02. 28. 2008
Barf no more with ReliefBand
It was a sad childhood moment for me when Mom figured out that the reason I got carsick on trips was that I passed those long hours in the back seat with my nose in a book. She loved books, but she was also fed up with cleaning vomit off the seat, the carpet--and me. So the rule when the car was moving: no reading. I played the license-plate game for endless boring hours and tried not to spend precious gas-station moments in the bathroom instead of with a book.
It wasn’t until decades later, after some serious barfing in a glass-bottomed boat, that I learned the secret cure for motion sickness from a tour guide. It’s simple and completely free. Lift your eyes to the horizon. Focusing on something close can bring on motion sickness. Stare into the distance and it usually disappears.
The makers of the ReliefBand say their wristwatch-like device helps with motion sickness (and also morning sickness if you can’t tough it out until week 12). But the main target is chronic severe nausea like nausea from chemo. It’s nerves in your wrist, they say, that are responsible for throwing up.
The ReliefBand, they claim, gently stimulates those nerves and calms your stomach. Dab a bit of conductivity gel on your wrist, put the ReliefBand on, and electrodes in the device send small electrical pulses to the relevant nerves. This reduces nausea, often within minutes. Before you conclude that this claim makes you want to puke, consider that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the ReliefBand for sale as a Class II Electronic Medical Device.
If your problem is occasional motion sickness, you can stare at the horizon for free. Or, for habitual motion sickness and other wretched retching situations that are no laughing matter, you might want to consider the ReliefBand. You can get one here for $129.95. Pictured is the prescription-only version, said to have a higher power output; see your doc about that one, and be prepared to pay more.
ReliefBands come with their own special conductivity gel. No saving money there, either; the company warns against substituting K-Y jelly.
A variety of motion sickness bands are also available at Amazon.