Are you looking for technology that can help you manage stress and anxiety for you? Well the latest developments in Vagus Nerve Stimulation means that in 2020 you now have a variety of devices that do just that, and in this video we will examine the two best consumer Vagus Nerve Stimulation devices on the market today. The Neuvana Xen and the Sensate Pebble II.
So what is Vagus Nerve Stimulation? Both devices are proven technological methods for improving the functionality of your vagus nerve, which is the nerve that helps your body recover after stressful events. It’s involved in the relaxation response for many critical bodily functions including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, sweating, digestion and speaking.
It’s essentially the information highway from the brain to the heart, airways, lungs, esophagus, stomach, pancreas and small intestines. So the better your vagus nerve functions, the quicker you will recover from stress, exertion and illness, so your resilience in life is closely related to the strength, or tone of your vagus nerve. If you want to dive deeper in to the Vagus Nerve, then check out this article.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation can be performed in a number of ways. The original technology was developed to help patients with epilepsy, and those devices work by implanting an electrical device under the skin to constantly keep the vagus nerve stimulated. It’s an incredibly effective, if invasive solution to a terrible condition. Vagus Nerve Stimulation effect can be measured by improvements in your Heart Rate Variability, which is a scientifically proven indicator of how much stress your body can handle before problems occur.
And in the last few years, as our understanding of the Vagus Nerve has evolved, Vagus Nerve Stimulation has become available in consumer grade technology that you can carry around in your pocket. And the two latest devices are the Sensate Pebble and Neuvana Xen.
The Sensate Pebble stimulates your vagus nerve through chest vibrations. It’s a pretty looking device that you place on your chest, or hang from a lanyard, and you listen to calming music whilst the pebble vibrates on your chest, stimulating the vagus nerve which runs to the vital organs inside your ribcage. It’s a really pleasant, calming experience that it perfect for helping you ground yourself before a big presentation, or to help you calm down before you go to bed. It’s easy to use and small enough that you can pop it in your pocket and take it on your commute, or even use it in the office, though it would probably garner some glances because it makes a very chunky necklace. It’s a solid piece of technology that delivers measurable improvement in Heart Rate Variability, and you can learn more about in my in depth review.
So let’s look at the Neuvana Xen. This device also works with the Vagus Nerve, but instead of using vibrations to stimulate the vagus nerve, it does it directly using electricity. So you don’t need to stop and do anything different, you just plug it in to your ears and can carry on doing whatever you were doing. The electrical signal stimulates the vagus nerve through your left ear canal, and you can literally feel your body calming down within seconds of the programme starting. What I love about this device is that it just looks like some old school earbuds, and the sound quality is perfectly reasonable. So I often use it on the go, on the train or in a coffee shop. Listen to my own music whilst the system helps my body process stress and improve recovery.
I have to say that I love both devices. They are similar in price – £300 for the Sensate Pebble and $400 for Neuvana Xen. If I had to pick one for someone who is struggling with anxiety or stress and doesn’t have any tools or skills for managing it, I’d go with the Sensate Pebble, mainly because it does force you to stop and relax. It encourages you to be mindful of your current state, if only for a few minutes, and from this you could go on to develop better self-regulation practices such as Heartmath, so it’s a great starting off point. Yes, it’s expensive, but so are all the books and classes you could attend that you don’t put in to practice. Real change requires investment – both in time and often money is a great way to justify the time.
If you’ve got good awareness of your stress levels, and you’re already a Heartmath practitioner or some other restorative practice, then I would recommend the Neuvana Xen. This device improves heart rate variability like nothing else I’ve seen, and as such is great for improving your resilience even further.
So there you go. Two amazing devices to help you combat stress and anxiety.
Remember that you should never “depend”on external things to manage your wellbeing, it’s much better to develop self-regulation practices, but in these uncertain times, it’s good to have a helping hand that fits in your pocket and that can help you perform brilliantly even under pressure.
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