Archive for Biofeedback

An “E – Interview” with Chuck Davis, Creator of the ROSHI EEG/Neurofeedback System

An “E – Interview” with Chuck Davis,
Creator of the ROSHI EEG/Neurofeedback System

Editors Note: Within the AVS / light and sound community, Chuck Davis is known for his knowledge and experience in developing brainwave measurement and entrainment systems. I was fortunate to meet Mr. Davis during a Winterbrain conference a few years back and try his ROSHI EEG/Neurofeedback system. Having used other EEG/NFB systems before, I tried the ROSHI, and taking into account the large number of interested people in the room, found achieving the targeted alpha frequency difficult to attain at first, but after a few minutes felt capable of maintaining that frequency easier than on all the other systems. The ROSHI is definitely “user friendly”.

Chuck has developed one of the finest EEG / NFB systems available in the ROSHI and has recently, in conjunction with Ray Wolfe, created an EEG / AVS interface that will certainly en- hance any neurofeedback training session. Before reading Chuck’s replies to those questions, let’s begin with a little background and contact information:

“After having spent a couple of “lifetimes” in aerospace and the music business, looking for an alpha training instrument, I met Hershel Toomim, of BioComp, in 1979. He was develop- ing BioComp system, on an Apple.

We got into some interesting ideas. After hours of rapping, he hired me. Thence came his BioComp 2001. I designed the infrared communications part. Most anytime, one can find me at 1.323.292.2550.”

Q: How did you initially get involved in eeg/neurofeedback? Did you start out in light/sound or biofeedback? When was that?

A:” During the late ’70s, while in the music business, I started hangin’ out with the `consciousness’ crowd, est, Esalen and the Perls gang, Reichian folk and knew the Late Robt Monroe. Experienced and studied his stuff. Hung out w/ Glenn and Lee Perry and their Samadhi Tank, before they went big time. My first “snap” into pure space, no time, was in the tank. While working for Hershel, my intuitions started to make sense to me. One day, at Hershel’s, this guy came in with a Synchro Energizer. The light bulb flashed on. What better way to set the flicker rates than the brain, itself? This new technique is not concerned with sin- gle frequencies, per se, but /any/ total number of stationary frequencies. Well, almost. Ten years ago, while scanning thru patents, to be sure that I wasn’t going to be stepping on any toes.”

Q: What does ROSHI stand for?

A: “In zendos, there’s a robed fellow that walks around with a little stick. If, during your “sesshin”, you should start dozing off to la la land, you get to experience a whack from that stick. He’s called the Roshi; same as the Maharishi. A teacher/trainer/guru who’s been there, done that. I’ve told a couple people that one of the reasons that called the system, ROSHI,

is that I didn’t have the balls to call it “Maharishi”. I went to school on those folks, with my de- sign rules following the TM® model. The power of the mantra to organize the brain/mind/spirit interface.”

Q: What gave you the motivation for creating the ROSHI?

A: “What is meditation, really? While in Japan, in the ’60s, I asked why those monks sit like that all day. “It toughens you up.” Huh? Needless to say, that stuck with me, for twenty years. I couldn’t afford the other stuff, not even Hershel’s, so I designed my own. In late ’85, I bought an Amiga A1000. It was a perfect opportunity to teach myself effi- cient real-time programming, while putting all of my neurofeedback design rules into one program. It was a truly personal project that went commercial.”

Q: What aspects of your system (ROSHI) are unique, ie, what other NFB systems lack?

A: “First, there’s response time. When I first started writing the code, in 1988, `Visceral’ or *pre- conscious* control of a screen display was on my mind. I figured that the feedback had to be fast enough that the brain operator couldn’t trick it. I’ve received a few barbs about ROSHI’s response time not being that relevant. How would `they’ know, since `they’ don’t know how to do it?”

Q: Could you please explain, in simple terms so us neophytes can understand, what the ROSHI does and how an individual can learn how to operate it?

