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© 2018 by StoryUP Studios.

FAQ

SO HOW DOES THIS WORK AGAIN? I NEED A KIT?

Our *virtual* reality stories require virtual reality goggles. You can purchase a complete kit that includes goggles and a brain-sensing headband here. Or, get your own hardware and download the software we send you yourself. Our *augmented* reality stories DON'T require goggles. Healium AR works with just your mobile device. You can get Healium AR on your Iphone or Android.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALIUM VR AND AR APPS?

VR or virtual reality apps work with VR goggles. The environment is completely immersive or closed off to the outside world. AR or augmented reality apps work with just your mobile device where you can still see the real world. With Healium AR, you are manipulating 3D objects in the real world on your Iphone or Android.

WHICH MODELS OF THE MUSE HEADBAND WORK WITH HEALIUM?

Muse 1 (2016 or later) is compatible with Healium. However, Muse 2 will work with LIMITED features (brain pattern only not heart beat) with our *augmented reality* Iphone app.  The original pre 2016 version of the headband does not work with Healium. If you want to be notified when Muse 2 compatibility becomes available, please email hello@story-up.com

 

CAN I USE HEALIUM WITHOUT A MUSE HEADBAND, SMARTWATCH OR OTHER WEARABLE?

Yes! Healium works passively without a wearable integration. However, you will need a headband or smartwatch if you want to control the environments with your brain patterns or heart rate. To operate Healium without a wearable, click "NO" when you're asked whether you're using a wearable.

WHAT IS NEUROMEDITATION?

NeuroMeditation is the application of brain-based principles to meditation practices. It is based on the understanding that all meditations are not the same.  Based on dozens of brain imaging studies, we can categorize meditations based on the way attention is directed, our intention during the practice, and the way it impacts the brain. In general, meditation styles fall into one (or more) of 5 categories: Focus, Mindfulness, Quiet Mind, Open Heart, and Deep States. By understanding each of these styles, you can choose one to match your goals and needs. In addition to the science behind meditation, the NeuroMeditation system also teaches a variety of tools, techniques, and strategies to help you enter these specific meditative states. EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) is one of the tools used in this process.

WHAT ARE THE 5 STYLES?

Focus practices involve directing the attention toward a single target, recognizing when the mind wanders, and quickly returning attention to the single target.

Mindfulness includes practices that involve shifting to an observer stance; watching what is happening in the present moment-thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations-without attachment or judgment.

Open Heart is an umbrella term to include practices such as lovingkindness, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness. These are practices that involve activating and sustaining a positive emotional state (and usually sending that energy to others).

Quiet Mind is the stereotype of meditation and involves entering a state of spaciousness with minimal internal dialogue.

Deep States involve shifting into a state where consciousness is freed of its usual restrictions. There can be spontaneous memories, emotions, or internal journeys.

HOW DOES NEUROFEEDBACK FIT IN?

Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, is the practice of measuring brainwave activity and then feeding that information back to the client using auditory or visual information. Typically, this process is used to teach the brain to shift to a more flexible, adaptive, or resilient pattern. This type of work can be used by neurofeedback clinicians to treat ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other mental health conditions.

Because we know what should be happening in the brain during specific states of meditation AND because we can monitor this and get feedback about our internal states, we can strategically combine these practices to make them both more powerful. We refer to this process as EEG NeuroMeditation, which is what Healium is doing with the Muse EEG sensing headband.

HOW IS EEG NEUROMEDITATION DIFFERENT THAN TRADITIONAL NEUROFEEDBACK?

On the surface, these two practices look identical. You place electrodes on the scalp, measure brainwave activity, and provide the person with some form of feedback about what is happening in their brain. Auditory (sound) feedback is generally a specific tone or music that happens when the brainwave patterns shift to the desired state. Visual feedback can be on a flat screen or in virtual reality/augmented reality with Healium. Visual feedback typically involves something changing in the visual experience in response to the brainwave patterns. For example, the screen might dim when you are not in the desired brainwave state and it might become brighter when you are in the desired state. Both traditional neurofeedback and EEG NeuroMeditation use these forms of feedback; however, the function and form of the client’s experience for each of these is quite different.  

 

In traditional neurofeedback, the goal is generally to help shift the brain out of undesirable pattern. For example, someone with ADHD may have an excessive amount of theta brainwave activity in a specific region of the brain. The neurofeedback therapist would place sensors in that exact region and “reward” the person whenever the theta activity drops below a certain level. This is a very individualized process designed to help a person’s brain learn how to move out of its typical, stuck pattern of behaving.

I

n EEG neuromeditation, the neurofeedback parameters are pre-determined. It is not individualized. We know how the brain should be responding during specific meditation states, so the neurofeedback becomes a tool to help someone identify if and when they are able to enter those states and when they shift into mind-wandering or some other “undesirable” state. It is not about trying to make the brain change a potentially problematic pattern. It is about helping someone to understand their internal state. The neurofeedback, in this case, serves as meditation “training wheels.”

WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED TO DO EEG NEUROMEDITATION?

If you are wanting to use EEG NeuroMeditation with VR/AR, you will need a Muse1 EEG Sensing Headband (make sure you get the Muse1, not the Muse2), an Oculus Go VR headset (or a smartphone for AR), and a subscription to the Healium software.

HOW MANY DIFFERENT NEUROMEDITATION PROTOCOLS ARE THERE?

At the moment, Healium works with 2 of the NeuroMeditation styles. We have protocols developed for the Open Heart and Quiet Mind styles with plans to release protocols for the other styles in the near future.

What if I am interested in NeuroMeditation, but don’t want to buy an EEG headband?

