Date: July 28, 2004 (Wednesday)
RainTurtle Good evening, ladies and gentlemen
* Aodh notices a crowd applausing
Aphanas Good evening, Rain.
Aodh Good evening =D
RainTurtle Welcome to another in the series of Trinity psi-Order conferences
Jael Good evening 🙂
RainTurtle Tonight, we have the conference of the Norca
RainTurtle The NORCA are, of course, a fictional psi-Order of the Aeon Trinity gameworld
RainTurtle There should be a cedille under the C, and it is pronounced nor-SAH.
RainTurtle This (fictional) South American organisation has a talent for the control and alteration of their own bodies…masters of disguise
RainTurtle Our topic this evening is restricted to the biofeedback-like “control” part of the equation.
RainTurtle We will leave alteration to another time.
RainTurtle Strictly speaking, “biofeedback” is the use of artificial responses produced by some kind of machine, in order to learn to bring “involuntary” bodily functions under voluntary and deliberate control.
RainTurtle Ideally, such control becomes sufficiently well-learned that the mechanical assistance is no longer needed.
RainTurtle In typical mother-hen fashion, I will start with a basic warning of contraindications and so on.
RainTurtle In this case, I am quoting directly from www.holisticonline.com/Biofeedback.htm
RainTurtle “Biofeedback therapy is not recommended for persons with severe psychosis, depression, or obsessional neurosis, ….
RainTurtle ”…nor for debilitated patients or those with psychopathic personalities. It is dangerous for diabetics and others with endocrine disorders….
RainTurtle “ as it can change the need for insulin and other medications…. ”
RainTurtle Any questions, so far?
Aphanas *shakes head*
Jael none here
RainTurtle That site has a nifty little blurb about clinical uses of biofeedback, by the way.
Jael hmm…I will have to check it out.
Aphanas *nods* Cool…
RainTurtle Other sites of interest – there are hundreds – are
RainTurtle (That last one _sounds_ more appropriate to Orgotek than Norca, ne?)
Aphanas *nods* 🙂
RainTurtle Biofeedback is used for quite a number of purposes.
RainTurtle One of these is simple research:
RainTurtle is it or is it not possible to deliberately control supposedly “involuntary” responses such as pulse, bloodflow, body temperature, and so on?
RainTurtle All of these things are easily tested in the laboratory, so it didn’t take long to establish that it was, indeed, possible.
RainTurtle Shortly thereafter, it was also demonstrated that it could be learned (and you don’t have to be a Yogi to do it)
RainTurtle Alright, so it can be done, and it can be learned.
RainTurtle Hoopdy do
RainTurtle What use is it?
RainTurtle It has medical uses, mainly stress-relief and dealing with migraines
RainTurtle More experimental uses include such things as retraining paralysed muscles that still have _some_ small nerve function, and numbing chronic pain
RainTurtle For _our_ purposes, though, the less-easily-proven uses are of more immediate concern: biofeedback and related skills form the base of most forms of psionics
RainTurtle Various devices for biofeedback are available commercially.
RainTurtle Most of the affordable ones measure only one thing….most often temperature or galvanic skin response (ie, Lie-detector :P)
RainTurtle Perhaps the most affordable is the cheezy “mood-ring”
Jael hehe 🙂
RainTurtle These are simple toys which appear to react to changes in temperature. (I’m fairly sure it’s temperature they react to, lacking electrical components)
RainTurtle I bought a couple of them at a dollar-store/el-cheapo-store yesterday….lots of fun to play with
RainTurtle The feedback comes in the form of a colour change
RainTurtle Some commercial biofeedback devices are computer games, operated by changing either temperature or galvanic skin responses in one or more fingers
RainTurtle The response is recorded by a small device that plugs into the computer
RainTurtle There are several such, with games ranging from “golf” to fantasy RPG-like things.
RainTurtle Unlike the el-cheapo moodrings, though, the price tags on these tend to start at around $250….and can go well beyond ten times that
Aphanas Not so far…
Aodh Well sort of
* Jael has a question too.
