ZBox Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Over six years in development, we combined all of the sleep and breathing therapies that are known to work and funneled those principles into an easy, effective and comfortable self-help treatment.
The result is ZBox Therapy™
|What Patients Should Know About ZBox Therapy™|
ZBox Therapy works like an internal sound massage, toning the muscles and tissues of the upper airway. It combines the known benefits of orofacial exercises with other actions to strengthen your tongue, soft palate, throat muscles, and diaphragm. By gently vibrating your lips into the ZBox, sound waves are created and manipulated using your tongue, breath and throat. This allows you to hear changes occurring INSIDE your upper airway, guiding you to proper technique.
These breath, throat and tongue exercises are based on proven clinical protocol. The medical term is “upper airway remodeling”, and relief can occur faster than you might think. Doctors, sleep clinicians and patients report better quality of sleep in as little as two weeks, significantly reducing daytime sleepiness. You can do your therapy any time, night or day. Just do the exercises for 15 to 20 minutes, 5 days a week.
ZBox Therapy is as fun as it is unique, and we’ll keep you motivated to practice regularly. Plus, it’s so portable… Take it to the park or the beach. Meet up with ZBox Therapy social groups and practice together. Or, just relax in a quiet room and let your sounds create a meditative space.
During development of the concept and protocol, hundreds of people started using the box and gave us excellent feedback. We knew we were onto something good when customers started gifting ZBox Therapy™ to friends and family members with sleep and breathing disorders.
They also told us that our therapy helps to relieve stress and anxiety often associated with these disorders. If you currently use a CPAP device, ZBox Therapy™ works to reduce or eliminate the need for regular increases in air pressure and, as a supplemental therapy, may even reduce your dependance.
But if you’re like millions of others that
can’t or won’t use CPAP or other wearable devices,
then ZBox Therapy is the perfect self-help alternative.
How the device works has been awarded a U.S. patent, and each box is crafted by hand from 17 different pieces of solid mahogany. This process insures proper compression and quality of tone. The ZBox is compact, lightweight, therapy-grade and worry-free. It easily fits into a hand bag, briefcase or backpack, and ships anywhere in the world as a small parcel. ZBox Therapy is much more than just something you buy––it’s a complete support system. We’re a community of doctors, patients, certified therapists and sleep clinicians, all here to keep you motivated, feel better, and even to have fun.
ZBox Therapy includes the device, carry bag, tutorials in English, Spanish, French, Japanese and Mandarin. The instructions are super easy to follow and teach the correct protocol step by step. These proprietary, therapeutic lessons are not available anywhere else.
|What Doctors Know About ZBox Therapy™
There has been an evolution in the understanding that improved upper airway muscle function may ameliorate the severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In 2009, Catriona Steele1 reviewed the positive results that by then had been achieved by playing the didgeridoo2 and by speech-therapy exercises3 for reduction of OSAS severity. Consequent to the Swiss didgeridoo study, Brown4 and Ward5 examined the effects of playing other wind instruments.
On a parallel track, dysphagia studies were carried out by Palmer6, Neel7 and others that demonstrate the positive outcomes of oral exercises in dysphagia treatment using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI). With the IOPI, it is now possible to measure tongue muscle strength. The efficacy of oropharyngeal exercises utilizing the unique characteristics of the tongue functions required in ZBox Therapy has been evaluated through proof of principle studies in Zurich, Sao Paulo, and Seoul using a standardized didgeridoo. The results in each study were quite impressive, matching the anecdotal evidence that I have received through customer feedback since 2007.
ZBox Therapy is a distillation of the exercise protocols used in each of these University studies, and certified ZBox therapists have taught over 2,000 people the required protocol to treat the symptoms of OSA, snoring and asthma. ZBox Therapy brings to market an ideal program that combines everything we’ve learned from orofacial and didgeridoo playing exercises into a natural, holistic and affordable self-help therapy. That said, it may be good to discontinue use of the word “didgeridoo” in any future studies, or when discussing ZBox Therapy with patients. Reasoning is that patients whom may benefit from these exercises could be off-put by being told that they must learn how to play a musical instrument. The intent is to inspire, not discourage, use of the ZBox device.
No musical skill is required. Also, the Zbox device offers the correct pitch, tonality, volume and air compression, thereby dispensing with the daunting task of shopping for a didgeridoo that may or may not offer similar specifications. In assessing the benefits of ZBox Therapy, it is immediately apparent that there are aspects that separate this device from any other instrument. Uniquely, the lips are extremely relaxed in an unvoiced linguolabial trill. The result is the production of a single, unchanging pitch or drone. To modify and enhance the drone, the player creates complex formants (harmonic resonance bands) by pressing the tongue vigorously against the hard and soft palates until the passage of air is almost completely blocked. The repeated exercise of the tongue in this way can be proposed as strengthening those upper airway muscles critical to reducing the physiological muscular deficits that may be at the basis of OSAS.
