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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ollin, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    I've just found out about this cool device that trains your mind to relax the body and/or vice versa, kind-of biofeedback thingy and I wonder if anyone tried it and what were your experiences in unlearning stressful patterns and symptom relief.


    emWave2 determines the degree of coherence found in your heart rhythm patterns and displays changes in real-time on the Coherence Level Indicator.

    emWave® technology is an innovative approach to improving wellness and facilitating personal growth based on learning to change your heart rhythm pattern to create coherence; a scientifically measurable state characterized by increased order and harmony in our psychological and physiological processes.

    emWave technology collects pulse data through a pulse sensor and translates the information from your heart rhythms into graphics on your computer or into easy to follow lights on the portable emWave2. Used just a few minutes a day, this simple-to-use technology helps you transform feelings of anger, anxiety or frustration into more peace, ease and clarity.

    As you practice on the go or at your computer you increase your coherence baseline and your ability to take charge of your emotional reactions. You build resilience to stress. Health, communication, relationships and quality of life improve.

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heya, @Ollin,

    A little while ago, @Peter Zafirides reshared a graphic on his site from heartmath, the makers of emwave2, which got curious about their technology and about biofeedback in general. I ended up getting a version of their emWave product that connects up to your computer using a USB port. It's very similar to the emWave2, except it uses the computer as a display instead of being a self-contained unit.

    I think it's a good system. It turns out when you breathe in, your heart rate goes up and when you breath out your heart rate slows down. The emWave sensor measures these tiny variations in your heart rate. It is called "heart rate variability," (HRV) and there appears to be significant research saying that when the variations in your heart rate are smooth and gradual, you tend to be in a more relaxed state. You can get yourself to this relaxed state by breathing slowly.

    In some sense, it's pretty simple. With the version I have, you just do slow, deep breathing, and it charts your heart rate variability. This gives you a sense of accomplishment when your heart rate variability gets smooth and gradual.

    I actually got another device, the IOM from Wild Divine, that is another HRV biofeedback tool that does pretty much the same thing. I recall liking it a bit more, I think because I trusted its measurement of my heart rate a bit more (measuring heart rate from a fingertip sensor is hard and requires an algorithm that makes educated guesses).

    Unfortunately, I was so busy, that I never followed up with the HRV work like I would have liked to. I would definitely like to try it again. For me, I would love to meditate because I know that there are huge benefits to it that would help me a lot. At the same time, I find meditation excruciatingly boring. :( I found the HRV work with either gadget to be more interesting than meditating, so trying again is definitely on my short list when I get some time.

    There is significant marketing hype from both gadgets, but there is also significant scientific evidence behind them as well. Last year I went to a Mind-Body Medicine conference for practitioners last year sponsored by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital. Herbert Benson is the former Harvard researcher who discovered the relaxation response, which is essentially the opposite of the stress response (great idea, right?). He's been running what is now called the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine ever since and has quite a few trusted clinicians that he works with. When emWave came up during a Q&A session, several of the clinicians recommended it enthusiastically as a way of bringing up the relaxation response.

    The clinicians at the Benson-Henry institute really know relaxation work and really know the scientific literature, so if they recommend it, I think it's probably a great product for the right person. As they would say, anything that brings out the relaxation response is great for the health of both your mind and your body.
    Ollin likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting. I read about emWave and watched the video but am not ready to try it.
    I love deep breathing and will stick with that for now.
    Deep breathing is one of my most helpful techniques for relieving stress, anxiety.
  4. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Thanks Forest, that's a great review! I'm a bit of two minds, as I can meditate and do some EFT to calm myself, but on the other hand would like to learn to regulate my stress levels automatically in real life situations, before unhelpful emotions or the pain alert me that something is off. And having a visual objective feedback is also confidence-building. I might give it a go then!
    Forest likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Ollin,

    I have an older version of the Heartmath program called Freeze Framer. I haven't used it in years, but liked it at the time. The visual interface is very helpful, and making it like a video game with the objective of a state of relaxation and calm is fun. I used it a lot with kids, which was a great way to teach them what it felt like to be calm. I'm sure the newer version is much better.
    Ollin and Forest like this.

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