Biofeedback: Be Aware of Your Physiological Functions

What is Biofeedback ?

Biofeedback is a process in which a person obtains information about their biological state. People are generally unaware of their physiological functions. Those controlled by the autonomic nervous system, such as heart rhythm, vasodilation and narrowing, skin electrical resistance due to the functioning of sweat glands. Biofeedback devices allow the person to monitor instant changes in their physiological conditions.

To make an analogy, biofeedback can be thought of as a psychophysiological mirror. Just as we need the image in the mirror to correct ourselves, we need to report them to correct what is happening in our inner life and physiology.

The instantaneous changes in the human being’s biological processes are transferred to the computer using several sensing devices, and with the help of audio-visual signals, it is possible to obtain information about these changes that cannot be noticed under normal conditions.

What does this information do?

Thanks to these feedbacks about biological processes; The person realizes the link between the changes they perceive in their inner life and the physiological reactions in their body and finds the opportunity to gain control of these functions with various trial and error strategies.

Use in stress management:

The most common areas where biofeedback is used are relaxation and stress management. During stress, there is sympathetic system activation in the autonomic nervous system. The human body is in a physiological arousal. Complaints such as palpitations, shortness of breath, muscle tension, and forgetfulness and distraction that occur with stress, especially when they are very severe, can reach a level that disrupts the person’s life.

Not knowing that they are of spiritual origin may lead the person to seek unnecessary tests and treatment. The disappearance of these symptoms is only possible by controlling the stress.

Biofeedback is a technique that increases awareness of the physical symptoms of stress and helps the person to control these symptoms, in a sense, to learn to chill and relax psychologically. Heart rhythm, blood pressure, respiration, body temperature, skin electrical resistance, muscle tone, or momentary brain waves changes are measured and transferred to the computer.

The computer displays this with visual and audible signals. Thanks to the biofeedback method, the person learns to follow these instantaneous changes on the screen and bring himself to the desired level and bring himself to a state of comfort.

Biofeedback is used not only for psychological problems and stress management, but also for hypertension treatment, cardiac arrhythmias, migraine, reyno syndrome, stomach acidity, incontinence (fecal incontinence), vaginismus.

What is feedback?

People protect themselves with a number of balancing mechanisms in order to maintain human life. One of the main mechanisms it uses to maintain balance is “feedback control”. The brain, just like a main command center, regulates all functions that ensure human survival. In order for the brain to do its job and to control a response or behavior in the body, there must be “information-transmission” to the brain regarding that behavior.

This information comes to the brain through one or more senses. To give a simple example; In order for us to reach out and take the glass in our hand, information such as visual sensations and the information of the distance between the glass and the hand must be notified by nerve messages. This process is called a feedback loop.

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by William Lindberg

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About Author

He is studying psychology in Canada. Lucas also volunteers helping elderly people in nursing homes. Lucas, who is especially interested in hypnotherapy, continues his education and research in this field.

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