Meditation gauge

This small unit measures the effects of breathing on the parasympathetic system in order to help you feel calm and relaxed. My doctor actually prescribed it for me. The results are subtle but pretty amazing. My major successes have been trying to get to sleep at night. I fire up the small playing-card-pack-size box, which runs on two AAA batteries. Then I insert my finger into the trap door on the top left and begin working to control my breathing pattern. If you haven’t used it in a while, it coaxes you to reset date and time. Then it begins with a straight line…. and you begin to breath. What the manual recommends is that you breath in through the nose and then exhale from your mouth. What’s different from some other meditation and yoga methods is the StressEraser doesn’t want you to count on the inhale, but just to breathe in as deeply as you can. On the exhale you should do it slowly with a count to three, four, or five. The idea is to create a curving graph of regularity that can be worth 1 or 3 points on the device. A meditation session can total as many points as you want. Usually I shoot for 30. It takes a while to get into the rhythm of deeply breathing in and then slowly breathing out with a pause at each end point. It takes me about 15 – 20 minutes to get into the pattern and then complete the breathing session. When I finish, I don’t feel much different. But when I climb into bed I find it amazingly easy to fall and stay asleep. It’s not cheap, but I paid $200 for a returned model at Sharper Image. My friend gave one to her father, who uses it after watching the evening news. She says it’s worked well form him, too.

-- George Brett 09/3/08

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