S. is a young adult client with some autoimmune concerns as well as some obsessive-compulsive tendencies. She would also have anxiety attacks that verged on panic several times a week, usually in response to something her roommates did that was upsetting to her.
When she began feeling agitated, things would tend to escalate quickly. On a scale from 1-10, she would typically rate her baseline level of agitation and anxiety at a 7.
During times of distress, this would quickly elevate to a 10. Much of our work related to helping her develop skills to manage these overwhelming feelings.
We used a variety of techniques including heart rate variability biofeedback, breathing exercises, mindful coloring, and using Healium.
When this client would become agitated in session, I would remind her of her skills and ask her to choose one that she thought might be helpful in that moment. Frequently she would choose Healium.
While this client was familiar with the software and experiences, at times I would also suggest experiences for her. For example, if she was ruminating about a particular fear or concern, I would recommend something a bit more engaging to draw her attention away from the repetitive thoughts.
Awake the Light or Dream Pool are good examples of this type of experience. At times I also suggested an experience she had not seen yet. The novelty of the experience could serve as a powerful distraction.
While S. was in the experience I would be observing her body language and watching for any signs that she was beginning to relax. This is usually evident in a change in posture, breathing, or even letting out a sigh.
When I would notice any of these cues, I would point it out to the client while they were still in the experience (e.g., “I wonder if you notice any changes in your body or your breath”). If she is unable to identify the changes, I would more actively point them out (e.g., “seems like your breathing has slowed down”).
As she started to relax, I would ask her to rate her current level of agitation (while still inside the VR goggles). If the level was still above baseline, I would then ask if she wanted to stay in Healium a bit longer. This process would continue until she was able to rate her agitation at the baseline level. In some cases, a single Healium experience was enough, other times she would do several experiences.
You can see from this example that Healium can be used as a tool to assist in distracting from unwanted thoughts/feelings, breaking the stress cycle, increasing self-awareness, and developing self-regulation skills.
With some clients, the Healium experiences can be internalized such that they are able to reduce their agitation simply by imagining or remembering the VR experience.
In other cases, clients/students will purchase their own Healium VR kit, rent one from the therapist’s office, or download the Healium AR app for their phone.
To read the first article in our Healium in Behavioral Health Settings series, check out “Acute Stress Reduction for Therapy Patients“.
In the time of extreme uncertainty that we are in, it’s hard to be at peace. When life becomes a headache, people tend to find a way to escape. Vacations give individuals the chance to pack up, head to a relaxing destination, and leave their stress behind.
Due to COVID-19, vacations all over the world have been put on hold, with the unknown of when it will be safe to travel again. Fortunately, Healium gives individuals the opportunity to safely take a vacation right from their own home.
With virtual and augmented reality, it’s not necessary to leave your home to experience a new place and clear your mind. Healium provides the opportunity to escape life’s repetitiveness and experience beautiful destinations while gaining inner peace.
Your mind has the power to create adventure and healing anywhere you are – don’t let the pandemic convince you your brain is limited.
Here are five of Healium’s numerous relaxation stories you can take virtually to provide a vacation during this high-stress time.
The Beach Guided Relaxation is the perfect story to escape to paradise from the comfort of your own home. On a secluded beach all to yourself, in front of you lies a beautiful crystal clear ocean surrounded by mountains and a sandbank behind you.
The story leads you through a guided relaxation making you aware of your body, how it holds tension, and how to release it. When giving close attention to the bright colors in the sky and the light reflecting on the water, you begin to release negative emotions and gain happiness within.
As you listen and pivot your focus from the sound of the waves calmly hitting the shore and the birds chirping freely, a rush of peace is created. You can almost feel the sun rays hitting your skin and the sand clinging to your feet on this beautiful summer day.
Suddenly, every worry washes away with each crash of a wave. The beach feels so real, you’ll never want to dig your toes out of the sand.
Waterfall Powered by Emotion lets your positive thoughts lift you to the top of a beautiful waterfall. With peaceful music and guided relaxation, you easily let go of all the negativity holding you to the ground.
There is no vacation spot like Healium that could give you the opportunity to let your thoughts elevate you to the top of a waterfall.
When you’re floating up the waterfall, fear leaves your body and brings you freedom. As you begin to let go of what’s holding you down, you start to rise. Once you reach the top, you get a view of how far you’ve come.