A: “When a person is deeply, deeply relaxed, into just “blackness”; from there, you use your tal- ent to coach the client to do the ROSHI General Practitioner Protocol [RGPP], or whatever mo- dality you choose to use. From this “space”, with the subject’s critical-logical mind is “quieted”, the client is learning to (Witness the training, rather than `trying to do’ the training. Learning to focus one’s attention, with the least amount of effort; the zone. From this “space”, the immune system, too, can do its “housekeeping”, as it is not being /disturbed/ by the noisy incoherent “conscious mind”. The Complex (adaptive), C (a), EEG coupled L&S protocol, appears to in- duce the brain towards focused attention, it appears to accelerate the boost of the brain’s me- tabolism, blood flow, enough that the subject is able to maintain awareness, during training, without falling to sleep; whereas the average person would have long wandered into zzz land. With this ability to induce the brain to “normalize” itself, through time, the brain begins to pro- duce the neurochemistry necessary maintain this “new” operating region. You can call it a “neuro-mantra”. This EEG driven/coupled protocol is a time domain kinda system. It uses par- tial wavelet/chaos stuff, as it adapts to whatever the raw EEG is doing, even up at subcortical brainstem speeds. With this wideband C(a) protocol, the brain becomes an active phase error detector. With the brain inside of this “closed loop”, phase corrections begin to take place. This takes energy, bloodflow. Wake up, wake up! Now, when the subject has approached this state of “samadhi”, quietude, the trainer can begin coaching to whatever NFB protocol is cho- sen. On the other hand, one can boost the performance of their tapes, CDs or whatever. This combination, along with your current TOVA, MMPI, Beck or whatever, makes for a most pow- erful training system that you’ll have, IMHO, of course ;)”

Q: I understand that you and Ray Wolfe have developed an interface for the ROSHI that allows for the synergistic integration of l/s stimulation. Can you tell us about it?

A: “Yes, indeed! About a year ago, my source for EEG amplifier boards “lost” the ability to deliver anymore of these boards to me.  The structure of the ROSHI(AVS) software is segmented into three parts. None of these three protocols “knows” that the other exists. It is left up to the trainer/clinician/Roshini to integrate them into any protocol they should decide to mock up, for their client’s situation. By moving just the C(a) subroutines onboard the EEG unit, this new EEG front-end gets to be operated as a stand-alone EEG coupled L&S system that can operate on top of, or with *any* BFB/NFB setup. As the serial port communications will be “open platform”, this will allow other “neuro- hackers” to do their programming thing. The ROSHI(AVS) software is a different kind of thing, I think. When coupled to the stand- alone ROSHI2 front-end, it becomes a full blown interhemispheric NFB training system. Briefly, regardless of training modality, it is always pushing the brain operator to be in synch. It brightens things up.”

Q: How often do you personally use the ROSHI? What are your personal goals for doing so? Do you incorporate other modalities while training (light/sound, tactile stimulation, etc.)?

A: “Myself, I do C(a), with EMDR. The ultimate goal of ROSHI is to vanish. I’m not a clini- cian or a trainer. Yes, ROSHI will drive magnetics and CES.”

Q: What’s your definition of the perfect eeg/neurofeedback instrument? If light/sound are part of it, what color LEDs would you use? What type sound stimulation?

A: “Heck, the ROSHI(AVS) NFB system, of course. I leave the choice of LED colors to the cli- nician. I use a simple beep, at training threshold. When I tell people to /make/ the tone beep, they can’t. But, when I instruct them to find a mind “space” where they can *allow* the feedback tone to happen, a little grin comes over their face and, for them, the concept of time begins to vanish; first order meditation. Two different sets of Tru-White® HemiStim type of LED frames are shipped with the system.”

Q: What considerations should someone new to NFB take into account when shopping for NFB equipment?

A: “This is a general response from an exhibit I attended, at Winter Brain, in Miami: “Roshi (tm?) and the Roshi Roshi (Chuck Davis) were present and, as usual, inundated with requests for demo’s. The new model of the Roshi, which runs independently of a computer, is going to be a really neat device. Can’t wait to get one. My Roshi(AVS) session really woke me up, in mid-afternoon, when presentations were putting me to sleep, and left me lucid well into the wee hours.” This recent report was from a Ph.D. clinician who had heard of the ROSHI(AVS), since ’95. From another clinician: “Oh yeah!! That’s what I love about ROSHI. If one is ready to go transpersonal, the ROSHI is ready to take you there.”. As usual, a person should look for price/performance.”

Q: Of all the research studies you have been involved with, is there one in particular that has left a lasting impression on you?

A: “The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation”, Evans-Wentz “Neurofeedback Treatment of Depression with the ROSHI” has been published, by D. Corydon Hammond, Ph.D., Vol 4(2), in the _Journal of Neurotherapy._ Being able to take a person from the deepest near suicidal depression, to peak performance, without drugs, and to outperform other protocols, is quite a reward for me.”

Q: What do you believe are the most important issues facing NFB today?

A: “Getting more public and HMO acceptance. Zero Prozac, zero Ritalin, please!”

Q: What do you see the future of NFB being?

