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Train your brain with MindGym

  • Published
  • By Cynthia Griggs
  • 75th Air Base Public Affairs

Military readiness is more than physical preparedness, it’s also mental health and resilience. A few years ago, Hill Air Force Base’s Integrated Prevention and Resilience team added the Lumena MindGym at the Hess Fitness Center to help airmen and their families proactively manage their mental health by actively engaging and training their mind to improve focus and performance on the job and in life.

MindGym is an isolated meditation pod in the shape of a reflective cube designed to use the combined power of isolation, reflection, light, and sound to create an immersive cognitive training environment. It regulates stress, improves focus, and promotes resilience.

According to Tech. Sgt. Kymberli Miner, Lead Integrated Resilience Program manager, users sit in an ergonomic chair and have the option to wear a headband that analyzes brain waves throughout the session to measure their performance and monitor stress levels. At the end of the session, MindGym provides feedback on how the body and brain responded to the session. If they choose not to wear the headband, feedback is limited to the member at the end of the session.

Guided mindset training sessions, usually lasting between 10-20 minutes, enhance the user’s ability to transition their mental state through light and sound for relaxation, inner-exploration and contemplative practice. A typical session is divided between peace and relaxation, mental training and performance.

Since its inception at Hill in 2021, the benefits of MindGym have been studied and convincing. With Lumena’s team, the Integrated Prevention and Resilience team set up two focus group trials with the 775th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Flight and the 75th Air Base Wing first sergeants in a six-module performance mindset training course and measured the results. The outcome showed that MindGym helped Airmen improve task completion time by up to 29% while helping manage their stress better by 61%.

“Whether a person is having trouble sleeping, focusing, or just needs a space to reset, the MindGym is the perfect place to help everyone achieve their mental resilience goals,” said Miner. “If I ever feel overwhelmed with tasks at work, I go over for a quick 10–15-minute session. Afterwards, my mind is clear of all distractions, and I feel like I’m ready to take on anything.”

According to https://lumenalabs.com/results/hill/, additional results from the focus group trials reported a third of the participants said their sleep quality improved and about half reported improvements in their mood and mental wellness.  Over half of the participants said they were very likely to employ these new performance mindset training skills to use in their daily lives, saying they would do so particularly in stressful situations. Nearly 45% planned to incorporate their new skills during deployment.

The sensory deprivation, bio-responsive mindfulness Lumena MindGym is available 24/7 at the Hess Fitness Center and available to any user registered with the 75th Force Support Squadron’s Warrior Fitness Center. Users set up a profile at the Hess and then can reserve a MindGym session at https://lumenalabs.com/booking/.