Measure and regulate your stress level on the go with the eSense Skin Response Biofeedback home-use device on your smartphone or tablet!
The Mindfield eSense Skin Response Biofeedback home-use device is a small sensor to measure your skin conductance using the microphone input of your smartphone or tablet (Android or Apple iOS). Your skin conductance depends directly on your state of relaxation or stress, making it a commonly used and very precise stress indicator. With the eSense Skin Response, you can precisely identify your stress level and reduce it with biofeedback training. It can help you also in the management of anxiety, panic attack, depression, headache, and many other conditions that are dependent on autonomic nervous system states.
The eSense Skin Response can be very useful also in the practice of optimal performance.
The eSense Skin Response provides you in various ways with exact feedback about your momentary stress level, e.g. with measurement curves, video display, and audio feedback features.
For the audio biofeedback, the eSense now has a headphone jack, so you can additionally listen to music or audiobooks while training your stress level down!
The app for eSense is free in the Google Play Store (Android) or in the Apple App Store (iOS) and allows exporting the measured data via e-mail. The eSense Skin Response is also compatible with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (in combination with the included Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter).
How our skin reflects our condition and state?
The activity of the perspiration glands is determined by the autonomic nervous system, which contains two major subunits: the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The perspiration glands of the skin are solely controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, making them a good indicator of inner strain and stress.
The sweat glands react directly to the smallest emotional, physical, or mental changes.
A rise in skin conductance is clearly visible under the influence of stress. Stress factors may be, for example, mental activity, emotional arousal, deep inhalation, or frightening.
The sympathetic nervous system reacts to stress stimuli by activating all the “emergency functions” of the body, bringing it to a state of heightened responsiveness: pulse and blood pressure rise along with the glucose level in the blood and general alertness. With these changes comes the effect of “wet hands” on which the skin response measurement relies.
We all know a time in our lives when we got wet hands. Think of the speech you gave in front of an audience or during a job interview. If in those situations you were excited, can you remember the cold, sweaty hands?
A scientific theory for this effect assumes that our ancestors needed wet hands to have a firmer grip on things; for example, in an escape or pursuit through difficult terrain. When the threatening situation is over, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominant: pulse, blood pressure, and glucose level fall again. The body enters a rest state to allow recuperation. The hands become dry again.
The increased activity of the perspiration glands through a (stress) stimulus is easily visible through the associated increase in skin conductance. The stimulus can be a mental or emotional strain or taking a sudden, deep breath, or a startling action like someone unexpectedly clapping hands or the loud drop of an item onto the floor.
Just try it with the eSense Skin Response Biofeedback sensor – you will easily see the effects!
Skin response, also known as galvanic skin response (GSR), electrodermal response (EDR), or skin conductance (SC) is a measurement method based on the bio-electrical properties of the skin. Skin conductance depends on the activity of the sweat glands of the skin and reacts to the smallest changes, which we can’t detect as wet hands yet. The eSense Skin Response applies a very small, safe, and unnoticeable electrical voltage, which results in an electrical current to the skin. Through the changes of this small current, we can measure the activity of the perspiration glands of the skin far below the threshold of self-perception. The higher the stress, the more activity of the sweat glands, the more the skin gets wet, and the better the current is conducted. As a result, the skin conductance rises.
The Skin Response measures the Skin Conductance in Micro Siemens or μSiemens. Skin conductance is measured in μSiemens or symbolized as μS (where μ denotes a millionth and Siemens is the unit of conductance). “Skin resistance” is also a common term, simply denoting the inverse of conductance (1S = 1/Ω).
To read more about Skin Conductance and its management through biofeedback training, please visit our website “Electrodermal activity biofeedback”
Skin response and biofeedback training
In a professional, therapeutic context, skin conductance training is the preferred biofeedback training method for anxiety, panic, and learning relaxation.
Stress and its vegetative symptoms can be greatly reduced through biofeedback training, where you intentionally work on lowering your skin response.
Skin response is a universal tool for biofeedback training. It is widely used in the therapy of anxiety, panic disorders, and specific phobias. Further fields of use are high blood pressure, tinnitus, and sleep disorders. If you suffer from a serious disorder or medical condition, always consult a professional physician or therapist, and do not attempt to treat yourself. The eSense Skin Response is not a medical device and may only be used for stress reduction training.
Indications for Skin Response Biofeedback
- panic disorders,
- specific phobias,
- high blood pressure,
- sleep disorders,
- headache (tension, migraine),
- management of stress and its consequences,
- optimal performance
The eSense Skin Response is a precise device. It can measure the smallest changes which would be impossible to recognize yourself. Have a look at the following example of a measurement to see how insightful the results are.
Measurements are done by placing two electrodes on two fingertips of the same hand. Two electrodes are placed on the index and middle fingers. The dark-colored lower side of the electrode should be in good skin contact. Other positions for the electrodes and other electrode types are possible as well. A low, completely harmless voltage is applied to the skin via the two electrodes of the eSense Skin Response, through which a very low current flows. The tenser you are, the wetter your skin becomes, and the better the current is conducted, so the skin conductance increases.
