August 26

Komuso Shift Review: Is it Worth it?

Komuso Shift Review: Is it Worth it?

The Komuso Shift necklace by Komuso Design is a piece of functional jewelry that works to help users with anxiety and stress relief. While nearly everyone agrees that it looks great as a piece of jewelry, does it actually work and is the Komuso Shift worth it? Let’s find out in this Komuso Shift review.,

Review of: Komuso Shift

Use: Anxiety-Reducing Necklace

Effectiveness

Longer exhalation reduces anxiety.

Ease of Use

Just exhale through the Shift.

Design

Sleek and discreet for public use.

Value

Nicer, but pricier than competitors.

What I Like

  • Doesn't look like an anxiety device
  • Genuinely stylish and discreet
  • Makes breathwork easy

What I Dislike

  • Somewhat expensive

Summary: The Komuso Shift is a worthwhile investment that helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels. It works by prolonging exhalation to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. While the initial investment may deter some, this necklace is in a class of its own with regard to combining function and style.

While I was impressed by the Komuso Shift, it may not necessarily be for everyone. Be sure to read to the end to make sure this investment is worth your while!

From $85 

Komuso Shift Review: Is it Worth it?

The Basics: Komuso Design Review

What is this Komuso Design Necklace?

The Komuso Shift is a necklace shaped a bit like a flute or whistle, and it’s intended to help with stress and anxiety relief. More than just for show, this piece of jewelry was designed to help the user prolong exhalation by blowing into it. This is supposed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help one to calm down from an anxiety or panic attack.

The History Behind the Komuso Shift

The name Komuso itself pays homage to a group of medicant monks from the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism. During the Edo period in Japan, the Komuso monks were known for playing bamboo flutes. These bamboo flutes were used not just for playing music, but also as a meditative practice. Sometimes referred to as “blowing Zen,” many Komuso monks used the flutes as a breathing-based form of mindfulness meditation.

Does the Komuso Shift Work?

Well, as far as the science is concerned, it does check out. Both prolonged exhalation and mindfulness meditation in general are well-documented coping mechanisms for anxiety. We’ll dive deeper into the research in a bit, though. For now, let’s talk about my experience using this necklace from Komuso Design.

komuso shift unboxed

My Experience: Komuso Shift Review

The Komuso Shift is one of those products I saw in a social media ad and knew I had to try. I’ve tried other stress-relief tools before and have had mixed experiences with them. I understand the concept of a breathwork device, so the function was nothing new to me. What made Komuso stand out to me, however, was its combination of function with style.

Most anxiety relief tools and gadgets are… well, ugly. They might work, but not without screaming, “look at this medical device.” The Komuso Shift is stylish and discreet. To test it, I wore it out in various social settings (bars) to see whether people noticed or commented on it. Being a guy, I didn’t expect much here. Men are not renowned for their ability to notice and compliment other mens’ jewelry, after all.

After some drinks and sparked conversations, however, I did have a few girls ask "if it was some kind of whistle." Both times I told them it was an ancient Japanese kaleidoscope that could show them what they needed most in their life. I took the necklace off, let them look through it, and then smiled and waved from the other side.

Phenomenal pickup line? I think so.  

Beyond this, I was able to use the Komuso necklace for anxiety quite discreetly. If I exhaled through it casually, nobody really seemed to notice. It makes a negligible amount of sound, which is drowned out by the ambient sounds of crowded places.

As for its function, it definitely helped to reduce my stress levels. By inhaling normally through your nose and exhaling through the Komuso Shift necklace, your exhale is prolonged. This primary function of the device helps our nervous system to relax and prepares us for a state of reduced stress and anxiety.

komuso inscription

How to Use the Komuso Shift

Here’s how to use the Komuso Shift, according to the instructions included with the necklace:

step 1

INHALE

INHALE deeply through only your nose to fill your belly with air. Become aware of your thoughts.

step 2

PAUSE

PAUSE and gently exhale through the Shift for 8-10 seconds to release all of the air from your belly. Squeeze your belly to expel all air from your lungs. Note, you are exhaling, not blowing.

step 3

RELAX

RELAX your jaw and your shoulders after you exhale. Notice your thoughts shifting to your breath.

step 4

REPEAT

REPEAT breathing cycle at least 5 times. You just signaled your nervous system to chill out. Stay present with your breath and let your mind be still.

