Biofeedback – Part 3: Uses

Safe, non-chemical and, therefore, non-allergic, biofeedback encourages individuals to recognize one single fact of life: that each one of us has the wherewithal to influence what happens in one's physical body and, the mind, and heal oneself of a particular malady. It is, however, not a cure-all.

For instance, biofeedback cannot be applied on patients who have major psychosomatic illnesses, or are taking certain medications, such as insulin. However this may be, when biofeedback is used in conjunction with other more traditional treatments, it could enhance their scope and effectiveness, and also provide better prognosis, or outcome, for the patient.

Biofeedback techniques can also quite easily be presented to the subject visually via an oscilloscope or PC/TV monitor, or earphones. It is only to be expected that the proper usage of the methodology would not only facilitate a sort of fine-tuning for ascertaining the early signs of physical illnesses, but also help us take precautions before manifestations of fear, anxiety, depression and suffering, blossom into full-blown symptoms.

Yes, biofeedback can be used as an adjunct treatment plan, in a host of situations, with very satisfactory results. Examples: specific disorders like phobias, drug and alcohol abuse, headaches--especially migraines--sleep disorders, torticollis, hypertension, pain, asthma, some psychiatric conditions, irritable colon, where the treatment is a method of choice--and, neuromuscular rehabilitation, especially for speedy recovery following paralytic attacks. Not only that. Biofeedback has been successfully employed in space physiology: to help astronauts adapt themselves better to zero gravity blues.

The frequency of biofeedback sessions, as explained earlier, may alter, all right. However, age is no criterion for its use, or success. Yet, the most ideal subjects, who'd get the quickest results, are children. What's more, biofeedback is a down-to-earth method. Learning the technique does not require great or extra intelligence. Motivation is everything that one would require for its success. This is all; nothing else.

Though there are a host of other uses of biofeedback, its primary role has been keyed to bridging the gap between mind and the body--at the forefront of what is now construed as the ever-expanding stream of mind/body medicine. You'd think of a corollary--Eastern meditative practice.

A handy method and one of the most user-friendly toolkits in medicine, biofeedback today is a potent weapon to keep the anxiety 'wolf'--when one is subject to its assault--from the door, and also for gaining control over fear, stress, and apprehension, which are all part of our daily life.


Biofeedback is a major scientific breakthrough. It not only enables us to monitor the body's inner and, thus, hidden, responses to relaxation therapy, but also over those bodily functions on which we have direct control.

Scientists who pioneered biofeedback rightly connoted that it might be possible for us to learn and control, not just the voluntary, but also the autonomic, or involuntary, nervous system, or functions--if only we could actually see or hear them. In so proposing, they developed electronic instruments to which a person could be connected, sans fuss or pain, via electrodes that would literally "feedback" information about an array of internal biological functions.

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