eSense Skin Response
Skin temperature in general
The temperature at the surface of the skin changes according to blood circulation through body tissue. The small blood vessels (arterioles) crossing through the tissue are surrounded by fibers of smooth muscle, which are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.
In a state of increased exertion, excitement and stress, these muscle fibers contract, causing a stenosis of vasculature. This leads to a reduction of skin temperature, since blood circulation through the tissue is reduced. In contrast, in a state of relaxation, the musculature is also bound to relax, causing the vasculature to expand. Hence, the skin temperature rises.
Mental stress often leads to a lower peripheral perfusion and a decrease of skin temperature at the hands, caused by increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This has a sense of evolution because tension and anxiety originally served the preparation for an impending flight or an attack. As a result, as much blood as possible is available in the working muscles (upper arms, thighs and torso), which is achieved by the narrowing of vessels in the hands, feet and forearms.
We all know a time in our lives when we got wet hands. For example, think of a speech that you gave in front of an audience or a job interview panel. If you were anxious in those situations, can you remember having cold (and sweaty) hands?
This physiological stress reaction can be useless or even harmful in many contexts in modern society (e. g. mental exertion, worries, psychosocial stress, and anxiety disorder). A conscious control of physiological stress can help you react in a more relaxed and efficient manner to many situations. Biofeedback is an established way to learn this kind of control!
We combine the measurement and feedback of skin temperature in the eSense app with guided relaxation exercises, including guided meditations, and offer you an overall experience that goes beyond biofeedback. In addition to extensive feedback variants, you have the option of evaluating your measurements with many statistics, documenting your progress and exporting the recordings as CSV and PDF files. Your data belongs only to you! You have full access to the raw data.