In this review I’m going to be talking about the Neuvana Xen Vagus Nerve Stimulator, the latest consumer device to claim to reduce your stress and improve your wellbeing. I’ve been using this bad boy for 30 days now and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on whether it really delivers the benefits that it claims to give.
What the heck is the Vagus Nerve? Or Vagus Nerve stimulation?
If you’ve not seen my previous videos on what the vagus nerve is, and what vagus nerve stimulation is, then check out the video below.
Also you’ll find a previous video on my initial thoughts on the device, which covers much of the functionality, how the app works etc., which you may find useful.
Launched in 2020
This device uses auricular, or ear-based neurostimulation, which has proven to be an effective non-invasive method of vagus nerve stimulation.
I’ve used it for 25 minutes twice a day over the last 30 days and I’m really impressed with the effects. So here are the benefits that I’ve noticed from using it. Please bear in mind that this is a n=1 review, just my personal reflections of the device, and comparisons to other technologies that I have used both on myself and with my clients.
Now I’m a pretty chilled person, but even my wife has noticed that over the last month my mood has been really stable, even when I’ve been working away and doing lots of travel. I’ve been waking up happy, finding more of life amusing and dealing with stressful situations with a smile. So big plus point for mood.
Improved Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability, or HRV for short, is a simple measurement of the state of your vagus nerve. There’s a link in the comments for a specific video on HRV.
I measure my HRV using the Oura ring, and on that measurement I’ve seen a 20% improvement in my heart rate variability. This means that my vagus nerve is more effectively managing my stress than I was before I was using Neuvana Xen.
I’ve had asthma since I was about seven, and I’ve tried many different techniques to keep it under control without medication, and what I’ve noticed is that my breathing is much, much calmer than it would normally be. Usually I would need to be doing a regular practice of Buteyko or Heartmath to achieve breathing quality of this level, so I’m really impressed.
According to my Oura ring, my sleep quality has gradually improved over the month. Now it was pretty good before because I do prioritise my sleep, but I’ve seen my sleep score consistently in the ninety percentile during the month. More importantly I am waking up feeling refreshed.
I have noticed that for me it’s best to use neuvana a couple of hours before bed. That way by bedtime I’m feeling really sleepy and I drop off to sleep quickly.
In summary... life changing!
So in summary I’m really impressed with the Neuvana Xen. It meets its claims and it’s something I will continue to use in my daily routine. If you’re looking for improved mood, greater resilience or better sleep, I recommend that you give the Neuvana Xen a try. They have a 30 day trial period, so you can give it a go risk free.
...but room for improvement?
So it wouldn’t be a balanced review without a few criticisms or things worth noting before you buy.
Firstly, usability, it’s a bit fiddly to set up. Because you are using an electrical signal, your earbuds must be wet. They provide a little spray bottle that they suggest you fill with saline solution, but to be honest I use this on the go so I must admit to occasionally licking the earbuds before I stick them in my ear. This, whilst a little gross, works just fine, as long as you remember not to activate the unit, otherwise you get a little electric shock on your tongue, which makes you look like a mad person on the train.
The unit uses two Bluetooth connections – one for the stimulation function, and another to stream music. And you have to connect both manually on my iphone. So it’s not a seamless experience like, say using your airpods.
After a few uses, I got in to the habit of connecting it up, so it’s not really a bother, it’s just a reminder that the device, albeit in second generation, is still cutting edge in some areas.
Next up is functionality, is that there is a premium version of the app that gives you some extra functionality, different waveforms and the ability to save your preferred configuration. Honestly I’m not sure what the point is, because the basic level works beautifully and there isn’t really a need to save a favourite because there aren’t that many options, so the premium aspect feels unnecessary, but it still irks me somewhat that there is a premium option in the first place. They should either remove the premium or offer more functionality for the money.
Next up charging, it doesn’t tell you when the battery is low so I’ve had cases where the battery has run out halfway through a session, and the vagus stimulation has stopped but the music continues. It would be good for, say the LEDs on front to indicate charge level, rather than have to checking it in the app. And you have to charge it using a 1Amp charger, rather than fast charging units, so keep one handy.
And finally, it’s expensive. It’s $399 which is $100 more than the original unit on Indiegogo. But to be honest, the benefits I’ve got from it just in 30 days so far outweighs the cost of the unit, that I would probably pay even more.
Neuvana Xen for improved mood, sleep, health and resilience
So, to sum up, I love the Neuvana Xen. It’s a fantastic piece of kit for anyone looking to improve their resilience, sleep, reduce anxiety or just improve their mood. I highly recommend it and I’ll be looking to get some units to loan to my clients in the future.
#neuvanaxen #stress #resilience #review