Subjects susceptible to motion sickness reported significantly fewer symptoms when wearing Acuband, a commercially available acupressure band, during a recent research study.

“Acupressure relieves the symptoms of motion sickness and reduces abnormal gastric activity,” was conducted by Robert M. Stern, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and head of the gastrointestinal psychology laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, along with students Michael D. Jokerst, Eric R. Muth and Chris Hollis. The study was published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

Twenty-five subjects, ages 18 to 22, were prescreened for susceptibility to motion sickness and randomly assigned to one of six possible orders in which they would be tested: once with Acuband on the wrist, once with Acuband on the arm and once with no Acuband at all. Each of the three sessions occurred at least one week apart.

Subjects were tested in a rotating optokinetic drum with black and white stripes covering the inner surface. Each subject sat on a stool inside the drum, with his or her chin on a chinrest. A camera was mounted inside the drum to make sure the subject’s eyes were open and looking straight ahead at the stripes. For the first eight minutes, the drum remained stationary while baseline data were recorded. The drum was then rotated at 10 revolutions per minute for 16 minutes, or until the subject requested that it be stopped.

At the start of each session, electrodes were attached to the subject’s skin over the stomach to record the level of gastric tachyarrhythmia, an abnormal gastric activity often associated with nausea. A strain gauge was placed around each subject’s chest to measure respiration, and subjects were asked to describe any motion sickness symptoms over an intercom every two minutes.

Before an Acuband-wrist session, the Acuband was placed between the two tendons on the wrist and three finger widths up from the wrist crease. Before an Acuband-arm session, the Acuband was positioned three finger widths down from the elbow crease on the top side of the forearm. Subjects were told to apply circular pressure on the button of the Acuband as soon as they began to experience any symptoms of motion sickness.

Eighteen of the 25 subjects (72 percent) reported fewer symptoms of motion sickness with Acuband on the wrist, as compared with no Acuband. Sixteen of the 25 subjects (64 percent) reported fewer symptoms of with Acuband on the forearm, as well.

The results of this study, according to its authors, “indicate that an Acuband worn on the wrist and on the forearm relieves the symptoms of motion sickness and reduces gastric tachyarrhythmia, the abnormal electrical activity of the stomach that is a reliable physiological marker of motion sickness.”

Source: Pennsylvania State University Gastrointestinal Psychology Laboratory. Authors: Robert M. Stern, Ph.D.; Michael D. Jokerst, MS; Eric R. Muth, Ph.D.; Chris Hollis. Originally published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2001, Vol. 7, pp. 91-94.