If you’re looking for the intersection of a medical marvel, productivity hack, and convenience — the street sign likely reads “Healium.”
At-Home Brain Therapy
Billed as a “mental fitness” tool, Healium is a clinically validated channel that helps users manage their mental health using augmented and virtual reality. In normal words: Healium uses cool tech to make people feel better and work smarter.
The primary piece of the puzzle, neurofeedback, is how Healium reads information from the brain and informs the user about what it sees.
With this technology, users can get live looks at factors such as stress levels and alertness. Translating this information into easily digestible feedback allows users to gain new insights about their mental states and exercise greater control over their moods and habits.
While the technology under the hood may be complicated, the practical applications are simple — and, in theory, almost limitless. Let’s take a look to see what neurofeedback can do and how its applications will shape the future of mental wellness.
How does neurofeedback work?
Healium doesn’t scan your brain with your smartphone’s camera (not yet, anyway). Instead, the app works through an EEG headband, a neat device that goes around the head of the user.
Healium and its BrainLink Lite headband can also hook up with iPhone, Android, Vive, Pico Goblin devices. The BrainLink headband can also be paired with Oculus devices, expanding potential uses to all-new realms.
The app starts off by measuring EEG data from the user to create a baseline.
If you’re looking at your phone, you’ll see a small firefly move around, representing your focused calm or flow state. Relaxing more makes the firefly on the screen go higher — as does being more focused. What about when you’re stressed?
You can see the reaction of your stress or distracted thinking by watching the little firefly on your phone screen — the firefly begins to fly downward.
What do you do when the firefly starts flying down?
With the little firefly blip on the screen going down — you can relax or change your thinking. Healium provides a variety of feedback forms to help users recognize when they’re leaving the desired state of mind.
In VR, for example, Healium may tint the landscape red or pause an experience to get the user back on track.
Can you see the jaguar now?
The jaguar helps you increase focus. You can even change the color of a jaguar’s fur by increasing your focused calm thoughts! The jaguar represents your “stress animal.”
You train your brain with exercises — made just for you
Over time, you’ll use many exercises to help you train your mind to operate in more desirable states for longer periods of time.
Measuring both alertness and relaxation as the same kind of positive result may sound confusing, but it’s actually quite simple.
Healium can differentiate between different types of relaxation (meditation versus scrolling aimlessly through social media, for example).
The app can do the same work for different types of active brain work (like writing in a flow state versus side thoughts, like stressing about your relationship woes). The mental state the user wants is treated as a positive state.
Mental fitness app and productivity tool
Healium helps with both personal betterment and self-awareness. Functions such as Healium’s alertness and engagement training, for instance, can help professionals master the flow state to focus more on what’s in front of them. At any moment you can see where you are mentally — and learn to retrain your focus with ease.
What’s your mental fitness level?
Medical applications cover a variety of areas. Studies show neurofeedback can help medical practitioners and their patients achieve a host of positive results, especially with issues of mental fitness.
What about depression and anxiety?
One recent study focused on neurofeedback as a self-management tool for depression and anxiety. Participants practiced meditation with Healium’s augmented reality app, then gauged their mood states before and after. Overall, participants demonstrated changeable EEG activity and self-reported mood improvements after use.
Use in trauma
Trauma therapist and researcher Heather Hargraves discovered both professional and personal benefits from neurofeedback using Healium’s tools. After a major car accident in 2000 and the death of her brother a few years later, Heather experienced major trauma, both physically and mentally. Symptoms including dissociation followed suit.
Eventually, through her academic career and personal experience, Heather found meditation combined with neurofeedback provided a level of comfort she had not experienced using other methods.
Now working as a clinical practitioner, Heather helps others identify and deal with their internal struggles. She recommends patients use Healium neurofeedback between sessions as a way to reinforce the improvements they make during their treatment sessions.
The future of neurofeedback in daily life
Applications in personal, professional, and medical circles reveal that there’s personal power to be gained using the tool of neurofeedback. As Healium and other technology-fueled mental wellness tools become more widespread — neurofeedback will be one of the most effective techniques to help people make the improvements they desire in their lives.
Helping business productivity
Healium for Business has already begun to help professionals improve their performance while reducing the job-related burnout that has become a crisis. People are growing more aware of the need to manage their mental health effectively, and neurofeedback tools provide a practical, accessible way to do so.
Relieve your personal pain points
Personal users experience a litany of issues neurofeedback can help alleviate. Who doesn’t experience stress from work, family, friends, and otherwise? Many people struggle to tear themselves away from distractions like Netflix or social media.
With neurofeedback, users can reclaim control over their attention spans to spend their energies in the places they choose.
Using neurofeedback in medicine
Neurofeedback in medicine will continue to grow as more practitioners recognize the benefits of real-time mental health training. Today, neurofeedback is more heavily involved in psychological care, but these tools can also help with issues such as the self-management of chronic pain.
Healium at-home use
Healium at home puts the powers of neurofeedback in the hands of everyday people. Anyone can take advantage of powerful science and easy-to-use tools to train for productivity or self-managing anxiety.
As neurofeedback becomes a more common form of self-managed care, more people will incorporate these treatments into their daily lives.
Image Credit: from the healium home blog page
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