Recently, there has been a renewed interest in mind-body interactions. During eating, your hands reach out to the plate, lifts up the food, takes it to the mouth; you chew and then swallow it. You are consciously “aware” of the motions that are under your “voluntary” control. What we do not notice are the subtle things that follow like the salivary and gastric juice secretion, the peristaltic movements of the Digestive system etc.
These actions are regulated by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which does not require any conscious control. ANS consists of:
Sympathetic Nervous System –‘Fight or Flight response’ to Stress
Parasympathetic Nervous System – ‘Rest and Digest’ for the maintenance of Homeostasis
Together these two components of ANS regulate the Heart Rate, Respiratory rate and the activity of various glands.
Biofeedback is a technique that can help you gain more control over these normally involuntary functions. The idea behind this is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what's going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health. This feedback helps you focus on making subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want, such as reducing pain, To make the breathing pattern more deep, long and slow which automatically reduces the heart rate and so on.
Biofeedback is used to improve Health, Performance and the Physiological changes that occur in association with Emotions, Thoughts and Behaviors. Eventually one would learn to manipulate the functions even without the help of the Biofeedback.
In this Process, electrodes are attached to the skin and a respiratory belt is wrapped to the chest. These electrodes send signals to the monitor that shows wave patterns of heartbeat and respiration moving across a grid. During the session you will be taught to practice particular Relaxation techniques and Breathing practices. The changes and improvement in the pattern of Heartbeat and Respiration can be viewed real time.
Biofeedback, or in other words Biofeedback Training can be used to manage various physical and mental illnesses like – Anxiety disorders, Asthma, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc. Since it is Non invasive, may reduce or eliminate the needs for medications and helps people to take charge of their own health, it is gaining popularity. Biofeedback is considered be safe. No negative side effects have been reported till date.