Erik Peper

Erik Peper
San Francisco State University | SFSU · Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

Ph.D.

About

243
Publications
132,483
Reads
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1,700
Citations
Introduction
How biofeedback can be used to teach awareness and optimize health. How respiration/breathing affect health and well-being, factor that affect optimizing health and productivity at the computer, how posture affect cognition, emotions and health.

Publications

Publications (243)
Article
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More than half of college students self-report some kind of anxiety and depression. This study reports how a university course that incorporated structured self-experience practices may reduce symptoms of self-reported anxiety associated with college stress and strain. Ninety-eight college Junior and Senior students were enrolled in a Holistic Heal...
Article
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Most likely, COVID-19 disease will become endemic because the SARS-CoV-2 virus will continuously mutate. To reduce future infections, the focus of interventions should 1) reduce virus exposure, 2) vaccinate to activate the immune system, and 3) enhance the innate immune system competence. Public Health policies need to focus on intervention strateg...
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This case example reports how a 32 year old female student with chronic headaches since age 18, became headache free after one session of breathing and posture coaching. She self-medicated and took between 2 to 10 Excedrin tablets a week. The class coaching session focused on shifting her habitual thoracic breathing to slower lower abdominal diaphr...
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Abdominal distress affects many people, and biofeedback training appears to be a useful strategy to reduce symptoms. This essay provides detailed instruction for a first session assessment for a client who has abdominal discomfort (functional abdominal pain). Descriptions include how the physiological recording was used to understand a possible eti...
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Sitting or standing without moving the leg muscles puts additional stress on your heart, as blood and lymph pool in the legs. Tightening and relaxing the calf muscles can prevent the pooling of the blood. The inactivity of the calf muscles does not allow the blood to flow upward and may result in “sitting disease,” contributing to the development o...
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The COVID-19 pandemic, almost overnight, has transformed our relationship with technology as we sheltered-in-place. Computer, laptop, tablet, and cellphone screen use has become the main method for maintaining work, education, and social connections virtually. The result has been an increase in symptoms that are physical, behavioral, and emotional...
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The use of online learning or consulting for biofeedback and neurofeedback will continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors reviewed findings of the effectiveness of online presentations and recommendations on how to enhance the online learner's ability to engage by using pre-performance routines or habits. This approach is derived from...
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College students report that it is harder to focus their attention and stay present while taking classes online. They also feel more isolated, anxious and depressed. Communication is often more challenging since many students appear non-responsive and disengaged when attending large synchronous online Zoom classes. For the instructor, this can be s...
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This paper explores plausible reasons why some students report having more difficulty learning online, predominantly in Zoom synchronous classes, and suggests strategies that students can do to optimize their learning. During anonymous classroom observations, approximately 80% of 350 college students polled indicated it was harder to focus their at...
Poster
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A collapsed posture is associated with lower subjective energy, negative self-talk, and physical pain including neck and shoulder tension. In contrast, an upright position is associated with greater confidence, energy, and reductions in pain. While a change in posture is a simple and economical solution to alter one’s own physiology, awareness of p...
Poster
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Almost all (98%) of 99 college students in a health class (37% male and 63% female; average age 24 years) reported experiencing stress, pain and discomfort. Stress-related conditions included arthritis, bruxism and TMJ, migraines, gastrointestinal discomfort (ulcerative colitis and acid reflux), tension headaches, and other body pains. Intervention...
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Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) has been confirmed to increase heart rate variability (HRV) and cardiac outflows by baroreflex in healthy populations and clinical patients. Autogenic training (AT) is common used in the psychological intervention. This study integrates a single-session of HRV-BF and AT into a high-technology mobile appli...
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Lower back pain is experienced by approximately 70% of the world's population, contributing to the worldwide burden of disease. Americans experience lower back pain at an estimated economic cost of $560–$635 billion. One contributing factor for back pain is posture, and more particularly, lack of awareness of dysfunctional posture. For example, man...
Article
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, is a common and chronic disorder that affects up to 20% of people in the U.S. GERD is defined by regurgitation, or retrograde movement of stomach acid and gastric fluids into the esophagus. The three treatment options are lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. A fourth...
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Collapsed or slouching posture has been associated with negative health outcomes such as pain, depression, and overall stress ratings as well as declines in general health, emotional well-being, and energy/fatigue levels. Currently, wearable devices and accompanying smartphone applications (apps) can provide feedback about shifting posture (e.g., e...
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We describe the design and evaluation of PIV, a personalizable and inconspicuous vibrotactile breathing pacer. Given the prevalence and adverse impact of anxiety and anxiety disorders, our goal is to develop a technology that helps people regulate their anxiety through paced breathing. We examined two previously unstudied questions: What is an effe...
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Factors such as sleep, posture, and diet can impact EEG readings and have physiological and neurological effects that, when in dysfunctional ranges, may increase susceptibility to developing affective mood disorders or other psychiatric issues. Based on an observation of a neurofeedback client generating excessive amounts of theta rhythms while in...
