Overview of biofeedback and how it can be used to combat stress
Most people complain about stress. However, stress is actually a necessary part of our lives. It helps “gear us up” for certain things we must do and puts a little excitement in our lives. But of course too much of it too can be over whelming and in the end exhausting.
That is why the saying is true that “too much of everything is bad”. Even things that are good become boring and exhausting when it becomes too much.
Hans Selyer, is a house hold name when it comes to stress- he did the pioneer work on this topic, and he defined stress as the non specific response of the body to any demand made on it.
Because stress accumulates as the day goes on, a remedy is needed to treat this anomaly, thus biofeedback.
Biofeedback is an interesting treatment that is based on scientific evidence as well as anecdotal evidence provided by the many proponents of this treatment. In short, this is a tool that people can use to learn how to listen to your own body and “calm it down” when you’re feeling stressed.
Generally what happens during biofeedback sessions is that the therapist hooks the patient up to various machines that will record the patient’s temperature, heart rate, and other signs that can point to feeling stressed.
For example, the doctor and the patient will be able to see if the patient’s temperature and heart rate increase. If it does, the doctor instructs the patient on how to relax so that the readings return to normal. The patient actually gets to watch the readings herself so that she knows if she is succeeding or not.
Biofeedback is an alternative to meditation, as a means of combating stress, and the attachment of its electrodes to the body system that readily reacts to stress – muscles, skin, and… wait for it… brain. You can monitor your actual stress level and learn to control it, and even reduce it. But of course you should remember that you can’t eliminate stress completely.
As you learn to “listen” to your body and become aware of the “feedback” you get from it, you learn to recognize and control certain physiological cues to your own tension and relaxation. This machine gives you immediate information about biological conditions such as skin surface temperature, muscle tension and wave activity.
Once you learn to recognize and become aware, it will enhance your awareness of what relaxation feels like to you.
Biofeedback, as the ultimate stress fighter, can be used to treat the whole plethora of stress symptoms like insomnia, panic attacks, headaches and others.
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