Author Topic: Biofeedback for spags  (Read 1116 times)

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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Biofeedback for spags
« on: September 07, 2012, 07:09:49 pm »
So, I saw some pictures of myself playing drums from our last show, and I realize I look like some hunchbacked ogre beating my kit with a look of overly possessive lustful anger.  And the latter is fine (makes for a good performance), but the former is horrible.  My posture – atrocious!  Not only does it look bad, it actually makes it more difficult to play the drums.

And then I began noticing I slump over in most situations: At my desk, riding on the train, even walking around.  And, if I catch my reflection, this is most certainly not the way to bring FABULOUS into people’s lives.

So, I’m working on my posture, trying to remind myself to sit and stand as if a thread were pulling at the nape of my neck.  And I realized two things:

1) It’s making my back muscles sore, so I think I’m doing something right.

2) It’s directly affecting my attitude.  It seems as if posture is directly linked to my Second Circuit, and I feel more confident, in control, and less complacent.  I’m simply feeling better about myself, in a way that I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t feeling good about myself before.  I understand and know how the brain responds to the body just as much as the body responds to the brain, it’s just that in this case, the feedback is pretty immediate and, in a way, startling.


Now if only my back would stop hurting.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 07:13:26 pm »
So, I saw some pictures of myself playing drums from our last show, and I realize I look like some hunchbacked ogre beating my kit with a look of overly possessive lustful anger.

This is bad?


  And the latter is fine (makes for a good performance), but the former it horrible.  My posture – atrocious!  Not only does it look bad, it actually makes it more difficult to play the drums.

But easier to stalk your prey.

And then I began noticing I slump over in most situations: At my desk, riding on the train, even walking around.  And, if I catch my reflection, this is most certainly not the way to bring FABULOUS into people’s lives.

This is correct.  It is also an invitation to be shat on in the workplace.  Or any place.

Sorry about the above two responses, I was misunderstanding the problem.

2) It’s directly affecting my attitude.  It seems as if posture is directly linked to my Second Circuit, and I feel more confident, in control, and less complacent.  I’m simply feeling better about myself, in a way that I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t feeling good about myself before.  I understand and know how the brain responds to the body just as much as the body responds to the brain, it’s just that in this case, the feedback is pretty immediate and, in a way, startling.

This is actually a fairly well-understood phenomenon.  I can dig up some shit about it, if you'd like.

Now if only my back would stop hurting.

It will, when you've gotten used to the new posture.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 07:18:15 pm »
It's one of those situations where "you have to go and look" -- I've read about it since... well, since I first read RAW, and I get a lot of the biology/neurology behind it (for a given value of "get"), but to have such an immediate result, that's what's surprising, and it leads to a much better understanding of what's going on.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 07:18:59 pm »
It's one of those situations where "you have to go and look" -- I've read about it since... well, since I first read RAW, and I get a lot of the biology/neurology behind it (for a given value of "get"), but to have such an immediate result, that's what's surprising, and it leads to a much better understanding of what's going on.

Smiling when you're upset has an immediate effect as well.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 07:20:33 pm »
I have noticed slouching in my own posture! I have been trying to work on it but so far the only improvement I'm seeing is I catch myself slouching more often.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 07:27:26 pm »
Now if only my back would stop hurting.

Get Mrs. LMNO to rub it for you.  This can lead to moar fun stuff.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 07:28:20 pm »
It's one of those situations where "you have to go and look" -- I've read about it since... well, since I first read RAW, and I get a lot of the biology/neurology behind it (for a given value of "get"), but to have such an immediate result, that's what's surprising, and it leads to a much better understanding of what's going on.

Smiling when you're upset has an immediate effect as well.
It's weird, I knew/know about the smiling thing, too.  And I've done it.  It's like I have to keep reminding myself to do things that will make me feel better.  And I forget really quickly.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 07:28:56 pm »
Now if only my back would stop hurting.

