Biofeedback and neurosignaling devices can support physical and emotional health by helping you meditate, relax more deeply, relieve anxiety and stress, and enhance focus for creative work.
You may already be using a biofeedback device such as a Fitbit Activity Wristband.
What is biofeedback? A good definition is provided by Wikipedia:
“Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will.
“Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate…
Biofeedback may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
“Eventually, these changes may be maintained without the use of extra equipment, for no equipment is necessarily required to practice biofeedback.” (From the Biofeedback page.)
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Emma Watson says her interest in meditation is “born of an interest in Buddhism.
“I started being interested in a literary way, but I realized that reading books wasn’t enough, that you have to practice for it to work.
“So I started it, and I love it, it helps me a lot.”
Another article notes Watson “practices mindfulness using a smartphone app called Headspace, and loves it so much she’s tweeted her fans encouraging them to have a go.”
You can get a learn more at Amazon:
Related article: Meditation for Emotional Health and Creativity
“Mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function.”
Also see quotes by Anderson Cooper, Kate Hudson, Moby, creativity author and teacher Orna Ross, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and others.
Ariel Garten explains the benefits of another device: her company’s Muse: the brain sensing headband, an EEG headset for enhancing meditation.
Health publication Livestrong writer Jess Barron notes:
“According to the American Psychological Association (APA)’s 2010 Stress in American survey nearly 70 percent of Americans experience physical and mental symptoms of stress, but only 37 percent think they are doing very well at managing stress.
“And then there’s distraction. …
“The Muse brain-sensing headband … was amazingly effective at helping me to focus and relax quickly and motivate me to use it to relax more often.”
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Tim Ferriss introduces a guest post on his blog (The 4-Hour Workweek – one of Inc. Magazine’s “19 Blogs You Should Bookmark Right Now“):
“Can you rewire your brain in two weeks? The answer appears to be — at least partially — yes.
“The following is a guest post by Shane Snow, frequent contributor to Wired and Fast Company and author of the book Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.
“In this post, Shane tests the “brain-sensing headband” called Muse.”
Shane Snow writes:
“My journal entries indicated a general decrease in agitation and worry by the end of the experiment.
“My ability to focus on tasks (primarily writing) seemed to improve. I have a tendency to get distracted when I’m writing…”
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Video Product Review: Muse Meditation Headband
“As yogis, we are well aware of the benefits of meditation.
“Yet many of us are unsure how to begin, or don’t feel like we are equipped with the knowledge or awareness to establish a meditation practice.
“This is where Muse comes onto the scene to save the day!…”
Read more and see videos in the article:
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While the Muse headband tracks EEG (brainwave) signals, devices and software by the HeartMath Institute detect heart rhythms, and monitor heart rate variability.
Brain health specialist Daniel Amen comments:
“Too often when people meditate, they actually have no idea how they’re doing. There’s no feedback.
“The beautiful thing about the HeartMath program is it gives you immediate ongoing feedback to know how you’re doing.
“The HeartMath program actually measures where you are and can guide you to a better place scientifically…
“You have to train your brain.. which is really what HRV [heart rate variability] training is all about: It’s soothing the brain; it’s state training; it’s how to get into an optimal state so I can feel and function at my best.”
“My emWave has significantly helped me handle and process PTSD from 16 years ago… this is an amazing way to manage anxiety symptoms. I absolutely LOVE mine!” J. O’Bryan
“Many, if not most, of my patients have physical complaints that stem, ultimately, from stress.
“What I find most helpful about HeartMath’s techniques and technologies is that they provide patients with a way to have more control over their own health and have often been more helpful in lessening the harmful effects of stress than anything else I’ve tried.
“In addition, they’re fun and free from side effects!
“HeartMath is an invaluable part of my practice.”
— Wendy Warner, MD, Founder and Medical Director of Medicine in Balance, LLC. Past President of the American Board of Holistic Medicine.
See more information and videos in article:
HeartMath Tools for Emotional Balance
Also find more on the HeartMath site
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“When I was self-managing my energy, I was peaking and crashing during the day,” said Christian Hoffman, a creative director and senior designer.
“While using Thync, I was able to get a steady amount of work done and keep my mind really lasered in on what I needed to do, which lowered my frustration and made me more productive.
“That in itself is a simple way to be a little more happy and satisfied.” (From the Thync site.)
Available at Amazon:
Thync: The first wearable for relaxation and energy
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Brainwave entrainment to enhance meditation
Ken Wilber is a writer, philosopher and public speaker, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages.
[Roger Walsh M.D., Ph.D., a professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Anthropology at UC Irvine’s College of Medicine, declared “Ken Wilber is one of the greatest philosophers of this century and arguably the greatest theoretical psychologist of all time.”]
Wilber explains: “three cycles per second is a brain wave pattern known as delta and delta is the brain wave pattern that the brain gets into with deep dreamless sleep.
“It’s the same pattern that it gets into in deep formless states of meditation.
“And so using something like binaural beat technology, you can get into deep formless states of meditation in a matter of five or 10 minutes.
“It will take meditators just working on their own, usually several months to be able to learn how to do that.”
He notes there are “several companies that sell programs including Holosync and iAwake.”
From conversation between Ken Wilber and Vishen Lakhiani in the Consciousness Engineering series by Mindvalley Academy.
The NeuroCharger 3.0 by iAwake Technologies is available from Amazon.com.
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Personal development author and speaker Jack Canfield says:
“I’ve been using Holosync for years now and my meditations have gotten much deeper. I travel with the CDs, I listen to them on a daily basis.
“And as a result I have more freedom of expression, a greater sense of relaxation and being stress free, and a greater sense of personal power…”
[Also see article The Science Behind Holosync and Other Neurotechnologies using Binaural Beats by Bill Harris, Centerpointe Research Institute.]
[Also see another article with some comments about Holosync: Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe on technologies for growth.]
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Mindvalley publishes the audio meditation program OmHarmonics based on binaural beats technology for brainwave entrainment, but “with enhancements.”
Meditation to relieve depression
In her Psych Central post Rewiring Your Brain through Mindfulness, Candida Fink, MD (a psychiatrist who specializes in several areas including mood and anxiety disorders) refers to studies indicating that meditation improves emotional regulation.
Vasavi Kumar (author of the personal development course “S.O.U.R.C.E of Your Success”) writes of her experience with the OmHarmonics program:
“As someone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for 10 years, I have never been able to quiet my mind. Ever.
“And then, I downloaded OmHarmonics. WOW. What a shift. I was able to go from extreme mania to a state of absolute peace and quietness.
“I absolutely recommend OmHarmonics to anyone who has challenges with simply BEING. This is what you have been looking for. THANK YOU!”
A related binaural beats product:
Deep Alpha: Brainwave Synchronization for Meditation and Healing
Audio CD by Steven Halpern – one of several of his titles – follow link to see more.