Biofeedback[✎ edit | edit source]
Is a treatment technique that improve patients health by using signals from their own bodies. Physical therapists use biofeedback to help stroke victims regain movement in paralyzed muscles. Psychologists use it to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax. For patients, the biofeedback machine acts as a kind of sixth sense which allows them to "see" or "hear" activity inside their bodies , for example, picks up electrical signals in the muscles. It translates these signals into a form that patients can detect.
How is biofeedback used today?[✎ edit | edit source]
Clinical biofeedback techniques that grew out of the early laboratory procedures are now widely used to treat an ever-lengthening list of conditions. These include:
- Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and many other types of pain.
- Disorders of the digestive system.
- High blood pressure and its opposite, low blood pressure.
- Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormalities, sometimes dangerous, in the rhythm of the heartbeat).
- Raynaud's disease (a circulatory disorder that causes uncomfortably cold hands).
- Paralysis and other movement disorders.
Specialists who provide biofeedback training range from psychiatrists and psychologists to dentists, internists, nurses, and physical therapists, It is a tool for health care professionals. It reminds physicians that behaviour, thoughts, and feelings profoundly influence physical health. And it helps both patients and doctors understand that they must work together as a team.
How does biofeedback work?[✎ edit | edit source]
Biofeedback is often aimed at changing habitual reactions to stress that can cause pain or disease. Many clinicians believe that some of their patients and clients have forgotten how to relax. Feedback of physical responses such as skin temperature and muscle tension provides information to help patients recognize a relaxed state. The feedback signal may also act as a kind of reward for reducing tension.
The value of a feedback signal as information and reward may be even greater in the treatment of patients with paralysed or spastic muscles. With these patients, biofeedback seems to be primarily a form of skill training ,the patient watches the machine, which monitors activity in the affected muscle. Stroke victims with paralysed arms and legs, for example, when the patients see their affected limbs remains active. The signal from the biofeedback machine proves it. This signal can guide the exercises that help patients regain use of their limbs.the feedback convinces patients that the limbs are still alive. This help them to continue their efforts.