Biofeedback

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Introduction

Biofeedback is a technique through which a person is made aware of physiological processes within the body with the use of monitoring devices and adopting voluntary control over them. By observing the monitoring device, a person can learn by trial and error to adjust their thinking and other mental processes, in order to control body processes believed to be involuntary, such as blood pressure, body temperature, brain activity etc.

Objective

The objective of biofeedback is to teach a person the art of regulating their own inner mental and bodily processes.

Technique

  • In its simplest form biofeedback therapy always involves a therapist, the person who will receive the therapy, and a monitoring device capable of providing accurate physiological information.
  • The type of disorder determines the physiological function to be monitored and controlled along with the choice of the monitoring device to be used for the process.
  • Electrodes¬† are attached to the area to be monitored. (Muscles for muscle activity, the head for brain wave activity)
  • The electrodes channelize the information to a monitoring unit which interprets the information either visually or through audio signals.
  • In the presence of a Biofeedback therapist the person is conditioned to control certain mental activities to reach the desired result, which can be observed on the monitoring device.
  • Through trial and error the patient gradually gets trained to control the inner mechanism involved.

Monitoring devices used for biofeedback

Electromyographs (EMG): Is an equipment used for measuring muscle tension.

Electroencephalographs (EEG): Measures brain wave activity.

Electrocardiographs (ECG): Used to monitor the heart rate.

Respiration feedback devices: Used to monitor rate, rhythm and type of breathing.

Electrodermal activity (EDA): Shows changes in perspiration rates.

Skin temperature guages: Monitors changes in the amount of heat given off by the skin, a measurement that indicate change in blood flow