Biofeedback Mastery

Biofeedback Mastery

Have you ever wondered what Biofeedback is all about? Uncover these unique information on Biofeedback! Are you in constant pain? Do you wish you could ever just find some relief? If so, you are not alone. Relieving chronic pain can be difficult and frustrating.

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Biofeedback is a good conservative first choice in treatment. Two independent studies demonstrated the effectiveness of electromyographic biofeedback of the pelvic floor musculature in VVS patients with severe, chronic, introital dyspareunia (57,58). The therapy involves a program of in-home, biofeedback-assisted, pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation exercises using portable equipment. Using resumption of intercourse as a measure of treatment efficacy, success rates in the two studies were 78 and 89 , respectively.

Epilepsy You and Your Treatment

Summary Epilepsy You and Your Treatment is a booklet from the Epilepsy Foundation of America that provides basic information about tests, diagnosis, and management. Topics include (1) what seizures are and how physicians will work with individuals who have seizures (2) blood tests (3) electroencephalograph tests (4) brain imaging techniques (5) tests during treatment (6) drugs prescribed to prevent seizures (7) things to do to help treatment work (8) side effects of drugs (9) pregnancy (10) the effect of taking more than one anticonvulsant drug (11) the benefits of brain surgery for certain types of epilepsy and (12) other treatments, such as the ketogenic diet, biofeedback, ACTH injection, vitamin therapy, and experimental medicines.

Referral to Mental Health Professionals

Psychotherapy incorporating cognitive-behavioral techniques is usually performed by psychologists. Among such techniques are cognitive restructuring (e.g., formulating alternatives to anxious thoughts), relaxation training and biofeedback, and systematic desensitization to anxiety-provoking stimuli. Social workers and nurse therapists are more likely to specialize in psychotherapy focusing on issues such as conflicts in the patients life, difficulties in relationships, and feelings of loss and demoralization.

Supportive and Multimodal Approaches

The comprehensive treatment of VVS should include some form of supportive therapy. VVS disrupts intimate relationships and causes great distress. Because of the intimate nature of their pain, many women delay seeking treatment those who do are often frustrated and demoralized after appointments with multiple clinicians or after trying numerous interventions without success (15). Because of the significant impact of VVS on intimate relationships and psychological well-being, optimal treatment must address both the psychosexual and physical aspects of the disease. Clinicians must be willing to probe emotional and sexual concerns with sensitivity and be able to make referrals to mental health professionals if necessary (46,49). Supportive psychosocial approaches (such as cognitive-behavioral sex therapy) can serve as primary or adjunctive therapy. Some clinicians advocate integrated treatment programs consisting of physical therapy (including biofeedback), pain management, and...

Relaxation Techniques

Methods include progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, visualization, and biofeedback. Use these techniques to reduce your level of arousal at bedtime. Biofeedback. Most commonly used to treat migraine headaches, biofeedback is a form of therapy that teaches you to control physiological functions such as heart rate, muscle tension, breathing, perspiration, skin temperature, blood pressure, and even brain waves. By learning to control these functions, you may be able to reduce stress and improve sleep. During biofeedback training, sensors placed on your body are attached to a machine to detect changes in your pulse, skin temperature, blood pressure, muscle activity, brain-wave pattern, or some other physiological function. These changes trigger a specific signal a sound, a flashing light, or a change in pattern on a video screen which tells you that the physiological change has occurred. Gradually, with the help of your biofeedback therapist, you learn to alter the...

Immediate hypersensitivity

The debilitating effects of stress. others include biofeedback, color and sound, meditation, and yoga. The technique is easy and accessible. With eyes closed, one relaxes by envisioning a soothing image. For example, by visualizing walking down a shaded stairway, one might become more and more relaxed as he she descends into comforting darkness. once relaxed, an image is brought to mind that may represent a desired change. Some people simply see themselves as being completely healthy. others imagine the healing white blood cells as white knights charging forth, conquering the invading infections and visualizing the bad guys in full retreat. For those who may have trouble focusing clearly on an image, it is suggested to draw the desired image on paper to give it more substance and reality. In addition to visual imagery there are other types of mental imagery. Mental imagery may also be auditory (mental image of sounds that can be recalled) odorous (mental concept of odor sensations...

