Now you can sign-in and sign-up with Google! If you have a google account, you can use Google to create new accounts and then sign in on them. If you’ve previously created an account with a google email address, keep logging in the way you always have.
Muse App Update 2: New default soundscape
Based on our Musers feedback, we’ve learned that our rainforest soundscape is one of the most popular audio soundscapes during Muse sessions. So, we listened to your feedback and switched out the previous default soundscape “Beach” for “Rainforest”. Don’t worry, all your other soundscapes are still available, but now Rainforest will be the first one you see.
Muse App Update 3: New time increments in session length
Due to popularity and your feedback, we’ve changed the way you can easily select your meditation session length. We’ve removed a few session length defaults that weren’t as helpful, and added in a few new ones that have proved popular. Don’t like 5-minute intervals? You can still set a custom length up to 3 hours long (!!) using the bottom spinner menu.
Muse App Update 4: Customize alert volume
Want to customize your Muse session in order to hear your birds chirping more clearly or to soften the voice guide? You can now set the volume for in-session alerts to be as quiet or as loud as you want for your individual preferences.
Muse App Update 5: Easier access to demo mode
Are you a practitioner or coach using Muse with clients and frequently putting on demos of the app to new users? Now the Demo Mode is easily found in the Settings menu, and is considerably shorter.
And that’s it! We are ALWAYS looking for user feedback to help improve your Muse experience so if there’s something you’d like to see please let us know at email@example.com
Last week we were lucky enough to be covered by CTV News to learn if “a techy Canadian headband can read your mind to help you relax.”
Throughout their investigation they took the time to interview not only members of our own team here at Muse, but also professionals in the field such as Dr. Steven Selchen, head of mindfulness-based therapies at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and McMaster University psychology professor Allison Sekuler to speak to some of the skepticism that Muse has faced.
They discuss how our brainwave-sensing headband uses electroencephalography (EEG) activity going on in your brain combined with real-time auditory feedback to help train the user to understand when they have lost focus or when their mind wanders.
In a quote from our own Jay Vityarthi he explains how the headband isn’t supposed to be some sort of “magic bullet”, but a way to quickly help train users to learn meditation.
He states: “It’s not like you put this headband on and you float . . . it just makes it easier to form a habit,” Jay Vityarthi, the head of user experience design for Muse, told CTV News. “You’ve got professional sports teams, you’ve also got executives and high-level decision makers who are using it. These are people who are under a lot of mental pressure.”
As with any practice, longer and more frequent sessions are said to cause positive changes in the brain, like decreasing amygdala activity associated with the body’s stress response.
The meditation aid can also pair with smartphones so users can track their progress with color-coded charts.
Since our launch over 2 years ago, the academic community is starting to take notice. CTV took the time to interview McMaster University psychology professor Allison Sekuler and her experience with the Muse headband. She states that she has long understood the benefits of meditation but lacked the discipline to adopt the habit. Now, she relies on Muse to help her stay mindful of distractions and achieve an optimal meditative state.
“Initially I was quite skeptical,” she said. “The more I used it, the more I realized this could help me control my thoughts and be more productive in meetings and everyday life.”
CTV notes that the global market for wearable tech is set to top US$14 billion in 2016, and grow to $34 billion by 2020, according to research from CSS Insights. “People are recognizing that jogging or running or exercise is good for the heart. They’re (also) recognizing it is equally important to exercise the mind,” said our InteraXon CEO, Derek Luke.
Healthy Skepticism: Some mindfulness experts skeptical
CTV points out that similar devices to Muse are currently on the market — NeuroSky’s MindWave Mobile is one such EEG device. It has a single sensor and an entry-level price of $100, vs the 5 sensors found with the Muse headband. Emotiv Insight, at $659, is more advanced, with five sensors as well.
While EEG devices are being applauded by industry observers for injecting high tech into a centuries-old tradition, some meditation purists are not convinced.
In an interview with Dr. Steven Selchen, who is the head of mindfulness-based therapies at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto he states: “I am cautious about the utility of certain kinds of products,” he said. “We really need to see what research says to know how useful they are for people.”Like the health experts who say there is little evidence that fitness wearables lead to lasting weight loss, he questions the ability of gadgets to reproduce the same results as the ancient practice.
