When Meghan Markle came out in a Wearing a $1,600 wool coat, Hermes scarf and Chanel flats last month, it wasn’t her ensemble that caught the eye.
Her most talked-about accessory was a small blue sticker on her left wrist: a NuCalm anti-stress patch that has become popular with wellness gurus and biohackers and promises to provide “resonance and frequencies.”
As a person with a high level of initial stress, I was immediately intrigued and was willing to pay $80 for a 20-pack of NuCalm stickers (plus $30 a month for the company’s companion app).
If it’s good enough to keep the Duchess of Sussex calm, I thought it would be an easy way to counteract my daily stressors.
Meghan Markle Was Spotted Wearing the Anti-Stress Patch While Out in August
DailyMail.com tested the anti-stress patches for more than a week. The discs, along with the NuCalm app, had a marginal benefit for sleep, but overall the effects appeared to be placebo.
When placed on the inside of the left wrist at the Pericardium-6 acupoint, the sticker sends a signal to the protective sac surrounding the heart called the pericardium, activating the parasympathetic nervous system to interfere with the body’s natural response to external stress. .
When I went to the NuCalm website to find out what to expect, I was met with jargon that only a Ph.D. student could understand.
The site said the sticker works by “harnessing the body’s pericardium meridian with particular electromagnetic frequencies of inhibitory neurotransmitters to disrupt the HPA axis and downregulate sympathetic tone.”
I couldn’t help but feel that the jargon was intended to mask the fact that the sticker is based on traditional Chinese medicine techniques and not solid science.
For 10 days straight, I wore the sticker on the ‘pericardium-6 acupoint’, which is a fancy way of saying the inside of my left wrist.
In traditional Chinese medicine, that pressure point is said to be part of the “pericardial meridian energy pathway” which, when stimulated by acupressure, can influence the flow of vital energy or “qi” and blood throughout the body. along that road.
If you rolled your eyes while reading that description, you’re like me. But during the first two days of my trial, I was surprised by how much I felt the overall stress reduction.
Whether it was a placebo effect or pure optimism about a possible treatment for anxiety that isn’t a pill made by Big Pharma, I’m still not quite sure.
When you use the sticker, you feel a slight sensation of pressure on your wrist that took a little getting used to.
After about the third day, and I started to forget that the sticker was there, the stress and anxiety returned, making me confident that there is something psychosomatic going on when it comes to the anti-anxiety effects of NuCalm.
There were long periods throughout the test where I noticed my breathing felt soft and more consistent than usual, but again, was I simply hypersensitive to my body? I’m still undecided.
The album aims to harness the body’s natural frequencies and vibrations to induce a feeling of calm and relaxation.
For $80 in stickers and $30 for the associated app, DailyMail.com didn’t think there was a measurable benefit.
As the week wore on, I’d feel bouts of restlessness coming back: waiting on the claustrophobic subway platform during rush hour or holding my breath on the phone as the dial tone rang, hoping my source on the other extreme will answer.
But periodically, when I looked back at the sticker on the inside of my wrist, my breathing became easier, my thoughts slowed to a normal pace, and my muscles loosened.
It was as if the sticker was a reminder and not an actual medical device.
I tried to dig up some scientific research that might offer an answer to my question: Was it all in my head?
But the answer eluded me, even after following the NuCalm website’s repeated claims that it was “clinically proven.”
I did not find any clinical trials or research on any type of portable biosignaling disk.
As far as sleep quality goes, I felt a little more rested over the 10 days.
The NuCalm Deep Sleep channel in the app features music that can run for hours, although it’s not the actual music that lulls you to sleep.
The frequencies in music are said to synchronize brain waves with other frequencies associated with different states of being: alpha and theta, which mimic the body’s natural communication processes to initiate sleep.
The difference after a night of using the record and listening to hours of low frequencies was marginal, although I did notice that I hit the snooze button fewer times, suggesting that the quality of my sleep improved.
Given the spotty science and lukewarm reviews from neuroscientists, it’s worth looking into the company’s claims.
The company compares the small disk inside each sticker to a battery that contains charge.
When the sticker is pressed against a pressure point, the body draws up energy frequencies that activate the part of the nervous system that modulates our stress responses.
The question of what exactly is inside this drive to trigger the kind of neuron-to-neuron communication that the company is so proud of remains a bit confusing.
The company credits frequency tuning and sound resonance for making its discs work, but elsewhere on the site it says the discs include “a proprietary blend of inhibitory neurotransmitters, primarily GABA.”
But elsewhere, NuCalm CEO Jim Poole has said that each of the discs contains a small Tesla coil to emit frequencies.
The technology was developed over a 20-year period by the late neuroscientist Dr. Blake Holloway.
But Mr. Poole is not a scientist, rather he was a business student at Babson College in Massachusetts.
Fitness Junkie Blog blogger Sophie Summers said of her experience with a 30-minute meditation session through the app along with the sticker on her wrist: “As the beautiful sounds swirled around me, I could feel my whole body relax. .
‘It was like I could feel my whole body as one, but also parts of it individually. My whole body, but especially my arms and chest, became very heavy.
‘The idea of moving my arms seemed like an impossible task. But the sensation was so wonderful that I didn’t even dare to try for fear of losing deep relaxation.
“He was calm, relaxed and down to earth.”
The price is unlikely to deter people who pride themselves on being in tune with their personal health, nor will its lofty promises deter so-called wellness gurus who have successfully monetized the pursuit of self-improvement.