The Israeli invention that could end period pain

Menstrual cramps have plagued half of the human race since its earliest days. No more, says the team behind Livia

A woman wears a Livia system (Courtesy)
A woman wears a Livia system (Courtesy)

If, as many believe, Adam and Eve were deposited in the Land of Israel when they got booted out of the Garden of Eden — and Eve was cursed with the pain of childbearing — then it would appropriate if the Land of Israel were the place where that pain was finally conquered.

And conquered it will be, believes the team behind Livia, a new invention termed by its makers “the off-switch for menstrual pain.”

It’s a bold claim, but to prove it, the Livia team has undertaken a bold marketing ploy — distributing free Livia products to female journalists for review. And the reports have been rave. Top women’s publications the world over, from Cosmopolitan to Seventeen to Glamour to everything in-between — not to mention tech and consumer electronics magazines and sites — describe Livia as “a life-changing technology that ends period cramps for real”; “a genius invention that could provide an ‘off-switch’ for cramps”; and “the best wearable I have ever tried.”

Those are strong words, but period cramps are a strong force that no man can ever know or understand. Yet it’s something women go through on a regular, often monthly, basis.

According to its inventors, CEO Chen Nachum and his father, Dr. Zvi Nachum, the Livia device provides instant relief from cramps, and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge, long after anti-pain pills have worn off.

There are no pills involved in using Livia; the device uses physiotherapy tech to block pain receptors through electrical pulses. Based on nerve “Gate Control Theory” (first proposed in 1965 by Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall), Livia transmits a pulse that keeps the nerves “busy,” so that pain messages that should be accepted by nerve receptors and transmitted to the brain — which concludes that a woman is in pain — aren’t. With those messages lost in transmission, there is no feeling of pain.

According to Prof. Bari Kaplan of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, who conducted a clinical trial of the device, “over 50% of women suffer from primary menstrual cramps, for which they take large amounts of painkillers. Livia uses a pain-relief method that does not involve the use of drugs. The idea is to close the ‘pain gates.’ The device stimulates the nerves, making it impossible for pain to pass. The method Livia uses has been proven effective in several clinical studies.”

The Livia device is a small iPod Nano-sized square box that a user clips onto a belt or leaves in her pocket. Attached to the device are gel pads and two electrodes, which the woman places on areas where she feels the most pain. When pain strikes, a user turns Livia on — and a few minutes later, the company says, pain is a thing of the past.

So popular has Livia proven that the device is, as of now, funded at 548% on its IndieGogo campaign. The original request was for $50,000 — and the campaign still has a month to go.

“With Livia, women everywhere can have a more comfortable period,” said Livia’s CEO Nachum. “Especially with people looking into holistic alternatives for food, medicine, and other industries, Livia is the natural step to take in order to get relief from menstrual pain.”

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