Meditation, the ancient Indian technique of concentration, perfected by yogis and maharishis, has caught the world by storm. It is alleged that this method of making the mind focus on a specific thing or object can help reduce anxiety and stress as well as make you feel spirited. But have you ever tried meditating on your own?
The meditation sessions you see on TV-the gurus and contemplation experts effortlessly gyrating and contorting their bodies-make it looks so easy. But you bet the process can be excruciatingly difficult; the majority of who’s starting to meditate will testify to the same. However, a hi-tech device reinforced by an app is proving to be extremely beneficial in helping countless individuals meditate effectively.
Welcome to the world of Muse and Muse 2. Muse (Muse 2 being an upgraded version) is a brain-sensing headband manufactured by InteraXon. The company took over Meditation Study last year (in July 2018)-a content development laboratory-which gave them a head start in creating the Muse.
What exactly is Muse?
Brain-sensing technology is at the core of the Muse headband, and it is this groundbreaking technology that makes the circlet so versatile. The headband which fits easily on your head is outfitted with EEG sensors that monitor and gauge your brain’s activities. The app built into Muse decodes the EEG signals, converting them into audio bytes that the user listens through the inbuilt earphones.
The intensity of brain activity determines the rhythm and tempo of the audio or music. Additionally, you have the leeway of selecting the surroundings or environs you’d like to cogitate in. You’ll be able to figure out whether you’re meditating in a rainforest, seacoast or the Mojave Desert.
If you so wish, you can choose to meditate in complete silence without any tunes playing in the background. You can make your mind focus and settle simply through the headdress-the Muse. Once you or rather your mind calms down, you’ll observe unusual boost ups in the grid indicating the disturbing thoughts that made you lose your focus.
You also have the choice of using the Muse for short sessions lasting three minutes to sessions extending to more than an hour. The Muse comes with seven EEG sensors, an app that monitors your progress, and a powerful battery that drives the device for five hours at a stretch. The Muse comes to your rescue if and when you’re experiencing difficulty in meditating regularly.
All you need to do is turn the headband on, make it compatible with the app, open the app, wear the headphones, and follow the instructions. The ergonomic design of Muse means it fits comfortably on different sizes of heads. Yes, the headband is conspicuous, so if you don’t want to generate unwanted attention, you can use it in the privacy of your home.
Though the device comes with speakers, you can take advantage of your ear bud headphones for best results. The built-in LED lights to indicate pairing (and paired) and charging (and charged)-so you know what’s happening.
How does Muse headband help in meditating?
The Muse helps you to keep track of your mind without supervision. Additionally, the headband instructs you on the basics of meditation as well as what the different EEG signals mean. Perhaps the best thing about the Muse is that you can rate your progress and accordingly take steps to improve your focus and achieve your meditation goals.
What distinguishes Muse from conventional modes of meditation?
With the Muse headband on your top, you can start meditating straightaway, unlike traditional meditation, where you need to prepare for cogitating. The Muse informs you within the fraction of a millisecond that you’re ready to focus and meditate. This headband is speaking, a mental gym for your brain and mind.
When you try to meditate using a traditional approach or technique, you tend to lose your focus more often. And once you’re out of focus, it takes inordinately long to get back into the swing of things. However, when you have the Muse on your head, getting out of focus and regaining it is as easy as a duck taking to water.
You meditate on the fast track when you use the Muse headband.
Does Muse make meditation more convenient?
- The immersive soundtracks make meditation easy and fun
- You easily pick up the fundamentals of meditation as the Muse walks you through the essentials of ruminations
- The Muse is very simple to ease where you observe the results at a glance
- You can easily measure and evaluate your progress by studying and analyzing the graphs thrown up following the end of every session
- You’ve milestones and targets that encourage you to continue with meditation
The Brain Sensing Headband Muse exploits EEG Neurofeedback Technology for operation. EEG sensors embedded inside the headband record and decipher complex brain activities. There are a total of seven fine-tuned sensors- three reference sensors, two sensors positioned at the back of your ears, and two on the forehead.
Muse 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Upgraded version of Muse
Meditation enthusiasts who were keenly looking for a mode or technique that’d help them contemplate more effectively took to Muse. The ‘Muse Mind’ or Muse 1 comes equipped with a range of versatile features like EEG sensors, multiple-use, LED indicator, wireless connectivity, and so on. ‘Muse 2 Body and Mind’ which InteraXon launched recently is a huge upgrade over Muse 1. The upgraded version of Muse 1 features three new functionalities that help you focus better, and consequently meditate more effectively. Muse 2 offers you greater control over your heart (rate), respiration, and body, eventually enabling you to make the most of your meditation sessions.
What are the differences between Muse vs Muse 2
|Multiple Users on 1 Headband
|Android & Apple iOS
|Micro USB Charging Port
|5-hour battery life
|Android & iOS Compatible
Muse: Is it safe for you?
Muse strictly follows regulatory norms and specifications laid down in Europe, Canada, and the US. The manufacturer can show the certificates which mention that Muse is certified for use in the regions above. The rays emitted by the Muse’s EEG sensors are very weak, and so there is no question of their causing any harm.
Clinics, hospitals, and multispecialty medical centers throughout the world extensively use EEG without causing health problems to patients. All the information or data that the Muse headband amasses through Bluetooth is sent to the app in your smartphone. And most of us regularly use Bluetooth for sharing files and documents and listening to music.
Bluetooth is regarded as quite safe as it uses just 1/100th of cellular phone’s signal.
Problems you could face in using the Muse
The manufacturer has received complaints from several customers and users that the headband does not fit properly on their heads. A large number of users have reported that the headband functions only and only when it sits very firmly, which makes them feel somewhat uncomfortable. However, the majority of users have found that the Muse fits comfortably on their head and that it is very lightweight and flexible.
However, you’d have to follow a few instructions to use the Muse to the best of your advantage. For instance, you’ll have to sit still when you the headband is strapped to your head. Even a slight movement of the head in any direction could slacken off the sensors, resulting in signal loss.
There are also reports about the Muse not being perfect or precise throughout. In other words, there is no way Muse can distinguish between an active or restive brain and tranquil brain state. It is worth noting here that these reports can be traced back to individuals who’ve practicing meditation for a long period.
It is not without reason that the Muse is basically for those who’ve never meditated and started practicing it recently. Many users have complained that the headband takes an inordinately long time to start, and sometimes Bluetooth connectivity snaps out in the middle of a session. InteraXon is working on these deficiencies and will fix them with future software updates.
The Muse App
It is the built-in Muse App that makes the headband so extraordinarily resourceful and ingenious. The Muse App companionable with both iOS and Android helps users keep track of their meditation sessions and measure their progress. The app allows you to observe the length of time your brain remains tranquil or in a dispassionate (neutral) state.
You receive a score for every cogitation session-For each second your brain stays still, you get three points and only one point for every second your intellect remains neutral. Once you’ve scored 5,000 points, you can view graphs and charts that offer better insights about your mind.