It’s a beautiful visual of how letting go gives more opportunity and liberty to not live in the “what if’s.” During COVID-19 you may feel as if you’re trapped, in that case, this is a great story to immerse yourself into in order to feel free again.
Dream Pool Guided Mindfulness places you in a peaceful forest surrounded by towering trees, colorful toadstools, fireflies, a crystal clear pond overlooking a cliff, and a giant waterfall behind you.
This guided story helps you focus on your breathing and take in nature’s beauty. While being still, you focus on the ripples in the creek and the fish flawlessly moving through the water.
The peaceful music and creek flowing allow you to gently escape and feel completely encompassed in tranquility. The Dream Pool gives your mind new creations to be in awe and keep the positive brain waves in action.
You’ll even find a delightful surprise towards the end of this experience. Be sure to watch the sky to find out. You’ll find yourself with an unexpected grin on your face.
Nebula is the vacation you couldn’t take even if you were able to leave your home. The only place you can experience floating through space in endless clouds of colorful dust and thousands of stars is through Healium.
With every steady breath taken, you propel forward into the midst of the Nebula. Using your imagination you feel the quality of the clouds, analyze the stars, and encompass yourself within the depth of the sky.
As you float through space your mind fills with endless wonder. Just like the vast sky before you, the possibilities, dreams, and hopes are countless. The Nebula story is a perfectly unique virtual vacation experience. It’s ideal for experiencing something out of this world and quickly escaping to grab some virtual peace.
Embracing the Storm is a lesson in powering through dark clouds. Seated next to a crackling fire, on a cabin porch in the middle of the country as it storms, also brings peace.
Listening to the soft rain hit the grass, the thunder rumble through the hills, and watching the lightning light up the sky is soothing. In this story, guided meditation encourages you to accept the dark times in life. Instead of trying to avoid them forever, we should take the opportunity to embrace the storm and allow it to brew until it eventually gives way.
The storm starts to let up, the clouds give way, the sun makes its appearance, the trees sprout leaves, the flowers bloom, the rainbow appears, and the birds begin to chirp with glee.
There’s beauty in the storm because after the storm comes the flowers and the rainbows. Taking this virtual vacation to the stormy cabin during COVID-19 is a perfect reminder that while the storm may be bad, we must endure it. Because when the sun comes back out that’s when we will receive our biggest blessings.
These are just a handful of the stories available on Healium’s virtual reality meditation app for Oculus Go. Stay tuned for a release for the Oculus Quest.
Currently, there are over 20 experiences with a new one added every 60 days for Healium Pro subscribers.
Caring for your mental health is not a trend. While the stigma around it has recently started breaking down, it has always been and always will be a good investment to practice self-care.
But does the thought of dedicating a large chunk of your time to your mental health feel daunting? Do you feel overwhelmed just starting?
Don’t worry. You are not alone. Just like an effective physical fitness routine, a healthy mental fitness routine takes practice and sometimes, guidance.
Some researchers believe that taking small breaks throughout the day can significantly increase your focus. Avoid cognitive boredom and burnout with small breaks.
If you want a portable, easy, way to take a break, download our free augmented reality app for iOS or Android. Through an Apple Watch with iOS, you can use your heart rate to control the experiences. Through biometric feedback, you can hatch butterflies, power the solar system, and more.
We’re giving you 10 moments in an average day when you can take a mental health break. These breaks can be anywhere from four to ten minutes. Start slow and work your way up to what feels comfortable for you.
Do you wake up and check your notifications on your phone before you start the day? Replace that habit for one week and change your outlook for the day.
If you brew a French press, you have four minutes. If you’re waiting for the whole pot, you have even more time.
Turn off the music for a moment and take stock of your thoughts. Take a deep breath and check in with yourself.
Schedule some buffer time for yourself in between your meetings.
We’ve all seen the message. Instead of clicking yes right away, take advantage of the silence and the pause for yourself.
Sometimes, completing even the essential errands can feel like a mountain climb. Reward yourself by putting yourself first.
Use this as an opportunity to restart your day and transition into home life. Whether you’re returning from work, a social activity, or errands, don’t rush into the next thing.
