On BioFeedback, Part 2

BioFeedback in Practice

In Part 1, we redefined Biofeedback so that its definition was inclusive of this biological based process (in organisms who possess nervous systems).

In Part 2, we’re going to:
Look at the currently accepted practice of Bio(Tech)Feedback
Describe THE MOVEMENT’s approach to BioFeedback

Current Practices
Just for ease of differentiation, I’d like to refer to the current practice as: BioTechFeedback
biofeedback_diagramLet’s review our description of BioTechFeedback:

“Bio(Tech)Feedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems…with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception.”

I think standard BioTechFeedback practices can be summarized as such:
-Use technological interventions
-to ascertain (physiological) states
-to direction attention towards them
-or take some small action
-in order to change them for the better

If this is how BioTechFeedback works,
Can BioFeedback work without the tech?

(Movement) M-BioFeedback
toe_touch
M-BioFeedback is based on a few simple premises:
-How one behaves in the external environment affects one’s internal environment
-That effect is either positive or negative
-That effect can be measured

At first glance, THE MOVEMENT’s approach seems quite sparse compared to the Tech heavy current practice of BioFeedback:
-The user performs a behavior
-The user immediately measures his body’s response with his body
-If the response is positive, the user takes that as an indicator to continue the
behavior.
-If the response is negative, the user takes that as an indicator to discontinue
the behavior.

How we apply this is the Gym is simple.
-We do a movement.
-We measure our range of motion (a neurally mediated response)
-If we get more ROM, we keep doing that movement
-If we get less ROM, we don’t do it

Some of our members have played with other quantities or BioMetrics (physiological measures) such as HRV (heart rate variability), peripheral visual field breadth, etc, but often revert back to ROM…because it so quick and reliable.

Over time, users of this type of BioFeedback find it unnecessary to measure ROM, and shift towards “feel” instead.
-They do a movement
-If it feels good, they keep doing that movement
-If it doesn’t feel good, they don’t

I find it interesting that those with little to no exercise experience who come to testing find it unnecessary to test an exercise to determine its efficacy. They often know having performed the movement if the movement “felt” good or not. This trend of the trained returning to “feel” based and the untrained possessing “feel” is very interesting.

In Psychology, the term “repression” is used to describe not feeling one’s feelings. In bodywork, Hanna (of Somatics work) uses the term “sensorimotor amnesia” which is inclusive of motor patterns lost and not just sensations or metasensations lost that repression addresses. Both terms point to losing the ability sense and feel.

I think one of the most beneficial outcomes to testing movement and performing positively testing movements is that it helps to restore “repressed” sensations, helps in the restoration of lost motions and their related sensations, alleviating this somatic amnesia.

I think THE MOVEMENT’S BioFeedback practices can be summarized as:
-Perform a behavior
-Measure one’s response to the behavior by feel or by quantitative response
-If it feels good or if there is a quantitative increase, the behavior is continued
-If it doesn’t feel good or if there is a quantitative decrease, the behavior is
discontinued

But why?
Why do we do this?

For me, BioFeedback Based Action started as a way of judging the efficacy of my actions. Is this helping my body? Will it help me get out of pain?

But over the months of doing this for myself, I found that I was doing more than before every workout. I wasn’t always lifting more weight, but I was always doing more. I was setting a PR every time.

It’s no accident that this became an evolution in exercise.
It was utilizing an evolutionary effect.

(To be continued in Part 3)

On BioFeedback, Part 1

4 thoughts on “On BioFeedback, Part 2

  1. Hi Frankie,
    Your understanding on new terms in respect to exercise is very interesting, especially relating to motion. Without making any ideology or explanation I found that the “feel” is a better and more reliable measure to decide if an exercise is beneficial or not, than heart rate or other equipment involved indication. Even intervals can be controlled properly where using timer is difficult or expensive like in water. Only a little experience is needed and listen to your own body, lol. If that is biofeedback, than it is not too far from adaptive optimisation theories and practices in electronics.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  2. Pingback: On BioFeedback, Part 3 |

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