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Holiday High Tech De-stressers

PCs and relaxation are not two words that I often use in the same breath. The whole notion of relaxation software seems a bit oxymoronic. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that digital tools can provide the necessary feedback to help you manage stress.

With the holidays around the corner, these products might steer you towards personal nirvana and less personal agita.

The Pzziz Personal Life Coach bills itself as a combination energy enhancer and tool for insomniacs. It’s a nap program that lets you enter a relaxation state and then re-emerge, refreshed and energized after 20 minutes. The product plays that Windham Hill-like music and uses soft speech that it calls Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to suggest relaxation. While you’re in this deeply relaxed state, pzizz delivers combinations of suggestions and affirmations that encourage you to relax and also to focus and energize. You can purchase the pzizz hardware device or just download the music to your iPod or PC.

More competitive types might want to try Vyro Games’ PIP (Personal Input Pod) in which you try to out-relax your opponent in a game-like environment. The device is a teardrop-shaped, keychain-size gadget that uses biofeedback and Bluetooth technology to wirelessly control game play. You can play on a cellphone, PC, or game console. In one mood-based game, the player who is the most relaxed can see his or her dragon outrace an opponent. A game where “calmness” triumphs.

CalmLink Relaxation Software and GSR-II System (a biofeedback mouse) looks like a computer mouse with two finger-sized dents, but it’s actually a GSR biofeedback “mouse” that measures changes to the electrical conductivity of your skin. Galvanic skin response tells a lot about whether your body is relaxed or tense. The unit translates these tiny tension-related changes in skin pores into a rising or falling tone. You learn to lower the pitch and your stress level by relaxing.

Neural Noise Synthesizer (NNS) from Transparent Corporation turns your computer into a recording studio for audio brainwaves. Based on the idea that specially designed sounds stimulate your brainwaves in precise ways, the device includes sounds that promise to enhance creativity, offer headache relief, increase focus/concentration, and lead to lucid dreams.

One of our Silvers Summit exhibitors, HeartMath’s emWave Personal Stress Reliever is a handheld that uses a combination of LED displays, audio feedback, and a stress reliever system to train you to relax. You place your thumb on the sensor or attach a special hands-free ear sensor. The unit detects your pulse, which synchronizes to your heart rhythms. Small changes in heart rhythms can signify stress. Once the heart rhythms are detected, the unit can train you to shift your body out of stress mode and into what it calls high coherence.