You can still get involved. The Healium software has guided experiences for all of the NeuroMeditation styles that can be used without the Muse headband. Simply choose which style you would like to practice, choose an experience, and follow the guided meditation instructions. It is that easy.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH NEUROMEDITATION STYLE IS BEST FOR ME OR MY CLIENT?

We have developed an online survey that people can take to help them identify which strategy might be a good starting point. You can take the survey here: https://www.neuromeditationinstitute.com/nmsi

 

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT NEUROMEDITATION?

When you purchase the Healium software, you will have access to a 4-week video course that will teach you the science and practice of Open Heart NeuroMeditation using VR/AR.  In addition, you can always check out the website: www.neuromeditationinstitute.com. This is likely to give you a pretty good overview of what the method and process of neuromeditation is all about. You can also check out the book, “Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain” written by Dr. Jeff Tarrant, the founder of the NeuroMeditation Institute which comes with the purchase of a Healium kit. This is a good overview of the science with a lot of practical techniques and exercises included. If you are specifically looking for information on the EEG NeuroMeditation aspect of the program, you can check out the book chapter, “NeuroMeditation: An Introduction and Overview” written by Dr. Tarrant in the Handbook of Clinical Qeeg and Neurotherapy. You can also find 3-day workshops across the country taught by NMI Trainers.

IS HEALIUM A TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY, DEPRESSION OR PTSD? 

No. Healium VR and AR apps are NOT an FDA-approved treatment for medical conditions nor are they a replacement for any kind of psychotropic medication.  Healium is also not a replacement for professional counseling or therapy. Healium is a self-awareness tool that allows the user to become more self-aware that their feelings have power and interact with virtual worlds. If you have questions about whether Healium is right for you, talk with your health care professional. 

 

WILL HEALIUM TELL ME WHETHER I'M A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE PERSON?

No, Healium is not a diagnostic tool. If you have questions about your emotional state, seek the advice of a professional. 

 

WHY IS MY BLUE LINE FLAT?

If you’re using Muse, your blue line will be flat if you have forehead tension. Relax, take some deep breaths. It should turn wavy after about a minute. It will also be flat if you have a bad sensor connection. Make sure the rubber sensors fit securely behind your ears. You should tie back your hair away from your ears so it doesn’t interfere with the connection. If your forehead is extremely dry, you might consider some light lotion to increase

conductivity.

 

MUSE WON'T CONNECT TO MY VR GOGGLES?

Make sure that your Muse isn’t connected to another device. Turn off the bluetooth on your mobile device for example to ensure your Muse has disconnected from your mobile phone.

 

  1. Did you click “ALLOW” on all of the the privacy questions when you downloaded the app?  If not, Muse will not have the proper bluetooth permissions to connect to the Healium app. To fix this, uninstall the Healium VR app by clicking the three dots . . . to the right of the app thumbnail in your library and select “uninstall”.  Reinstall the app and re-answer the privacy questions.

  2. Some Muse model headbands aren’t compatible with Healium as their SDK hasn’t been released yet. Healium currently only works with the 2016 version of later of Muse 1...not Muse 2. If you’d like to be alerted for when Muse 2 is compatible for Healium VR or AR, please email us at hello@story-up.com.  For now, make sure that you’re using a 2016 or later Muse 1 headband.

  3. Make sure that your Muse isn’t connected to another device that’s blocking the VR goggle connection. Turn off the bluetooth on your mobile device for example to ensure your Muse has disconnected from your mobile phone and can connect to your VR goggles.

  4. Power cycle the VR headset. Make sure the Muse’s power light on the right side is illuminated before you click “YES I’m using a Muse" inside the Healium app.

MY VR GOGGLES KEEP SHUTTING OFF WHILE I'M USING THEM. WHY?

With some VR goggles like Oculus Go, there's a forehead sensor inside the goggles. If it doesn't detect a forehead or a face then the goggles may shut down to preserve battery.   Some forums suggest removing the eyeglass spacer (if you installed one) as it might be covering the face detection sensor inside the headset. Also check to make sure that the face detection sensor is clean and free of any fabric covering it. In addition under "power" in settings inside the headset, you can adjust the "auto sleep" setting to longer than the default 15 seconds. 

MUSE WON'T CONNECT TO MY AR PHONE APP?

Make sure that your Muse isn’t connected to your VR headset instead. Turn off your headset when using the Healium AR phone apps to make sure.

 

THE EXPERIENCE I DOWNLOADED KEEPS STOPPING AND STARTING. Normal?

Yes, that's what's supposed to happen! If you’re using a Muse headband then the experience will stop and start according to your brainwaves meeting a certain threshold. This is normal.  However, if you find that you’re not using a Muse and the experience still appears to stop or buffer, delete the experience and redownload it over stable wifi, waiting for it to fully download before clicking on any other thumbnail. You can toggle difficulty settings to adjust how easily the Healium experience stops by pressing the front trigger on the remote control to open a settings menu. You can also toggle off the data graph altogether.

 

MY APPLE WATCH DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE SENDING MY HEART RATE TO THE HEALIUM APP?

Try starting a workout on your watch, then open the Healium app on your phone and watch for the blue wave forms.

 

IN THE HEALIUM AR APP I'M NOT ABLE TO PLACE A 3D OBJECT. I TAP THE SCREEN AND NOTHING HAPPENS?

Make sure that you’ve chosen a flat surface that is well lit and has good contrast. Try your carpet or a newspaper on your desk. Like in this video: https://youtu.be/5MxplKPkX6g

 

Need more help?  Email hello@story-up.com or click here.