According to a recent study, acupressure applied to the PC6 acupoint with a Sea-Band® wristband significantly reduced the symptom of nausea among migraine sufferers.

The study, “Acupressure in the control of migraine-associated nausea,” involved 32 females ranging in age from 19 to 61 years, with a mean age of 39.65 years. Each subject had a diagnosed medical history of migraines without aura, with nausea always present as a symptom of their migraines.

For the study, these subjects were directed to keep migraine journals and record their experiences both with and without the Sea-Band wristband during six migraine attacks throughout a three-month period. Each participant used the Sea-Band wristband during three of the six migraine attacks, and no acupressure was applied during the other three migraines.

The outcome measure for this study was the intensity of nausea, as rated on a scale from zero to 10. Participants were directed to record their nausea intensity scores in the migraine journal at the onset of each of the six migraines, then again after 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes and 240 minutes.

Researchers deemed the use of the Sea-Band wristband during three of the migraines the SB phase, and they called the three migraines without acupressure the C phase. For the SB phase, the Sea-Band wristbands were worn on both wrists on the PC6 point, starting at the onset of the migraine. The wristbands were kept on for at least four hours, or for the entire span of the migraine.

“The Sea-Bands are elastic wristbands with a 1-centimeter protruding plastic button, [and] these devices apply continual pressure to the PC6 acupuncture point with the aim of decreasing or completely eliminating nausea,” state the study’s authors. “The PC6 point, also called Neiguan, is located on the anterior surface of the forearm, three fingers widths up from the first wrist crease and between the tendons of the flexor carpi radialis and palmaris longus.”

When the migraine journals were analyzed, data showed that the intensity of nausea was significantly reduced during the SB phase, and that the nausea intensity was significantly higher during the C phase.

In general, the effectiveness of the Sea-Band in reducing the intensity of nausea increased over time, with 84.3 percent of the subjects reporting lower nausea intensity scores 240 minutes into the migraine attack.

“The application of the Sea-Bands on the acupoint PC6 Neiguan was observed to be effective in the control of nausea,” state the study’s authors. “Moreover, there was a high percentage of responders to the treatment … with a consistent response over time.”


Authors: Gianni Allais, Sara Rolando, Ilaria Castagnoli Gabellari, Chiara Burzio, Gisella Airola, Paola Borgogno, Paola Schiapparelli, Rita Allais and Chiara Benedetto.

Sources: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Women’s Headache Center, Department of Statistics and Applied Mathematics, University of Turin, Italy. Originally published in May 2012 in Neurological Sciences, 33(Supplement 1), 201-210.