I have been a fan of the concept behind Pavlok from the very start. As soon as I read about Pavlok I knew that I wanted to get my hands on one too – soon. Therefore I bought my own Pavlok device, after I had read some first success stories. I definitely had a bad habit to break.
I was able to use a Pavlok discount code. So instead of the regular price of $199 I got it considerably cheaper (sometimes there are special offers which can considerably drop the price, even more so if you then also apply a discount code that may be around at the same time).
Of course, the question did come up if I should rather use a rubber band. It sounds logical, because you can also ‚zap’ yourself with that, and much cheaper. I decided against a rubber band mainly for 3 reasons:
- I can’t really adjust a rubber band to the size of my wrist, which can get annoying if it’s too loose or too tight (I have tried it)
- the marks it will likely leave on my wrist after ‚zapping’ myself with a rubber band (I have seen that)
- the fact that I want to use it also for other bad habits where the hand position recognition will come in handy (e.g. constantly touching my face/beard).
Pavlok: look & feel
I have seen one of the very first models which the Pavlok team produced after their massively successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. The special aspect there was that it was 3D printed. But other than that it’s needless to say that the current Pavlok version looks much, much nicer. It now has a way more flexible wristband made of conductive silicone, and it also a very nice silky touch to it. (Of course, whoever has a 3D printed model may have the hope that some day this will be worth a lot of money, like nowadays, say, a first edition Macintosh would cost… 😛 )
When you wear it, the Pavlok device is just like a watch: either you constantly feel it that you are wearing something, or you completely forget about it. The difference: the zap! 😀
The Pavlok device consist of the actual ‚Pavlok module’ which creates the electric shock, as well as the wristband where the Pavlok unit hides inside. When you buy a Pavlok, you automatically buy both, the unit and a wristband.
The electroshock module has direct contact to your skin, on the inside of the wristband. This is necessary, of course, so that you can feel the shock. It also comes with a small user guide and a USB cable to charge the Pavlok unit again.
For the wristband you can actually select from a small range of colors: black, bue, grey, pink and red (I do wonder why there’s no green and yellow to make that more complete).
Please note that in my case we are talking about the ‚full’ version of Pavlok, not the Shock Clock or the WakeUp Trainer. The latter two are different products and serve a somewhat different and more specific purpose.
Together with the Pavlok bracelet you can actually also use the Pavlok app which you can download for iOS and Android. This gives you a wide variety of possibilities to control your Pavlok. For example, you can decide if it should send an electroshock, or if it should vibrate, or if it should send a beep, or all these options. You can also control the strength of the electroshock. The shock will never be really painful, but at it’s maximum you will surely feel that shock… 🙂
Here some sample images of the app (as of Nov. 2016):
For several years my main bad habit was teeth grinding (plus the constant touching of my beard, plus the occasional cigarette…). Although I am the only one who noticed this bad habit, it was quite annoying to me. And I couldn’t control it, no matter how many times I tried to focus on it. It just happened subconsciously, and then all of a sudden I realized that I had been grinding my teeth again since quite some time.
I could have probably lived without problem with the teeth grinding, in comparison to other people’s bad habits. But the idea of Pavlok was surely intriguing. Long story short and as explained above, I invested in it, to see if it could help me. Surely the money back guarantee helped with the decision. By the time of this writing, the money back guarantee is an incredible 6 months! (the Pavlok website says that with the exception of the shipping costs, you will get all your money back, but please make sure to check the website because it may be that the terms and conditions have changed by the time you read this)
The process of using Pavlok to get rid of my bad teeth grinding habit
After I held my Pavlok device in my hands for the first time, I was kind of excited, and nervous. Of course, the first thing I did was to electroshock myself… and I can tell you: there’s no shock like the first one… 😀 It’s not like it hurts a lot. It just stings, but the first sting is ‚special’, because you don’t know what will happen.
So, after experiencing my first zap, I was ready for the test to start!
When it comes to bad habits such as teeth grinding, there is no possibility for Pavlok understand you are grinding teeth so that it could issue an electroshock. Therefore, this is in an aversion therapy that you have to undergo manually. (Side note: the Pavlok does also have a function that recognizes hand movement. Let’s say your bad habit is pulling your beard or hear, or picking your nose or biting your finger nails, then Pavlok will issue a shock after some seconds.)
On the Pavlok website they say that the manual therapy is actually the most effective one. I have no idea about the scientific details behind that, so I just had to believe that what they state there is true. After all: they are the bad/good habit experts, not me 🙂
Actually the procedure is rather simple:
In the case of my teeth grinding habit, I basically had to connect the teeth grinding actively to a bad stimulus, meaning: the electroshock. So, throughout the day I had to consciously grind my teeth (5-10 times throughout the day, not constantly), and while doing so, I had to issue an electroshock through the Pavlok wristband. This is done by simply pressing on the lightning symbol on the top of the wristband. After a couple of seconds I could then feel the zap.
Surely you have already read the science behind that („Pavlovian conditioning“, „aversion therapy“ etc), so that I can spare you the scientific details here – even more so because I am not the scientist and can’t explain all the details anyway. (This sort of therapy actually has been around for a number of decades, more than 80 years to be precise, and Pavlok surely made it known to the wider public – if you consider the media coverage it received online and offline).
You basically need to follow the above described program for time and see how your brain reacts to this aversion therapy. It is likely that your brain connects the bad habit with a bad stimulus (the electroshock) and that you will stop performing that specific bad habit. There are already a number of Pavlok success stories out there.
Already after 2 days I felt that I was much more aware of the bad habit of grinding my teeth, meaning: I realized that I wasn’t constantly grinding them anymore. This really surprised me. Usually it went like this that at some point I realized that I had been grinding my teeth for quite some time again. Already after 2 days at some point I realized that I wasn’t grinding my teeth that much anymore.
So I continued the aversion therapy program for a week and I must admit that I was both surprised and satisfied with the result. I didn’t stop grinding teeth completely in the first test run, but the comparison between before and after is like night and day. I will surely do some ‚deep dives’ now, to ensure that the habit of grinding teeth will go away completely.
It amazes me to see how the Pavlok device is helping many people with many different bad habits. It’s so simple and yet so powerful. And as I wrote above, the (six month) money back guarantee makes this rather risk free. I will also give the new Wake Up Trainer a try which is kind of different from what the regular Pavlok unit does: While the regular Pavlok was developed to break bad habits, the Pavlok team realized that their customers also wanted to create good habits. So the idea of the Wake-Up Trainer was born, and it is supposed to help you to create good habits right in the morning (maybe the most important time in terms of creating good habits and to make the most of your day).
Given the above the results, I can surely recommend Pavlok. As written above, the six months (!!) money back guarantee made the decision almost a no-brainer for me, given that I did have the funds for the Pavlok bracelet available.
And I already know my next bad and annoying habit I want to tackle: pulling / touching my beard! 🙂