Hidden Body Signals That Could Change Your Behaviour.
Biofeedback devices have now been miniaturised into apps, and they are being popularised and designed to increasingly monitor our biological environment through personalised wearable. This article briefs us on the advances these wearable have made in the last few years. Biofeedback is a technique that permits us to learn to control our body’s functions, such as our heart rate. With biofeedback, we are connected to electrical sensors that help us receive information about our body. This feedback helps us focus on making subtle changes in our body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results we want, such as reducing pain. In essence, biofeedback gives us the power to use our thoughts to control our body, often to improve a health condition or physical performance. To date, modern biofeedback methods include the following, although not all of these have been presently adapted for personalised use, but it is a matter of time before they are:
- Brainwave. This type of method uses scalp sensors to monitor your brain waves using an electroencephalograph (EEG).
- Breathing. During respiratory biofeedback, bands are placed around your abdomen and chest to monitor your breathing pattern and respiration rate.
- Heart rate.This type of biofeedback uses finger or earlobe sensors with a device called a photoplethysmograph or sensors placed on your chest, lower torso or wrists using an electrocardiograph (ECG) to measure your heart rate and heart rate variability.
- Muscle. This method of biofeedback involves placing sensors over your skeletal muscles with an electromyography (EMG) to monitor the electrical activity that causes muscle contraction.
- Sweat glands.Sensors attached around your fingers or on your palm or wrist with an electrodermograph (EDG) measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety.
- Temperature. Sensors attached to your fingers or feet measure your blood flow to your skin. Because your temperature often drops when you’re under stress, a low reading can prompt you to begin relaxation techniques.
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