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What Is Biofeedback Therapy?

Posted Oct 26 2008 2:36am 2 Comments

We all suffer from stress at times, and often, it seems as though the symptoms are impossible to control.  Our heart rate increases, and our muscles become tense.  Sometimes our blood pressure rises, and none of these conditions is healthy.  They all affect our bodies in a negative fashion, causing us to literally age faster.  For centuries, it has been assumed that the autonomic functions of the body like these, as well as temperature and other automatic responses of the body, were impossible to control.  However, through the development of biofeedback therapy, we can not only gauge our exact responses to stress but also control them.

Biofeedback therapy is a system designed to use electronic impulses and equipment to monitor the body’s response to specific situations, especially those that cause stress.   Such feedback will tell analysts how your body responds to stress – does your blood pressure increase, or does your temperature rise?  Based on the input received from these monitoring systems, the therapist can then concentrate on that particular reaction and help you reverse it.

Biofeedback therapy is a very different, innovative approach to stress relief compared to solutions of past.  In previous treatment efforts, it was attempted to relax the whole body.  Now, however, with biofeedback therapy, specific areas that are negatively affected by stress can be targeted for relief.  For example, if the tension caused by stress is concentrated in your neck and shoulders, there is no reason to attempt to relax the lower back.  The biofeedback will make it plain where the tension is located, and therapy can be targeted to this area alone without concentrating on any unnecessary areas.

Such techniques as imagery or progressive muscle relaxation are employed to reduce the affects of stress and can be used to relax the body both during and after stressful situations.  Biofeedback therapy has also been found to assist in the control of other disorders and diseases, such as diabetes, incontinence, epilepsy, hyperactivity disorders, and more, none of which are remotely related to stress.

Because biofeedback therapy is a noninvasive procedure, it is highly preferred over several other neurological monitoring procedures.  It also works like a mirror, allowing us to view our own reactions and get to know ourselves better, making it a greatly important therapeutic option for many who feel that they know little about their bodies or having little sense of control over their own functionality.

Comments (2)
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Thank you for your post! Do you have any advice on what biofeedback tools can be used for stress reduction? I'm currently using Heart Tracker but wonder what else is on the market?
I have a lot of experience with the Heart Tracker too. It is a great simple straightforward HRV biofeedback tool. Before using it I used emWave (it actually was the Freeze Framer at that time) and found it more difficult to use. It is rather difficult to create emotional shift to increase heart coherence. But paced breathing kicks in immediately and cause the same effect. You may also try Healing Rhythms from Wild Divine or CardioSense.
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