Aodh When a mood ring is being used, isn’t it possible that one may inadvertently alter the temperature around the ring or of the ring directly instead of the body temperature? (Although this would probably be more common in those who practice psychokinesis, still something i thought i may as well ask)
RainTurtle Yes, it is possible. But the same is true of any other indicator….You can play the video-game version directly without even hooking up the sensor….
Jael I was wondering about the retraining of paralysed muscles…but that probably goes beyond the scope of tonight. Am I correct?
RainTurtle Yes, but I can sketch it a little bit…..
Jael Thanks 🙂
RainTurtle The more sensitive clinical-setting biofeedback machines can pick up the itty-bitty signals of a compromised, but still-living nerve cell
RainTurtle By using the same basic methods used to teach someone to heat their hands to treat a migraine, they can teach the person to get some use from that muscle, by getting that itty-bitty nerve impulse under control again
RainTurtle Usually tried for stroke, rather than for things like severed-spine
RainTurtle Any other questions?
Jael None here.
Aphanas None here right now.
RainTurtle It would appear that there is some degree of trial-and-error, in learning biofeedback in a clinical setting (when hypnosis is not involved, that is)
RainTurtle This, however, is not a clinical setting
RainTurtle This is a psionics class
RainTurtle And, biofeedback effects are the main use of “serious” visualisation exercises
RainTurtle With or without mechanical assistance –in and out of formal biofeedback– these effects are used and practiced by psionicists as a matter of course
RainTurtle If you haven’t tried this before, start with a hand.
Aodh (Such as biofeedback ab workouts? *grin*)
RainTurtle Feel the palm of each hand with the fingers of the other. Notice how they feel
RainTurtle Focus on the palm of the hand you wrote with most recently (hehe, gets around the ambidextrous problem 😛 )
RainTurtle Choose a spot about the size of a small coin, somewhere on the palm (most people choose the middle, but it isn’t important)
RainTurtle Take a minute or two to concentrate on making that spot warmer. Think of it as holding a warm pebble, or a cup of tea, or even being on fire
RainTurtle Picture and “pretend to feel” whatever image you decide on
RainTurtle Concentrate on that image for a minute or so
RainTurtle (Grounding and centering first is good, of course)
RainTurtle Feel anything?
Aodh My spot got colder 😛
Aphanas *nods* Can actually feel the sensation one is imagining… and it appears to _actually_ get warmer.
Aphanas (touching with the other hand…)
RainTurtle Feel that spot with the fingers of the other hand….Notice anything?
Jael I _thought_ I did, though my hands are hot enough, I can’t tell if I raised the actual temperature.
RainTurtle Compare it to the equivalent spot on the other hand
Aodh Ah that’s interesting.
Aodh Now that I’ve stopped focusing it’s tingly and warm 😛
Jael hmm…they feel the same to me 🙁
RainTurtle Not to worry 🙂
RainTurtle Alright, now reverse it, and make the spot _cooler_ than the rest of the hand
RainTurtle The most obvious image here is an ice-cube
RainTurtle “pretend” to hold an ice-cube there for a moment.
RainTurtle How does this feel?
RainTurtle (reversed effects are not unheard-of)
Jael Hmm… I _think_ that hand feels colder than the other one now.
RainTurtle So, is this psionic? No, not really
RainTurtle The bloodflow to the hand is affected by your effort
Aphanas Hmm… I’m actually struggling with this one more. Keep flipping it mentally to warmer.
RainTurtle IT is about as psionic as wiggling your nose
RainTurtle not surprising that one would be easier than the other
RainTurtle When you “warm” the area, you let more blood flow through;
RainTurtle when you “cool” it, you constrict the bloodflow.
RainTurtle Most people seem to be able to learn to warm and cool the hand
RainTurtle Some are skillful enough to make a noticeable difference at the edge of the “spot”
RainTurtle A goal to work toward, if you’re bored in the car….
RainTurtle Increasing bloodflow to one area, decreases it in others…you have a finite amount of blood
RainTurtle This is supposed to be why “warming up the hands” relieves migraines
RainTurtle Constricting bloodflow cuts down on bleeding.