Work smarter, not harder. Walking away for a moment can spark new ideas. When you come back to your problem, you might just see it in a different light.
It’s fun to stay connected with your friends and family, but let’s be honest, social media use can increase feelings of social isolation. Maintain a balance by taking a mental health selfie, however, that looks.
There’s never a wrong time for self-care, so why not start now?
By incorporating good mental health habits into your day when you naturally take breaks, or being gentle with yourself and taking a break, you can start to build mental resilience and train your brain to be more calm, focused, or mindful.
While Healium is not designed to be a diagnostic tool or primary treatment intervention for any mental health concerns, it can be used as an adjunctive tool to assist in the reduction of stress. There are a few different ways to use Healium with clients and patients.
The Healium experiences have been created with content designed to quickly reduce both subjective and physiological feelings of stress.
Knowing that the brain believes what it sees, we have created experiences that transport the user to beautiful landscapes.
By removing visual and auditory cues associated with a stressful event and replacing it with peaceful and comforting scenes, the nervous system shifts almost instantaneously. In addition, our experiences provide the option of guided meditations to assist in directing the user into states of mindfulness, quiet mind, focus, or open-heartedness.
Consequently, this makes it a very effective tool to use before, during, or after a stressful event. Healium is currently being used in the following situations with this purpose in mind:
> Before surgery and childbirth
> During blood donations, and other minor surgical experiences
> After natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes)
In a school or mental health environment, Healium is used with students or clients to assist in managing states of agitation or anxiety that are interfering with their ability to be successful.
In school environments, it is being used in lieu of a “time out” or “quiet time” intervention. It is a way to provide a student a break if they become upset, or over-aroused.
The virtual reality goggles can be located in the classroom, the counselor’s office, or the principal’s office. If a student appears to be becoming agitated and they are not responding to other interventions, taking a Healium break may be enough for them to downshift and break the stress cycle.
Select students are also using Healium before tests as a way to encourage clear thinking and counteract test anxiety.
In therapists’ offices, Healium is being used in waiting areas for anxious clients prior to a therapy session. It is also being used in sessions to assist clients who begin experiencing high levels of anxiety or agitation during a session.
Essentially, it is being used as a self-management tool. In this context, we generally recommend using additional tools with Healium and/or gently coaching the client while inside the Healium experience.
This is a powerful intervention to help clients become more aware of subtle cues in their body related to states of stress versus balance.
For this use case scenario, I have generally introduced the virtual reality system and Healium software to the client in advance so it is not something they need to learn when distressed.
If they appear to be becoming increasingly agitated in the session, I will generally help them identify what is happening for them by asking about what they are noticing about their body, their breathing, their thoughts, etc.
If we have explored other self-soothing, emotion management techniques, I will encourage them to use one of those. If those techniques are not working and/or if they are too activated to use those skills in the moment, I will suggest using Healium for a few minutes.
In these situations, I do not use the EEG headband or Apple Watch, just the experiences themselves. If they have a favorite experience, I might suggest that or direct them toward experiences that may be most calming (again, it is generally a good idea to have explored this earlier with a client so you know their preferences).
In some cases, you may want something very simple and easy, such as a forest scene. In other cases, you may need something a bit more active, such as a guided mindfulness exercise, a breath pacer, or an experience that is more dynamic-with more scene changes and movement. This all depends on your client and their particular situation.
Healium virtual reality for Oculus Go has 20+ experiences within the app. They vary from nature-based to more abstract stories such as fractals and nebulas.
They are organized into different categories in order to help you and your client quickly and easily select the most appropriate experience.
Quiet Mind experiences will tend to be more calming and soothing with minimal scene changes and minimal instruction.
Mindfulness experiences are generally nature-based and will include some additional guided meditation scripts, actively drawing their attention to their experience of the scene and its impact on their internal state.
Open Heart experiences will include guidance related to activating feelings associated with appreciation or gratitude.
Focus experiences will tend to be more engaging with direction to attend not specific elements of the scene while reducing mind wandering.
*see appendix for a description of each experience
Next, read the second part in our series; “Healium in Behavioral Health Settings: A Practical Application.”
Yes, I use the BrainLink EEG with both the VR & AR apps, and I also use Apple Watch with AR when I’m on the go.
