Feb. 10th, 2017: Biofeedback (emWave, HeartMath)

The software (emWave) and hardware (HeartMath) were easy to figure out and get going.  I started with a quick tutorial, then jumped right in with the Coherence Coach and emWave PC.  The former consisted of a programmed voice walking me through the three types of heart engagements: heart awareness (focusing on the heart), heart breathing (breathing from the heart), and heart feeling (reflecting on the good in my life).  My session lasted for 16 minutes and 34 seconds.

emwave-box

emWave box

    The “challenge level” was at 1, by default.  My average heart rate (in beats per minute) was 82, with the following coherence ratios (ranging from low, to medium, to high): 16, 21, 63.  My coherence was in “the zone” from 0-2.5 mins., and again from 4.5-10 mins.–for the majority of my session, then.  For most of the session, I felt curious and engaged, yet simultaneously relaxed and able to address each of the three heart engagements with relative ease.

 HeartMath input hardware and finger sensor

    Overall, my first session was an effective intro to biofeedback.  I was not really familiar with biofeedback’s uses (or even how it worked) beforehand, but now I feel significantly more confident with it.  I think that, next time, I’ll try upping the challenge level; though I wonder how doing so would affect the system’s primary stress relief function…

Measured “coherence” levels

   Perhaps somewhat tangentially, I am also feeling mildly curious about the hardware’s inner design and softwares’ (both emWave and HeartMath’s Coherence Coach’s) codings.

References:

  • Stern, R. M. and Ray, W. J.  (1977).  Biofeedback: How to control your body, improve your health, and increase your effectiveness
  • WebMD.  “Overview of biofeedback”.  Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-   guides/biofeedback-therapy-uses-benefits#1