Written by: United with Israel Staff
Article source: unitedwithisrael.org

The easy-to-use gadget helps sufferers of anxiety achieve calm in as little as three minutes.

At a recent Israeli medical tech conference in Tel Aviv, a simple device was presented that helps people suffering from anxiety quickly achieve calm, without medication.

“Our dream was to help people achieve an immediate sense of calm when feeling distressed and give them back control over their lives,” notes the CalmiGo website. “As engineers, we took this vision and created a product to meet this need.”

CalmiGo is a hand-held device that incorporates four out of five senses to restore a relaxed state. Upon experiencing an anxiety attack, the affected person first takes the device in hand (touch) and turns it on, producing sound. The cover is removed and a relaxing scent is emitted. The user then breathes into the gadget, causing one of three lights to indicate if control of his/her breathing has been reached, which involves the sense of sight.

The entire process takes about three minutes and no medication is required.

Anxiety and stress affect the sympathetic nervous system. This results in increased breathing rates and shorter exhalations, which can cause hyperventilation and lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, tingling in the hands or feet, accelerated heart rate and nausea. It can also cause poor concentration and fatigue as well as disorientation.

The device addresses all these issues by encouraging prolonged exhalation and grounding a person suffering from a panic attack through multi-sensory stimulation.

CalmiGo’s New York-based team is made up of a number of Israelis. The CEO and co-founder is Adi Wallach. She received a B.Sc in biomedical engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology-Technion and a Master’s in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and guided imagery from Retter College in Israel.

The president and co-founder is Dr. Orna Levin, a serial entrepreneur whose products have been sold to such companies as Teva and Omega Pharma NV.

Dr. Avner Wallach is a co-founder. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology-Technion and has been a post-doctoral research associate in the fields of physiology and neuroscience at Columbia University, Ottawa University, and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.

The idea for the device stemmed from Wallach’s own struggles with anxiety. “Wishing to avoid medication, I turned to therapy, biofeedback, yoga, herbal supplements, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques to find some relief,” she wrote on the CalmiGo website.

While these steps decreased the frequency of her attacks, they did not lessen the severity.

Adi conducted research and learned that panic attacks involve both psychology as well as “a physical and chemical ‘assault’ on the body’s systems, one that is so overwhelming that you might think it’s never going to end, that you’re losing your mind or having a heart attack.”

These finding led to the creation of this device, which can be taken anywhere an anxiety attack or panic could occur.

The gadget calms the body and mind and is effective during both moments of acute distress as well as for long-term stress reduction.

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Date published: 04/01/2020
Feature image: CalmiGo 

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