A: “Strong. NFB is just beginning to look at expansion into more areas, the chiropractic, physical therapy, golf…”

Biofeedback for Controlling Stress

Biofeedback for Controlling Stress

 

We all know something about biofeedback. It’s about learning to alter our brainwaves with no outside help. And when we achieve the targeted brainwave frequency, our mind receives an audio or visual reward. It works. Repetition is key to progressing. The more you practice the better you get. But if you don’t personally have a biofeedback system, making appointments to visit a biofeedback technician can get expensive.

Mindplace Thoughtstream GSR Biofeedback

Mindplace Thoughtstream GSR Biofeedback

 

So keep it simple. Mindmachines offers the Mindplace Thoughtstream for about the cost of two average visits to a biofeedback center. It’s hand-sized, portable, very cost effective and includes a Windows-based Mental Games disk for moving objects around on your pc monitor. As you learn to control the moving objects you will be simultaneously learning how to control your stress.

 

The Mindplace Thoughtstream measures how focused and relaxed you are as you control objects found in the Mental Games software. By having objects respond to your mental, emotional and physical states during Thoughtstream sessions, your ability to attain the same states at will, when needed, becomes greater.

Mindplace Thoughtstream

Mindplace Thoughtstream

 

Visit Mindmachines for complete information about the Mindplace Thoughtstream GSR Biofeedback system with Mental Games Media Software.

 

Liquid Crystal GSR

Liquid Crystal GSR

 

AWARE SQUARES and LIQUID CRYSTAL GSR. Much like a thermometer, they accurately monitor your system’s blood flow and allow you to view your body’s physical response to daily stressors. Aware Squares are completely safe when affixed to any external part of the body. We recommend placing them on one of your hands, at the base between your thumb and forefinger. This will allow for maximum viewing.

Another placement suggestion is affixing an Aware Square (or Liquid Crystal GSR) on the inside portion of your wrist. By placing clear adhesive tape over the square and gently affixing both ends of the tape to your wrist, the Aware Square can stay on for hours. It is very simple to apply the Aware Square. Gently bend a square between thumb and fore finger to peel off the white backing, allowing the adhesive to show. Then affix to skin area by lightly pressing.

There are times when the effects of a light and sound session can be very subtle. Our mental, emotional and physical response to the session can be difficult to determine. This is one example of how Aware Squares can prove valuable. Before you begin a session, place an Aware Square on your hand. Allow 2-3 minutes for the square to activate. Observe the color of the square. Experience the session. Upon session completion, again observe the square. Did the color change? Are you mentally aware of any differences?

Quite often, utilizing Aware Squares as a “before and after” indicator will help us become mentally aware of the changes we experience from a light and sound session. Another facet of Aware Squares are the edges. There will be occasions when your Aware Square will be one solid color. Other times, you will notice that the edges are a different color than the center portion. This is an excellent indicator of which direction you are headed in. For example, say your square is green, representing a “normal” state, but the edges are blue. This tells you that you are in the normal mode, but are leaning towards a more tranquil state. Likewise, if the middle is green but the edges are yellow, chances are you may be getting a bit tense.

Just as our awareness to the benefits of a light and sound session can be heightened through the use of Aware Squares, so too can we become aware of our response to daily stress. Wear an Aware Square at work or school. What situations cause the square to lighten? Being aware of your physical response to stress will allow you to take action, to safeguard against the negative effects of stress. Aware Squares were tested at and work best in an environment where the temperature is approximately 73 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend placing them at the base between thumb and forefinger for maximum viewing. Simply squeeze AWARE SQUARE with thumb and forefinger to peel off backing and affix to skin area by gently pressing. Allow a few minutes to pass, then view your AWARE SQUARE. Compare color to interpretation chart.

Liquid Crystal GSR: Remember Mood Rings? How about Biodots and more recently Aware Squares?Liquid crystal sheets are the same thing! They are an effective, reusable and cost-effective means for determining your physical state. Many of us who use light and sound instruments would like GSR devices to measure our physical reaction to states of stress and relaxation, but the only choices available outside of spending a couple of thousand dollars are audio-based / tone-stimulated units that are battery operated. And most of them are pretty good. But what about those of us who prefer visual stimulation over audio, and want it fast. Liquid Crystal GSR is the perfect indicator of how you are affected by a light/sound session. Place your hand on the sheet, count to 30, remove your hand and compare it to the color interpretation chart. Do the same right after the session and see if any changes occurred. Very basic method, and accurate. Liquid crystal sheets are quick acting and provide an accurate gauge for monitoring blood flow and physical stress. These sheets are a versatile and economical tool for those who are personally concerned in controlling stress and pressures encountered in their daily lives. Each sheet is 12″ x 12″ with a peel-off backing and can be easily cut with scissors. By cutting into small squares and peeling off the backing, you can adhere the liquid crystal between your thumb and forefinger for an indefinite time (just like Aware Squares). This allows you to visually track your physical responses to stressors when it matters most. For example, any golfers out there? How’s your putting game? Do you inhale or exhale before you putt? Visibly check your physical state as you play your round. Be aware of your physical responses to how you play, it could lower your score. And what about students studying for an exam? Studies have shown being in a relaxed state is more conducive to learning than being anxious. Having a liquid crystal square affixed to your hand could help you in maintaining a more relaxed and focused state.