Milk thistle See silymarin

Mind-body therapies Alternative and holistic therapies that focus on the mind, body, and spirit includes meditation, image visualization, biofeedback, hypnosis, expressive therapies (music, art, dance movement), therapeutic healing, touch, and spiritual healing. Many believe such therapies

Phonological Errors Residual

In some cases, specially designed treatments are necessary to facilitate remediation of residual errors. For example, principles from biofeedback and speech physiology have been incorporated into treatments (Dag-enais, 1995 Ruscello, 1995b Gibbon et al., 1999). Different forms of sensory information other than auditory input have been provided to assist the individual in developing appropriate target productions. Shuster, Ruscello, and Toth (1995) identified two older children with residual r errors who had received traditional long-term phonological treatment without success. A biofeedback treatment utilizing real-time spectrography was implemented for both subjects, and the results indi

Four Categories Of Psychophysiological Relationships

Noted in discussions of the scientific method and is perhaps equally often violated in scientific practice (Platt, 1964). Skin conductance, for instance, has been a major dependent measure in psychological research because emotional arousal is thought to lead to increased skin conductance. Similarly, EMG activity over the forehead region has been a frequent target measure in relaxation biofeedback because tension has been found to increase EMG activity over this region. As noted in the previous section, however, simply knowing that that manipulating a particular element in the psychological domain leads to a particular response in the physiological domain does not logically enable one to infer anything about the former based on observations of the latter, because one does not know what other antecedents might have led to the observed physiological response. Procedures such as holding constant any variations in the elements in the psychological domain that are not of interest,...

Speech and Language Disorders in Children Computer Based Approaches

Computers can be used effectively in the assessment of children's speech and language. Biofeedback instrumentation allows the clinician to obtain relatively objective measures of certain aspects of speech production. For example, measures of jitter and shimmer can be recorded, along with perceptual judgments about a client's pitch and intensity perturbations (Case, 1999). Acoustic analyses (Kent and Read, 1992) can be used to supplement the clinician's perceptions of phonological contrasts (Masterson, Long, and Buder, 1998). For the evaluation of a client suspected of having a fluency disorder, recent software developments allow the clinician to gather measures of both the number and type of speech disfluencies and to document signs of effort, struggle, or disruption of airflow and phonation (Bak-ker, 1999a). Hallowell (1999) discusses the use of instrumentation for detecting and measuring eye movements for the purpose of comprehension assessment. This exciting tool allows the...

Treatment Approach

Masseter Muscle Injection

The goals of preventative therapy are to reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of future episodes. In addition, preventative therapy should help increase responsiveness to acute medications, improve patient function, and reduce disability from disease (32). Preventative therapy should be implemented if any of the following conditions are met poor response to acute therapy alone, adverse reaction or contraindication to acute therapy, exhaustion of acute therapy modalities, severe functional disability from recurrent episodes, high frequency of recurrent episodes, or the presence of a comorbid condition requiring long term migraine control. A comprehensive approach generally includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapy, such as avoidance and biofeedback. Nonpharmacological approaches, including exercise, dietary adjustment, and biofeedback therapy, continue to play an important role in migraine management. They are not only effective for headache...

Stress Reduction Techniques

Others find relaxation through different channels, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and biofeedback. Regular exercise (for example, jogging, working out at the gym, or swimming laps in a pool) is also an effective stress reliever. Whatever your source of relaxation, it must be something you enjoy doing, not a chore, so that you'll be able to stick with it for the long haul and reap the physical and mental health benefits.


Biofeedback A technique of monitoring minute, normally imperceptible metabolic changes in one's own body, such as temperature changes, heart rate, and muscle tension, with the aid of sensitive machines, for the purposes of exerting control over them consciously. By visualizing, relaxing, or imagining, while observing light, sound, or metered feedback, one is said to be able to learn to make subtle adjustments to achieve a more balanced internal state. For some people this can be an effective way of controlling pain. The technique is also used for stress-related conditions, such as asthma, migraines, insomnia, and high blood pressure.


