Biofeedback possibilities with skin conductance & skin resistance
Areas of application and potential of biofeedback training with the skin conductance value
Skin conductance training is primarily about reducing stress and recognising stressful stimuli. It has long been known that symptoms such as clammy hands often occur in typical stressful situations. We also know these situations from our own lives. For example, think of a speech you gave in front of a group or a job interview. If you have been excited in these situations, perhaps you can remember the cold, proverbial sweaty hands?
One theory on the cause of this phenomenon is that our ancestors had a better grip when grasping in stressful situations due to the moist hands, e.g. when fleeing through the terrain. Once the threatening situation is over, the parasympathetic nervous system gains the upper hand: pulse and blood pressure slow down, the glucose circulating in the blood decreases, the sugar level drops. The organism is switched to rest to ensure recovery. The hands become “dry” again. The increasing activity of the sweat glands and thus the increase in skin conductance is clearly visible under the influence of a stress stimulus. This stimulus can be mental activity, emotional arousal, deep breathing or even a startle, for example, by an unexpected clapping of hands or the loud dropping of an object on the floor.
The measurement and feedback of the skin conductance, combined with guided relaxation exercises or guided meditations, helps to ensure that such situational symptoms occur less frequently or with less intensity in the future. But the particularly deep physical relaxation can also be trained in this way.
For which problems do I use biofeedback training with skin resistance?
Especially problems related to a short-term stress stimulus, tension or restlessness are examples from the mental realm. Typically they show up in things like stage fright, stuttering, agitation, impulsiveness, but sometimes also in more harmless things like being excited, not being calm enough to listen, working frantically or the like.
But physical problems such as clammy hands, sensitivity to temperatures, tingling in the palms, cold hands and temperature-sensitive limbs (for these, however, temperature biofeedback training is a more suitable alternative) are also suitable for skin conductance biofeedback.
The consequences and the problems mentioned can all be addressed with skin resistance biofeedback. As skin conductance biofeedback has no side effects, it can also be used well in combination with other approaches to improve symptoms and causes.
Solving long-term problems
Frequent, short-term stress slowly transforms into deep-seated, long-term stress, which can sometimes have devastating consequences. This is exactly the right place to start, namely when the problem is still in its infancy. Preventive relaxation training helps to combat stress before it gets worse. However, other, long-term solutions such as improving diet or physical activity should not be forgotten. Skin conductance biofeedback works particularly well in combination with other relaxation techniques.
In everyday life, we rarely notice our exact state of relaxation. Biofeedback training increases attention, improves our self-awareness. Skin resistance training enables the direct recording and evaluation of the current state, which in turn constitutes biofeedback. Weitere allgemeine Informationen über Biofeedback finden Sie hier.
Best performances in concentration and meditation
Concentration, i.e. the prolonged focus on a particular thought, question or thing, is a very important skill – starting at school and continuing through university and late into working life. Biofeedback training in general is already a good concentration exercise, because in the feedback loop of a typical biofeedback session you constantly receive feedback on which you are concentrating. In the case of skin conduction biofeedback training, you get feedback on exactly this parameter and have to focus on it calmly in order to get positive feedback in harmony with your body.
If you lose yourself in other thoughts, for example if you are suddenly asked about an unpleasant topic, then thanks to the feedback you will quickly see that you have lost your focus. So normal skin resistance biofeedback training is also real concentration training.
In addition, for evolutionary reasons, the skin conductance is linked to the state of attention. There are many situations in life where such a level of attention can be helpful. However, this can often also be a disadvantage when you want to focus on a particular topic, problem, question or idea in a modern world, but your attention is distracted by trivialities.
Meditation also requires good focus. Often an empty, concentrated state is the goal of meditation. With typical skin conductance biofeedback, you don’t really know what exactly you are focusing on at first. The body does not measure the skin conductance itself. You don’t really know (yet) what the skin conductance “feels like”. However, this changes as the training progresses. Then most users gain a feeling for a high or low skin conductance.
Keeps you calm – one of the most relaxed training methods
The skin conductance training is particularly easy to perform, the feedback works extremely quickly and you can experience the first results in just a few sessions. It is one of the most relaxed training methods. The immediate feedback makes it possible.
If you use the eSense Skin Response, for example, you can use light, vibration and much more directly via your smartphone and e.g. a Magic Blue or the popular Philips Hue for feedback. If you select a colour that is unpleasant for you (freely adjustable) for negative feedback, the body will almost alone adjust the skin conductance so that the positive colour (also freely selectable) appears again. The whole thing trained over a few minutes daily and the relaxation is noticeable.
After a learning phase of a few training sessions, skin conductance biofeedback training leads to a new feeling of switching off and full focus on calm, empty relaxation. This happens automatically and increasingly without the feedback of biofeedback, as better self-awareness is developed. Furthermore, it can be coupled with other biofeedback training methods, first and foremost heart rate variability training.
Through simultaneous training, new contexts can be analysed, the Mindfield eSense series is designed for such training at home.