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Nervana: Non-surgical vagus nerve stimulation via earphones

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Cheesus, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    For various reasons that I won't go into here, I have often wondered if vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) may be an effective treatment for some people with ME. VNS is typically achieved via a surgical implant, so it is for obvious reasons not available to us. However I have recently come across something called Nervana that can stimulate the vagus nerve via an implant in an earphone.



    http://experiencenervana.com

    So far it is only available to buy on Indiegogo, and it is not expected to ship until the end of the month. People who bought a while back already have theirs, and there are a number of comments on Indiegogo from people who are saying how much it has calmed their nervous system .

    There are two options with the device. Either you can listen to music at the same time and it will sync to the music, or you can use it independently of music. I will probably be doing the latter of these because I can get a bit noise sensitive and music tends to rev my nervous system.

    I have ordered a device in the hopes that it will help my ME. If it doesn't then it's not much of a loss as it looks pretty awesome anyway. I will let you guys know how I get on with it.
     
    JayneM, erin, tango and 9 others like this.
  2. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    That's awesome, thanks for posting. I might try it for anxiety and relaxation :thumbsup:
     
  3. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    Someone in the comments section on Indiegogo says that it has been excellent for their anxiety.
     
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  4. Mor

    Mor

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    Im skeptical, insomuch as I'm wonder whether such stimulation over long periods of time could end up harmful. And to what degree it may be taxing to the brain. Overall though, it's something to look into. It could only be a positive.
     
  5. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    There is a lot of research into vagus nerve stimulation from surgically implanted devices, which are currently used to for treatment-resistant depression and epilepsy. There seems to be a good long-term safety profile.
     
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  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Cheesus - first, thanks for posting this. They're also using vagus nerve stimulation for brain damage and I believe MS. And here is a study which shows it can significantly relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160704223410.htm

    I think it's potentially very promising .... huh .... now am wondering whether I should get one of these things - arggh! (more money down the drain? no way to tell without spending it :bang-head:)
     
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  7. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    Yeah I know: it is the eternal problem! I would say it is worth waiting to see what happens for me, but we both know that whatever happens for for me could be completely different to what happens for you.

    Still, I would be interested to hear your experiences if you try it out. I will be sure to post here as soon as I have the measure of it. Hopefully it should arrive some time this month.
     
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  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Do tag me when you post your experience, I am very interested, not only for myself, but for my sister who has RA - thanks!
     
    Cheesus likes this.
  9. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    I do the ear stimulation for headache. No idea how effective it actually is. The vagus nerve is more complicated than people assume.....oth, it doesent really heart, and anything that could potentially increase HRV is good.
     
  10. ME_guy

    ME_guy

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    Sounds very interesting. Was it shipped when the company predicted? Any results that can be shared?
     
  11. AndyPR

    AndyPR Senior Member

  12. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    @ME_guy

    My apologies, I completely forgot to update this thread.

    Yes, I did eventually get it, though it took quite a while for them to ship it. I did notice that the vagus nerve stimulator was mildly effective for inducing feelings of calm. To be honest I think the name Nervana perhaps makes expectations a little too high. It's by no means induces feelings of euphoria or anything like that, it is much more gentle (the Buddhist in me says that Nirvana is not actually a euphoric state, but I think the general term in common usage has those connotations).

    Unfortunately I was not able to use it for long enough to know how it would impact my ME. You are supposed to wet the earbuds slightly to aid the flow of electricity into the ear. I got a bit carried away and completely soaked the things and gave myself a horrible electric shock in my ear! Since then the earbuds seem to discharge way too much electricity and they are actively painful to use. I was going to order some new earphones, but I didn't want to pay for them at the time, so I have a useless Nervana unit sitting in my bedside drawer.

    If I take the plunge to stump up a fresh $30 I will give it a longer go.
     
    TiredSam likes this.
  13. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    @Cheesus You can adjust the strength of the electric signal going through the earbuds with the up and down arrow keys before and during the session. I think the default level was 2 out of 30 or something. At the default level I could hardly feel anything even with plenty of saline applied, but putting the level to around 6-10 produced a nice tingling feeling. At maximum level it was rather unpleasant to use. Anyway, it would seem weird to me that damage to the earbuds would make them discharge more electricity, as the electricity fed to them is controlled by the generator itself.

    Regarding my experience with this device, I had a very good response for the first 2 or 3 days. 24 hours after the first couple of sessions I felt my brain fog lifted, I had almost no fatigue for an entire day and anxiety was minimal. Sadly this effect only lasted for a weekend, after which the benefits have been limited. My guess would be that hacking the vagus nerve lowered some pro-inflammatory cytokines, which would explain the improvements. Maybe using the device a couple of times a day isn't enough though, so I will continue experimenting with it.
     
    sb4 likes this.
  14. BFitz89

    BFitz89

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    Did you continue experimenting with it?

    And damn... $300+. Not sure I can scratch that.
     

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