Frequently Asked Questions
Who should not use VeRelief?
VeRelief is not intended to treat chronic anxiety or cure anxiety disorders. Chronic anxiety is generally defined as the presence of excessive worry or dwelling and ruminating on negative thoughts and feelings when there is no specific threat present or in a manner that is disproportionate to the actual risk.
Stimulating the vagus nerve will not eliminate one’s tendency to worry about life or dwell and ruminate on negative thoughts.
Safety and efficacy of VeRelief Products have not been evaluated in the following patients, and therefore is NOT indicated for:
• Patients with sensitive skin who react poorly to common skin products like sunscreen, lotions, oils, etc.
• Patients with skin wounds in the target region around the neck
• Pregnant women
• People under the age of 18
• People with known or suspected heart disease
• Patients who react poorly to the idea of electrical stimulation of any kind
• Patients with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, implanted defibrillators or metal implants in the head or neck
• Patients with a history of seizures
• Patients with abnormal cranial nerve or other neurological findings or symptoms that would require prompt medical attention
• Patients with recent or facial trauma (less than 3 months)
• Patients who have had surgery to cut the vagus or great auricular nerve in the neck (cervical vagotomy)
• Recent stroke victims
You should check with your doctor if you do not understand or if you are not sure whether any of the above Contraindications apply to you or your condition.
How does VeRelief work?
VeRelief uses a technology called Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). This is a method that applies small electric currents to the skin over a nerve for the purpose of activating a neurophysiological response. VeRelief electrically activates the vagus and great auricular nerves on the neck and around the ear area.
The vagus nerve is the physical connection between the mind and body. It’s primary responsibility is to reduce sympathetic nerve activity, or your body’s natural fight-or-flight response. VeRelief immediately activates the auricular branch of the vagus nerve, which leads to rapid reduction in sympathetic output and improved recovery from stressful events, anxiety attacks, and fight-or-flight responses.
We recommend using the device daily for a few months to strengthen your vagus nerve response, and then using it on an as-needed basis anytime you experience an acute stress response.
Is electrically stimulating the vagus nerve safe?
Electrical nerve stimulation has been demonstrated to be safe in thousands of patients across hundreds of clinical trials. The most common side effects of electrical nerve stimulation include skin itching or irritation, discomfort during treatment, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, or fatigue, but these side effects are typically very mild, infrequent, and subside quickly upon removal of the treatment.
There are many electrical nerve and vagus nerve stimulation devices FDA cleared for various medical indications with output current values of over 50mA. VeRelief uses an output of less than 10mA, which is substantially less than the output of other FDA-cleared vagus nerve and general nerve stimulation devices. Hoolest has also conducted 3 IRB approved sham-controlled studies that demonstrated the treatment to be safe and tolerable in patients experiencing moderate to severe state-anxiety.
Who is VeRelief intended for?
VeRelief is intended to provide rapid relaxation and recovery from an elevated sympathetic state. The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s built in “Fight or Flight” response. When the nervous system goes into fight or flight mode, this results in physical symptoms like elevated heart rate, muscle tension, breathing rate, and even racing thoughts and leads to poor sleep quality, increased risk of developing sickness, and damaged relationships with loved ones.
Being in a sympathetic state is more closely related to people who experience anxiety attacks, acute stress responses, or have experienced traumatic events that cause nervous system imbalance rather than general anxiety, worry, and ruminating on negative thoughts.
VeRelief is an excellent way to quickly reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, and can be used in conjunction with other chronic anxiety treatments like meditation.
What does it feel like?
In one of our clinical studies with 24 patients, we asked them to give up to 5 words to describe how the treatment felt. Here are the top results:
• Relaxed (11 times)
• Calm (9 times)
• Ear Vibrations (7 times)
• Tingly (6 times)
• Comfortable (4 times)
• Focused (4 Times)
• Meditation (3)
• Intriguing (2)
• Peaceful (2)
• Soothing (2)
• Balanced (1)
• Ear dancing in lava lamp (1)
• Intense (1)
• Sleepy (1)
• Theta State (1)
• Tired (1)
How long do I have to hold the device in place to get the effect?
It is recommended to hold the device in place for at least 1 minute on each side of the neck to get the minimal calming effect, and at least 5 minutes on each side of the neck to get the maximum calming effect.
To get the maximum effects from vagus nerve activation, we recommend using the VeRelief everyday for a few minutes per day as part of a daily wellness routine. Daily vagus nerve activation will lead to reduced sympathetic output over time, improved ability to respond naturally to stressful situation and events, and can help reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions.
How long do the effects last?
The calming effects generally last between 10-40 minutes, but can sometimes last for hours. The length of time the effects last is dependent on a few variables:
• Intensity: The higher you turn up the intensity, the longer the effects will last.
• Duration of Treatment: The longer you use the device in one sitting, the longer the effects will last. We recommend a maximum of 10 minutes of use in one sitting.
• The Immediate Environment: The environment you are in will affect how long the effects last. A calm and quiet setting will lead to longer lasting effects, and a noisy and chaotic environment will lead to shorter lasting effects.
Can you get desensitized to vagus nerve stimulation?
There have been no reports of someone becoming desensitized to the VeRelief products or auricular vagus nerve stimulation in general. However, it is possible that over time you may need to turn up the intensity to get the same therapeutic effects as when you first started.
Electrical nerve stimulation is non-addictive and there have been no reports of anyone ever developing a dependence to auricular vagus nerve stimulation technology.
Is it safe to use on children?
VeRelief is not indicated for anyone under the age of 18. However, electrical nerve stimulation is a common modality used in the pediatric population in the fields of functional neurology, applied kinesiology, chiropractic, and other fields. You should consult with a certified nerve stimulation specialist such as a functional neurologist to find out if VeRelief can safely be used on your child.
How often do I need to replace the electrodes?
Frequency of electrode replacement will be different for everyone, as it is dependent on how often you use the device. The electrodes begin to dry out over time when exposed to air, causing a slight sharpness during stimulation that can be uncomfortable for people with sensitive skin.
VeRelief Mini Electrodes
For those who use the device every other day or more, we recommend replacing electrodes every 7 days for the most comfortable experience. Beyond 7 days the treatment may become sharp and irritating for those with sensitive skin. However, please feel free to continue using electrodes for as long as you possibly can!
For people who use the device once per week or less, you may only need to replace the electrodes every 14 days or so. However, if the electrodes are too dry, we recommend replacing them with a fresh pair for the most comfortable experience.
VeRelief Prime Electrodes
VeRelief Prime electrodes are larger and last longer than the Mini electrodes. We recommend replacing them every 14 days for the most comfortable experience.
Electrodes left in their unopened jars will last 12 months or longer before needing to be used or replaced.
Placing old electrodes back into their original jars to rehydrate them has been demonstrated to prolong electrode life, but we cannot recommend that option as it may cause contamination due to being stored in a closed container after being exposed to external elements.
Will this help me achieve all my hopes and dreams?
What is the best way to use VeRelief?
The most common feedback we’ve received is that VeRelief helps calm racing thoughts just before bed so people can fall asleep faster. Other applications include reducing fight-or-flight symptoms such as racing heart rate, breathing rate, or muscle tension just after experiencing a stressful event or after a long day.