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article presents the argument that mindfulness-based meditation (MM) techniques are beneficial and share many of the same outcomes as similar mind-centered practices such as transcendental meditation, prayer, imagery, and visualization and body-centered practices such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), autogenic training (AT), and yoga. For ex...
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This article presents the argument that mindfulness-based meditation (MM) techniques are beneficial and share many of the same outcomes as similar mind-centered practices such as transcendental meditation, prayer, imagery, and visualization and body-centered practices such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), autogenic training (AT), and yoga. F...
Poster
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The purpose of this case study was to explore how learning diaphragmatic breathing could reverse acid reflux.
Poster
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This case study discusses the process of trial and error encountered by a young woman who healed her headaches mindfully, including an emphasis on prevention measures. It presents the challenges learned regarding protocol maintenance at follow-up.
Article
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Slouching posture may be observed when people interact with digital devices such as sitting at a computer screen or looking downwards at a smartphone while sitting or walking. The study investigated two procedures: the effect of head position on perceived head rotation and the effect of neck scrunching on symptom development. In the first study, 87...
Article
Experiments with feedback stimulation triggered from the subject's electroencephalogram result in changing the sequential time series of intervals of occipital alpha and intervals of little or no alpha EEG activity. The rate of recurrence of alpha and no-alpha EEG can be changed by regulating the external feedback stimuli or by asking the subject t...
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The tapestry of biofeedback history has been woven from many independent threads. Some contributors started with much vigor and nurtured others, and then they faded away. Yet they seeded ideas that the next generation rediscovered as their own. Others blossomed and disappeared, whereas still others have continued to actively nurture the field. Inte...
Article
Full-text available
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, is a common and chronic disorder that affects up to 20% of people in the U.S. This condition is defined as the regurgitation, or retrograde of stomach acid and gastric fluids into the esophagus. The three treatment options are lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. We...
Presentation
http://www.upr.org/post/undisciplined-psychophysiologist-and-conservation-biologist
Article
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This study investigates posture on mental math performance. One hundred twenty-five students (M = 23.5 years) participated as part of a class activity. Half of the students sat in an erect position while the other half sat in a slouched position and were asked to mentally subtract 7 serially from 964 for 30 s. They then reversed the positions befor...
Poster
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People are usually unaware that they slouch and Wearable feedback devices such as the UpRight can be utilized to increase awareness.  The feedback reminds the user to shift attention about their posture more frequently throughout the day and helps to make the person more aware. It provides opportunities for learning and reinforcing positive postur...
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Digital addiction is defined by the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as well as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. Thi...
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This paper argues that placebo effects have a larger influence on clinical trial outcomes than purported treatment effects, raising questions about the size of effects currently attributed to clinical treatments. Placebo-controlled clinical trials usually do not include an "active" placebo and thus the clinical outcome could be due to the placebo r...
Article
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Biofeedback and neurofeedback monitor the physiological signals produced by the body and displays them back to the person and can be used to monitor and enhance yoga practices. The physiological feedback can be used to teach internal awareness of covert physiological changes. Biofeedback applications to yoga include documenting whether the claims o...
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Jo Aita, age 46 and weighing 58 kg, set the Masters World Records and Masters Games Records for her age group in Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Total Olympic weightlifting at the World Masters Games by lifting 71 kg in the Snatch and 86 kg in the Clean and Jerk Olympic lifts. She incorporated biofeedback and visualization training to help optimize her...
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 7 to 21% of the general population and is a chronic condition. The symptoms usually include abdominal cramping, discomfort or pain, bloating, loose or frequent stools and constipation, and can significantly reduce the quality of life. This case report describes how a 22-year-old woman, who was initially diagno...
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Background: Body posture reflects emotional states, and this study investigates the effect of posture sitting in a slouched or upright position on recall of either negative (hopeless, helpless, powerless, or defeated) memories or positive (empowered or optimistic) memories. Methods: 216 college students sat in either a slouched or an erect positio...
Article
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Slouched posture is very common and tends to increase access to helpless, hopeless, powerless and depressive thoughts as well as increased head, neck and shoulder pain. Described are five educational and clinical strategies that therapists can incorporate in their practice to encourage an upright/erect posture. These include practices to experience...
Poster
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Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Muscle Tension, and Respiration feedback are used to treat numerous disorders. In most cases the training is done with the client sitting on a comfortable chair. Unknowingly, participants sit slightly slouched which may inhibits the downward movement of the diaphragm during inhalation. This posture may affect breathing...
Poster
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Posture nonverbally communicates information about ourselves to others. A collapsed posture is associated with depressive memory bias, failure-related emotions, lower subjective energy, lower confidence and back, neck, and shoulder pain. An upright posture is associated with increases in confidence, performance, self-image, subjective energy and le...
Article
