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Komuso Shift Review: Does this Anti-Anxiety Necklace Work? 

A couple of years ago, deep in the pandemic, I purchased the Komuso Shift necklace. Although I initially bought it for my daughter (who was in elementary school at the time), I’ve since taken it back. Other than earrings, she doesn’t wear jewelry. I’ve been wearing the Shift pendant every day and wanted to share my thoughts with you.

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What is the Komuso Shift Necklace?

I first discovered Komuso when it kept popping up on my Instagram feed. With promises of reducing anxiety and achieving a sense of calmness, I was intrigued.

The Komuso Shift Necklace is a visual and physical reminder in the form of an elegant piece of jewelry to slow one’s breath. Its simple design makes it suitable for both men and women to wear daily.

Husband and wife team, Todd and Vanessa Steinberg, founded the Komuso Design company in 2017. Stressed out in their jobs, Todd thought of the idea when a therapist friend recommended that he control his breathing using a straw.

Although he was not new to meditation, controlling his breath was something he (and all of us) struggle with. He began to study the science of breathing, i.e., breathing deep through your belly. The Steinbergs learned about the Komuso monks of 17th-century Japan who used a flute called a shakuhachi to reach meditative states through their breathing.

Convinced that it worked and could be something big, Vanessa, a fashion designer, got to work designing the prototype of the first wearable meditative accessory. They named their company after the Japanese monks and designed the pendants to resemble the ancient flutes. They called it the Shift because it shifts your breath to shift your mind.

The Shift Necklace is available in two styles: Classic and Active.

The Classic Shift

KOMUSO Classic Shift Necklace

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The Classic Shift necklace is:

  • made of medical-grade stainless steel
  • comes in four colors:
    • matte slate
    • sterling silver
    • 14k gold
    • rose gold
  • prices currently range from $85 to $115
  • you can choose your chain size and style: 28-inch cable chain, 25-inch ball chain, or upgrade by $20 to the 25-inch or 28-inch luxe box chain
  • water resistant
  • fade-proof
  • made of recycled materials

Currently, there is no Shift for children although there has been talk of it.

The Active Shift

Komuso Active Shift Necklace
$85.00 ($85.00 / Count)

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The company introduced the Active Shift necklace in 2022. The Active Shift:

  • 316 high-grade stainless steel and has the same qualities as above but uses Cerakote technology (a thin ceramic finish)
  • comes in 4 colors:
    • Northern Lights (a steel grey)
    • White
    • Armour Black
    • Soft Pink
  • an adjustable braided nylon cord
  • sells for $85

When breathing through the Shift, it is whisper-quiet. This is intentional and one of the reasons I purchased it. You can use it when needed discreetly without bringing any attention to yourself. It just looks like you are wearing your favorite piece of jewelry.

Cuff Shift Bracelet

KOMUSO Women’s Cuff Shift Bracelet

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Also introduced in 2022, the Cuff Shift bracelet was specifically made for women. Moms were complaining on social media and in reviews that their young children would pull on their necklaces or they would get tangled. My children are older but I do recall those days.

woman wearing Komuso gold cuff bracelet and gold shirt

The Vessel Keychain

The newest and least expensive Komuso product is the Vessel, a keychain shift.


When you receive your order, it comes in a beautiful box with a fabric dust bag that holds your Shift. You’ll notice Japanese kanji engraving on the Shift which translates to “be still.”

Since I was buying for a child, I chose the least expensive option, the matte slate color with the 25-inch ball chain. The Active Shift was not a choice back then. I probably would have purchased that one since it comes in kid-friendly colors like pink and white.

I am still impressed with the quality and modern design of the necklace. I believe the founders when they say their jewelry is designed to last forever. It’s made of recycled materials and won’t rust, tarnish, or lose its color. While it’s not inexpensive, when you get it, I don’t think you’ll think it’s overpriced. But more importantly, does it work?

komuso shift necklace in packaging

How Does the Komuso Shift Necklace Work?

By wearing the Shift around your neck, it serves as a gentle reminder to practice your breathing techniques throughout the day. It is designed for everyday use.

To use the Shift, you take a deep breath through your nose to fill your belly with air. You pause and then do a slow exhale through the Shift. You’ll notice that your normal 2-second exhales become 10-second exhales.

brown background photos of woman in plaid shirt wearing komuso shift necklace

Ideally, you complete a sequence of five breathing cycles until you feel calm.

Some benefits of using the Shift include:

  • reducing anxiety
  • improving focus
  • lowering your cortisol levels, a stress hormone
    • this helps to decrease blood pressure
    • slows the heart rate
    • relaxes muscles
    • balances your digestive system

While breathing is an unconscious action, the Shift can be a mindfulness tool using the power of breath to make your breath conscious and bring you to a state of calm.

woman sitting on gray sofa blowing into Komuso shift necklace

My Experience Using the Komuso Shift Necklace

You have to wear it to use it and notice its effects. And I find, I do use it.

The mornings are particularly hectic in my house. I’m usually post-workout feeling refreshed drinking my coffee and then the stress begins. My kids won’t get out of bed, they can’t find their socks, and they’re too rushed to eat breakfast, just to name a few things.

Our nights are similarly stressful. There’s me trying to finish my work, make dinner, bring the kids to activities, help out with homework, and get everyone to bed (including myself) at a reasonable time.

Not to mention, I live with two dogs, both hyperactive in their own ways that distract me more than they should.

I used to yell, nag, and feel my blood boiling. Now, I take a few deep breaths with my Komuso tool and feel instantly calmed. I like to close my eyes but you don’t have to do that.

Who is the Komuso Shift Necklace Best Suited For?

The Komuso Shift is great for anyone who:

  • is new to or wants to practice meditation
  • has anxiety
  • has panic attacks
  • wants to reduce the feeling of stress in their body
  • is interested in mental health
  • smokers

Although Komuso does not claim to help smokers, they have tons of reviews on their site from people who used this organic tool to help them quit.

In college, I was an occasional cigarette smoker. I never got addicted but I loved the feeling that I got when I took a drag. It kind of feels like that to me. Maybe it wasn’t the nicotine I craved back then but rather the conscious breathing.

Comparisons to Similar Products

Cheaper Alternatives

Komuso was the innovator in this fashion wellness space. Since then, I’ve noticed knock-offs on the market, especially on Amazon.

Most similar products have few reviews however this one by a company called Flo is probably a safe choice. Like the Komuso, it’s made of stainless steel. However, Komuso uses 316 stainless steel while the latter uses 304.

316 stainless steel contains molybdenum which resists corrosion. So the Komuso Shift will probably last longer.


Although you probably could use a straw as Steinberg did when he learned breathing techniques, it’s inconvenient to carry a straw around. And if you’re using plastic straws, we all know that’s bad for the environment. The secret behind the Shift is that you’ll use it because it’s always on your body.

Deep Breathing

I know I’m supposed to practice deep breathing but that doesn’t mean I actually do it. Plus, I do feel differently when I use the Komuso Shift vs when I breathe on my own. The breaths feel more intentional and longer. I’ve even used it during my mediation sessions.

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Final Thoughts

Yes, the Komuso Shift is on the pricier side but I think that’s one of the reasons I use it so often. At least in the beginning, I wanted to justify my purchase. So when my daughter stopped wearing it, I took it from her.

I find the Komuso Shift to be an effective tool to calm me even on the craziest and most stressful of days.

Have you tried the Komuso or similar breathing techniques? Let me know in the comments.


Can you use your Health Savings Account to purchase a Komuso product?

Komuso products are now eligible for HSA/FSA.

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