Introduction: The purpose of this study was to examine whether acupressure and acustimulation prevent motion sickness, taking into consideration whether or not the acupressure and acustimulation are administered properly. These techniques claim to reduce nausea through stimulation of the P6/Neiguan acupuncture point by applying acupressure or electrical acustimulation.
Methods: The Acuband and ReliefBand were used to administer acupressure and acustimulation, respectively. There were 77 subjects who were assigned to 1 of 5 conditions: Acuband trained or untrained; ReliefBand trained or untrained; or placebo. Subjects were exposed to a 20-min baseline and a maximum of 20 min of optokinetic drum rotation. Untrained subjects read the device directions, used it as they deemed appropriate, and completed a usability analysis following drum exposure. Trained subjects read the device directions and were trained to use the device appropriately prior to drum exposure. Symptoms and gastric myoelectric activity were monitored during baseline and rotation.
Results: In all conditions, symptoms of motion sickness and gastric tachyarrhythmia increased, and 3 cpm gastric myoelectric activity decreased, during drum exposure. The only difference found between conditions was a potential delay in symptom onset for the ReliefBand compared with the Acuband. While the Acuband was found difficult to use (0 untrained subjects used it correctly) and only a few minor usability issues were identified for the ReliefBand, usability had no impact on efficacy.
Discussion: Neither band nor placebo prevented the development of motion sickness, regardless of whether the bands were used correctly or incorrectly.