The attractiveness of ZBox Therapy is that it creates audio bio-feedback by which the user is alerted by sound to create the precise flexing of the tongue muscles required for the intended affect. Unlike other exercises that may be abandoned by boredom or disinterest, ZBox Therapy is a very satisfying activity. In the 2006 Swiss trial, participants were asked to practice at least 20 minutes per day for three months on five days each week. The actual average was 25.3 minutes per day and a surprising 5.9 days per week.2 Any future studies should include full polysomnography measurement (respiratory airflow, apnea/hypopnea events, peripheral pulse oximetry, etc.) Pre/post measurement of tongue strength and endurance could be made using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI).6,7,8,9,10,11
The IOPI measures the strength of the tongue by measuring the maximum pressure that an individual can produce in a disposable standard-sized tongue bulb by pressing the bulb against the roof of the mouth with the tongue. The peak pressure achieved is displayed on a large LCD. The units displayed are kilopascals (kPa), using the internationally recognized unit of pressure, the Pascal. Standard values for normal tongue elevation strength exist, and are summarized on the IOPI Medical website: www.iopimedical.com .
THE ZBOX THERAPY™ EXERCISE INTERVENTION:
• Catriona M. Steele, Ph.D., On the Plausibility of Upper Airway Remodeling as an Outcome of Orofacial Exercise American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol. 179, 2009 Issue 10, pp. 858-859
• Milo A. Puhan, Alex Suarez, Christian Lo Cascio, Alfred Zahn, Markus Heitz, Otto Braendli, Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: ran domised controlled trial BMJ 2006;332:266
• Kátia C. Guimarães, Luciano F. Drager, Pedro R. Genta, Bianca F. Marcondes, and Geraldo Lorenzi- Filho "Effects of Oropharyngeal Exercises on Patients with Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome", American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 179, No. 10 (2009), pp. 962-966.
• Brown DL, Zahuranec DB, Majersik JJ, Wren PA, Gruis KL, Zupancic M, Lisabeth LD. Risk of sleep apnea in orchestra members. Sleep Med. 2009 Jun;10(6):657-60.
• Christopher P. Ward, Ph.D., Kaki M. York, Ph.D., and John G. McCoy, Ph.D. Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Lower in Double Reed Wind Musicians J Clin Sleep Med. 2012 June 15; 8(3): 251–255.
• Palmer, P.M., Jaffe, D.M., McCulloch, T.M., Finnegan, E.M., Van Daele, D.J. & Luschei, E.S. (2008). Quantitative contributions of the muscles of the tongue, floor of mouth, jaw and velum to intraoral pressure generation. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 51(4), 828-35.
• Neel, A.T., Palmer, P.M., & Gass, C.A. (2008). Can IOPI be used to measure tongue pressure for speech sounds? Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 16(4), 235-241.
• Burkhead LM, Sapienza CM, Rosenbek JC. Strength-training exercise in dysphagia rehabilitation: principles, procedures, and directions for future research. Dysphagia. 2007 Jul;22 (3):251-65. Epub 2007 Apr 25.
• Robbins J, Kays SA, Gangnon RE, Hind JA, Hewitt AL, Gentry LR, Taylor AJ. The effects of lingual exercise in stroke patients with dysphagia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Feb;88(2):150-8.
• Erin M Yeates, Sonja M Molfenter, and Catriona M Steele Improvements in tongue strength and pressure-generation precision following a tongue-pressure training protocol in older individuals with dysphagia: Three case reports Clin Interv Aging. 2008 December; 3(4): 735–747. PMCID: PMC2682406
• Robbins J, Gangnon RE, Theis SM, Kays SA, Hewitt AL, Hind JA. The effects of lingual exercise on swallowing in older adults J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Sep;53(9):1483-9.
Overview of ZBox Therapy™
ZBox Therapy™ for Sleep Apnea has been clinically proven to offer the only CURATIVE THERAPY for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Chronic Snoring. Playing the ZBox is fun, calming, and promotes healthier breathing. Doctors, sleep studies and patients report less daytime sleepiness and better quality of sleep in as little as 2 weeks. Some report a complete cessation of symptoms after 3 to 4 months. We're here to provide external links to all of the research, to answer questions, and to provide you with the proper instrument and tutorials.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health says, "One of the challenges in the treatment of sleep disorders is poor compliance. Thus new treatments not only need to be effective but also be ones that people are motivated enough to use. Participants were highly motivated during the trial and practiced, on average, almost six days a week, which was even more than the protocol asked for. Regular use reduces sleep apnea and snoring in people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and also improves the sleep quality of partners. Severity of disease, expressed by the apnea-hypopnoea index, is also substantially reduced after four months."
Doctors recommend practicing 15 minutes a day
at least 4 days a week.
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Medical Disclaimer: It is our express concern that you consider ZBox Therapy™ as a supplement to compliment your CPAP or any related therapies as prescribed by your doctor. The clinical results of ZBox Therapy™ are impressive, but if you currently use a CPAP machine you should not decrease or discontinue your regimen without consulting your physician.