Recommended Alternative Therapy
Widely Available in New Jersey - Biofeedback
Biofeedback in complementary and alternative medicine is a technique for training you to gain conscious control over various body functions like heart rate for example. It works by connecting you to electrical sensors that allow you to see information (feedback) about your body's living (bio) functions as they're happening.
Then the biofeedback practitioner, using the sensors, teaches you how to make subtle changes, like relaxing muscle groups, that will produce desired results like stress or pain relief. There are numerous health centers in New Jersey where you can learn biofeedback with the help of experienced therapists.
Reasons for using biofeedback
Biofeedback (or biofeedback training, as it's sometimes known) is a good treatment approach for a variety of physical and mental issues.
These can include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Side effects of chemotherapy
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Improving physical performance
- Raynaud's disease
People may prefer biofeedback training to more conventional therapies because:
- It's a non-invasive method
- Medications may be reduced or discontinued
- It's a good alternative for those who are intolerant of drugs prescribed for their ailments
- It may help patients who haven't had good results from conventional medication
- It can be an option for pregnant women when drugs are not advisable
- It puts the person in control of their therapy and their health
What happens in biofeedback training?
First, investigate biofeedback training centers in your part of New Jersey and find the one that suits your situation.
When you go to a biofeedback session, your therapist will place painless electrical sensors on various parts of your body, such as your fingertip, your scalp, etc. The sensors track the ongoing physiological status of changing body functions, such as muscle tension and brain waves, and tell you about the changes with signals like a flashing light or beeping sound. By paying attention to the signals, you learn how to alter or control your bodily reactions by changing your thoughs, your emotional state, or your behavior. This ability will help you improve your physical/mental problem.
A good example is tension headaches. With biofeedback you can identify the muscles that are being tightened, consciously or unconsciously, and causing the headaches. Then you'll learn to relax those muscles to lessen or stop the pain. The goal is to lay down these skills firmly so you can use them yourself whenever you need them.
Generally, a biofeedback appointment will be 45-60 minutes long. How long they are and how many sessions you have will vary according to your condition, and the length of time you need to learn how to control your body's responses. Training might take as few as 4 sessions or as many as 10.
There are quite a number of biofeedback methods, and your therapist will choose the ones best suited to your situation and health issues.
Some of the techniques are:
- Electromyography (EMG) provides feedback on muscle tension.
- Temperature (thermal) biofeedback. Sensors on the fingers or feet show skin temperature.
- Dropping body temperature often indicates stress, making this a good, simple sign to begin a relaxation exercise.
- Heart rate variation feedback teaches you to control your heart rate, which can help with lung function, hypertension, and anxiety.
- Galvanic skin response feedback. This method measures sweat gland activity and the moisture level on the skin surface. Increased sweating is another excellent cue that you're becoming anxious and should begin purposeful relaxation.
Equipment used in biofeedback
In New Jersey you will find that biofeedback training is offered at private practices, medical centers, physical therapy centers, and hospitals. In addition, many kinds of biofeedback equipment are being made for use at home, including those that connect to home computers, and portable handheld types.
You should keep in mind that not all products put on the market as biofeedback technology are genuine, and not everyone advertising biofeedback therapy is qualified. Research, and ask for a Practitioner's credentials.
If a biofeedback device is advertised as being able to diagnose disease, cure your condition, detect blood impurities, or send signals to your body, discuss it with your doctor before buying or using, to avoid being taken in by false claims.
Got questions about biofeedback or if it could help your situation. Contact Dr. Robert at 201.618.3534 or click the link.
Source: Staff of the Mayo Clinic