The Gator Bliss Room (Biofeedback Lab for Increasing Student’s Strengths)
at the University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center on Radio Road
This room contains 6 computer stations equipped with the Healing Rhythms software and an additional station containing emWave PC, Dual Drive Pro, and Wild Divine software. Below are descriptions of what the room has available for your use. Sign up for a time by calling 392-1575 and asking for the first floor reception desk, or by dropping by the Counseling and Wellness Center on Radio Road. In order to use the computers you must first attend an orientation session (for using Healing Rhythms) or an advanced orientation (for introduction to the emWave and Wild Divine programs). You may use the other equipment without an orientation by checking with the staff at the reception desk. All of these items are sold for self-help use and thus with the instructions provided you should be able to use them. If something is not working, please tell the support staff and they will notify the appropriate personnel in order to resolve the problem at a future time.
Healing Rhythms biofeedback training computer program
Healing Rhythms is a self-care tool that combines Wild Divine's groundbreaking biofeedback technology and beautiful interactive imagery with expert coaching. Healing Rhythms is a practical mind-body training tool measuring heart rate variability (HRV) and skin conductance level (SCL/GSR). It provides: 1) Guided meditation and breathing exercises led by expert coaches; 2) Visually interactive biofeedback activities allowing you to practice the techniques you learn in the program; and 3) A biofeedback monitor screen that allows you to monitor your physiology as you improve your mind/body skills. You will use the white finger sensors (next to the computer called an IOM). Instructions will be provided at orientation.
EmWave PC: biofeedback training computer program for dealing with stress/anxiety and improving peak performance.
Welcome to EmWave PC, the computer program that can change your life. It turns out that we live our lives more so between heartbeats than because of them. EmWave PC is a biofeedback program that allows you to not only monitor your heart-rate; it conditions you to manage your heart rhythm. The hardware platform measures heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate coherence (HRC) through the black ear sensor. You can c lick on the EmWave PC icon on the computer desktop and then on the Tutorial for full instructions. Using EmWave PC regularly will allow you to develop confidence in your ability to manage any task more efficiently by teaching you how to flow. Moreover, it can facilitate your ability to get in the zone. Once you’ve learned how to manage your heart rhythm you are prepared to manage life more effectively and efficiently. Instructions on the computer program are self explanatory. Further instructions are in the Bliss Handbook which you can check out from the front desk.
Journey to Wild Divine: Two different biofeedback computer games- Passage & Wisdom Quest
These two computer games are marketed as a “meditation adventures for the mind and body.” By using the game and wearing the white finger sensors (next to the computer), the unique technology allows you to progress through mediation and breathing exercises to help reduce stress and anxiety. Learn to FOCUS through Zen Archery, learn BREATHING by building a magic stairway with your breath, and enhance ENERGY by juggling balls with your laughter. How does it work? The hardware platform measures both heart rate variability (HRV) and skin conductance level (SCL/GSR) through the three sensors gently attached to your fingers. The measurements are registered through the white Iom and fed back to you through energy “events” on the screen, which challenge you to control your body’s reactions. We recommend that you begin with “The Passage” and then for more advanced biofeedback challenges, move on to “Wisdom Quest.” Journey to Wild Divine provides an entertaining way to learn stress and anxiety reduction, increase relaxation and focus, and improve mental and physical performance. Instructions on the computer program are self explanatory.
Dual Drive Pro
Dual Drive is a new kind of car-racing game: Relax to win! As you play, you’ll use breathing to control your stress levels. This is a proven tool for peak performance and stress reduction in a fun game format. Worldwide, clinical programs including Dual Drive have helped people improve their ability to concentrate and advance toward achieving life goals. These programs have also helped developing children, busy families, and people in demanding physical careers reduce stress.
RESPeRATE: Reduce stress and blood pressure
RESPeRATE is a non-drug portable biofeedback medical device designed to lower high blood pressure but is also very relaxing to use for stress management. As you sit in our recliner with the device in your lap you can listen to instructions and music using the attached headphones. RESPeRATE will then interactively guide you through a 15 minute therapeutic breathing exercise that has been clinically proven to lower high blood pressure within 4-6 weeks– with no side effects. A Quick Start user’s guide is in the Bliss Handbook.
emWave PSR (personal stress reliever)- Hand-held trainer
This tiny personal stress reliever is a portable version of the emWave PC computer training program. Continued use helps you to improve your HRV and coherence. Use this in the massage chair or in the lobby by the fountain. The center has several of these available for use. A Quick Start guide is in the Bliss Handbook.
Temperature Sensor: biofeedback for stress management
People’s hands tend to become cold when stressed because the body’s stress response causes blood vessels to constrict in the extremities. Using a digital thermometer with a temperature sensor attached to your fingertip, you can learn to reverse your body’s stress response by warming your hand temperature. The digital thermometer provides feedback on your ability to calm your sympathetic nervous system and create a relaxation response. Hand warming biofeedback can be beneficial for those who suffer from stress, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, pain, digestive disorders, and other stress-related or stress-exacerbated disorders. Instructions for how to increase fingertip temperature are in the Bliss Handbook.
Robotic Massage Chair / Recliner: Just sit back and relax!
The Robotic Massage Chair (Titan RT-Z05) allows you to select one of three automated programs which alternate between massage modes and can target different areas of your back. Or, you may customize your massage using a wide variety of massage modes. For specific sore spots, position the massage rollers to target that spot. The remote control in the chair pocket allows you to select the program best suited for you! Of course, you can also use the chair as a comfortable recliner while you listen to music or an instructional CD, watch a DVD, or while using other biofeedback equipment, such as RESPeRATE or a Digital Thermometer. Note that using the headphones attached to the chair you can only listen to the music provided by the company. Of course, you can use your own MP3 player through your own headphones.
MindTech 2000 Light and Sound Machine
This little machine provides audio and visual stimuli aimed at producing a state of relaxation. Use this in the chair or in the lobby.
(Persons who suffer from epilepsy/seizures should NEVER use this device).
This training device measures minute changes in skin pore size and sweat gland activity as it relates to tension. Use it with one of the IPODs in the chair or lobby or at one of the computer stations as you practice relaxation techniques you have learned, or watch the relaxing large TV screen. Instructions can be found in the Bliss Handbook.
Two IPODs are available for your use loaded with MP3s which include bi-naural beat technology, verbally guided breathing practice, guided imagery, HRV music, Meditation music, Self-hynosis and sub-liminal persuasion, and Yoga Nidra.
Several of the above descriptions are adapted courtesy of Dr. Wendy Settle of Notre Dame or taken from the manufacturer’ s literature.