Biofeedback is a treatment where people are encouraged to improve their health using signals from their own bodies. This kind of process is used by therapists as they assist stroke victims in regaining the use of their paralyzed muscles. Psychologists also use it in their practice as they help patients in learning how to relax. Some also use this process in the management of pain (The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback). The biofeedback machine helps in seeing the condition of the body.
One machine that is able to pick up activity inside the body, especially the electrical signals from the muscles. There is a flashing light bulb that lights up when a person is not in a healthy condition. This is often used in order to gauge and see how treatment is progressing in a person’s body. I became interested in this form of alternative therapy because it was the least expensive and can be done in the comfort of one’s room. It just takes an aware and alert state of mind in order to fully appreciate the treatment. History of Biofeedback
In the late 1960s and the 1970s, a great deal of research in the field of biofeedback and self-regulation showed that human beings could learn to control many physiological functions that had previously been considered involuntary, such as heart rate, skin temperature, skin conductance, blood pressure, and brainwaves, when they were given feedback from a machine that told them how they were doing. This research was pioneered by Drs. Elmer and Alyce Green at the Menninger Foundation, Drs. David Shapiro and Gary Schwartz who were at Harvard at the time, Dr.
Chandra Patel in England, and many others. Many of these biofeedback studies actually made use of relaxation, meditation, or yoga to help people to learn to control these bodily responses. This kind of treatment was used to train experimental research in altering brain activity. It was also used to regulate the heart rate and blood pressure. One of the most important things I learned about this therapy is that fact that biofeedback is now being used in the treatment of migraine, high blood pressure, epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias and disorders of the digestive system.
This is the time when this therapy is most appropriately used. It is used when a person manifests the signs of disease because it is basically a relaxation exercise. Biofeedback can even help alcoholics feel less depressed and even slowly abstain (What is Biofeedback? ). Some Insights The most credible piece of information I gathered from the researches conducted about the condition is that even if there are concrete results in its use by doctors, dentists, physical therapists and nurses, still this process is not magic.
It is not capable of curing disease by itself. It is only a tool that one uses to remind people that behavior, thoughts and feelings influence our physical health. In my readings, I found some contradictory and confusing items. For instance, some experts say that therapy is mainly done using relaxation exercises. On another note, though, as it explains how a biofeedback session is conducted, it seems contradictory that a patient will relax when electrodes are attached to the skin. (What is Biofeedback? Psychotherapy.
com). These electrodes are fed into a monitoring box that translates the physiologic responses into a pitch, or lines moving across a grid. It also needs a trial and error to control the mental activities that brings about a change in the physical body. This can seem incredible too, because it is not enough that electrodes are attached to one’s body in order to fully address the success of a particular product. Since this also has been successful in the control of disease, I think I am also willing to give it a try.
I know that it makes use of electricity with the different electrodes attached to one’s body, but I guess trying it poses no harm and may even be enjoyable in the long run because it involves just the breathing technique, freeing of the mind from clutter and changing one’s behavior. Besides these are all true and more and more people are looking for alternative forms of treatment. Not only is biofeedback relying on relaxation techniques, but also on special equipment. For instance, the use of equipment in biofeedback is also soothing for people with the Raynaud’s disease.
This is a condition where there is a diminished blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose or ears. The EMG has also been helpful in reducing pain and morning stiffness as well as those individuals suffering from fibromyalgia (The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback). Conclusions In a vague sense, I still have questions about this particular kind of therapy. One is that biofeedback puts quite an unusual demand of attention from the patients. They need to monitor themselves day in and day out in order to know if they themselves are contributory factors in their stresses.
I still have some varied questions about this because it does not say how a person will be able to clearly know that they are contributing to their own stresses. There is no specific instrument to measure this. The biofeedback machines also need to be more user-friendly so that an ordinary person can monitor himself, instead of seeking the help of a physician. How then the patients are exactly trained on this? What is the difference between this and mere positive thinking? How biofeedback can be effective in the treatment of incontinence is certainly a good note to research on.
How a big agency such as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research can vouch for this kind of product in the treatment of urinary incontinence is most surprise. REFERENCES The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Communications and Education, National Institute of Mental Health http://www. aapb. org What is Biofeedback? Psychotherapy. com Retrieved Sept. 26, 2007 at: http://psychotherapy. com/bio. html