A partially randomized and nonrandomized study involving 48 women comparing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and CBT preceded by vestibu-lectomy found both treatments to be equally effective (73). Notably, although the study was to have been a randomized trial of CBT and surgery, it became difficult to continue assigning patients to surgery once it became apparent that the two treatments were equally effective therefore, some patients were given the option of choosing surgical intervention prior to CBT. Because of the small group sizes (only 14 women participated in the randomized portion), the power of the statistical analysis and the study conclusions have been criticized (74). A later comparison of CBT, electromyographic biofeedback, and vestibu-lectomy found that all treatments resulted in improvements in pain perception and sexual function at a six-month follow-up, although vestibulectomy was significantly more successful (75). After two years, vestibulectomy remained superior...


In the case of insulin, even though molecular size is high for ionto-phoretic delivery, pulsatile delivery may be required to deliver a higher dose of insulin after meals or when the blood glucose levels are elevated. It is also possible, at least theoretically, to link delivery to a biofeedback system that will detect the blood glucose levels and send an electronic signal to adjust the insulin delivery rate. In fact, the iontophoresis technique itself can be used to extract glucose from the blood in a noninvasive manner.81 This biofeedback system has the potential to overcome the disadvantages associated with a bolus subcutaneous injection of insulin and provides a means to have a variable rate of infusion that can be adjusted in a similar manner as that of endogenous insulin secretion by the pancreas. In addition, the delivery is in a noninvasive manner as opposed to an intravenous infusion. Iontophoresis also has potential applications in diagnostics. Reverse iontophoresis8182 can...


An inpatient rehabilitation program consists of standard management of patients' concurrent medical problems along with the rehabilitation medicine. Therapies used by PM&R physicians include, among many, paraffin baths, physical therapy, ultrasound deep heat, transcutaneous nerve stimulation, high-voltage galvanic stimulation, biofeedback, phonophoresis, and microwave diathermy. Physi-atrists also perform intramuscular and intra-articular injections. Because of the wealth of treatment options, the specific ones you choose depend on your preferences. For instance, someone who trained at an institution heavily involved in biofeedback research and treatment is more likely to use this technique. PM&R specialists who trained at a school that emphasized interventional procedures may tend to turn to injections and other minimally invasive techniques.

Further Readings

The role of feedback, reinforcement, and compliance on training and transfer in biofeedback-based rehabilitation of motor speech disorders. In M. McNeil, J. Rosenbek, and A. Aronson (Eds.), The dysarthrias Physiology, acoustic perception, and management. San Diego, CA Singular Publishing Group. Rubow, R., and Swift, E. (1985). A microcomputer-based wearable biofeedback device to improve transfer of treatment in parkinsonian dysarthria. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 49, 26.


Treatment of aprosodia is often limited to training patients to adopt compensatory techniques. Patients may be taught to attend more carefully to other forms of emotional expression (e.g., gesture, facial expression) and to signal mood by explicitly stating their mood to the listener. There has, however, been at least one report of successful symptomatic treatment using pitch biofeedback and modeling (Stringer, 1996). Treatment has Stringer, A. Y. (1996). Treatment of motor aprosodia with pitch biofeedback and expression modelling. Brain Injury, 10, 583-590.


Behavioral approaches are geared toward slowing the rate by increasing consonant and vowel duration, increasing interword interval durations, and increasing pause time at phrasal boundaries, while working to avoid any diminution in speech naturalness. Instrumentation can also be helpful in rate control. In delayed auditory feedback, the speaker's own voice is fed back to the speaker through earphones after an interval delay. This technique typically slows the rate of speech and improves intelligibility. Visual biofeedback is used to facilitate the speaker's use of pause time and to slow the rate. Oscilloscopes can provide real-time feedback regarding rate over time. Computer screens can be used that cue the speaker to a target rate and mark the location of pauses (Beukelman, Yorkston, and Tice, 1997).