Initially, I started using Healium to self-manage anxiety and stress. This is definitely still the case, and I also love the new Focus protocol that lets me pop into Healium in the middle of the day and do a quick focus session to get my mind back on track.
Over a year.
I got into virtual reality about four years ago when I bought the Google Daydream with my Pixel phone. I was quickly hooked on VR, and soon after upgraded to PSVR for gaming. When I discovered Healium, it expanded my thinking to include using VR for more than gaming with the mental health application. Coming to work for Healium, I’ve learned more about the immersive media industry than I ever dreamed, and I’m a true XR Nerd now.
You have to experience it to truly appreciate the impact of using this type of immersive media tied in with your own brainwaves. I get to share VR with a lot of first-timers, and every time it’s just a great WOW moment when they put on the goggles and see their brainwaves for the first time. Just “getting away” in VR is amazing, and you can truly feel like you’re somewhere else just by slipping on a headset.
I am incredibly passionate about Healium because I believe so strongly in mental health and balance. I’m open about my own lifelong journey with anxiety and depression because I want to bring awareness to and change the perception of these disorders. I am a very upbeat and driven person who doesn’t fit the “typical” persona of anxiety or depression, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a daily struggle. One in 13 people worldwide suffer from anxiety, and many of those are suffering in silence without proper tools to calm their racing thoughts.
Healium is a critical tool in my own mental health toolkit that helped me establish a regular mindfulness practice to build my mental awareness and resilience. You can’t lift anyone else up without filling yourself up first, and practicing mindfulness and other good self-care is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
With Healium, we are always working to make the proven practice of daily mindfulness more accessible and easier to achieve so that our users, and ourselves, have the tools to combat a constantly changing and noisy world.
Raj is the founder of a successful health IT company called CTIS. They work to provide efficiencies in patient treatment through strategic partnerships and research. In his spare time, he paints, meditates, and is involved in several philanthropic endeavors to make the world a better place.
We have taken several of Raj’s paintings and transformed them into 360-degree virtual reality experiences. They are available on our app for our Healium Pro monthly subscribers. Raj leads us through guided meditations in each of his VR experiences.
Raj is also the recipient of a heart transplant.
I have realized post-transplant that I have received a divine gift as a magical new heart. Clearly my donor is a divine soul. This has given me a new lease on life. Life of Amor fati.
The heart brought with it a substantial imbalance among my organ system. Just the age difference, differences in the gene pool, toxic medicines, emotional disconnect, ability to remain functional, and challenges of comorbidity.
Raj uses Healium as part of his therapeutic treatment for his transplant and many other chronic pain conditions.
I have a long history with Healium. I’ve been using it for 18 months. I use it every day after a massage or Reiki.
I am Healium’s biggest fan! I love promoting it and telling others about the benefits I’ve experienced. I’ve never tried other VR wellness tools because I don’t feel that I need to.
The hardest part is the last mile. Bridging that last mile to me is virtual reality and augmented reality because that is where intelligence is augmented with reality. You create something that fundamentally, you allow the patient to control and manage. That’s why when I saw Healium I felt that it would help me.
I think the future of Healium is the education part. Once people learn, they can follow anything. All my life, I understood meditation and grew up practicing it. Yoga and meditation were always a part of my life, but I always felt that something was lacking. After work, family, and daily life, meditation came second.
But being a technology person, I thought, “how do you extend virtual reality so it’s even more real? How do you get into it in a way where the traditional method of stopping your thoughts doesn’t really work? I think that’s where VR work will go a very long way.
Watching this virtual reality story, based on my painting, brought to mind among other things Plato’s Cave and Immanuel Kant…but all of these lead in the same ultimate direction i.e a higher dimension of human awareness. All religions, (for better or worse) all mythology leads in that direction. i.e a higher dimension of human awareness to help ourselves.
The video is good for mental health – a release of knowledge and fixing misunderstanding by living in a cave (pandemic quarantine) behind the wall. The heart depicts the window to the outside world that gives hope. My own Plato heart cave.
I use it after my meditation and deep breathing process. I get into a comfy chair in a quiet room and diffuse essential oils.
In addition to maintaining clinical protocols, I have integrated a number of mind, body, and spirit harmony therapies. They are exercise, diet, yoga breathing, massages, stretching, mindfulness, meditation, cranial nervous system therapies, and painting. It has always helped me to remain reasonably functional and happy.
