Elmer and Alyce Green are an unusual couple, combining a life-long interest in the phenomenon of consciousness with academic...

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BEYOND BIOFEEDBACK

Elmer and Alyce Green are an unusual couple, combining a life-long interest in the phenomenon of consciousness with academic training in physics and psychology. Beyond Biofeedback is both a review and a credo. The Greens summarize their own and other investigators' work in training people to use biofeedback in medicine--to control heart rate, blood pressure, migraine headaches, or an overactive digestive system. They emphasize that biofeedback is not a directly-applied treatment; it is, rather, a way to convey information that an individual can then use to heighten self-awareness and thereby gain control over the nervous system. The Greens have also explored brain waves in hypnogogic imagery--states of reverie (often occurring just before sleep) that are often associated with insights, problem-solving, the creative flash. And they have sought out those exceptional minds-over-matter who can withstand pain, prevent bleeding, or stop the heartbeat. On the psychic trail in India (a fascinating chapter), their portable equipment was put to good use: tapping the brain waves and recording the respiration rates of the celebrated yogis who can handle fire or endure hours sealed in an air-tight box. One need not follow the Greens all the way in their syncretic beliefs of East and West, reincarnation, ESP, mysticism. . . to appreciate their keen observations and sharp value judgments. They warn against unethical experiments (e.g., intentionally feeding back incorrect physiological info to a test subject) and are critical of quickie mind-control courses that rely heavily--and dangerously--on hypnotism. The message is that the Way is not easy. And exactly how or why it works--the descriptions of feelings, images, and self-instructions don't say. But the Greens say, and say very well, that the way is well worth exploring with an open mind, imagination, and all the equipment you can think of.

Pub Date: July 17, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1977