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A Beginner's Guide to Using Natural Relief Bands

The Complete Handbook of Uses For An Acupressure Relief Band

Perhaps you've owned a pair of natural relief bands for years; perhaps a friend or doctor just told you about them and you're wondering whether they might work for you. Either way, we're willing to bet you don't yet know half the possible wellness uses you can put these bracelets to.

Never fear! We've done the research for you and compiled a comprehensive list of different acupoints and uses for your bands.

Types of Natural Relief Bands

Many people know these kinds of bracelets as nausea relief bands or motion sickness relief bands, and they certainly are that, but their wellness uses go far beyond this popular application. They come in many forms, including drugstore-variety sweatband-style options like Sea Bands or generic store brands, plastic or artificial rubber straps like Psi Bands or Nomo Bands, electric stimulation bracelets like Emeterm or Relief Band bracelets, and, of course, natural relief jewelry like Blisslets.

Surfer with Sydney Blisslets relief band for motion sickness

While each brand has its pros and cons, and there can be huge price differences (a Relief Band can leave you up to $269 in the hole!), they all work on the principle of stimulating acupoints in the wrist associated with different wellness uses.

For that reason, it's not surprising that clinical research on their effectiveness suggests you can expect similar results from them, so long as you are using them correctly and getting a good fit (some brands like Blisslets offer multiple sizing options, while others don't). For a more detailed comparison of the different varieties of natural relief bands an their pros and cons, check out our Complete Guide to Nausea Relief Bands.

Four Acupoints and Many More Uses for Your Natural Relief Bands

Bracelets that work through wrist acupressure have most commonly been used for stimulating the P6 or Nei Guan point, located on the underside of the wrist, three finger widths below the crease, between the two central tendons. However, they can also be used to stimulate three other points mapped out by Chinese medicine:

  • The TE5 or Outer Pass point
  • The HT7 or Shenmen point
  • The LU9 or Great Abyss point.

Each of these points is associated with different wellness uses, including relief from nausea, anxiety, insomnia, and even lower back pain. Many of these uses have been found to be effective in controlled clinical studies from the perspective of Western medicine.

For your convenience you can find each of these acupoints in the following diagram.

P6, HT7, LU9 and TE5 acupressure points for use with relief bands

Finding Your Points

P6 Point: Found 3 finger-widths below the wrist crease on the underside of your arm, between the two central tendons.

HT7 Point: Found near the wrist crease, on the pinky side of the tendon, just inside the head of the ulnar bone. Use the tip of the index finger to feel for a small depression found on or near the wrist crease.

LU9 Point: Found on the side of the wrist nearest the thumb, look for a slight indentation near the edge of the wrist.

TE5 Point: This is the mirror image of the P6 point, found on the outer side of the arm.

Top Uses for Your Natural Relief Bands

Woman in Cruise with Blisslets natural relief bands for motion sickness, anxiety, and insomnia

Nausea Relief

Points to use: P6 (Nei Guan)

We are often asked whether acupressure bracelets can be used to relieve nausea from a variety of causes, or if their use is limited to a single type. Thankfully, studies have been done to assess their effectiveness in relieving nausea stemming from many different causes. These include:

  • Motion Sickness: This is perhaps the most popular use for acupressure relief bands. Studies like this one from the journal General Anesthesia concluded that "P6 acupressure increased tolerance to experimental nauseogenic stimuli, and reduced the total number of symptoms reported."
  • Pregnancy Nausea / Morning Sickness: Countless expecting moms rely on natural relief bands to alleviate their nausea symptoms, and with good reason. For example, this study from the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that "Acupressure on the Neiguan [P6] point relieves morning sickness."
  • Post-Operative Nausea: Ever woken up from surgery, only to find yourself with a terrible urge to get sick? You're not alone. Thankfully, the British Journal of Anesthesia found that "with P6 stimulation before and after the surgery, "the incidence of vomiting was significantly lower (25%) than that in the placebo group (85%)."
  • Visually-Induced Nausea: Are you a VR gamer or someone who loves going on simulators and screen-based theme park rides, but can't quite stomach them? Take heart! The journal of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine found that "P6 acupressure reduces the severity of symptoms of visually-induced motion sickness...."
  • Chemotherapy Nausea: Cancer treatments can be almost as hard on the body as the disease itself, and chemotherapy is especially notorious for inducing nausea. A study in the Journal of Palliative and Supportive Care found that "applying acupressure at the P6 point is effective in decreasing chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and anxiety in patients with breast cancer." Many Blisslets users have written to express how much using their natural relief bands has helped during their treatment.
  • Nausea Associated with Chronic Illness: Another popular use for using acupressure relief bands on the P6 point is to relieve the daily nausea many people experience due to chronic illness, include people dealing with vestibular migraine, IBS, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and others. The advocacy website Migraine Strong tried Blisslets out and were "very impressed with their ability to reduce overall nausea." They "recommend them for anyone with vestibular migraine who experiences motion sensitivity and nausea as a result of dizziness as well."
  • Vertigo: Stemming from a variety of causes, vertigo is a symptom rather than a specific condition, yet a very unpleasant and disorienting one. Many users of natural relief bands have found that P6 acupressure helps reduce their feelings of dizziness as well as nausea. One Blisslets user wrote to say: 

