Utilizing a computer interface and sensors, biofeedback teaches people how to modulate their physiological signals towards increased flexibility. Examples of physiological signals would be EEG (electro-encephalography), HEG (hemo-encephalography), HRV (heart-rate variability), EMG (electro-myography), & GSR (galvanic skin response) People achieve a desired reward through feedback that comes in the form of audio (ie. songs or sounds), and or visual (ie. game progressing, bars rising, DVD playing).
Although the reward is good, the intention is for learning, in an effortless manner, what elicited the reward. Also being able to manipulate your physiology in a similar manner, without the hook-up or the reward, is desirable. For example, in order to change a stream side image from black and white to full of color and magic, a person will have a simple sensor on their finger which in turn attaches to the USB port on the computer, which feeds the person’s signals into the software program via the computer. By using a coherent breathing technique, the water appears, the flowers bloom and the animals appear on the screen.
Once the session is over and the person has gone home, the intention is that the person practice the technique(s) they learned during the session without being hooked up, in a benign environment. Over time and with practice, the technique(s) become easier to slip in and out of and apply when needed. Then when there are psychological or physiological triggers there is enough space between the stimulus and response so that often the person’s description of the change is “I did not feel that I was in the grip of my nervous system’s usual reaction; I felt that I had more space to chose my response”. Some people describe this as lucid living.