Ellen here. I just love it when I hear from you that Keen is retraining your brain!
"I got Keen for Christmas and have been 66 days pull free. I've become more aware and where my hand is and I'm glad for it!" ~ B.R.
But what happens when Keen isn't vibrating when you are engaging in our BFRB or Keen vibrates at the wrong times. In working with hundreds of Keen family members I've learned a few tricks in training Keen & I'm eager to share them with you.
Before we start, it's important to understand how Keen works -- for example, how does Keen know the difference between hair pulling and hair brushing?
The answer is all in the wrist.
During training Keen is recording your repetitive scanning wrist motion - the behavior you do before you pick or pull. We call this the "precursor motion." Keen is not sensing your hand or arm movements - Keen is sensing your WRIST movement.
Keen is sensing 3 things on your wrist:
Wanna see? Check out my video!:
Now that you know how Keen works, let's dig deeper into the tips.
Tip 1: Get the training area "just right," like Goldilocks would've wanted.
There are no wrong wrist movements. But there are wrist movements that are too big or too small. So the goal is to get your training area "just right", like Goldilocks would've wanted.
Let’s say you want to train Keen for face picking. Your entire face, which is about the size of your open hand, is a Papa Bear area-- way to big and if you focused on just the tip of your chin, that is a Mama Bear area -- way to small.
The "just right" area Goldilocks would want is a localized area about 1-2 inches. So, you'd focus on a "just right" area such as the left cheek.
Tip 2: Train Keen while looking in the mirror
A great way to train Keen and better understand how it works is to watch Keen's silver module in the mirror as you perform your BFRB.
Again, during training Keen is sensing: wrist movement, the frequency of the movement and the Keen direction as the silver module rests on your wrist.
When you watch yourself in the mirror notice your movements. Are they a too big (covering more than 2 inches) or too small? Is your wrist moving fast, slow or not at all?
Tip 3: Get comfortable where you perform your BFRB & take a mirror with you.
Where do you most often engage in your BFRB? Sitting at a desk? Lying on the sofa? For me it was the car. So, I sat in my car to train Keen & I used the vanity mirror to watch my wrist movements. At first I was training the large sweeping movement of the actual hair pull.
That is where a mirror comes in handy. Notice your "precursor", the movement your wrist makes when scanning.
Tip 4: Adjust Keen's Detection Settings.
Here is where you can fine tune your Keen settings to reduce false positives, those pesky vibrations that happen when you are not engaging in your BFRB.
Take a look at the Motion Sensitivity number. You’ll see that my number is a 6 out of 15.
If your number is an 11 or higher, I recommend deleting the trained area and starting over. Anything 11-15 signifies that your wrist movement is likely either too small or too large. That’s where the mirror comes in handy.
Is your number an 11 or higher? Train again and take notice of the silver Keen module. If it's hardly moving, you'll want to slightly exaggerate your movement. Conversely, if your wrist is making large movements, you'll want to make your movement smaller.
If your number is a 10 or lower, before adjusting your settings, go about your day and notice if Keen is alerting you at the right times.
If you are finding too many false positives such as vibrating when you are doing other tasks -- like typing, eating, texting -- slide the Motion Sensitivity number down one notch at a time - from a 7 to a 6. After sliding one notch, test by doing your BFRB to make sure you get the alert. Then try the other activity, such as texting, and see if Keen vibrates or stays quiet. You can continue to tighten up Keen one number at a time always testing along the way.
Not getting alerted when engaging in your BFRB? Widen the motion sensitivity - from a 7 to an 8, one notch a time, testing along the way.
Want a visual? Watch this video:
Tip 5: Remember, It Takes Time
Just like after one piano lesson you are not going to play like Alicia Keys, after training Keen you are not going BFRB free.
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Together with Abbe Greenberg and Maggie Sarachek, of the Anxiety Sisters, and Lauren McKeaney of PickingME Foundation we recorded a podcast to share treatments for body focused repetitive behaviors like trichotillomania and dermatillomania, along with our mental health stories.
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