Liquid Crystal GSR is available in three different temperatures: 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (changes color at a transition point just about equal to room temperature); 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit; 86-95 degrees Fahrenheit (changes color just slightly below body temperature). Each sheet is 12″ x 12″ and comes with an adhesive, peel-off backing.

Copyright: Mindmachines.com (CA) 2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

The Portacle – A New Psio/Bio-feedback software system that is the missing link in the Law of Attraction

UPDATED:

We finally have the Portacle available on the webiste:
Price is $299
Product page:

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.28.37 AM Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.28.32 AM Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.28.23 AM Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.28.14 AM

I have been working directly with Don Estes, developer of The Portacle.  It is a software interface to consciousness that is hard to put into words.  That is why I am posting this teaser.  I am developing an explanation and tutorial on how to use it because we will be carrying it soon.

 

Imagine a window of feedback that helps and directs your truest intentions into manifestation…

 

The Portacle can analyze your breath, voice, or toning and direct you to your true self and true intentions.  Again, pretty hard to describe.. I am working on it!.

More soon!

 

if you are really interested . VISIT THE PRODUCT PAGE:

The Portacle

Liquid Crystal GSR

Liquid Crystal GSR:

Remember Mood Rings? And more recently Aware Squares? Liquid crystal sheets are the same thing! They are an effective, reusable and cost-effective means for determining your physical state.

Many of us who use light and sound instruments would like GSR devices to measure our physical reaction to states of stress and relaxation, but the only choices available outside of spending a couple of thousand dollars are audio-based / tone-stimulated units that are battery operated. And most of them are pretty good. But what about those of us who prefer visual stimulation over audio, and want it fast. Liquid Crystal GSR is the perfect indicator of how you are affected by a light/sound session.

Place your hand on the sheet, count to 30, remove your hand and compare it to the color interpretation chart. Do the same right after the session and see if any changes occurred. Very basic method, and accurate.

Liquid crystal sheets are quick acting and provide an accurate gauge for monitoring blood flow and physical stress. These sheets are a versatile and economical tool for those who are personally concerned in controlling stress and pressures encountered in their daily lives.

Liquid Crystal GSR general color interpretation of skin temperature:

Violet = Relaxed

Blue = Tranquil

Green = Normal

Yellow = Upset

Brown = Tense

Black = Stressed

Each sheet is 12″ x 6″ with a peel-off backing and can be easily cut with scissors. By cutting into small squares and peeling off the backing, you can adhere the liquid crystal between your thumb and forefinger for an indefinite time. This allows you to visually track your physical responses to stressors when it matters most. For example, any golfers out there? How’s your putting game? Do you inhale or exhale before you putt? Visibly check your physical state as you play your round. Be aware of your physical responses to how you play, it could lower your score. And what about students studying for an exam? Studies have shown being in a relaxed state is more conducive to learning than being anxious. Having a liquid crystal square affixed to your hand could help you in maintaining a more relaxed and focused state.

Liquid Crystal GSR is available in the following activation temperature: 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Each sheet is 12″ x 6″ and comes with an adhesive, peel-off backing.

Biofeedback Training to Improve Health

Biofeedback is a method for treating people to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Therapists and psychologists use biofeedback to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax and to help their patients cope with pain.

There is a good chance you have already used a form of biofeedback. For instance, ever gone outside to walk the dog on a cold and blustery day? Your body told you it was cold, prompting you to wear a jacket. How about when you stand on a scale and it shows you gained weight? Time to consider doing a little cutting back. And at sometime in our life we have had our temperature taken, thinking perhaps we are exhibiting signs of illness. If you were running a temperature higher than 98.6, then would be a good time to rest and drink liquids, and of course, contact your physician. Clinician?s machines can find a person’s internal bodily functions with much greater sensitivity and precision than in the past. The results of each biofeedback session are valuable for both the patient and the therapist, as the information can be applied to gauge and direct the next treatment session.

