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Posted on: June 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm

Do you have difficulty controlling your cravings for junk food? Or are you finding it difficult to break bad habits ranging from oversleeping, smoking and nail-biting? If you are, the Pavlok wrist strap could be just what you are looking for [1].

Pavlok, a bracelet that can be purchased on Amazon is described as a:

“…behavior training device — it vibrates to reward you for good behavior and administers an electric stimulus to train away bad behavior.”

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 According to the manufacturer:

“Pavlok allows you to speak your reptile brain’s language by adding an unpleasant element (a safe and harmless ‘zap’ of electricity on your wrist) to what you have been taught to love (your nasty lingering habit), quickly conditioning your mind to associate an ‘unpleasant’ feeling with your bad habit… and stopping it all together.”

How does it work?

Pavlok has two parts – the module and the wristband. The wristband, which is made from silicone, is ‘one size fits all’. The module fits inside the wristband and holds the electronic components, rechargeable battery,  and Bluetooth. Pavlok’s battery has the capacity for over 150+ tiny jolts and it recharges quickly (it comes with a micro USB). The Bluetooth chip, on the other hand, is low energy and connects Pavlok to your smartphone [2].

Designed to be a smart device, Pavlok uses internal sensors and your phone. It can know when to release beeps, vibration, and zaps. The product is compatible with most Apple devices running iOS 8.0 or later and Android devices running 4.0 or later. 

For those without a smartphone, Pavlok can be used in manual mode by simply pressing the button. Users need to wear their bands throughout the day and give themselves a zap when they engage in the habit they’re trying to quit. And what’s more, the Pavlok app can be downloaded by friends so that they can give you a buzz if they catch you out [3].

Mixed reactions

The reviews that have trailed the release of this product have been mixed, with some concluding that it is indeed helpful in breaking ‘bad’ habits. Others, however, critiqued the quality, design and battery life of the product. 

In a lengthy review posted on Amazon, a customer talks about challenges experienced on his journey to recovery from alcohol and drugs. He further explained that until he used Pavlok, nothing was able to stop cravings before they began or eliminate them once they began [4].

“Hey – I’ll keep this brief. I’ve been in recovery for ~2 years from alcohol and drugs. I first sought out pavlok after a series of all-encompassing cravings. I had tried everything, meetings, supplements, meditation, changing my diet, neurofeedback etc… All these things worked well at keeping me clean and sober. But nothing worked for actually eliminated cravings once they started, or stopping them before they began.

” People who are in recovery will know what I’m talking about. But for people who aren’t, imagine living in a world where you don’t actually need to eat to live but you’re still hungry all the time. But you can never eat again because you’ll die. But you still want to eat all the time and everyone around you just tells you to eat a little bit… Or asks why you’re still hungry[…]’  he adds.

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He also expressed satisfaction at how the product has helped him avoid relapses.

“Anyway, I got my pav 2 before a trip to Europe. A highly triggering time. Airports are full of euphoric recall for me, previous drinking memories, and they are the only places on earth it’s socially accepted to be drunk in the morning. 

“But armed with my pav 2, I was able to make it through my first post-recovery flight without drinking a drop. I looked at the airport bar, I shocked myself. I thought about drinking, I shocked myself. I smelled someone’s alcohol, I shocked myself. And I repeated this trigger-shock pattern until eventually, seeing or smelling or listening to people drink no longer caused a craving for me.

“It’s hard to overstate what a relief this was for me. These days I don’t get many cravings to drink or drug. But I know if they become too much I always have my pavlok there to get some relief. And I know it is still THE ONLY THING that actually stops cravings once they start and prevents them from beginning in the first place, ” he wrote.

Get your own Pavlok 2 Habit Conditioning Device with Bonus Habit Change eBook on Amazon

The Bottom Line

Do you need one of these? Probably not, however, some people seem to think it helped them. The idea of electric shocks may seem extreme, but some people look to take extreme measures when it seems all else has failed. We are not promoting or condoning this product, but we thought it would be an interesting topic to cover and we hope you thought so too. In the end, healthy sustainable lifestyle changes that do not use electrical shocks are probably your first resort. 

  1. Bell, Victoria. Amazon is selling a bracelet that gives you an electric SHOCK when you eat too much fast food, bite your nails or spend too much time on the internet. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7149219/Shocking-new-invention-Amazon-selling-bracelet-electric-ZAP.html. 19 June 2019.
  2. Curtis, Sophie. Amazon selling bracelet that gives you an electric SHOCK if you eat too much junk food. Retrieved from https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/amazon-selling-bracelet-gives-you-16532060. 17 June 2019.
  3. Humayun, Nessa. Amazon is selling a bracelet that shocks you if you spend too much money or eat too much fast food. Retrieved from http://vt.co/lifestyle/health/amazon-is-selling-a-bracelet-that-shocks-you-if-you-spend-too-much-money-or-eat-too-much-fast-food/. 16 June 2019.
  4. Pavlok 2 Habit Conditioning Device with Bonus Habit Change eBook. Retrieved from Amazon . No date available.
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Stacy Robertson
Writer and researcher
Stacy Robertson is a writer and researcher with a B.A and an M.A in English Studies, and a strong will to literally touch all areas of life especially health by her own chosen form of artistic expression. Stacy has authored several articles on a range of different topics concerning nutrition plans and diet benefits for different kinds of people.

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