New Electronic Device Nervana Promises to Leave You “Feeling Good” by Triggering a Release of Euphoric Hormones
By Darcey Haynes.
Your daily routine of putting in headphones to avoid social interaction could now be made a lot more exciting all thanks to the creators of Nervana; the portable music-enhancing device that analyzes signals from your iPod to target the Vagus nerve; inducing a state of euphoria.
The device was received well at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and sells for $279 (£194) a piece. ” Nervana” being a play on ‘nerve’ and ‘Nirvana’ ….classic pun… uses these impulses to produce Serotonin and the ‘cuddle hormone’ Oxycontin in your body. These chemicals give a “happy feeling” similar to that after eating too much chocolate, exercising or hugging someone you love. Whilst stimulating the Vagus nerve is sometimes used to treat depression or epilepsy through surgery, Nervana is non-invasive and can be easily used by anyone needing a little pick-me-up.
Aside from its claims to “increase calm and reduce stress”, the company does not promote this as a medical asset- but as an “entertainment device”. This makes me question the product’s safety- I’m not an expert when it comes to anatomy, but surely it isn’t wise to mess around with nerve impulses that can alter the way you feel or behave? The company’s site claims that the device has been tested on “hundreds of people” with positive results- I don’t know about you people, but I want numbers, exact numbers of people proclaiming it’s safe to use, I haven’t seen any evidence for that.
In contrast to Nervana’s advertisement, The Verge reviewed the product, saying that after usage a stinging feeling was induced; similar to a “subtle zap hitting your ear like an electrified Q-Tip”- that doesn’t sound like a “happy feeling” to me. ..Oh and another heads up for you; some branches of the Vagus can stimulate some heart functions, such as bmp- so I wonder if this product could funk with your heart-rate too? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.
To allow the product to have the promoted affect, its advised to use Nervana in two daily sessions ranging from 15 to 45 minutes- that is unless you’re incredibly moody and need to listen to it for longer and more often. Does it work? No idea. But I want to find out.