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What is Biofeedback

The best teacher is within us; Therefore, watching and paying attention to signals that the body sends us, we can reduce, and even eliminate, certain health problems. This theory is defends biofeedback (biofeedback in Spanish), a relatively new therapy that we can learn to improve our health and performance that we get from our own body.
Precisely to maximize the performance of the body is what athletes seek tirelessly, but not only them can be benefited by biofeedback. This treatment provides a greater self-control of certain physiological variables that can influence our health status; What other words can be defined as "making the unconscious conscious".
The body itself provides certain information that, if we know how to handle it, we can help our body to function better and, therefore, to reduce or eliminate health problems. In a first phase, the biofeedback measures different factors related to the nervous system and its activity, such as muscle tension, breathing, skin temperature, brain waves, or blood flow. Based on this information, we can get a plan designed by professionals to manage these variables and thus control certain problems.
For example, our breathing is accelerated when we are stressed, as we can see on the monitor; We will learn to control the breathing, and will see the results of our efforts in a screen for, then know how to detect a problem and autogestionarlo out of the inquiry. And it is that biofeedback is that I learn to take more advantage of our capabilities and better control of our body's physiological processes.

Origins of the biofeedback

It was in the middle of the 20th century, when one of the professors of the University of Chicago, José Kamiya, realized that they could control their brain waves , and therefore their Psychophysiological processes. Little by little it was improving and developing this technique, and only 15 years later another American professional, Barry Sterman, began to use it for therapeutic purposes. He was born the biofeedback .
Biofeedback include a mode that every day is more widespread: neurofeedback. Also known as EGG-Biofeedback, is a very specific part of the biofeedback which focuses on the electrical activity of the brain and that, therefore, teaches to control brain waves to adjust the State of mind.

Benefits of biofeedback

Biofeedback for help, according to its supporters, the recovery or improvement of different pathologies, by what its health benefits are presented as fairly broad.
One of the main advantages of biofeedback is that it provides an increased ability of relaxation, because the training of this therapy teaches to control breathing and to reinforce the concentration in an autonomous way. This will provide us with an internal state of tranquility and will also cause a substantial increase in our self esteem and confidence which, in turn, will help us in the decision-making process.
Other aspects that will improve with the biofeedback are response speed and memory, both short-term and long-term. This, coupled with the fact that we have less mental wear, will cause a great development of the emotional intelligence and, therefore, a great psychological well-being.
If the biofeedback is proving effective for our ailments, can that we can prevent or reduce other types of more aggressive physical or pharmacological treatments. However, we must tell our doctor of the progress achieved thanks to the biofeedback, and it will be he who decides if you need to change the traditional treatment. Same counterproductive self-medicate, also it is remove or change medication willingly, without consultation with the specialists.
In addition to a preventive and curative method, biofeedback is presented as an adequate therapy for the improvement of the practice of athletes. And it is that semi-professional or professional athletes can learn through biofeedback, reducing and managing anxiety that occurs before the competition, as well as to increase the concentration which will lead to more consistency and regularity in its performance. In addition, biofeedback can help in the recovery of injuries.

Biofeedback is indicated for people who

Biofeedback is a success as a method to combat various psychosomatic problems, among which stands out the stress. This therapy teaches how to handle it, by what is ideal for people who suffer it, as well as for those who suffer from other problems of similar like anxiety, even depression.
Although stress is one of the most common diseases that are consulted experts on biofeedback, female urinary incontinence is the disease where there is a greater degree of success, according to the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and the World Association of Biofeedback. And it is this therapy helps women to achieve an effective bladder emptying, identify the muscular proprioception, and coordinate the muscles of the urinary system in order to eliminate the inappropriate patterns.
Equally, these international associations indicate that biofeedback is effective against the deficit disorder attention and hyperactivity (ADHD), chronic pain, constipation, epilepsy, migraines, hypertension, psychomotor problems, Raynaud's disease and temporomandibular dysfunctions.
However, the list of diseases and problems for which is indicated the biofeedback is very long and spans from disorders caused by the consumption of toxic substances, breathing problems or coronary.

Tips for biofeedback

As in any other treatment that we're going to submit, is important to ensure that therapists who taught biofeedback are professionals, they have specific training, and are suitable to detect our problem and educate ourselves to fix it or improve it.
Equally, we need to be clear about what we want to achieve with biofeedback, since, according to our goals, we will have to choose a clinic equipped with more devices of mediation. Perhaps it is better to pay a little more for each session, but make sure that it is as complete as we need.
On the other hand, our mentality has to be receptive to understand that this type of processes require learning that only will be in the first sessions, and therefore the results lack of immediacy. In this way, we should not think that we will get the quick success or worry if it fails as soon as we'd like; and it is that precisely this attitude only cause us stress and anxiety, which will delay our evolution.
In this regard, our way of acting must be active and our positive attitude. And is that, finally and after, we ourselves who have to finish regulating our system physiological through what has been learned in biofeedbacksessions, since the therapist only is our guide.

How is a typical session of biofeedback

Each session of biofeedback will be different since it's a therapy that is customized according to what the patient wants to treat and the learning phase that is found.
However, what is common at the start of any treatment of biofeedback is conducting an initial interview, where the patient will explain their medical history and what you want to try. With these data the specialist will inform us about how the sessions are to avoid that uncertainty causes a change in the results of the measurements. Also in this initial interview should explain us the entire process: approximate time of treatment with each session, frequency of the sessions, the difficulties with which we may find ourselves, and if there is need to practice what they learned in our House.
With all the theoretical part clarified, it is time that the patient is connected to different measuring devices, that will depend on the roadmap that the specialist has been marked. The information obtained thanks to these devices will be the starting point of the intervention, and will be used to define the type of training that must be done.
In General, we can say that there are three main types of measurements according to the kind of answers that we hope to achieve. In this sense, if what you want is information of the somatic nervous system, the patient will undergo an electromyogram, while for responses of the system autonomous nervous, is used the control of blood pressure, heart rate or body temperature. Finally, the responses of the central nervous system can be measured with the electroencephalogram.
Upon registration of measurements, the next phase of a biofeedback session consists of targets, which is another thing that determine what is intended to get at the end of the treatment of several sessions. With this we will understand where we go, and we'll see if the process is still adequate or must redirect it.
The next step is, the most important part of the biofeedback training . We will return to measuring devices, and the information provided our body will reach us by means of Visual or auditory stimuli. In this way we can see on a scale how our physiological response increases or decreases after go to perform the exercises marked by the expert. In this sense, it will be the therapist which teach the patient how to perform exercises to control those levels; instruct you as well, so you can focus on breathing, relaxation, concentration, the remembrance of pleasant memories, the use of images that evoke you various types of sensations, etc.
In the following sessions the therapist will begin assessing the progress we are having and where we have had to do some kind of activity at home, we will discuss how we have been making and the possible problems encountered will be analysed. Subsequently professional we will connect to machines and we will again carry out exercises that tell us.
In some cases it teaches the patient to use the equipment so that it can perform training solo itself is trained to do so alone. This does not mean that the therapist you leave completely, since that will continue reviewing measurements to be sure that everything is going well.
The prices for sessions of biofeedback vary greatly depending on the Center, but you can find them from the 60 euros. However, this amount will increase according to the different types of metrics that we need and the complexity of the machines that we are going to use in our biofeedback sessions.
Logically, each pathology and each person will need different treatment and different number of sessions. However, it is estimated that a minimum of ten is more suitable for the vast majority of cases, some dating to be extended over two months and a half.
Published for educational purposes
Health and Wellness