Controlling The Uncontrollable: Biofeedback



A new field within the alternative health field is that of biofeedback, which was first studied in the 1960s and was brought to the attention of the public by Drs. Barbara Brown and Elmer Green, and Joe Kamiya. Biofeedback is a process in which people control seemingly uncontrollable body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing by using feedback from electronic devices. Today, biofeedback is still being studied and used for a variety of health reasons.

A variety of illnesses and medical conditions can be treated by using biofeedback techniques. These include insomnia, twitching eyelids, constipation, ring ears, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, stress, Raynaud's disease, tennis elbow, high blood pressure, attention deficit disorder, back pain, muscle spasms, asthma, and hyperactivity. It is especially useful for those suffering from stress-related mental illnesses or diseases that cause loss of muscle control. Your doctor can give you more information about the many medical conditions that can be treated with biofeedback, so speak with a professional if you want to know how it can help you.

Biofeedback is a simple process. First, electrodes are stuck to the skin in specific places so that your reactions can be closely monitored. They measure skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, and brain activity. A patient, once hooked up to a machine with these electrodes, will then be instructed to meditate, do visualization exercises, or perform other relaxing techniques. The electrodes measure response to this relaxation and over time, you can see a pattern in your body's response to specific techniques. You can then use these very specific techniques, such as visualizing a certain person or thing, to achieve the result you want most, such as lower blood pressure.

Biofeedback is still being highly studied in the medical world. Its exact effectiveness is unknown, but it is a procedure in which many are finding success. If you suffer from any of the aforementioned conditions, talk to your medical doctor about how participating in biofeedback sessions can help you. He or she can provide you with a clearer understanding of cost, technique, and side effects as well as direct you to professionals who can perform the biofeedback sessions. Also check with your health insurance to be sure that the procedure is covered, since some alternative health treatments are not covered with tradition health insurance. When considering treatment options in the alternative health realm, remember that biofeedback can be extremely useful.


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