The Daily Mail is reporting on the sighting of Meghan Markle walking through a parking lot in Los Angeles sporting the $4 gadget which was stuck to her wrist and supposedly sending calming signals to the brain.
Called a NuCalm Biosignal Processing Disc, each disc is said to contain a tiny Tesla coil, a type of electric circuit designed by inventor Nikola Tesla in 1891. The company claims the discs are clinically proven to “emit waves mimicking the natural frequencies of neurotransmitters in the body, such as gama-aminobutryic acid (GABA) and L-Theanine,” the Mail reports. “According to its makers, it simplifies the process of activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms us down, by 'tapping into the body’s Pericardium Meridian with particular electromagnetic (EM) frequencies.'”
The patches sell for $80 for a pack of 20 and $400 for a pack of 100 in the US.
Users place one disc on the pericardium-6 acupuncture point which is the same point used to relieve nausea and vomiting, and which practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe is connected to the heart. The patches are worn alongside an app which offers guided relaxation in the form of neuroacoustic software that supposedly turns beta brain waves which are associated with fear into alpha brain waves that are linked to meditation. Each disc contains “energy” for 2-4 hours and cannot be reused.
Several on-line endorsements claim that the devices are “FDA approved” however an FDA spokesperson told the New York Post that the agency was “not aware of any legally marketed medical devices under the trade name: NuCalm Biosignal Processing Disc.”
The patches are made by Solar Lifesciences, a US-based company run by Jim Poole and his identical twin brother David. The sons of two psychotherapists from New England, they claim the technology behind the patches is the result of two decades of research by a naturopathic doctor named G. Blake Holloway (1947-2020).
Shortly after Markle’s appearance with the patch, the company posted a picture of her on their official Instagram page and began to offer a free trial and discount code to promote the app which can cost up to $49 per month.
The gadget boasts of endorsements from the likes of New Age enthusiasts such as the controversial Tony Robbins, a self-help guru who is still trying to rebuild his brand after multiple claims of sexually abusing followers.
Another user is Dr Michael Galitzer, an expert in New Age energy medicine who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow's notorious Goop blog which has been fined in the past for making unscientific claims about its products.
However, experts are encouraging consumers to be wary of the gadget and the claims that it has been “clinically proven” to work.
Professor Guy Leschziner, a neurologist from King's College London, told the Daily Mail that the science behind the technology is weak and although there is “some evidence” that the body’s acoustic signals can be used to regulate brainwaves, NuCalms claims of being able to deliver the benefits of two hours of sleep in just 20 minutes sounds “suspiciously like pseudoscience.”
“How you could possibly say that 20 minutes of sleep under this device equates to two hours of normal deep sleep, I just don't understand,” Professor Leschziner said.
He added, “When you've got Tony Robbins as your main proponent, that has to ring some alarm bells.”
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