Techniques for Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation

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Meditation helps you take a deliberate break from the stream of thoughts that are constantly flowing in and out of your mind

Practicing “mindfulness” means you’re actively paying attention to the Continue reading

Study Shows Self-Help Methods Can Eliminate Insomnia

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Dealing with a disease is already a challenge, but when you combine it with sleep troubles, things can get very difficult indeed. Not only can a lack of sleep leave you feeling tired all the time, but it can also seriously affect your ability to do any healing. Insomnia can even become as much a health problem as the original health condition that triggered it.

If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a health tip that could help you Continue reading

What exactly is Biofeedback?

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Biofeedback training teaches how to consciously change and control the body’s vital functions that are normally unconscious, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, through information provided by electronic devices.

Biofeedback is a relatively new field. It was only during the late 1960’s that scientists believed that these normally unconscious, autonomic functions could be voluntarily controlled. Barbara Brown, Ph.D., at the Veterans Administration Hospital in California, Elmer Green, Ph.D, and Alyce Green of the Menninger Foundation in Kansas first used EEG biofeedback to observe the various states of people practicing yoga. Another person who was instrumental in bringing biofeedback to the public attention is Joe Kamiya, who taught subjects how to attain states of euphoria without drugs.

Biofeedback is currently used by physicians, physiologists, kinesiologists, and psychologists.

How Biofeedback Works

Electrodes, which look like stickers with wires attached to them, are placed on the client’s skin. The client is then instructed to use relaxation, meditation, or visualization to bring about the desired response, whether it is muscle relaxation, lowered heart rate, or lower temperature. The biofeedback device reports progress by a change in the speed of beeps or flashes, or pitch or quality of the tone.

The results of biofeedback are measured in the following ways:

• skin temperature
• electrical conductivity of the skin, called the glavanic skin response
• muscle tension, with an electromyograph (EMG)
• heart rate, with an electrocardiograph (ECG)
• brain-wave activity, with an electroencephalograph{EEG)

Conditions Treated by Biofeedback

Biofeedback is particularly useful with can help with stress-related conditions where there is sympathetic or adrenal stress. It is also useful for conditions where there is inadequate control over muscle groups or muscle dysfunction. Conditions treated with biofeedback include:

• stress
• headaches
• asthma
• muscle injury
• pain relief
• insomnia
• high blood pressure
• digestive disorders
• attention deficit disorder
• incontinence
• poor posture
• tennis elbow
• golfer’s elbow
• irritable bowel syndrome
• hyperactivity
• Raynaud’s disease
• ringing of the ears
• constipation
• twitching of the eyelids
• esophageal dysfunction