Heart rhythm meditation has the same aim as the biofeedback set-ups (among other objectives), but it doesn't use any expensive technology. The website has lots of free information, and their books and CDs are interesting and cheap. I've found it rewarding, when I remember to do it.
Below is a the relevant portion of my post under "Waiting to exhale"- post #36.
"I started using a computer biofeedback program called the Wild Divine about a years ago. It comes with a usb biofeedback device that measures your heart rate and skin temperature while you play a game that has multiple breathing exercises. It is basically biofeedback and you control the game ( The journey to the Wild Divine) by breathing exercises. It has new age music and beautiful graphics as you explore the land of the Wild Divine.
I have mastered the first game and am now working on the advanced version called the Wisdom Quest. My stress level is very well controlled when playing the game or even now when I am not even playing the game. I used to jump 5 feet if anyone came up behind me. I think it was the result of 3 bad car wrecks in 18 months and a screwed up endocrine system. I have been meaning to post about this for some time now but have hesitated because even though I have finished one level of the game (an objective rating of my "meditation" ability), I still questioned if I was just caught up in the hope of improvement of my autonomic nervous system.
Before I started using the Wild Divine if I even listened to my breathing I would start to hyperventilate. I had a blow to my stomach years ago that had me hyperventilating for more than a year. I used tranquilizers during that time until I got control of it on my own. I have known that I needed to learn to control my breathing but did not seem to have the self discipline to use traditional meditation. But I could commit to play a computer game 4 or 5 times a week!"
Yesterday I saw a new doctor. I have gone through 6 internists in 6 years looking for just one that won't argue the existence of ME/CFS! My pain doctor sent me to a new one that she said liked "complex" cases. He did not deny, confirm or argue the existence of the disease but seemed very interested in discussing my illness, my health history, and my parents, grandparents and siblings health history. I spent an hour taking tests and giving blood and about 30 minutes or more talking to the doctor. Our discussion was transcribed by a nurse and in 3 weeks I go back to discuss what he learned from me, my blood and one other test.
The other test I took was 15 minutes long and was given by a nurse using a computer program. It is called the ANX 3.0 by ANSR Medical. It measures your heart rate and BP as you "relax" and the nurse periodically talks you though some breathing exercises. He looked at the test quickly and commented that he had never seen the heart rate and BP follow each other in nearly identicle patterns. I told him that as soon as the nurse said relax I automatically started meditating. Apparently the test recorded it. He asked me if I liked to read medical info and printed out the test results and the full report that explained the test results and the test itself."
I have been very happy with the Wild Divine. It has taught me to control my breathing, my mind and because of it my anxiety and associated stress hormones. I picked up the first game "Journey to the WD" on ebay- used- for $90. When I wanted the newer game "Wisdom Quest" I needed the newer usb biofeedback hardware to play it and so bought it on ebay again but it was $200 plus? I just thought of it at that point as something that was improving my health and because of it a necessary expense. I highly recommend either or both games.
So interesting about Wild Divine and your experiences. I think I hyperventilate, without knowing it, frequently. I will definitely check it out.
Someone else recommended heart math very positively; I have a book on it but have not yet checked it out. Thanks for the resource on heart rhythm resource as well. Looking forward to checking them all out.
Thank you both. I don't know which one to pursue, and they all sound interesting! My mew MD focuses on the ANS and told me I need to learn how to breath properly. I think I hold my breath. I've heard this is pretty common with dysautonomia. I may hyperventilate as well.. not sure what causes that... this makes sense as an adjunt therapy. Thank you xan for the detailed explanation of your experience. Makes me want to just purchase it. Wish it was less expensive, though ebay is a good idea.. didnt think of that. Interesting how the body can get so off track in so many different ways.