Friday, October 5, 2007

Acupressure and Travel sickness

Acupressure wrist bands & Travel sickness Following reports relating the successful use of acupressure in the alleviation of morning sickness and nausea/vomiting following surgery ( see ALTERNATIVES in health™ vol. 1:1;6 & 2:3;4), researchers at the Maven Laboratories, Inc., Citrus Heights, California, USA investigated the use of acupressure wrist bands for the relief of motion (or travel) sickness.

Nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness are serious and sometimes debilitating symptoms for people who travel by sea and air (as well as astronauts). In order to treat these symptoms, a portable acupressure device, known as ‘the Relief Band’, was designed to deliver acustimulation to the Neiguan (P6) acupuncture point on the traveller’s wrist.

Nine volunteers used the device on (I) a placebo point or (ii) the P6 active point on the open seas outside the San Francisco Bay. Motion sickness symptoms were then graded from 1 (meaning that the person was ‘feeling fine’) to 5 (meaning that the person was feeling ‘intermittent vomiting, with or without nausea’).

Five of the people with motion sickness initially positioned the device at the placebo site and reported minimal symptom improvement (falling from an average of 3.6 to 3.4), whereas the other four subjects initially used the device in the P6 position and reported decreased symptoms (falling from 4.3 to 1.0).

The position of the Relief Band was then switched; in the four subjects who switched to the placebo position, symptoms worsened (rising from 1.0 back up to 4.0 ); whereas, in the five subjects where the device was switched to the P6 position, symptoms improved in all of the subject s( falling from an average of 3.4 to 1.0).

The report concluded that motion sickness symptoms were clearly suppressed by the portable acustimulation in field studies of seasickness. The Relief Band may therefore offer an effective alternative to drug treatments of the nausea and vomiting related to seasickness.
Although this was a small study, it was conducted using an excellent cross-over, double-blind protocol and provides strong evidence to support the use of acupressure wrist bands to alleviate travel sickness.
Bertolucci LE; DiDario B. Efficacy of a portable acustimulation device in controlling seasickness.