The goal of the feedback training is twofold: A reduction of the permanent, basic level of stress and a reduction of the immediate stress response to a particular stimulus. Biofeedback training consists of four training stages. Schedule for the first training about 60 to 90 minutes of free time in which you can conduct the training undisturbed and flexibly.
It must also be differentiated between different types of stress. There is “bad stress,” distress, and there is “good stress”, eustress. You need to ask yourself if you are stressed because you feel overwhelmed and are angry about something or because you are upset. Or are you “stressed” because you are full of drive and excited? In both cases, the eSense Skin Response shows elevated values. However, in the first case, this is to be judged negatively. In the second case, you can simply enjoy and use the active or euphoric state.
A detailed explanation of the procedure you can find in the eSense Skin Response Biofeedback Device Manual.
Skin Conductance Response (SCR) – How does it work and how to interpret it?
Skin Conductance contains two components: the tonic, static “level” and the phasic, fluctuating “reactions”, and these components are usually designated as Skin Conductance Responses (SCR).
While the “level” is represented well in the average of the measured values, the eSense Skin Response also measures the amount of Skin Conductance Response (SCR) per minute. In general, a higher number of SCR per minute is an indicator of higher stress.
- Value from experience which is in alignment with scientific literature suggests that a “relaxed” frame is between 0 and 5 SRC per minute.
- From 6-9 SRC/min starts an animated state.
- From 10 or even from 16 SRC/min, a level of stress or even high stress can be assumed.
The SCR is great for comparing biofeedback sessions to each other. If your goal for training is a reduction of stress, then the amount of SRC/min should decrease over several sessions. In the archive of the app, you can compare the different sessions to each other.
The average value in μS of a session is an indicator for the “level,” hence how high your basic level of tension or relaxation is. You should also try to lower this while you are doing stress reduction training. The average value also takes the SCR into consideration and is falsified with many SRC/min. You should, therefore, use as quiet a frame as possible without any SCR to determine your own “stress level” in μS.
The SRC/min in the eSense app is colored. Low SRC is green or yellow and high SRC/min is orange or red. While making a measurement, the recognized SRC is colored within the curve.
Possibilities of the App
To train and improve your breathing, the app offers a wealth of biofeedback feedback:
- Bar feedback
- Curve feedback
- Video feedback (videos included and own videos freely selectable)
- Music feedback (music included and own music freely selectable)
- Tone feedback (change of pitch by the measured values)
- Tactile feedback through vibration (only smartphones; tablets cannot vibrate)
- Feedback through color changes of smart bulbs (Bluetooth bulbs and Philips Hue products are controllable)
Which iOS Devices are Supported?
- All iOS devices from version 12.5 or higher, which are (in part):
- Apple® iPhone® 5S, iPhone® 6 / 6S, iPhone® SE / SE 2, iPhone® 7/7 +, iPhone® 8/8 +, iPhone® X, iPhone® XR, iPhone® XS, iPhone® 11/11 Pro, iPhone® 12/12 Pro
- Apple® iPad® from the 5th generation (iPad Air) or newer, including all iPad Mini from the 2nd generation
- Apple® iPad® Pro from 1st generation or newer
- Apple® iPod Touch® from 6th generation or newer
Note: Some newer iOS devices without the classic 3.5mm headphone jack and with the newer Lightning / USB-C connector also work perfectly with the eSense. You either need an original Apple USB-C or original Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm connection adapter (not included in the scope of delivery of the eSense). Alternatively, you also can use any other adapter with a DAC chip. We recommend this adapter on Amazon.
Which Android Devices are Supported?
- All Android Smartphones and Tablets from Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Your Android device requires a 3,5mm jack (headphone jack) for external microphones!
For Android devices without a headphone jack, you can use an adapter with a DAC chip. We recommend this adapter on Amazon.
- If you plan on purchasing a device for using the eSense App, we suggest a Nokia 2.4, a Nokia G20, a Motorola Moto E7i Power, or a Xiaomi Redmi 9a as an inexpensive entry-level device.
Caution: Never use the eSense Skin Response while charging your iOS/Android device!
- The eSense Skin Response does not use batteries but is powered via the microphone input of the iOS/Android device.
Scope of delivery of the eSense Skin Response
- Mindfield® eSense Skin Response Sensor
- 2 Velcro electrodes
- The free Mindfield app is available on the App Store or Google Play
- Detailed instructions for effective biofeedback training
You can also have an eSense Skin Response savings set with additional electrodes (€ 169.00) in the shop, which you can use to save compared to buying them separately!
You can save also by purchasing an eSense Skin Response and Respiration Set (€ 229.00)
This set consists of 2 eSense sensors: The eSense Respiration and the eSense Skin Response.
The eSense Respiration only works with an eSense Skin Response. Only the eSense Skin Response can be used independently.