“It was amazingly effective at helping me to focus and relax quickly and motivate me to use it to relax more often.” Writer Jess Barron
Ariel Garten explains the benefits of her company’s Muse: the brain sensing headband, an EEG headset for enhancing meditation.
Health publication Livestrong writer Jess Barron notes:
“According to the American Psychological Association (APA)’s 2010 Stress in American survey nearly 70 percent of Americans experience physical and mental symptoms of stress, but only 37 percent think they are doing very well at managing stress.
“And then there’s distraction.
“A 2010 Harvard University study found that 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.
“(Wait a second, what was I just typing? I have to update my Facebook status and check my Twitter @replies.)
“The Muse brain-sensing headband — created by 35-year-old psychotherapist and neuroconsultant Ariel Garten and her Toronto-based company called InteraXon, looks a little bit sci-fi cyborg, but it’s well-designed and fairly comfortable to wear.
“Most importantly, it was amazingly effective at helping me to focus and relax quickly and motivate me to use it to relax more often.”
Ariel Garten has worked as a fashion designer, art gallery director, and psychotherapist.
She spoke to CNN about how the Muse can help reduce stress:
“Muse tracks your brain activity. Your brain sends electro-signals just like your heart does, and this headband is like a heart rate monitor.
“As it tracks your brain activity, it sends that information to your computer, smartphone or tablet, where you can do exercises that track your brain activity in real time, and give you real time feedback to teach you how to calm and settle your mind.”
She adds, “Technology can definitely be responsible for making people stressed because it pulls at our attention, it distracts us, it increases the number of demands and in some ways decreases our own agency.
“We’re very interested in inverting that on its head and creating solutions that help you calm yourself; that can help you stay grounded, choose what to focus your attention on, and manage your own mind and your response to the world.”
[From “Can this brain-sensing headband give you serenity?” By Sally Hayden, for CNN, August 18, 2014 – one of multiple articles in the Reviews and Press section of the Muse site.]
video: What is Muse measuring and what is the research behind it?
~ ~ ~
Product Review: Muse Meditation Headband
From the video description:
“Are you interested in meditating but feel like you don’t even know where to begin?
“Or perhaps you’ve tried meditating, but got disheartened after your thoughts began to race and you weren’t sure how to combat it?
“As yogis, we are well aware of the benefits of meditation. Yet many of us are unsure how to begin, or don’t feel like we are equipped with the knowledge or awareness to establish a meditation practice.
“This is where Muse comes onto the scene to save the day! Introducing brain sensing headphones that provide real-time feedback on what’s actually going on in your brain while you meditate.
“And while this technological feat is impressive in its own rite, Muse has been dubbed your meditation’s personal assistant!
“Let’s find out why this technological tool is so revolutionary to your meditation practice.”
~ ~ ~
Tim Ferriss introduces a guest post on his blog (The 4-Hour Workweek – one of Inc. Magazine’s “19 Blogs You Should Bookmark Right Now“):
“Can you rewire your brain in two weeks? The answer appears to be — at least partially — yes.
“The following is a guest post by Shane Snow, frequent contributor to Wired and Fast Company and author of the book Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success. In this post, Shane tests the “brain-sensing headband” called Muse.”
Shane Snow writes:
“So for fifteen days, I performed a five-minute Muse Calm session each morning within an hour of waking up and shaking off sleep.
“I’d sit in a similar setting (straight-back chair in a room alone), in similar clothing (comfortable, shorts and t-shirt, no shoes), with no distractions (accomplished via Bose noise-canceling earbuds) every time.
“Additionally, I performed a series of sessions in various random non-comfortable settings, to test whether different mental exercises produced different results, or whether I could remain calm while being assaulted by various outside forces—which is the real goal of NFT (Neurofeedback training)…”
“My journal entries indicated a general decrease in agitation and worry by the end of the experiment.
“My ability to focus on tasks (primarily writing) seemed to improve. I have a tendency to get distracted when I’m writing, and in the same way that the waves-and-wind exercise in the app teaches you to power through distractions and focus on your breath, I felt that I already was improving my ability to notice a distraction but keep it in the background instead of indulging it.
“Furthermore, as I walked down busy streets or lay in bed—times when I normally would ruminate—I found myself subconsciously slowing breaths and counting them as a means of shoving out bad thoughts and calming down.”
~ ~ ~
Journalist Jordyn Taylor tested the Muse and reported it “made meditation less intimidating. Instead of waiting to attend a guided group session, I can now confidently incorporate it into my own daily routine.”
(From “I Tried Muse, the Brain-Sensing Headband That Tracks How Well You’re Meditating,” The Observer, 10/22/15.)
In another article, writer Michael Hsu comments:
“As a technology editor, I predictably looked to the least-meditative, most distracting thing in my life for a solution: my smartphone—specifically apps that pair with electroencephalography (EEG) headsets to provide biofeedback for meditators.
“The headsets pick up electrical activity emitted by the brain, and the apps interpret the data to provide visual or audio cues to let you know when it thinks you’ve attained a meditative state.
“These are like fitness trackers for the mind: motivating tools that promise to take a lot of the guesswork out of meditation…
“NeuroSky’s MindWave Mobile is one such EEG device. It has a single sensor and an entry-level price.”
Hsu adds, “The product that offers the most pleasant experience overall is the Muse, a sleek headband that rests across your forehead and over your ears.
“The Muse’s polished companion app uses audio feedback to facilitate the meditation process…”
(From “Can Meditation Gadgets Help You Reduce Your Stress—and Find Happiness?”, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 31, 2015)
See the full articles and many more from major publications in the Reviews & Opinions section of the Muse site:
Also available at Amazon:
Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband by Gaiam.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~