I am recovering from a spinal cord injury and suffer from vertigo. These bracelets work wonders for me. The room stays upright now, motion sickness is gone and my everyday life is so much better.

Anxiety Relief

Points to use: P6 (Nei Guan), HT7 (Shenmen), LU9 (Great Abyss)

For those who are familiar with acupressure bracelets as an option for nausea relief, it can come as a surprise that many users know them as anxiety relief bands. When used for anxiety, you can take advantage of three different points which you can target with the pressure bead on your relief bands. These are the P6, HT7, and LU9 points.

Tackling Anxiety in High-Stress Life Situations

Anxiety in the Military
Chemotherapy patient with Blisslets relief bands for nausea

It should come as no surprise that soldiers deal with an above average level of anxiety. The journal Military Health conducted a study of 120 soldiers, seeking to establish whether P6 and other forms of acupressure where useful in reducing their anxiety levels. The study concluded that "acupressure can reduce soldiers' anxiety" and recommended that "this simple and cost-effective intervention be used to relieve soldiers' anxiety in stressful situations."

Anxiety Among Cancer Patients

Likewise, another medical journal looked at the effectiveness of acupressure on the HT7 and LU9 points, along with several others, in relieving anxiety experience by cancer patients. The study's conclusion?

"Acupressure is recommended as a complementary therapy to reduce anxiety in patients with cancer."

Blisslets users have also written about their experience with anxiety relief after wearing their bands. Blisslets user, mental health advocate, and Instagrammer @cynthia_marie struggles with anxiety and uses Blisslets as a tool in her support kit. She calls them her "Wonderwoman bands"!

Insomnia Relief

Points to use: P6 (Nei Guan), HT7 (Shenmen)

If you're struggling to get good sleep, Chinese medicine prescribes various points that you can use your relief bands to target. The University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing recommends stimulating the P6 and HT7 points that we have already identified.

Is there evidence for this use from the point of view of modern medical science? The journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment published a study on adolescents with insomnia, which concluded: 

"Acupressure is a noninvasive, safe, and effective method for the management of insomnia in adolescents, with good compliance and no adverse effects."

Participants in the study showed remarkable improvement in sleep after using their insomnia relief bands to apply pressure "at the Shen Men point on both wrists, starting from the usual bedtime (10 pm) to the usual awakening time (7 am) every night for a period of 6 months."

The University of Minnesota's Bakken Center also recommends an entire insomnia protocol that also several other points that you can apply pressure to with your hands:
 

Pain Relief

 Points to use: P6 (Nei Guan), TE5 (Outer Pass)

The familiar P6 point, and it's mirror point on the outer side of the arm, are both recommended by Chinese medicine for relief from various sorts of pain, in particular back and shoulder pain, and even earaches. Both can be targeted with natural relief bands.

The P6 point, which is also a popular acupressure point for people suffering from fibromyalgia, is associated with calming properties that help release the muscle tension that often leads to upper back pain.

The TE5 point, on the outer side of the arm, is connected by Chinese medicine with the head and upper back, which makes it a popular option for getting relief from shoulder pain and earaches.

Natural Relief Bands: A Surprisingly Versatile & Side-Effect Free Wellness Solution

Given the many points that acupressure relief bands can be used to target, not to mention the fact that they are affordable remedies that are both drug-free and side-effect free, they are a fantastic tool for supporting general wellness.

While they have generally been known as nausea relief bands, they are also anxiety relief bands, insomnia relief bands, and even pain relief bands. In brief, they are a magnificent natural solution that should be part of every wellness toolkit.

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