We have been fortunate to have some promising research that assess the headband’s ability to reduce stress among breast cancer patients and to help those with anxiety and depression. The device has even been used by researchers at the University of Victoria to analyze the brain waves of meditating monks.
The topic of “gamification” being an issue also arose — Selchen worries assigning numbers and values to meditation, effectively turning it into another computer game, could defeat its purpose: “A lot of the devices that may be out there are really focused on training in a very goal-oriented way,” he said. “If that is challenging for people to do . . . that can play into their self-criticism. ‘I am not getting this right. I am not good at this. I am a failure.’ And that can actually pull them even further away from what we are trying to train in a meditation setting.”
CTV further confirms that surveys have shown that more adults are intrigued with the idea of brain relaxation, but don’t have the time to attend classes for traditional training. Proponents suggest that devices like Muse offers a potential short-cut while science determines if technology-assisted meditation is as good as the real thing.
Originally Published Saturday, December 3, 2016 10:52 PM EST by Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca.
Original article published Saturday, September 17, 2016 11:35AM PDT from www.ctvnews.ca by Scott Cunningham, Reporter.
It’s not breaking news that occupational stress is a major modern health and safety issue, especially in individuals working in acute care situations. What is more surprising is that there has been little research done to understand the proper support required to help improve stress reduction in these healthcare providers. Emergency departments are notoriously known to be high-pressure environments, and the specific organizational stressors which affect ED staff have yet to be established (1).
High Stress, Fatigue, and Burnout in the Emergency Department: A Deeper Look
Covered by CTV Vancouver Island’s Scott Cunningham, a group of scientists from the University of Victoria and doctors on Vancouver Island are taking an unprecedented (and much needed) look at fatigue in the emergency room.
“I think it’s a problem and errors happen more frequently when we are fatigued,” medical student Matt Belayneh told CTV News.
In a piece by Reuters Health on Emergency department workers facing high stress and burnout, Manit Arora, a surgeon and lecturer at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane who studies burnout among health professionals speaks about his thoughts on the matter:
“For too long the medical profession has neglected the study of its own personnel and focused on patient care. Now more and more we are realizing that the mental and physical health of doctors is critical to patient care.”
Arora goes on to describe how burnout is very common and has serious consequences. “Burnout doctors are more likely to have medical and psychological problems, abuse drugs and alcohol and higher rate of suicide,” he said.
Inside Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital medical students run through high-stress training. However, they’re not the only ones learning. “We know that doctors work long grueling hours, especially in the patient acute care setting,” Dr. Alison Walzak, one of the hospital’s physicians, said.
Walzak and the director of UVic’s Neuroeducation Network, Dr. Olav Kirgolson, are testing fatigue in students in hopes of keeping doctors who will treat you one day aware of their fatigue. “It’s difficult to be up for 12 hours and really that is the shorter end of the spectrum,” Walzak said. “Usually they are on for 24 hours at a time.”
Canadian studies have shown medical residents who work under practicing doctors are overtired. According to CTV, research from 2013 found that fatigued residents are at risk of accidents with needles and even car accidents on their way home.
In a statement from director Dr. Olav Kirgolson he states how after looking at the data Muse headbands were able to produce from the research subjects that they “were shocked [at] just how obvious the data was.”
Luckily our Canadian made brain-sensing headbands can replace bulky and expensive EEG monitors in this study. The results are now instant and can be sent to an iPhone, meaning less invasive testing will see Victoria-based researchers be the first to monitor ER doctors.
“It’s something that tells you ‘hey maybe today isn’t your day.’ Or maybe, ‘You need a second opinion in the medical case,’” Krigolson added.
The report goes on to state how results in residents and students are glaring. “It’s actually affecting them, hitting their attention, their concentration and all those things which are really important in their medical field,” UVic masters student Harvey House said.
Research trials are expected to start on practicing doctors this year — it’s a scientific step that’s never been done before and one which could see new life-saving tools added to the emergency room.
Interested in how Muse can help you better manage everyday stress?