The Science: How Does the Komuso Necklace Work?

There are a few ways the Komuso Shift can help with anxiety, at least from a scientific perspective. Here are some interesting studies for those interested:

Prolonged Exhalation and the Parasympathetic Nervous System

When we're feeling anxious or panicky, we tend to over-breathe (or hyperventilate). Unfortunately, this worsens our anxiety symptoms and creates a vicious cycle, as we suppress our parasympathetic nervous system even further.

Studies have found that these undesirable effects can be reversed by prolonging exhalation. In doing so, we are able to promote activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, helping ourselves to calm down and enter a state of enhanced relaxation instead of anxiety. [1]

The Komuso Shift has been designed with size and shape specifications that result in a longer exhalation than you’d get from breathing normally. Using this device, your breathing is slowed down to a rate which can better promote parasympathetic nervous system activity and relaxation.

Mindfulness Meditation Promotes Anxiety and Stress Relief

As mentioned earlier, the Komuso monks would often use their bamboo flutes as a form of mindfulness meditation. While some people think of meditation as sitting still and being silent, it can actually take many forms. By following the instructions carefully and bringing your awareness to the present moment and to your thoughts, the Komuso Shift can also be used as a meditative tool.

Mindfulness meditation is a well-documented way to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Studies into mindfulness meditation have found that mindfulness-based stress reduction programs can have a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms in GAD, as well as improve stress reactivity and coping. [2]

Learned Association Between the Komuso and Relaxation

You know how we feel at ease watching reruns of our favorite guilty pleasure TV shows? Anxiety devices like the Komuso can elicit a similar effect with successful repeated use. As you use the Komuso more and more frequently, it’s possible that your brain will learn to associate the necklace with a state of relaxation. Once this association develops, you may begin to feel a bit more relaxed as soon as you even look at or wear your Komuso Shift.

Pros

  • Stylish with various color options (Genuinely works as a regular piece of jewelry)
  • Extremely discreet (By far the most discreet breathwork device I’ve seen so far)
  • Helps to regulate breathing and get hyperventilation under control
  • Activates the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stress and anxiety

Cons

  • Can be a bit expensive
  • Perhaps a bit basic in its function (not necessarily a bad thing)
  • People may ask what it is! (also not necessarily a bad thing)

Komuso Alternatives: Couldn’t I Just Use a Straw?

Sure. If you hate sea turtles.

In all seriousness, you could try breathing through a straw. Maybe it would work for you (although if you get the straw size wrong it could make your breathing pattern even worse). Personally, I’d rather not have people thinking I’m blowing imaginary spitballs all day. The only thing that could’ve made my high school panic attacks worse would’ve been developing a reputation as “the straw kid.”

Where the Komuso Shift really shines, in my opinion, is in its stylish discretion. When I use the Komuso Shift at a party, no one has any idea it’s a tool for anxiety. People assume I’m just thoughtlessly chewing on my necklace. Pretty ideal for those with social anxiety.

If the Komuso Shift necklace is out your price range, I recommend starting with manual breathwork like 478 breathing. It’s not quite as glamorous as using a breathwork-assisting device like the Komuso Shift, but it can work in a pinch if money is an issue.

Otherwise, use the discount code above to make the price tag a bit more bearable!  

Sources

[1] Komori, T. (2018). The relaxation effect of prolonged expiratory breathing. Mental illness. (source)

[2] Hoge, E. A., Bui, E., Marques, L., Metcalf, C. A., Morris, L. K., Robinaugh, D. J., ... & Simon, N. M. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for generalized anxiety disorder: effects on anxiety and stress reactivity. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 74(8), 0-0. (source)

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About the Author

Years of personal experience with anxiety disorders and panic attacks have led me to devise some pretty creative ways to keep my anxiety in check. In the past, anxiety and panic attacks felt like something I'd have to live with forever. Nowadays, panic attacks are a distant memory for me, and I'm free to pursue passions like writing and traveling the world. Hopefully, the information on this website can help you achieve the same. I do all the writing here myself, so don't hesitate to reach out with questions!

Tyler Ellis

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