Get Mrs. LMNO to rub it for you.  This can lead to moar fun stuff.

If by "fun" you mean "start making dreadlocks on my back", well, sure.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 07:31:14 pm »
Now if only my back would stop hurting.

Get Mrs. LMNO to rub it for you.  This can lead to moar fun stuff.

If by "fun" you mean "start making dreadlocks on my back", well, sure.

Eh, that can be worked around.  Beat the small animals out of the pelt with a stick before starting.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 07:42:33 pm »
I thought you were doing the drum slouch intentionally.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 07:45:57 pm »
Nope.  I seem to assume that shape when focusing intently on not fucking up the beat.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 07:49:55 pm »
It's one of those situations where "you have to go and look" -- I've read about it since... well, since I first read RAW, and I get a lot of the biology/neurology behind it (for a given value of "get"), but to have such an immediate result, that's what's surprising, and it leads to a much better understanding of what's going on.

Smiling when you're upset has an immediate effect as well.
It's weird, I knew/know about the smiling thing, too.  And I've done it.  It's like I have to keep reminding myself to do things that will make me feel better.  And I forget really quickly.

It can be useful to build a ritual (no not THAT kind of ritual) around the behaviors and states you wish to change. I get exceptional amounts of exercise through my job now, but I used to go to the YMCA like clockwork when I lived back in Racine.
The ritual part had a little to do with how I prepped, dressed, and exercised, but the most effective part was a conscious building of association afterward while the endorphin levels were nice and high.

After an hour or so of moderate to heavy cardio followed by a stint in the sauna or hot tub I would always take the same rout out of the building and consciously focus on nothing but the feeling of breath, the grin on my face, and rubbing my index finger and thumb on my right hand together while my arm was hanging at my side.  With enough repetition the associations have become almost permanent. A little moment to stop and grin, and rub those fingers together, can immediately slow my heart rate (tested this with science) and loosen my muscles. I also smile reflexively.  It took about 2 years to build this trigger, but It's been well worth it.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 07:53:53 pm »
Sort of related to this topic:

The Russian chess team do masses of endurance training, long-distance running, rock-climbing, hikes etc as part of their regimen for chess tournaments.

Why bother, when chess is a game that is played sitting down?

Well, because the Russian chess team believes, and probably has the data to prove it, that improving overall health, posture, endurance etc makes better, more creative and ultimately much harder to defeat players.  The physical condition feeds into their mental condition.

An element of it is the length of chess matches, where being able to go hours without eating and not getting tired is a definite advantage.  But it's more than just that.  Being physically healthier allows them to concentrate on the game to the fullest of their ability - they are ultimately using fleshy bits to do their thinking, (lets not get mired in Cartesian dualism), so ensuring all those fleshy bits are healthy and in good working order benefits their game immensely.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2012, 08:14:00 pm »

Well, because the Russian chess team believes, and probably has the data to prove it, that improving overall health, posture, endurance etc makes better, more creative and ultimately much harder to defeat players.  The physical condition feeds into their mental condition.


I would back this up from my own experience.  It has been fundamental to learning to function with bi-polar disorder.  I think this incidentally has much to do with "spiritual" states and the prep work that often goes into them. Learning to monitor, control and ultimately master the inner and outer states of one's being is partially aided by learning bio-feedback like techniques.
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Re: Biofeedback for spags
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 09:30:41 pm »
Lmno- your posture when playing drums may be due to another trigger. I notice that you dont usually wear your glasses when you play. Since people usually look more closely at something theyre trying to concentrate on your diminished vision might be causing you to slouch more. Perhaps contact lenses will also correct the slouching? I have a habit of looking at my fretboard too much myself- i have to make a conscious decision to look out into the crowd but when we do stare at the sun thats almost impossible. Its the one song where i sing and play guitar at the same time so i have to look at frets in order to do it even if my fingers already know where to go.
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