Thursday, October 4, 2007

The science of Biofeedback!

Dr. Bob Whitehouse is a psychologist certified in biofeedback, and a former board member for the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, and Sunny Turner is a MA/biofeedback practitioner.
Biofeedback uses electronic equipment to monitor people's internal physiological states and gives feedback that helps the recipient learn how to control these states, to activate, balance, release or to recover from them. Usually this also involves a coach, who guides the process, interprets the results, and makes suggestions. In The Journey to Wild Divine, however, the game itself gives you information about whether you're progressing or not. And, if you're having trouble, you can ask for help from a mentor within the game on how to change your energy.
The Journey's biofeedback component measures a player's Skin Conductance Level (SCL) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV). SCL measures sweat gland activity. Increased perspiration indicates increased autonomic nervous system activation, which is associated with increased energy-both positive, like excitement, and negative, like nervousness.
HRV is calculated from the differences in heart rate from one heartbeat to another. No two intervals are exactly the same, and you need a device more sophisticated than just taking your pulse to determine it. Greater HRV is a healthy goal. In fact, people who exhibit this tend to live longer and enjoy life more. Parts of The Journey require users to attain this goal in order to move forward in the game.

Examining HRV is the fastest growing area in biofeedback and it can provide important methods of working with our own physiology. The Institute of HeartMath is one of many research groups that has been studying the effects of greater HRV. It combines research-based techniques and unique technology to help people fight the stresses of everyday life. Its research suggests that when you increase your HRV you can reach a state of coherence within the power spectrum frequencies of the heart that then gets the brain to synchronize with the heart and boost the immune system. This coherence pattern in the heart frequencies is also known as the heart's Resonant Frequency. Meditation, slow and easy abdominal breathing, or connecting with positive emotions are three researched ways for getting this desired pattern of both strength and balance.

By synchronizing your heart rate with the breath (two skills that can be gained through playing The Journey), you can quite easily reach your heart's Resonant Frequency. . Also, when we are in this state of coherence, its desired vibration pattern ripples out around us in an electromagnetic doughnut shape detectable eight or more feet in all directions. It even shows up in the brainwaves of anyone we touch! Who wouldn't want to experience the positive effects of such a state more and more often?Biofeedback is scientifically proven to have a powerful, positive effect on your emotional and physical well-being by teaching you to alter your brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and other critical bodily functions. For more information about biofeedback, Read Dr. Bob Whitehouse's article on the Science of Biofeedback or visit the Mayo Clinic's Complimentary & Alternative Health Center.

By Dr. Bob Whitehouse and Sunny Turner.Biofeedback Technology in The Journey to Wild Divine

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