General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Is anybody here familiar with biofeedback devices?

Asked by LostInParadise (29756points) 1 month ago

I did a Web search and got different points of view as to how effective biofeedback is. I am particularly curious to know if biofeedback can improve meditation by causing a person to focus on brainwave patterns indicative of a meditative state of mind.

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4 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I used one for physical therapy a long time ago. It was measure muscle contractions and other muscle related things. It didn’t help me, but I had a bad diagnosis at the time.

Regarding thoughts and blood pressure and heart rate, I have read that biofeedback can be effective, and probably worth a try.

Regarding meditation I have no idea. Is that only measuring brain waves? I’d be interested in your results if you do it.

gorillapaws's avatar

Pardon my ignorance, but I was under the impression that meditation was all about clearing your mind. Wouldn’t whatever feedback mechanism that would communicate this mental state immediately snap you out of it? e.g. you finally clear your mind and the light turns green (or the buzzer buzzes, or the chime beeps, or whatever) and then your brain immediately snaps out of clear mind to “green light!” which would immediately change to red light. Perhaps I’m wrong. I’m neither an expert in biofeedback, mental states nor meditation.

LostInParadise's avatar

You may be right, but there are various devices claiming to help with meditation. Here is a Mayo Clinic biofeedback ink. If you do a search for meditate, you will see the mention of a meditation device that measures a person’s calmness. I assume the Mayo Clinic has some degree of credibility. This is a subject I know nothing about. If it has any legitimacy, it may be worth looking into.

gorillapaws's avatar

@LostInParadise I think it’s a fascinating idea, I’m just confused how such a thing could possibly work. The entire point of feedback is to communicate with you which necessitates getting your attention…but this is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish when meditating (as I understand it). I’d be like a machine to help you fall asleep, that loudly blurted out “Congratulations on falling asleep! You’re doing an excellent job!” every time it detected you sleeping.

Perhaps there’s a way to attain a meditative state and still monitor the feedback somehow. Like how you can relax your eyes and see the image in the 3d stereogram or something along those lines. Thanks for the link, it’s an interesting question for sure.

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