In the short-term, meditation has been shown to trigger the natural relaxation response – a state of deep rest that changes the physiological and emotional responses to stress. Your metabolism decreases and your heartbeat slows. The muscles relax, breathing becomes slower, and your blood pressure decreases.
The Muse headband can be a great way to help you develop a meditation practice, and stick to it.
Resulting from their time deployed, veterans are unable to enjoy certain activities due to triggers reminding them of previous traumatic experiences. Anything from a loud sound to somebody approaching from behind could be the cause of anxiety. This became the inspiration for establishing Camp Hope Unleashed. After meeting a young woman who returned from her deployment in Iraq, Loveland came to understand the need for inclusive camps. The veteran was afraid to try out a camp because of all the potential triggers that could induce her PTSD. However when the woman eventually attended, Dr. Loveland learned that with some practice, it isn’t difficult to accommodate a veteran. With the help of fellow campers, veterans could go about their stay in peace. When the Camp Hope Unleashed pilot project was born, it was home to eight veterans accompanied by their service dogs in addition to volunteer first-responders.
The camp trained trauma resiliency skills, drawing from the work of neuroplasticity, aiming to reshape one’s thoughts. This made Muse an excellent learning tool for the veterans. Muse was initially met with skepticism, Loveland admitted. Although gradually, the campers took a liking to it, eventually competing in “bird-off’s”; a friendly competition comparing the Muse app’s reward system. Muse’s audible feedback loop proved to be invaluable in this circumstance. For many silence could also be a trigger, complicating meditation as a form of therapy. Muse is now used every day by the veterans, even outside of the camp. Dr. Loveland recalls that sleep is extremely elusive according to the veterans. They claim the tool has helped them fall asleep, rethink their need for sleep medication, and was useful in keeping their cool. Loveland suspects that the appeal is in Muse’s ability to visually display results. She believes veterans and EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians) aren’t comfortable sharing their feelings and would rather, more objectively, read stats and chart improvements which is something that Muse provides after every session. “When they see they have some power to change this… to have something show that it is possible, it makes it seem more real”, says Loveland. Now, when the veterans find themselves troubled, Loveland says they look forward to revisiting the meditation tool, knowing it will help as it has done many times before.
“There are an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 74.7 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050”. This harrowing statistic exemplifies the importance of Baycrest, a leading research facility dedicated to studying cognitive health. Baycrest has been serving Toronto since 1918 and has quickly expanded their number of senior care centres across the world. While they have been relentlessly researching treatments for the mind, they are also looking at ways to treat the stigma.The Brain Project is Baycrest’s way of inciting interest in the cause in addition to raising money to fund further research.
“The aim of a meditation practice is to centre ourselves while allowing the frontal lobes to rest and develop body awareness”
Scattered across Toronto are uniquely-designed brain sculptures, each decorated by artists from around the world. This city-wide art exhibition showcases the individuality of our brains and are on display for the world to see. Every brain, like the works of art that they are, was crafted with a different theme in mind. One particular artist, Toronto-native Polina Teif described her piece as “a metaphor that plays with the notion of inner reflection. In order to see the world around us clearly for what it is, we must have a clear mind with which we can reflect upon. When thoughts of various sorts enter our mind and we get caught in a reactive cycle. The aim of a meditation practice is to centre ourselves while allowing the frontal lobes to rest and develop body awareness”. As proud supporters of the merits of meditation and mental wellness, Muse sponsored Polina Teif, her brain, and her message.
Polina’s brain took the form of the exhibition-wide, model brain and was adorned in a reflective shell. Other brains were painted on, sculpted over, or fitted with additional items from high-profile minds such as Kim Kardashian, Matthew Bellamy, Donald Robertson, and Mr. Brainwash. The list goes on. Over 70 artists, organizations, and creative minds banded together to shed a light on the intricacies of the brain. Intricacies you can find in the meaning of the collective artwork.
Baycrest and The Brain Project have been making a continuous effort to bring brain health to the public eye. Added to this list is the international Virtual Brain Project, a visualization model displaying functions and disorders in the brain as they occur. With so many eyes on this art exhibition, Baycrest and cognitive studies will get the attention they deserve. For more information, you can check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. If you’d like to donate to The Brain Project and Baycrest, please follow this link.