Biofeedback training can be demanding on patients. Patients need to review their daily routine to learn if they are contributing to their own negative feelings. Patients need also personally commit to practicing biofeedback training awareness or relaxation exercises every day. They must change their routine, their day-to-day lifestyle, and accept much of the responsibility for maintaining their own health.

Brainwaves are the electrical wave patterns generated in every person’s brain. These waves vary according to level of consciousness, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness and are characterized by four distinct types of brainwaves. Each of these electrical wave patterns has distinctly different ways of perceiving, processing, learning and knowing information. All of these brain waves are produced at all times. However, a predominance of a specific desired brainwave state can be created at will, which allows a person to potentialize his or her capabilities towards achieving human excellence. 

For a better understanding of what brain waves are and how those are utilized in biofeedback sessions, brainwave frequencies are described in terms of hertz (Hz), or cycles per second, which are measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The four general categories of brainwave frequencies and their main characteristics are:

Gamma brainwave frequencies are a high frequency pattern beginning at thirty-five hertz. There has been some evidence that gamma frequencies are associated with states of peak performance. Most light and sound instruments have the capability to generate gamma frequencies. While in this brainwave state, sensations are centered on being mentally, emotionally and physically “charged” or extremely energized. These frequencies are the highest known brainwave patterns, but are considered by some researchers to be part of the beta frequency category.

Beta brainwaves are the next highest frequency pattern, ranging from thirteen to thirty-four hertz, and can be separated into three sub-categories. The first is high beta, ranging from nineteen to thirty-four hertz. When high beta is the dominant brainwave state, anxiety and stress are most likely to occur. The second sub-category is mid beta, with frequencies ranging from fifteen to eighteen hertz. Mid beta is characterized by action, with focus on external surroundings. The third is SMR beta (Sensorimotor Rhythm), ranging from thirteen to fifteen hertz. While in this state, focus is also on external surroundings, but the individual is more relaxed than in mid beta. Within SMR is fourteen hertz, which is gaining attention from researchers and clinicians utilizing EEG / neurofeedback instrumentation. The true benefit of creating fourteen hertz in humans has yet to be determined, but a recent study at the University of California at Los Angeles found that felines could produce fourteen hertz at will, while humans cannot.

Generally speaking, beta brainwaves are characterized by logical, analytical and intellectual thinking, verbal communication and awareness of surroundings.

 Alpha brainwaves are a frequency pattern ranging from eight to twelve hertz. They most commonly occur when we are calm and relaxed, yet mentally alert. These brainwaves are also present during daydreaming.

Theta brainwaves range from four to seven hertz, characterized by being deeply relaxed and inwardly focused. This brainwave state is also associated with rapid learning and the assimilation of new information with high retention, heightened motivation to activate goals, bursts of creativity, insight and new behavior patterns.

 Delta brainwaves range from five-tenths to three hertz and are associated with being extremely relaxed, characterized by sleep.

Researchers have proven that brainwave frequencies determine what brainwave state is being experienced at any given time. By measuring the production of brainwaves through the utilization of EEG (electroencephalogram) equipment, the frequencies that produce these various brain states can be tracked on a computer monitor. As mentioned earlier, these frequencies are generated in every person’s brain, and are the result of outside stimulation that has been passed to the brain via electrical signals from our different senses. Light and sound instruments stimulate the neural activity of our vision and hearing, and can safely guide our minds to produce specific frequencies that are associated with the four general brainwave categories.

There is absolutely nothing wrong about going to see your physician or therapist for alleviating anxieties, modifying behavior and a myriad of other symptoms biofeedback has proven effective in treating. The drawbacks are the time it takes to adequately overcome your unwanted symptoms, the amount of practice necessary to progress, the need for scheduling multiple appointments and the cost of each visit.

Choosing biofeed-in mindmachines that can target the same frequencies as a biofeedback monitor, in far less time thereby speeding the progress of the individual, done personally in the comfort of your home rather that scheduling appointments elsewhere, and the obvious savings on money (you can buy a light and sound biofeed-in mindmachine for less than visiting a biofeedback specialist for several sessions), gives you a beneficial and cost-effective alternative.

Remember: Excelling in biofeedback takes time and is dependent upon the patient to access the desired brainwave frequency at will, with no outside help. Biofeed-in is just the opposite. Biofeed-in gently leads you to the targeted brainwave frequency state, without any conscious effort on your part.

? you do not need to schedule an appointment, pay a therapist, or rush to make your appointment on time. So keep it simple, use a biofeed-in mindmachine, when you desire, and you too will realize the advantage of owning your own mind machine far outweighs the hassles of practicing biofeedback sessions with the accompaniment of a well-paid clinician.