I also find there are times when nothing works. The physical, mental, and spiritual pain and agony make it impossible to function. I have very debilitating tinnitus which makes noises in my ear at level 7 or above on a scale where 10 is highest. That increases my pulse, blood pressure, and blood sugar. I have been trying to help with my “last mile” need. I have certain medications, therapies, and more.
The new thing I have done is to personalize and integrate therapy through the use of virtual reality where my music, my painting, and my meditation comes together to get me to the peace I need.
It helps with my pulse and blood pressure. I use Healium to cope with more than 30 chronic conditions.
One thing I never do is quit. You’re given a choice. Why would you not choose to keep fighting? The opposite of fighting is not good either. Let’s say I gave up. Then what would I really do, just lay around and do nothing? That doesn’t work for me and doesn’t work for many people as long as they understand that they have the choice.
My hope is that I continue every day when I get hit hard, come out with a smile, and continue the journey.
To me, the whole world is a circus show, And I have been an actor and other times the director in all the acts. I am past all three acts. And therein is the joy of life. I got to star in my own play or movie and eat the popcorn of life. Welcome the plot changes–because it will. Amor fati – finally.
Last thing. I always saw myself as a shy clown, student, and teacher. Today although the circus tents are empty and the animals are gone, there is no more, “this is mine and this is yours”. I’m realizing equanimity lies in being nobody. And not trying to be somebody. A lifetime of memories and fun–right in our imagination. Finally, I can be an observer.
I was born with nothing, still have a lot of it left; and I know I will die with most of it to take it to my next life. So all is good.
Being nobody is to be happy 🤡
To access Raj’s paintings via virtual reality, make sure you’re a monthly subscriber. Subscriptions cost as little as a dollar a day. Open the Healium app and find it under the Quiet Mind tab, titled “Raj’s Masterpiece.”
You’re a helper. You take pride in your work with others. You know that when you show up, you impact lives in a positive way.
Nothing can beat that. You can’t be replaced by a system of automation because you are connecting on a human level.
Providing that connection requires empathy, of which you have a never-ending well. You look into the eyes of those you help and feel their pain, you connect with their story. In some cases, you are a part of their story.
But then, you start to notice that you’re more tired when you come home. You binge a TV show just to disconnect from the feelings of the day.
Even your energy for self-care starts to plummet. You decline invitations for social outings because it’s just too much. Your friend texts you about a problem she’s having at work, but you don’t seem to have any energy to respond.
If any of those feelings feel familiar to you, you might be experiencing compassion fatigue.
Definition of Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue focuses on those individuals who provide support to those suffering with physical and emotional pain—crisis and trauma counselors, Red Cross workers, nurses, doctors, and other caregivers who themselves often become victim to secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD) or “compassion fatigue” as a result of helping or wanting to help a traumatized person (Figley, 1995).
That definition, while still relevant, doesn’t account for the rapid spread and accessibility of information we have available at our fingertips that can sometimes be harmful and harder to anticipate or avoid.
Now, it’s not only healthcare professionals and caregivers who suffer from compassion fatigue, but also those who watch the news or spend time scrolling their social media feed.
Every day, we’re exposed to the suffering of others. It’s only human to feel empathy, but as part of our coping mechanism, we can become numb to the overwhelming tragedy and trauma.
Our Personal Experience and Solution
Sarah Hill, CEO of Healium, began searching for a solution to her own compassion fatigue after experiencing panic attacks and sleepless nights from her work as a news reporter.
“Hours of listening to a police scanner, seeing dead bodies, covering conflict, natural disasters, and stepping inside the stories of families who lost children weakened me in a way I didn’t expect,” Hill says.
Compassion fatigue is not a disease, but rather, a symptom of stress. The first step in managing your symptoms is to care for yourself as much as you care for those around you.
As helpers, we tend to prioritize others but this can leave your tank feeling empty. Self-care isn’t a trend. It isn’t selfish.
Just like the flight attendant asks you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others, self-care allows you to show up with your best self so you can continue to give compassionate care to others.
Five Tips for Healing from Compassion Fatigue
Here are five self-care actions that you can take today to start healing from compassion fatigue.
