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 any—pain.
- 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.