What is Biofeedback?

By: Adrian Cruce

An action like raising our hands and waving to say hello is completely controlled. Many other actions like blood pressure or heart rate will be controlled by the nervous system and will be involuntarily handled by it. You never think about the heart beating faster and it happens. That is a response to what happens in the environment.

There are various techniques you can use in order to control normally involuntary functions. One of them is biofeedback. This is also the name of a therapy that you utilize in order to treat or prevent conditions like chronic pain, high blood pressure and migraines. Biofeedback is going to use mind power in order to become aware of what is happening inside the body, thus gaining increased control over health.

Biotherapy – How Does It Work?

Unfortunately, not much is known about how biofeedback works. However, it is known that it will promote relaxation and that is why various stress related conditions are relieved. A biofeedback session is going to utilize electrodes attached to skin. They will send signals to monitors that flash light, display sound or an image is shown representing breathing or heart rate, among many other possible indicators.

When faced with stress many body functions change. Heart rate increases, muscles tighten, you start sweating and breathing becomes quicker than before. A biofeedback session will happen in the office of a therapist, although you can now do it at home too with sensors that would attach to computers.

In biofeedback therapy we have various relaxation exercises that can be used, including progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, guided imagery, EMG, neurofeedback, EDA and mindfulness meditation.

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Practical Uses For Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback is great for the human body because it will help with various conditions. The main benefits we should all be aware of include the following:

  • Chronic pain – You identify tight muscles and then teach yourself how to relax them. This reduces discomfort associated with conditions like abdominal pain, low back pain and even fibromyalgia. Chronic pain relief is possible for all people.
  • Anxiety – This is actually one of the really common biofeedback uses of the day. Through the therapy you can become aware of the responses the body has when anxious or stressed. After that it is easy to control these responses.
  • Headaches – Using biofeedback to deal with headaches is highly studied. It has been proven that the therapy is useful in numerous cases that provoke headaches, especially when it is used in combination with medication.
  • Urinary Incontinence – This is a lesser-known use of biofeedback therapy. Reducing the need to urinate is possible after just a few sessions, especially for women and children. No side effects will appear, as opposed to the drugs.
  • High Blood Pressure – We do not have a lot of information or evidence about this but there is some proof that slightly lowering blood pressure is possible with the use of biofeedback. However, the efficiency will be lower than with medication.

Besides the main uses presented above, biofeedback therapy has been used to deal with Raynaud’s disease, injuries, ADHD, COPD, Arthma, Epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis and constipation.

Final Things To Remember

Biofeedback therapy is now offered by various health care providers. This includes psychologists, general physicians and psychiatrists. It will always be possible to find some qualified providers where you live.

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