1 — Limit your media intake or choose a medium that you can control. For example, read the newspaper instead of turning on the TV for updates.
2 — Journal your feelings at the end of the day to unpack your thoughts. If you’re not sure where to start, try this prompt: List three things that happened today that you’re grateful for.
4 — Speak with a licensed counselor. There is no shame in seeking professional help. Telemedicine is making it easier than ever to connect. Additionally, many counselors are open to offering a sliding scale to pay for services. You just have to ask.
5 — Establish or reassess your personal boundaries. Sometimes, we have to let people know what our triggers are or what we will allow into our lives. If you have a friend who frequently starts the conversation with, “did you hear about this on the news?” now is a good time to gently let her know what you’re comfortable with for conversation.
Compassion is an important part of what makes you special. It’s what allows you to help others and improve their lives. Don’t give up hope.
Start shifting some of that compassion to yourself and begin to see the positive changes in your life.
Meet the BrainLink Lite: An EEG headband used to monitor your brainwaves. Healium and BrainLink work together to allow you to boost your mental fitness based on your brain activity.
If you’re calm or focused, BrainLink interprets your brainwaves to give visual feedback and power Healium experiences. Brainlink is not diagnostic nor is it a treatment tool. Think of the EEG feedback as self-awareness that displays a representation of your feeling state. If you wrinkle your forehead or have a lot of movement, you will see artifacts or the connection flatline. Brainlink is a consumer-grade EEG device. It will not tell you whether you have anxiety or depression. If you have questions about this, please consult a medical or neurofeedback professional who can give you a brain map with a full 19 sensor EEG. Brainlink is giving you a snapshot as a self-awareness tool. To get the full picture, you should consult a professional.
The soft leather headband uses three gold-plated copper sensors to monitor your brainwaves. There are two regular sensors and one reference sensor.
BrainLink Lite is sleek, adjustable, and worn comfortably across the forehead. The headband easily fits adults and children over 5 years old. (Healium content is designed for individuals over the age of 8).
Your brain is a muscle. Think of the BrainLink Lite and Healium as workout tools to improve your mental fitness.
When using Healium augmented and virtual reality apps, you’ll know that you’re hitting the mark for focus or calm when you see the firefly go above your baseline.
Healium’s virtual and augmented reality experiences can be used with or without the BrainLink Lite.
The EEG headband personalizes the experiences by using your own brainpower to stop and start the experience, change the color, or transform the virtual environment in other ways.
From beautiful waterfalls to relaxing lakes and swirling snowflakes, Healium’s nature experiences are clinically validated escapes shown in three peer-reviewed journals to improve mood in as little as four minutes.
Learn more about how to use BrainLink with Healium.
Compatibility and Connection
Bluetooth 4.0 or later
Range: up to 32 feet
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows, MAC OS
Battery and Charging
Lithium 3.7V 160mAH
Standby: Lasts 7-8 hours
Connected: Lasts 4-5 hours
USB powered (non-standard)
Charging time: 1-1.5 hours or until the red light goes off.
Low power checking: 4 beeps
Dimension and Weight
Size: 15.5 in. elastic band
Weight: 1.4 oz.
Color: Black and white
Material: PC/ABS/Leder/Gold plating
For troubleshooting and connecting your BrainLink headband for the first time, visit our FAQs for more information or email us at email@example.com.
Developed by StoryUP Studios in 2015, Honor Everywhere is a virtual reality alternative for terminally ill and aging veterans who aren’t able to physically travel to see their World War II, Vietnam, Korea, or Women’s Memorials in Washington, DC.
For Veterans who are no longer able to physically travel on Honor Flights, these virtual tours are the next best way to see their memorials.
Now, this technology is even more accessible. For the first time since launching in 2015, Honor Everywhere has been developed as an augmented reality (AR) app available on IOS and Android in the App Stores.
Through their smartphones, iPads, or tablets, veterans are able to visit their war memorials.
Viewers can bring an airplane portal door to life in the comfort of their own home. Instantly, they can step inside the World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Women’s Memorials in Washington, DC.
Additionally, veterans can also experience a 360-degree story aboard the USS Nimitz in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. These stories use augmented reality and 360-degree storytelling to give viewers a sample of an Honor Flight.
