RYAN ALTMAN

🫁 The TPSR Method: Tapping Into Biofeedback For Optimal Self-Regulation & Deep Meditation

Do you own a smartwatch or smart device?

If you do, then you track biometric data that gives you biofeedback.

Biofeedback is data on your physiological state like breath rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on that helps you understand how your autonomic nervous system is working.

The goal of biofeedback is to use the data you collect to improve your quality of life and regulate yourself more consciously.

There are all sorts of biofeedback apps, gadgets and gizmos these days.

A lot of them look pretty ridiculous when you search for them.

See exhibit A below:

Exhibit A is an example of neurofeedback (measuring brain states instead of body states), but you get the idea.

All of them claim to help you become healthier, regulate your nervous system, improve mental health and enhance your performance, etc, etc.

I’m not knocking all of these devices, because some of them do work for their intended purposes.

But most of them are snake oil.

Do you need biofeedback gadgets?

I’ve experimented with different biofeedback and neurofeedback devices (like the Muse Headband that measures brainwaves I shared awhile back), and found that although they can provide some usefulness, nothing is better than using your own awareness and attention.

Biofeedback is an invaluable tool to help you consciously regulate the mind and body during meditation and throughout life.

To utilize it, you don’t need any fancy gadgets or smartwatches to measure and regulate yourself.

You just need your attention and awareness.

In meditation, we cultivate calmness, concentration and awareness, which help us to clearly look into our bodies and see what’s going on.

Combined with tools like Heart Rate Variability Resonance Breathing, meditation and different yogic practices, you can not only consciously regulate your brain and nervous system effectively, but evolve and transform it.

Entering into an optimal state of coherence

In scientific terms, when we’re using biofeedback we’re connecting to the parasympathetic nervous system and entering into coherent state.

A coherent state is one where all the different processes of the body like respiration, brainwaves, blood pressure, etc. are working in harmony.

Once in a coherent state, we can get the body ‘out of the way’ and perform at our best in activities, or transcend the body altogether in meditation.

With biofeedback, we look for clues that we’re entering into these restful and harmonious processes of being.

The TPSR biofeedback method

To help you go deeper in meditation and regulate yourself better, here are 4 biofeedback signs to look out for while you’re meditating.

I call them the TPSR Method:

  • 🌡️ Temperature
  • 🛞 Pressure
  • ✨ Sensation
  • 🫁 Respiration

This method is very much a work in progress, but in general these are scientifically proven signs to look out for in your practice.

If you prefer to watch video, you can view my post on the TPSR method on Instagram, which I’m expanding on now.

As a final shout out, much of this method is influenced by meditation teacher Forrest Knutson and his work on biofeedback, so if you’re interested check him out on YouTube.

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. 🌡️ Temperature: when we’re in the sympathetic system of fight or flight, blood goes inward to the internal organs. However, when we’re in the restful parasympathetic state, it rises to the surface. This increases the external temperature of the body. Temperature increases are especially noticeable in the hands, so watch for them there.

2. 🛞 Pressure: this isn’t blood pressure, but the feeling of pressure. A gentle squeeze, tightness or heaviness will happen in the hands, chest and limbs as you get deeper into the parasympathetic state, especially as you activate the dorsal vagal nerve and the freeze response. You won’t want to move, or moving may feel difficult. You can read more about the dorsal vagal nerve in my article on it here.

3. ✨ Sensation: tingling sensations on the skin, face, lips and near the spine will happen from changes in electrodermal activity (electric activity on the skin) and as energy withdraws upwards to the brain. It’s similar to what happens when we fall asleep, only done consciously. The sensation of your body may also change, or parts may feel like they’re missing as parts of the brain go into standby. From a yogic perspective, prana will start moving more freely through nadis and energy channels.

4. 🫁 Respiration: the heart rate and breath rate will slow down noticeably as you enter into a coherent state. Long, slow exhales and slower/more refined variations in the breathing pattern will become noticeable. This is the perhaps the most important metric, and gives excellent insight into the state of the nervous system.

Conclusion

I hope you found the TPSR method helpful.

Try it out sometime in your own meditation practice.

Biofeedback provides the navigational cues to explore the depths of your being.

By tuning into the TPSR signals, you open the door to profound states of coherence and self-regulation that can improve your performance and deepen your meditations.

Remember, the greatest biofeedback technology lies within your own consciousness.

Embrace your innate power of awareness, and the path to transformation will continually unfold in ever-deeper, more expansive ways.

Eventually revealing the great inner treasure within you, the light of your soul, and your spiritual birthright of freedom, love, peace and joy.

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Hey, I’m Ryan 👋

I’m a meditation teacher and spiritual mentor. I’ve been a disciplined sadhaka for over 15 years, devotedly studying authentic spiritual traditions with enlightened teachers all over the world. Through my work, I translate the teachings of the lineages and traditions that I’ve studied into the digital age, helping people overcome suffering, achieve their potential, and connect to their spiritual truth. If you’re new here, make sure to take my Spiritual Awareness Assessment, or contact me with any questions you may have on your journey!

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