I had my brain scanned whilst meditating, here are the results

Lying in rebalance impulse bed and wearing headphones. (Yahoo Life Uk)
Can the wellness treatment Rebalance Impulse really fight chronic stress? (Yahoo Life UK)

If something promises to calm my racing mind and help release stress (among other proposed benefits), I'm willing to try it.

Sure, I could just go for a run, or do some journaling, but sometimes we need a little helping hand. And if this involves relaxing in a futuristic-looking illuminated pod, with my brain and pulse monitored as I'm guided through a meditation, so be it.

After being talked through what to expect for my treatment – officially called Rebalance Impulse – at REMEDI London, I picked the 'Emotional Balance' session in search of some mental equilibrium (other options include Sleep Quality, Relaxation Index, Optimal Brain Flow, Autonomous Nervous System Balance, Muscle Soreness Sensation, and Vitality).

Wired up and headphones on, I was left alone in the low-lit room for the experience...

🧘Health hack reviewed: Rebalance Impulse

⏰ Time of treatment: 30ish mins + 10 for optional feedback form

💸Price: £50

✅Pros experienced: Positive uplift, relaxed, less overactive mind after

❌Cons experienced: Easy to get distracted, recorded voice doing meditation

📝Rating: 3 / 5

Rebalance Impulse split. (Yahoo Life UK)
You can select the type of session and time that works for you. (Yahoo Life UK)

Rebalance Impulse is a 'non-invasive stimulation and cognitive training device' that's based on applied neurosciences, specially to help fight stress and prevent health problems.

The techniques include breathing exercises, guided mental imagery, cardiac coherence (a breathing technique that aims to decrease heart rate), mindfulness training, sound therapy, chromotherapy, binaural synchrotherapy (a form of sound wave therapy) and advanced meditation exercises.

REMEDI claims the main benefits obtained from the programme include chronic stress reduction, decreased blood pressure of hypertensive people, better quality sleep, stronger immune system, better vitality, increased recovery speed, better concentration and memory, better brain agility and anti-ageing.

What this looks like in reality involves lying down on a stylish sci-fi-esque bed with a panel of changing coloured lights illuminated directly above you. I opted to close my eyes, only opening them occasionally to enjoy the visuals as the voice in my headphones talked me through my chosen meditation.

Asked to picture a happy memory of mine (I went for walking through a forest in Canada where I have family), I was surprised to find this made me feel quite emotional itself. But thankfully, true to the name of Emotional Balance, this was in a positive, nostalgic sort of way. The voice continued with different visualisations and affirmations, all the while incorporating breathing exercises into the treatment.

I did notice my overactive mind become distracted on a few occasions, leading me to lose track of what I was supposed to be picturing or what count I was on for my breathing. The device also asked me to smile a few times, which felt a little silly and forced. But when I eventually did it properly, admittedly I did notice this translating into how I felt. I imagine all this was to help me regulate and calm my own emotions.

Rebalance Impulse. (Yahoo Life UK)
You can select the type of session and time that works for you. (Yahoo Life UK)

The combination of sensory experiences was definitely stimulating and relaxing, but there was something about the robotic voice in my ear that made it feel less intimate, less real, and made me more aware that I was there trying an experience, rather than just living in the moment of it.

Despite this, I must have felt pretty zen when the session came to end, with not much to say when the practitioner came back into the room, a change from my initial anxious chattiness. And it was definitely the type of zen that had I been allowed to stay in the room, head resting on the pillow, I could have easily drifted off (as someone who finds this hard to do).

In terms of the effect on my physical health, while with relaxation comes released body tension, I can only assume one session is too early to tell any more drastic benefits.

I was given the option to fill out a short questionnaire after the session, before being presented with my 'indices', having had my brain monitored during the treatment. I'm not sure the numbers really told me too much (I imagine it makes sense for my 'emotional balance' score to be one of the highest considering the treatment), though it does say for them to be more accurate they should be tracked for a minimum of five sessions. Nonetheless, a useful insight into what I might want to work on next.

  • Relaxation: 4

  • Sleep quality: 4.3

  • Emotional balance: 9.3

  • Muscular sensations: 9.3

  • Autonomous nervous system balance: 6.3

  • Vitality: 9.2

  • Optimal Brain Flow: 3.7

Rebalance Impulse. (Yahoo Life UK)
Rebalance Impulse feedback. (Yahoo Life UK)
  • Enjoyable sensory experience, with visuals, sound and comfort

  • Emotionally uplifting

  • Relaxing during and zen feeling after

  • Easy to get distracted and lose focus on the meditation

  • Found recorded voice robotic and made me take it less seriously than I would a human

  • Results not too informative after one session

I definitely wouldn't say no (as it did unlock my inner zen to a certain extent), however, I'm not sure I would seek it out unless I thought I could incorporate it into my life consistently.

While it was a relaxing and enjoyable experience overall, I found it hard to fully immerse myself in it and think it's probably not anything that regular exercise and journaling couldn't achieve after all (okay, maybe plus some sun-bed lounging and experimenting with a meditation app).

This review is based on personal experience and is not a substitute for professional medical or health advice.

Read more: I tried cryotherapy to see if freezing myself at -85 degrees C is worth the hype (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)