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Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) and involuntary contraction of the outer third of the vagina (vaginismus) affect between 6.5% and 45% of women. The behavioral approach often includes exhaling to the pain or anticipated discomfort. The common instruction is to exhale in anticipation or sensing discomfort, which paradoxically increases pelvic f...
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This report of findings describes students’ self-reported difficulty and anxiety during test taking and the effect of deliberate gasping or diaphragmatic breathing on the ability to solve math problems. During the evaluation of an experiential classroom activity, 103 university students filled out a short questionnaire about performance anxiety and...
Article
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Introduction: Alpha asymmetry of the left and right frontal hemisphere is a potential biomarker for major depressive disorder (MDD). Neurofeedback (NFB) is a clinical intervention program for regulating brain activity and decreasing alpha asymmetry. The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of NFB among patients with MDD. Methods: Fourt...
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Valid peripheral temperature measurements ensure the integrity of client assessment and biofeedback training. Accurate measurements require understanding of the signal and potential influences on measurement fidelity, and developing bulletproof monitoring procedures. In addition to their use in temperature biofeedback, thermistors can assist heart...
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An educational approach is often different from a clinical treatment approach to promote healing. Using an educational approach, 80% of university students who are enrolled in a holistic health course report that both acute and chronic disorders can be ameliorated or eliminated when they engage in daily self-practice of autogenic training, biofeedb...
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Les dangers de la lumière bleue font l'objet de nombreuses publications, tant dans le domaine scientifique que pour le grand public. L'arrivée récente et massive de sources lumi-neuses émettant dans le spectre de la lumière bleue potentiellement toxique (415 à 455 nm) s'observe aussi bien pour l'éclairage intérieur par lampes LED (light emitting di...
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Body postures can project non-verbally how a human being feels. Postural changes affect thoughts, emotions, and energy levels, and conversely, energy levels, emotions, and thoughts affect posture. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in erect or standing body posture affect positive energy levels, emotions and thoughts. For example,...
Article
Full-text available
Body postures can project nonverbally how a human being feels. Postural changes affect thoughts, emotions, and energy levels, and conversely, energy levels, emotions, and thoughts affect posture. The purpose of this study was to explore how changes in erect or standing body posture affect positive energy levels, emotions, and thoughts. For example,...
Article
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How can you be sure that a larger abdominal waveform, as compared with a smaller chest waveform, means that a client is breathing more abdominally than thoracically? Could this difference be due to discrepancies in the sensitivity of the sensors? This article describes a procedure for measuring the sensitivity of respiratory strain gauges and provi...
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Introduction: Erect and slouch body postures affect access to positive and negative emotions. In an erect sitting posture participants reported more positive emotion and thoughts, while in a slouch position they reported more negative emotion and thoughts. This study explored the electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns under erect and slouch body postu...
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Diaphragmatic breathing from a developmental perspective is a whole-body process. During exhalation, the abdominal wall contracts, and during inhalation, the abdominal wall relaxes. This pattern is often absent in many clients who tend to lift their chest when they inhale and do not expand their abdomen. Even if their breathing includes some abdomi...
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You only get one first impression and first impressions mean a lot. My face made me feel so insecure. I felt embarrassed because I was a 27-year-old, grown woman with an ugly face, or so I thought to be at the time. Acne is a very common problem for young people with about 20% of young adults being moderately to severely affected (Bhate & Williams...
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Over the last 30 years autism, allergies, Type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders have significantly increased. A possible contributing risk fact is the ingestion of residual herbicides and pesticides in foods in our diet. Presently, more than 95% of all grain, corn, and soy aregenetically modified to be tolerant to Monsanto-produced herbicide Ro...
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Abdominal surgery or injury may affect breathing and, if the disturbed breathing pattern is maintained, illness may result, as illustrated by two case examples. This report describes the process of learned avoidance of pain through which abdominal surgery may cause dysfunctional breathing. This clinical note is a reminder to clinicians to ask about...
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Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as applied by behavioral scientists includes strategies for changing negative cognitions that contribute to depression and anxiety. Biofeedback is a useful strategy to demonstrate to clients the mind (cognitive, psychological) to body (physiological) interaction. For example, a cognitive, psychological reaction to a...
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The participant describes her experience with the year-long struggle with vulvodynia, or vulvar vestibulitis (chronic pain at the entrance to the vagina), focusing particularly on biofeedback techniques. Through an introspective analysis of her physical pain, surrounding environment, diet and supplements, and overall lifestyle, she identities facto...
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Millions of women experience substantial pain and suffering from vulvodynia, which is pain around the entrance to the vagina (vulva). A common treatment is surgical removal of the tissue (vestibulectomy). This case report describes the detailed process of a holistic biofeedback-based intervention that successfully resolved the vulvodynia in a 23-ye...
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To understand how a woman who does not want to be a willing sexual partner can at times acquiesce and not fight the date rape predator, the neurobiology of our responses to threat needs to be understood. Under situations of extreme threat, instead of responding just to danger signals with only the options to fight or flee, we also retain in our ner...