You’ve heard of the Rock, well this is the pebble! Our intrepid reviewer spent 30 days using the Sensate 2 device and here is what he thought.
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We scored Sensate at 21/25, here’s the low-down:
Meditation has been a part of my daily routine for a number of years now, and it is often difficult to measure the effects of this beyond HRV and my general feeling of wellness, although both are hugely variable and subject to hundreds of other factors.
I thought I was pretty good at it; I have seen improvements in my HRV and general feeling of wellness, but then came the Sensate 2 device! This truly is a gamechanger, especially before bed! 15-30 minutes of use and I felt relaxed enough to nod off wherever I was lying.
So, how does the Sensate 2 device work? You place the device on the middle of your chest, plug in your (ideally noise cancelling) headphones and click play on the app. The vibrations on your chest are designed to calm your vagus nerve (the nerve that links your brain to your vital organs and which regulates stress reactions in the body).
The link between the vagus nerve and healthspan has been known for thousand of years, with ways to affect in in practice for thousands of years. One well known example is chanting, which is has been shown to improve your wellbeing – some people use humming (essentially the same thing) as it is perceived to be more socially acceptable.
The device is great for use before sleep, upon waking up and even throughout the day. The vibration from the device promotes calm and feelings of safety, making it suitable for those that suffer anxiety and/or other such ailments. The device is suitably discreet, so one could even use it while in crowded spaces or public transport using the lanyard accessory provided with the device. In the box you also get an eye mask, which is helpful for those that struggle with FOMO!
The vibrations of the device are timed with the soundscape to which you are listening, and this makes for a very immersive experience, as you the bass, as well as hearing it. This does wonders for absorbing you in the experience and removing all distractions. Although, I would highly recommend noise-cancelling headphones, as the vibration from the device can be a distraction.
While I will not make reference to my HRV statistics whilst using the device (as it would not be scientific to do so), I did notice better sleep quality and higher HRV when using the device.
The Sensate device uses infrasound – sound waves with frequencies below the lower limit of human audibility (30Hz) – essentially low-frequency sound. A combination of infrasound, vibrations and ultrasonic waves has an effect on the vagus nerve, that increases parasympathetic activity and promotes calm, reducing the toxic effects of stress. The benefits of calm and meditation have been well documented for thousands of years. Vagal nerve function has a strong relationship to the parasympathetic nerve system, but actively controlling it yourself is very difficult, so this is where Sensate can help.
Sensate promises “profound relaxation” – something which is hard to show empirically! However, various studies do demonstrate a relationship between improved HRV and decreased risks of all-cause mortality and death from cardiovascular disease.
I’ve spent considerable time toning just about everything other than my vagus nerve, but with the Sensate 2, I can ensure it is toned to perfection.
Technology is often linked with activity (Fitbit, WHOOP, for example) and quite often cops for flak in the popular press as dominating our lives and increasing our stress levels. However, I felt that Sensate redresses that, leaving me calmer, less stressed out and sleeping better. Taking time to focus on improving my healthspan in a relaxed way is something I will definitively be building into my routine on a daily basis.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience better sleep, reduced stress, higher HRV and a better sense of general wellbeing since using the Sensate 2 device, so for me I’m sold. The device ticks all the boxes for me and fits in well with my existing routine. The only consideration is the £199 ($280) cost but you can’t put a price on health and wellbeing.
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