BIOFEEDBACK: Turning on the Power of Your Mind by Marvin & Lewis M. Andrews Karlins

BIOFEEDBACK: Turning on the Power of Your Mind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Although the authors' hard-sell techniques make it sound like a new active-enzyme wonder detergent guaranteed to whiten and brighten your life, biofeedback actually does represent a fascinating area of scientific research. Aimed at bringing involuntary neuromuscular functions under voluntary control, it is here billed as ""promising a head start on the road to satori."" A simple blend of yoga and electronics, masterminded by Neal E. Miller of the Rockefeller Institute, biofeedback monitors brain waves, muscle tension, and various cardiovascular functions and provides the subject with instant replay via beeps and flashing lights. Thus you can ""tune in"" on your own bodily functions and thereby control anxiety, blood pressure, heart beat, etc. Pleasurable ""highs"" can even be induced by stimulating alpha-wave production in the brain; ulcers, migraines, anxiety and phobias can all be cured by the patient himself monitoring his own nervous system. At any rate that's the theory, vigorously propounded by the authors who use it as a starting point for a spectacular take-off into the realms of ESP, SSP, and psychokinetics: instant self-awareness through gadgetry. A chapter headed ""What to Do Till the Revolution Comes"" supplies a list of manufacturers who provide (for about $200 bucks) do-it-yourself electroencephalographs along with (a few) cautionary notes on charlatans and possible abuses of the wonder technique. The Brave-New-World implications of this parapsychology are dismissed out of hand; on the contrary the authors of Requiem for Democracy? (1971) once again trumpet the news that freedom is a high level of information processing -- biofeedback will restore ""freedom and dignity"" to alienated, manipulated 20th century man. Yes, even though ""Soon we may know 'what love is' in exact cycles per second."" Meantime, it left our heads buzzing.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1972
Publisher: Lippincott