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BIOFEEDBACK - Theory & clinical activity/Teoria & zastosowania kliniczne


Szanowni Państwo,

Niniejszym zamieszczam kolejny artykuł prezentujący szeroki kontekst klinicznych aplikacji Neuroterapii.
Artykuł pochodzi ze strony "NeuroTherapy Centers For Health".

Zachęcam do lektury.

Dariusz Wyspiańsk


Biofeedback is a training technique in which people are taught to improve their health and performance by using signals from their own bodies. Biofeedback is a means for gaining control of our body processes to increase relaxation, relieve pain, and develop healthier, more comfortable life patterns.


The word "biofeedback" was coined in late 1969 to describe lab procedures (developed in the 1940's) that trained research subjects to alter brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and other bodily functions that are not normally controlled voluntarily. Biofeedback gives us information about ourselves by means of external instruments. Using a thermometer to take our temperature is a common kind of biofeedback. Biofeedback lets us know when we are changing our physiologies in the desired direction. It is not really a treatment. Rather, biofeedback training is an educational process for learning specialized mind/body skills which enables us to exert more control over the body's physiological processes. In biofeedback therapy, subjects are "fed back" information with reinforcing properties about their neuromuscular and autonomic activity, both normal and abnormal, in the form of analog or binary, auditory and/or visual feedback signals. Biofeedback therapy is a holistic therapy that emphasizes the wholeness of the human organism; changes within one system create changes in all other systems, to greater or lesser degrees. Instrumented biofeedback was pioneered by O. Hobart Mowrer in 1938, when he used an alarm system triggered by urine to stop bedwetting in children. But it was not until the late 1960's, when Barbara Brown, Ph.D., at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sepulveda, California, and Elmer Green, Ph.D., and Alyce Green of the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas used EEG biofeedback to observe and record the altered states/self-regulation of yogis, that biofeedback began to attract widespread attention).


Clinical biofeedback follows the principle of using specialized instruments to monitor various physiological processes as they occur. Moving graphs in a computer screen and audio tones that go up and down reflect changes as they occur in the body system being measured. Many physiological processes can be monitored for biofeedback applications. Some of the more common ones are the following:

Measured by sensors placed on the ring fingers.

EMG (electromyograph)
Measures muscle activity by detecting the electrical activity occuring with certain muscles, typically the trapezius (shoulder) muscles.

EDA (electrodermal activity)

Measured by determining either BSR (basal skin response) or GSR (galvanic skin response).

Heart Rate
Measured in beats per minute. Faster heart rates are often caused by stress. The inside wrists of a subject are cleaned and three silver sensors with conductice gel are slipped under elastic wrist bands to measure a person's heart rate.


Measured in breaths per minute, typically by a strain gauge worn around the chest.


Brain waves are measured by the electroencephalograph (EEG). The EEG is comprised of several bandwidths: Theta (4-7 Hz.), Alpha (8-12 Hz.), Beta (13-20 Hz.), Gamma (21+ Hz.).

One commonly used device in biofeedback therapy picks up electrical signals from the muscles and translates the signals into a form that people can detect. This device triggers a flashing light or activates a beeper every time muscles become more tense. If one wants to relax tense muscles, one must try to slow down the flashing or beeping. Patients are taught to associate sensations from the muscle with actual levels of tension and develop a new, healthy habit of keeping muscles only as tense as is necessary for as long as necessary. After treatment, individuals are then able to repeat this response at will without being attached to the sensors.

Biofeedback machines can detect a person's internal bodily functions with far greater sensitivity and precision than a person can alone. Both patients and therapists use the information they gather from these machines to gauge and direct the progress of treatment. EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) is utilized in the treatment of ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

Common cures:

Biofeedback research has shown that individuals can learn to control brainwave activity, cardiovascular and respiratory functioning, reduce skin temperature, and voluntarily modify many autonomic processes.


Neck and low back pains
Muscle tension
Jaw pain and dysfunction

Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)

High Blood Pressure
Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormalities in the rhythm of the heartbeat)

Bruxism (teeth grinding, often at night)
Tension headaches
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Migraine headaches
Epilepsy Paralysis -Spinal cord injury and musculoskelelal disorders
Mental disorders
Panic & Anxiety disorders
Mood disorder
Mild depression


Acute and chronic pain of the digestive system
Fecal incontinence


nocturnal enuresis
Leaky bladder
Urinary incontinence (a condition affecting up to 30 percent of elderly people living independently)

premenstrual syndrome
menorrhagia (excessive menstruation) (red raspberry, herbs manjistha and shatavari can treat it)
menstrual disorders
herpes (herbal mixture of shatavari, guwel sattva, kamadudha, and neem is recommended; tikta ghee can also treat herpes)
sexual dysfunction



Studies have shown that we have more control over so-called involuntary bodily functions than we once thought possible. As a result, biofeedback can offer individuals techniques for living a healthier life overall - whether one is afflicted with a medical condition or not. Biofeedback will not work as efficiently as possible in helping individuals attain this goal without the use use of one or more other alternative modalities simultaneously. These include meditation, deep relaxation techniques, breath control, yoga, and mind/body medicine among others.

Modern medicine's perspective:

Although most people initially viewed biofeedback practices with skepticism, researchers proved that many individuals could alter their involuntary responses by being "fed back" information either visually or audibley about what was occurring in their bodies. Through clinical research and application, biofeedback techniques have expanded into widely used procedures that treat an ever-lengthening list of conditions (See Common Cures).

Case Studies:

#1: Nine sessions of biofeedback were given to patients suffering from primary fibromyalgia over a period of four weeks. Pre- and post- treatment baseline level measurements were taken from the trapezius muscles as well as a measure of muscle sensitivity. Cognitive variables helplessness and belief of control) were also obtained. The analysis showed a significant reduction in general intensity of pain and in EMG activity as well as a significant increase in muscular sensitivity. Further analyses show the increases in muscular sensitivity to be correlated with the decrease of EMG activity in the trapezius baseline. Self-reported pain reduction was predicted by a change in cognitive variables.


#2: 60 patients with hemiplegia after acute stroke or traumatic brain injury were seen for balance training. After a training period of four weeks, the results of this study indicated that a new standing biofeedback device that had been developed had a positive training effect on stance symmetry in hemiplegic subjects. The device includes a heigh-adjustable work table, weight sensors, plus a real-time visual and auditory feedback system.


#3: Melvyn Werbach, M.D., was approached by a woman whose husband had been in a coma for several months. Dr. Werbach and an associate arranged to hook the man up to various biofeedback devices in an attempt to communicate with him. While Dr. Werbach monitored the biofeedback equipment, his associate asked the comatose patient to concentrate on specific areas of the body. To everyone's surprise, the galvanic skin response monitor began to move with the request. Although he was in a coma, the patient was able to hear. At the end of the session, the family and staff were shocked to hear him moan loudly. The patient came out of his coma within a month of this initial session.