Wristbands for Travel Sickness – FAQs
Do they work?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests they do, and many people swear by them! They have also been tested in a number of different trials with positive results. Typical of these is the study reported in the New York Times:
“Acupressure bands and bracelets (some with magnets in them) claim to prevent motion sickness by stimulating an acupressure point known in Chinese medicine as Neiguan. Applying pressure and massaging this spot — located “three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons,” as the U.C.L.A. Center for East-West Medicine describes it — is said to relieve nausea and motion sickness.” (Rosenbloom, S. 2014)
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is the application of pressure to acupuncture points on the body. Acupressure is commonly applied either by hand or with a band, like the Sea Band. A band is preferred when the pressure needs to be constant over an extended period of time to provide relief, as is the case with Travel Sickness, Morning Sickness or nausea relief.
So how does the Relief Band work, if they don’t apply pressure?
The Sea Bands work by applying pressure to the Nei-Kuan acupressure point, whereas the Relief Band stimulate the same point electrically. The net result is the same – the stimulation seems to disrupt the nausea/vomiting signalling process between the brain and the stomach – although the effectiveness varies from person to person and from one device to another.
Why do they seem to work equally well for Travel Sickness, Morning Sickness and Chemotherapy Sickness – all very different ailments?
This is because in each case they treat the symptom (ie nausea), rather than the cause, whether it be sensory conflict with Travel Sickness, too many hormones with Morning Sickness or a cocktail of drugs with Chemotherapy. Similarly, this is why they are safe to use in most circumstances and have virtually no side effects because they don’t interfere with the bodies bio-chemistry – they act upon the nervous system transmitting nausea signals between the stomach and the brain.
Are they suitable for children?
The Child Sea Bands are said to be suitable for children from the age of 3. However, we wouldn’t recommend the Relief Band for anyone under the age of 10. The Relief Band is a relatively large devices, and hence not suitable for very small wrists. They also need a bit of positive feedback from the wearer to position them correctly, which could be difficult for a young child to do.
Are they waterproof?
The Sea Bands aren’t affected by water, and the Relief Bands are splash proof.
Can they be used with a pacemaker?
The Sea Bands are probably OK, but the Relief Band isn’t recommended. If there is any doubt at all, you should always obtain medical advice before using these devices.
Which one is best?
They all have their own pros and cons:
Sea Bands – are cheap, comfortable to wear for extended periods and discrete. They’re also suitable for children over the age of 3. However, they’re not always as effective as the Relief Band.
Probably best suited to the young, the old and the infirm, where the other devices could prove to be more difficult to use.
Relief Band is water resistant and it seems to be easier to use effectively, but it does cost a bit more. However, it’s also smaller and more elegant, and it seems to be a better product all round.
Probably best suited for the regular traveler/sailor/sufferer who is likely to make good use of it, and if it’s well looked after it should give many years service.
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