Biofeedback

In biofeedback ultra-modern sophisticated instruments are used to measure physiological responses. by this technique a person learns how to regulate certain body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, or brain wave patterns, that are normally considered to be involuntary. So we may say, biofeedback is a method for learning to increase one’s ability to control biological responses, such as blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate. The name biofeedback refers to the biological signals that are fed back, or returned, to the patient in order for the patient to develop techniques of manipulating them.

Biofeedback enables a person to gain some element of voluntary control over autonomic body functions. It may be used clinically to treat certain conditions, such as hypertension and migraine headache.

Biofeedback may also be useful for the following health problems:

• anorexia nervosa
• anxiety
• asthma
• autism
• back pain
• bed wetting
• chronic pain
• constipation
• depression
• diabetes
• fecal incontinence
• epilepsy and related seizure disorders
• head injuries
• high blood pressure
• learning disabilities
• motion sickness
• muscle spasms
• sexual disorders, including pain with intercourse
• spinal cord injuries

Biofeedback has been used to successfully treat a number of disorders and their symptoms, including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Raynaud’s syndrome, epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disorders. Illnesses that may be triggered at least in part by stress are also targeted by biofeedback therapy. Certain types of headaches, high blood pressure, bruxism (teeth grinding), post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, and some anxiety disorders may be treated successfully by teaching patients the ability to relax and release both muscle and mental tension. Biofeedback is often just one part of a comprehensive treatment program for some of these disorders. NASA has used biofeedback techniques to treat astronauts who suffer from severe space sickness, during which the autonomic nervous system is disrupted. Scientists at the University of Tennessee have adapted these techniques to treat individuals suffering from severe nausea and vomiting that is also rooted in autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Side Effects of Biofeedback There are no known side effects to properly administered biofeedback or neurofeedback sessions.

Training & Certification in Biofeedback Individuals wishing to try biofeedback should contact a healthcare professional trained in biofeedback techniques. Licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians frequently train their patients in biofeedback techniques, or can recommend a specialist who does. In some cases, a licensed professional may employ a biofeedback technician who works under their direct guidance when treating patients. There are several national organizations for biofeedback therapists, including the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America, which also certifies therapists in the practice. Types of biofeedback instrumentation Electromyogram (EMG)An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that is used to record the electrical activity of muscles. When muscles are active, they produce an electrical current. This current is usually proportional to the level of the muscle activity. An EMG is also referred to as a myogram. EMGs can be used to detect abnormal muscle electrical activity that can occur in many diseases and conditions, including muscular dystrophy, inflammation of muscles, pinched nerves, peripheral nerve damage (damage to nerves in the arms and legs), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also known as Lou Gehrig disease), myasthenia gravis, disc herniation, and others. An Electromyogram is the most common form of biofeedback measurement. Galvanic skin response trainingWith Galvanic skin response training, sensors measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin alerting you to anxiety. This information can be useful in treating emotional disorders such as phobias, anxiety and stuttering. This is the method most commonly used by lie detector machines. It is the most popular form of biofeedback, with over 500,000 hand-held GSR2 units having been purchased by consumers since the early ’70s; it is also one of the biofeedback methods used by Calmlink and the video game series Journey to Wild Divine. Galvanic Skin Response meters are also now gaining popularity in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy practice where subtle physiological changes indicating emotional arousal can be more easily detected than by observation alone.

Electroencephalography (EEG)Brain waves are attributed to electrical activities of the brain which are manifest as alternating potential differences at the scalp surface. When acquired through scalp electrodes, such potential differences result in time-continuous signals termed electroencephalogram (EEG). From a physical point of view, it is opportune to model the wave-like qualities of EEG as a finite sum of harmonic oscillations at discrete vibration rates triggered by a central pace-maker. Hence, brain-waves can analoguously be interpreted like sound waves in acoustics which consist of a fundamental oscillation superimposed by higher harmonics. Each of these partial tones is uniquely characterized by 2 quantities, its frequency (“pitch”) and its amplitude (“loudness”). An EEG monitors the activity of brain waves linked to different mental states, such as wakefulness, relaxation, calmness, light sleep and deep sleep.

