and nausea-related sickness, I’ve found an incredible application for the product in anxiety management. As someone that’s dealt with anxiety for the majority of my life, it can be hard to bring yourself back to earth when your situation gets tense. Remembering to breathe regularly and trying to rid damaging thoughts from your mind are two of the biggest challenges.
I’ve found that at the higher settings, the vibration through the forearm and hand can be strong enough and in such a rhythm that it’s awfully easy to tune out your surroundings. Giving anxiety sufferers time to regain their breath and refocus thoughts. Not exactly what the band was designed to do, but a neat use case.
The Reliefband Premier is available on their website for $199 USD, which equates to roughly $300 AUD, plus shipping. Some might find it hard to justify the price tag, however having used one for a few weeks now, I believe it to be worth every dollar.