Hear Bob Wieland, a Vietnam veteran, lead an inspiring speech in front of the Vietnam war memorial. Wieland lost his legs during the conflict and at one time was zipped up in a body bag and left for dead.
June Radcliff, first lieutenant, army nurse during the Korean War tells her story of how she met her husband who was a wounded patient at the hospital where she worked. Her twin sister also served alongside her. Radcliff and her daughter visit the memorial together. Experience these stories and more in the new app.
Honor Flights are free experiences for terminally ill and aging veterans to visit their memorials in Washington, DC. With your support, we are able to continue that commitment. Honor Everywhere Portal App is a free app and has no in-app purchases.
If you’d like to support your local Honor Flight hub, please visit https://www.honorflight.org/regional-honor-flight-hubs/
There is NO replacement for a real Honor Flight. Honor Everywhere VR and AR is a last resort for veterans who are physically unable to visit their war memorials.
Thank you to our sponsors and volunteers who make Honor Flights for our veterans possible.
The benefits of meditation are endless. Better sleep, increased concentration, impulse control, and more.
But when we talk about “seeing your feelings”, what do we really mean and why is that important?
Your feelings are measurable.
The first step in controlling your feelings is measuring them.
Feelings have physiological effects on the body which are easily measured. For example, a calm feeling appears as slower brainwave activity in the frontal lobe and a lower heart rate.
Neuroscientists use an EEG to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain by placing electrodes on the scalp.
Luckily, consumer wearables, such as an EEG headband are more widely accessible in order to gather an overview of brain activity. These consumer headbands cannot capture all areas of your brain like a full 19 sensor EEG cap and can also be subject to artifacts like blinking or forehead tension. So while not giving you a complete picture, these headbands can give you a helpful snapshot of your brainwave patterns.
Apple Watch is available for heart rate monitoring. While the data from a consumer wearable is not diagnostic, it is valuable as a self-awareness tool to better understand how your brain patterns and heart rate react to your thoughts.
Healium AR can be paired with an Apple Watch or EEG headband. Healium VR can be paired with an EEG headband.
The headband has three sensors that are located on the strap that go across your forehead, essentially monitoring your brain’s electrical activity.
Through this neurofeedback connection, a representation of your brain patterns is displayed visually in near real-time within the Healium’s VR and AR apps.
For focus, you want your slow brain waves (theta) to go down and your fast brain waves (beta) to go up. Ideally, the frontal lobe needs to be engaged.
For calm, you want the opposite; you’re trying to reduce fast, high beta activity in the frontal lobe.
The algorithms built into the app take these ratios into account. Inside the Healium app, you’ll see a firefly go above the baseline when this criteria is met, meaning you’re successfully meeting the mark for calm, focus, or a lowered heart rate.
Neurofeedback tells you it’s working.
If you’ve ever attempted meditation before, you might have given in to the distractions around you or found it hard to focus.
With feedback displayed to you in real-time, you know whether or not you’re hitting the mark. Are you recalling a calm memory? Are you letting your mind wander?
Feedback lets you know if the experience is working. This can lead to an advanced mindfulness practice with an enhanced awareness of your mind / body connection.
The ability to be guided back to the goal makes it attainable and encouraging when you’re doing well. Many Healium users report the same experience.
Ellen, who has been a subscriber to Healium for several months, says, “Healium is my first real VR experience and it’s easy to use for what I call my own self-care. As someone who has managed with anxiety and depression my whole life, the experiences are calming, lovely, peaceful, and truly relaxing.”
As an added psychological boost, you’ll feel rewarded when you maintain your firefly above the baseline.
Perception of changes
Interestingly, our perception isn’t always accurate. In a study conducted by the NeuroMeditation Institute, users reported how they felt before and after using the Healium AR app.
Everyone reported decreases in negative emotions and increases in positive emotions, regardless of whether they were using biofeedback or not. However, participants using biofeedback showed changes in their physiology whereas the other group didn’t.
That’s where biofeedback can help improve your experience with meditation and stress relief.
What you’re thinking you’re feeling vs what you’re actually feeling isn’t always connected.
Feelings can be controlled. They don’t happen to us. But with biofeedback you can control anything you can measure. Remember that your thoughts have power…in the virtual world and in the real world as well.