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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Soul Science God Philosophy > Science and Spiritual Quest > Section 4 Towards a New Biology > BIOFEEDBACK AND MEDITATION > 1. Introduction

1. Introduction


Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Some of the commonly used biofeedback instruments are discussed in Section 2.1. By measuring a subject's bodily processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, galvanic skin response (sweating), and muscle tension with these instruments, and conveying such information to him or her in real-time, this helps to raise his or her awareness and conscious control of the related physiological activities. On the other hand, there is no clear definition of meditation. The Oxford American Dictionary defines meditation as "the action or practice of meditating." Its definition of the word meditate is: "Think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation." Historically, meditation was intended to develop spiritual understanding and meant to help the person commune with God or the ultimate reality. Many different religions in the world have given rise to a rich variety of meditative practices. These include the contemplative prayers and chants of Vedic religion and Christian religion, the sitting meditation of Patanjali yoga in Vedic religion and Buddhism, and the whirling movements of Sufi dervishes. With the increasing interest in the recent decades towards a holistic approach to medicine, Meditation also became popular mainly in the western countries as a tool to relieve stress and pain. With the scientific evidence from various instruments measuring the activity of brain waves, heart rate and skin response, meditation is gaining popularity as an alternative or complementary therapy.