Biofeedback: An Instrument of Relaxation
In the 1970s, in some restaurants, you could find biofeedback
machines. They offered you all sorts of information about
your body. Today, biofeedback is still considered a legitimate
way to attain relaxation. It's a technique that uses monitoring
equipment in order to help control stress.
Biofeedback is rooted in the idea that the autonomic nervous
system can be trained. For instance, equipment can determine
heart rates, muscle tension, and blood pressure while individuals
try to change their breathing, thinking, or posture. By working
with the machines, individuals can conceivably learn the best
methods for relaxation. However, the equipment can only be
monitored by someone with specific training in biofeedback.
According to Dr. Leonard Holmes, feedback can come in a variety
of forms: a line on a computer screen, a tone of a certain
pitch, or a blinking light. A typical type of biofeedback
is the EMG, which indicates the tension in your muscles. It
is important to note that biofeedback is not active treatment.
It is up to you decide what you can do in order to lower your
heartbeat and reduce your stress level. If you suffer from
migraines or neck pain, biofeedback can also help you to relax
your muscles so that you don't experience as much-or possibly
In order to determine whether biofeedback would be effective
in your particular case, a stress profile might be used. Monitoring
device will determine your heart rate, blood pressure, and
temperature. You are then exposed to stress, such as a history
quiz. As a result, the biofeedback professional will have
some idea how your body reacts to stressful situations.
Interestingly enough, insurance companies have been known
to cover biofeedback treatment. For instance, biofeedback
may be covered for headaches. However, other companies view
biofeedback as entirely experimental. When biofeedback first
came onto the scene, some practitioners believed that it would
enable us to have nearly complete control over our bodies.
However, that is not the case. In many situations, our bodies
are basically operating under "automatic pilot." However,
it is true that biofeedback can be helpful to some individuals,
particularly those who are looking for a means for relaxation.
Biofeedback is used in a number of cases today. For instance,
it has been used to treat headaches, stomach problems, high
blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, epilepsy, and paralysis.
A number of different kinds of health professionals use biofeedback,
including physical therapists, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists,
and dentists. Once the biofeedback machine detects certain
physiological reactions, patients usually engage in various
relaxation exercises. Also, you as a patient may learn about
the triggers that cause certain physiological problems. You
can also learn how to deal more effectively with stressful
issues that appear in your life.
It is important, however, to note that biofeedback is not
a quick fix. It cannot in itself cure any illness. It is simply
a tool that you can use to take control of your health and
well-being. With biofeedback, individuals can be empowered
to seek solutions to common health problems. Unlike other
treatment programs, biofeedback requires of great deal from
the patient in order to be successful.
Would you personally benefit from biofeedback? That depends
on your willingness to experiment and your own comfort level.
If you believe that biofeedback could be beneficial, you should
discuss it with your doctor. He or she might want to determine
first whether traditional treatment would be better in your
particular case. In most cases, you will need to have a complete
physical exam before you engage in biofeedback. You may even
have to undergo a neurological test.
If you're considering biofeedback, you should ask your family
physician for a referral to a biofeedback expert. You'll want
to make sure that you are dealing with a trained professional.
Keep an open mind during the treatment. If it makes you uncomfortable,
you might be better off looking at other treatment options.
While it first began in the 1960s, biofeedback remains an
experimental technology. Therefore, don't be disappointed
if it doesn't seem to work in your particular case. However,
there is little harm in trying it. In fact, it could make
you more attuned to your body and better able to manage the
stress in your life.
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner
and is for educational and informational purposes only. The
content is not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice
of your physician or other qualified health care provider
with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking
it because of something you have read. Since natural and/or
dietary supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied
by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement
has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not
intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
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