Friday 9 July 2010

Sea-Band, the acupressure wristband

Ahhh travel sickness - the bane of many parents' life. There's nothing worse than that pained cry as you're hurtling down the motorway of "Mum, I'm gonna be ... bleeeuuurrgggghhhh". Oops, too late then, darling ?! Having two carsick daughters - and I've no doubt Pierre will keep up the family tradition when he's a bit older ! - we are very well prepared, always leaving a total change of clothes for each child on the back shelf of the car, keeping old towels on the back seat and a well-used roll of Ziplock freezer bags in each passenger door pocket. When the girls throw their guts up on the ferry to England, they do it in style and other parents with green-tinged offspring gaze at us in awe as we deal with it all with minimum fuss (not to mention leakage and vomit-inducing smell !).

But, prevention is better than cure, as I always say, so I was keen to try out Sea-Bands accupressure wristbands, said to relieve travel sickness, morning sickness, chemotherapy induced nausea and post operative nausea. I admit that I was slightly dubious - OK, very dubious, if I'm honest - about how well they would work, but having spotted on the Sea-Bands facebook page that the NHS is currently trialling Sea-Bands for use in hospitals throughout the UK, I came to them determined to give them a fair shot.

The Sea Bands are really simple to use, the only complicated part being the correct positioning of the plastic stud. As they explain, "Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wrist band, which operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. Place your middle three fingers on the inside of your wrist with the edge of the third finger on the wrist crease. The Nei-Kuan point is just under the edge of your index finger between the two central tendons." For them to work, you have to wear a band on each wrist.

Their first test came when Sophie was off on a school trip a couple of weeks ago. Her friend had been sick on the last coach-trip and Sophie said that she'd felt queasy too. When I said she could try out some SeaBands, she didn't appear too keen - until she saw that they were girly and pink and then funnily enough, she couldn't put them on quick enough ! I gave her the little plastic box containing the bands to put in her pocket and, as it was the first time she'd used them, drew a little dot on each wrist to show her where to place the plastic studs. When she came home, she proudly said she hadn't felt sick at all and that she'd kept them on all day because it was hot so they acted like sweatbands ! I have no way of knowing if the Sea Bands really worked, if it was coincidence or if the psychological placebo effect kicked in, but whichever it was, it's got to be a good thing.

The girls will definitely be kitted out with Sea-Bands on all of our trips this summer, whether by car, boat or plane. I love the fact that they can take responsibility for their own travel sickness remedies, something they couldn't do with tablets, and that they come in different colours so there will be no arguing about whose are whose ! I also like the fact that there are no side-effects like drowsiness or excessive thirst (resulting in numerous "Mum, I need the toilet" choruses, inevitably when we're miles from the nearest motorway services !) that are often brought on by travel sickness tablets.

I have only one regret - I never thought about trying them when I suffered from morning sickness during my pregnancies. I'll definitely be recommending them to all my pregnant friends, especially as drug-based remedies are severely limited during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £7.99

available from Lloydspharmacy, Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons and other pharmacies

for more information :

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Mediband medical ID bracelets for children and adults

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