By Annika Tomlin
Welcome back to Gadget Gossip! Here we introduce readers to gizmos that can make life just a little easier — and healthier. Have an idea? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sensate is a wearable, palm-sized device and audio app that tones a person’s vagus nerve to be able to naturally self-regulate stress responses and find an inner calm.
Created by Stefan Chmelick and Anna Gudmundson after years in the stress management field, Sensate centers around sound-based technology.
“Literally what happened was that we had been using sound-base technology in the clinic for a while,” Chmelick says about the mother company, BioSelf Technology.
“I had been using sound as a healing for decades. We were using meditation-type technology.
“It was using one of these when I sort of had this eureka moment where I realized we could get rid of most of the hardware by turning the body into the hardware, which is what Sensate does. It takes the concept of infrasound on a transceiver, and it miniaturizes them and puts them on your chest and uses the bone conductions phenomenon to relay this low-frequency sound into each user’s thorax.”
In simpler terms, the device works to create a sensation “similar to humming or chaunting” throughout the body that helps calm the nervous system.
“How it works is that you put in your headphones, you put the Sensate on your sternum and then you start a session in the app,” Gudmundson explains. “At the moment there are 14 different sessions between 10 and 30 minutes.
“Then either recline or lay down and just do your session. You don’t have to do anything, and I think that is what people really like is that it doesn’t require effort, you just do something that is very natural.”
According to Chmelik, positively interacting with the vagus nerve “appears to be that one thing that all human beings respond to equally” in terms of meditative medicine.
The vagus nerve’s tone influences longevity and health span, Chemlik adds.
“You can measure cholesterol, blood pressure and a bunch of different things but all of those are essentially controlled by the activity of the vagus nerve,” Chemlik says.
“It’s connection to the gut and the brain, the brain and the cardiovascular system, the brain and the immune system, nervous system and the connective tissue.”
Both of Gudmendson’s parents use Sensate.
“I’ve never had my dad doing anything like this,” she says. “Most of the users use it because they struggle to meditate yet find it really easy to relax with Sensate—that is worth so much for a lot of people.”
Baby boomers having problems sleeping — including post-menopausal women — find Sensate beneficial. About 44% of Sensate users are older than 45.
“Long term meditators are happier, healthier and have better outcomes for chronic degenerative diseases,” Chmelik says.
“The main core of our user group are people who don’t sleep well, struggle to relax and don’t really manage with a regular meditation practice,” Gudmundson says.
“It takes discipline. It’s great to start meditating at any particular point in time and my mother is also practicing that, but just to have something that helps with relaxing is really important.”
She says this is especially notable now because of pandemic-induced stress.
“That will age you, so to be able to manage all of these external stressors and not put all of that toxicity into the body (is very beneficial),” Gudmundson says.
Available on website for $249
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