Fishing & Boating News

Suffering from seasickness?

Relief is here and it's easy to use

by: Walker Agency,

(01/10/2002 - ) There's a new device now available called the ReliefBand that is a remedy for nausea and the discomfort of seasickness and it's proving itself to work well for one of mankind's most unpleasant illnesses. We talked with John Phillips, a writer who reported on this new wristwatch-sized device in Salt Water Sportsman magazine, having used it himself and on some fishing buddies offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Recently, I heard about a miracle cure -- not a drug or a magic potion -- for the nausea and discomfort of seasickness," said Phillips. "People told me this new device was the best seasickness preventive and remedy that ever had come to the market.

"When I first heard about the ReliefBand, I regarded it skeptically as I always had other seasickness cures. I'd never seen one that worked effectively except for some type of patch or pill. But on almost every trip I'd taken in rough seas, I'd seen anglers literally praying for a device like this. As one seasick fisherman told me, 'Money would be no object if I could just get some help.'

"Before we left the dock on one trip, NOAA radio predicted 1' to 2' foot seas, a pleasant ride. However, 60 miles offshore, we found ourselves in 10' to 12' seas. I couldn't have designed a more perfect day to get seasick even for someone not prone to seasickness."

George Milam of Jackson, Miss., said, "I had the unfortunate opportunity to test the ReliefBand in these rough seas. After I put it on, I felt much calmer, and the nausea went away. I wore it for about 30 minutes before I gave it to someone else who needed it.

"I would rate the ReliefBand as highly effective. If I were usually susceptible to seasickness, I'd certainly own one. People who frequently take others out on boats should have one. The ReliefBand didn't make me drowsy or tired like other drugs for seasickness."

How it works
Motion sickness affects 10 to 20 percent of the U.S. population, almost 50 million people. During travel on boats, airplanes or in cars, an individual's equilibrium senses can become out of balance with the visual senses of the eye. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting usually follow.

Most drug treatments available for these problems often bring unpleasant side effects without really solving the problem. Generally a person's condition won't get worse, but he or she may not necessarily feel better. Dramamine and similar drugs can cause drowsiness, headaches and/or dry mouth.

However, ReliefBand acts fast. You can apply the therapeutic wristband before or after symptoms start and wear it as long as symptoms persist. ReliefBand is a drug-free, non-invasive, therapeutic product that won't cause drowsiness or interact with any other drugs.

Here's how researchers say the ReliefBand works. Certain types of small electrical pulses applied to the wrist can cause nerves to transmit messages through the body's nervous system. The theory behind the ReliefBand suggests that these nerve messages have a re-balancing effect through the production of specific neurotransmitters, chemicals responsible for communication between nerve cells. In other words, the production of these neurotransmitters that block nausea and vomiting offset the production of other neurotransmitters.

Woodside Biomedical Inc., the manufacturer of ReliefBand, has research underway investigating additional applications of the device as a therapeutic tool. The band, which received FDA clearance in 1988, just recently has come to the marketplace.

In the late 1980s, Larry Bertolucci, an avid deep-sea angler and Stanford-trained physical therapist, was sure he could develop a better way to treat seasickness. Aware that stimulation of nerves on the underside of the wrist effectively had treated nausea and vomiting before, Bertolucci invented the watch-like device -- the ReliefBand -- to electrically stimulate those nerves. He first tested the prototypes on himself and then on other fishermen, all with great success.

For motion sickness, the ReliefBand is available at most chain drug stores and from a variety of specialty stores and catalogs. It features a replaceable battery, which lasts about 150 hours. The ReliefBand costs between $99 and $130.

Another version of the ReliefBand is available by prescription for treatment of nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, pregnancy and post-operative nausea.

Phillips said the ReliefBand was simple to use, “Just wear it like a watch on the underside of the wrist. Turn the dial no higher than the number three and adjust as necessary, turning down the power as the nausea and seasickness lessens, eventually moving to the lowest setting. If necessary, increase the power on the dial if the symptoms of seasickness return.

"Just as not all medicines, treatments or devices produce the same results in all patients, the ReliefBand affects its users differently. However, each of the anglers I tested the ReliefBand on got relief from seasickness quickly and then continued to fish.

Doubter turned disciple
Phillips concluded, "I'm highly skeptical of any products that tout seasickness cures, having seen the shell games and scams that have come to the fishing industry during my lifetime. I don't believe in secret elixirs or instant cures for fishing problems or medical ailments. But from my own use, I know the ReliefBand has worked for every person I tried it on -- not only for seasickness but nausea in general.

"I don't understand how or why the ReliefBand works. But today I keep a ReliefBand in my camera case and take it with me on every hunting and fishing trip. You'll have to fight my wife for hers. This small watch-like seasickness remedy may allow thousands of anglers who always have wanted to fish in the oceans to leave the banks and get on boats without fearing seasickness. I have truly come full circle from a doubter to a disciple of the ReliefBand."

For more information, contact Woodside Biomedical at (888) 718-6900.