Mindfield® eSense Skin Response. GSR biofeedback training system
The eSense Skin Response is a small sensor designed to measure skin conductance levels. It is widely used to help people manage their symptoms of stess and anxiety through biofeedback training. Free standard UK delivery
Mindfield® eSense Skin Response. GSR biofeedback training system
eSense Skin Response
from Mindfield Biosystems - German precision engineering at the service of health & well-being
Biofeedback with the eSense Skin Response: The Mindfield eSense Skin Response is a small sensor that measures your skin conductance and plugs into the microphone input of your smartphone or tablet (Android or Apple iOS) to show you the results on the screen. It is used to help deal with symptoms of anxiety and panic, and to help teach stress management and relaxation.
Why measure skin conductance? Your skin conductance depends directly on your state of relaxation or stress, making it a commonly used and very precise indicator of just how stressed you are. By precisely measuring your stress levels, the eSense Skin Response gives you the knowledge you need to begin the process of learning to reduce your stress. The eSense Skin Response provides a choice of ways to observe your stress levels. For example, with measurement curves, video display or with audio feedback. For audio biofeedback, the eSense Skin Response device also has a headphone jack, so you can listen to relaxing music, binaural beats, or other audio input whilst following the changes in your skin conductance levels. The eSense App, available for download, free of charge, allows the export of measurement data via e-mail.
More about Skin Conductance: Skin Conductance, also referred to as galvanic skin response (GSR) or electrodermal response (EDR), is a method for measuring the ease with which electrical current moves (or conducts) across the skin. It may sound like a rather obscure thing to bother measuring, but skin conductance gives us a very accurate measure of a person's level of stress.
So, what's the link between Skin Conductance and Stress levels? Well, the science behind the measurement of skin conductance is based on one of the basic laws of physics; the one which states that electricity travels more swiftly through liquids, than it does over dry surfaces. And here's the crux: When we are stressed, the inside of our hands produce greater amounts of sweat. More often than not, we don't even notice this increase, which can be tiny. However, even the slightest increase in moisture enables an electric current to travel much more quickly over the surface of the hand. In short, the more stressed we become, the quicker the current gets to flow. What all of this means is that if we had a way of precisely measuring the speed at which a current travels across the hand, this measure of “skin conductance” would give us a very accurate, up-to-the-second, measure of just how stressed we are. This is exactly what the eSense Skin Response device does!
How does the eSence measure Skin Conductance? The eSense Skin Response measures skin conductance simply and without any fuss. Simply attach two Velcro sensors, one to the index and the other to the middle fingers and you're good to go! The unit of measurement for skin conductance is the µSiemen (µS), and the results will display on your phone's or tablet (or you'll hear the feedback, if you select auditory feedback of the measures).
What is the measurment of skin conductance used for? The measurement of skin conductance has been used for many years by medical and psychological professionals, most commonly to help deal with anxiety related problems and panic. It is also helpful in teaching relaxation skills, in both clinical and in non-clinical settings, such as occupational and executive development programmes, where it is employed to help executives and others to learn to control their levels of stress. Historically, the highly sensitive and sophisticated technology needed to measure the usually tiny shifts in skin conductance has been expensive and only available for use through clinics and hospitals. The developers of the eSense Skin Response have worked hard to produce a device that can bring this powerful technology within reach of most people's budget. The eSense Skin Response device is the result of their development efforts and means that the accurate measurement of stress levels is now available for home-use.
How exactly is skin conductance used to help anxiety and other problems? The treatment of anxiety, as well as learning to develop relaxation and stress management skill is done through biofeedback training, using the skin conductance measures taken by the eSense device – that sounds far more complicated than it really is. In practice it's a very straight forward.
Let's just take a quick look at what biofeedback is: Biofeedback training developed after it was discovered that giving a person information (feedback) on biological functions which are not usually under their conscious control (or awareness), enables that person to start influencing and controlling those bodily functions.
To illustrate: Perhaps the most common example of putting biofeedback to use is when people start measuring their own blood pressure (BP) at home. BP is a bodily function which is not normally within our conscious awareness or control. And yet, if, by measuring their BP, a person discovers that it's too high, they could choose to make certain life-style changes, such as reducing salt in their diet or taking more exercise. By then tracking changes in their BP over time (that's the “biofeedback”), they can keep an eye on whether their life-style changes are having the desired effect of lowering their BP and, if not, they can make further adjustment (such as loosing a little weight) until they achieve their desired BP goals. In other words, the biofeedback provided by measuring BP enables that person to become aware of and is then enabled to start influencing that aspect of their health. In much the same way, the eSense Skin Response device, gives people the ability to measure and then begin to positively influence their levels of stress, their anxiety and panic reactions and their ability to achieve a state of relaxation.
Where's the real benefit in doing Biofeedback? Biofeedback can be a very effective way of dealing with a range of problems, but as with all treatments, it is most helpfully applied as early as possible when a problem, such as anxity, first appears; ideally before the problem has time to really embed itself and “take over” the person's life. But, if what you're pressing us to do is give you what we see as the single greatest benefit of Biofeedback, well, we think it's ultimately this: By giving people the means to influence and manage various aspects of their health, Biofeedback can serve as an effective, first-line treatment for a number of stress and anxiety-based conditions, and this helps to keep harsher treatments, such as medications (with all their side-effects), as a treatment of last resort – and in our view, that's no bad thing!
What's included in the eSense Skin Response package:
One Mindfield eSense Skin Response device
Two Velcro electrodes
Free app from Mindfield, available from the App Store or Google Play
Instructions for effective biofeedback practice
Which iOS Devices are Supported?
Apple® iPhone® from 4S
Apple® iPad® from 2nd Generation
Apple® iPod touch® from 5th Generation
Which Android Devices are Supported?
Android smartphones and tablets from Android 4.0 (but please note that your Android device will require a 3,5mm jack (headphone jack) for external microphones)
The following Android Devices are NOT supported?
Google Nexus 7
All Amazon devices
Important notice about Android devices: Your Android device needs a 3.5 mm input for external microphones/headsets. Most devices have this input, often included in the headphone jack. If no 3.5 mm input for external microphones is present, such as with the Google Nexus 7, you cannot use eSense. (All iOS devices specified above have this input.)
Some older Android devices which have a microphone jack will only work with eSense with a small adapter cable. This cable inverts the pin assignment of the 3.5mm microphone input. Each eSense is delivered with this adapter cable. If you find that your eSense does not work with your Android device, please use the adapter!
Own this product? Let us know what you think.