There seems to be a lot of talk lately about using Biofeedback as a natural healing device and stress reliever. Biofeedback is useful because you actually get visual information on what signals the body is giving you (kind of like when you step on a scale and you see how much you weigh).
Although the word seems a little confusing, just think of Biology. Most of us have gone through a Biology class at some point in our lives; it’s all about the body and how it functions. That is where the first part of the word comes from “Bio” meaning the body, and the Feedback part comes from the technology used to get and view information from the body.
Most Biofeedback devices use a multi-media display, such as a computer screen or monitor, to “feed back” the information to the user. Clinicians use high-tech devices that can monitor brain activity, and internal bodily functions such as blood pressure and heart rate. There are also simple home devices, and computer biofeedback games that are easy to use, with attachments to the fingers to measure pulse rate and temperature.
The reason Biofeedback is so popular is that it is a pain free way to relieve all kinds of ailments. One of the uses being migraine headache relief, but it is also useful to control heart rate, blood pressure, digestive disorders, etc., those functions that are not usually controlled voluntarily. Any system in your body that can actually be monitored can be controlled, with enough practice.
Once a person learns that they can control these functions, they can also remedy physical ailments. This is a new age of Wellness, and people are now being asked more and more to take responsibility for maintaining their own health. In fact, many Insurance companies now have programs that are offered to help people determine how healthy they are, and what they need to do to get healthier – go figure!
So, how does it all work? You sit down and are hooked up to the Biofeedback device. This could be as easy as putting something on a couple of fingers, or as major as having sensors stuck all over your body (as is done with sleep studies). These will measure your electrical signals. Techniques vary, but some machines have lights or sounds that go off as your muscles tense or you grow more stressed. The object for you is to try to make the flashing, or sound, slow down or stop, or control and move objects on the screen. This helps you see what habits you have formed to deal with stress, which is the major cause of pain or disease.
People have just forgotten how to relax, and Biofeedback is the key to bring relaxation back to the front of the mind, and set it as an important goal. Once you learn how to control your own functions, and the brain has found a better way to operate, it all becomes natural and your bad habits are changed! You can now relax easier, and hopefully have learned how to control pain. You will get better at pain control with practice.
So, if you’re hearing all the talk that is going on, ask your physician or health professional if Biofeedback could be right for you. Or, if you want to step in slowly, try a biofeedback computer game and see what happens. The game might actually be more fun than being in a physician’s office, and if it works, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of money!
Good luck, and be well!