RainTurtle I’m sure you can think of areas of the body and situations in which one or the other would be useful.
Jael Warming up the feet or fingers on chilly nights…
Aphanas *nods* Reducing swelling in wounds…
RainTurtle So, once the hand exercise is nice and comfy, move the spot around your body
Jael Warm up sore muscles.
RainTurtle good one 🙂
RainTurtle Questions so far?
Jael None here
Aphanas Hmmm… nothing coherent.
RainTurtle FCD is madly rooting through the files, eh?
Aphanas *nods* 🙂
Aphanas OK… maybe I’ve got something.
Aphanas If one can do that with bloodflow (autonomically controlled), then in theory one could do that with any autonomically controlled chemical level.
RainTurtle *nods* It’s been used for insulin and for adrenalin
Aphanas *nods* So… what would prevent someone from curing something like Diabetes with it?
RainTurtle It can control Diabetes, in some people. It doesn’t cure it, because the control must remain conscious
Aphanas Ahh… no way to give back the readjustment to the ANS?
RainTurtle At least, so far. Combining it with more forceful methods, as discussed in an earlier conference _might_ lead to an actual cure
RainTurtle *shakes head* Not with this, no
Aphanas *nods* OK. Makes sense. Thanks… 🙂
RainTurtle Alright….that’s temperature and boodflow….
RainTurtle You folks have seen this one before.
RainTurtle Decreasing your heartrate is very similar to calming/lulling yourself in preparation for sleep, or just to chill out
RainTurtle (Guess why?)
RainTurtle Take a nice relaxing fantasy, and imagine it vividly for a minute or two….or longer.
RainTurtle The standard “chilling out on a warm sandy beach, with a pineapple full of something nice to drink, and a good book (or a cute goat…)” is the basic one here.
RainTurtle Conversely, raising your pulse can be done quite easily by vividly imagining a terrifying scene, from a movie, for example.
RainTurtle Faking terror or anger will do it
Aphanas is feeling brain-dead atm, only thing coming to mind is obvious stuff on the why… because heartrate drops automatically when sleeping?
RainTurtle Drops when relaxed
Aphanas *nods* Or that…
RainTurtle The terror/anger thing also raises the blood-pressure and the level of certain hormones in the blood…such as adrenaline.
RainTurtle An exciting-but-fun scene, like the memory of your first roller-coaster ride, is also effective.
RainTurtle Note: if that coaster ride made you puke, don’t use it unless you want to puke again….
Aphanas Heh… noted.
RainTurtle of course, sometimes being able to puke-on-demand is useful
RainTurtle Actually, back on the insulin thing, the use of hypnosis to increase the size of a woman’s breasts works on the same principle….it gets the body to release hormones to stimulate such growth.
Aphanas *nods* Makes sense…
RainTurtle Questions on this evening’s topic?
RainTurtle Next week, is Orgotek, again
Aphanas Hmm… no immediate ones coming to mind. Obviously want to be careful with such things, with the same warnings about knowing your A&P?
* Aphanas notes that overabundance of certain hormones can do very _bad_ things to the human body…
RainTurtle *nods* Hence the borrowed/stolen warning from that website at the beginning of the seminar
RainTurtle Quite so…inducing cancer in oneself is unshiny
Jael has two questions.
RainTurtle On an unrelated note, for those who might be interested, 14 index-cards worth of notes make a roughly-one-hour seminar
Jael Does using psi quicken the process if done on yourself? And I’m assuming using psi is the only way to affect someone else’s body systems, correct?
Jael (good to know 🙂 )
RainTurtle “Yes” to the second question, unless you are walking the other person through doing it him/herself
RainTurtle “Usually” to the first question
RainTurtle (3×5“ cards, for the record)
RainTurtle Any other questions? 🙂
Aphanas *Shakes head*
Aphanas Thanks very much for the seminar tonight, Rain. Very interesting… especially the combining two disciplines for possible permanent effects bit.
Jael none here. Thanks for the seminar 🙂
Jael It was very interesting. The muscle thing I find fascinating.
RainTurtle Thanks for participating. Glad if you liked it.