Reflexology

Reflexology is based on the idea that each of the body’s organs and glands are “linked” to corresponding areas of ears, hands and feet. Applying pressure on these points results in the energy being restored to the body which helps in strengthening of the immune system and in the natural healing system of the body functioning effectively.

In zone therapy, a reflexology chart shows the reflex zones found on the soles of the feet. Similar maps exist for the position of the reflexes on the hands.

The representation of the color codes are as follows:

This image is drawn and colorized by Jimmy Louie.

Brain        Stomach
Sinuses        Spleen
Voice        Liver
Pituitary gland        Gall Bladder
Neck and Throat        Adrenal Gland
Eyes        Pancreas
Ears        Kidney
Armpit        Ureter
Shoulder and Arm        Bladder
Lung and Breast        Colon
Heart        Small Intestine
Thyroid and Bronchial        Coccyx
Solar Plexus        Sciatic Nerve
Diaphragm        Peyer’s Patches
Appendix

Side effects of Reflexology

Because reflexology is intended to normalize the body functions, the therapy does not cause a condition to worsen.

Benefits of Reflexology

Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the nerves in the body and encouraging the flow of blood. In the process, reflexology not only quells the sensation of pain, but relieves the source of the pain as well.

Reflexology organizations worldwide

Academy of Reflexology Austria

Association of Finnish Reflexologists

Chinese Society of Reflexologists

Hellenic Association of Reflexologists

Indian Society for Promotion of Reflexology

International Council of Reflexologists (HQ: San Diego, USA)

Israeli Reflexology Association

New Zealand Reflexology Association

Polish Instytut of Reflexology (Polish Language)

Reflexology Association of America

Reflexology Association of Australia

Rwo-Shr Health Institute International (Malaysia)

The South African Reflexology Society

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): Chinese Oriental Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient holistic system of healing. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a range of traditional medical practices originating in China that developed over several thousand years. In fact, TCM is a modern compilation of traditional Chinese medicine.

TCM practices include theories, diagnosis and treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage; often Qigong is also strongly affiliated with TCM. TCM is a form of so-called Oriental medicine, which includes other traditional East Asian medical systems such as traditional Japanese, and Korean medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on the notion of harmony and balance, and employing the ideas of moderation and prevention. Much of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derived from the same philosophical bases that contributed to the development of Taoist philosophy, and reflects the classical Chinese belief that individual human experiences express causative principles effective in the environment at all scales. TCM theory is based on a number of philosophical frameworks including the theory of Yin-yang, the Five Elements, the human body Meridian system, Zang Fu organ theory, and others. Diagnosis and treatment are conducted with reference to these concepts. TCM does not operate within a western scientific paradigm but some practitioners make efforts to bring practices into a biomedical and evidence-based medicine framework. Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)/ Chinese Oriental MedicineFollowing the macro philosophy of disease, traditional Chinese diagnostics are based on overall observation of human symptoms rather than “micro” level laboratory tests. There are four types of TCM diagnostic methods: observe, hear and smell, ask about background and touching. The pulse-reading component of the touching examination is so important that Chinese patients may refer to going to the doctor as “Going to have my pulse felt”. Modern practitioners in China often use a traditional system in combination with Western methods.

Techniques in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)/ Chinese Oriental Medicine

• Palpation of the patient’s radial artery pulse (Pulse diagnosis) in six positions
• Observation of the appearance of the patient’s tongue
• Observation of the patient’s face
• Palpation of the patient’s body (especially the abdomen) for tenderness
• Observation of the sound of the patient’s voice
• Observation of the surface of the ear
• Observation of the vein on the index finger on small children
• Comparisons of the relative warmth or coolness of different parts of the body
• Observation of the patient’s various odors
• Asking the patient about the effects of his problem
• Anything else that can be observed without instruments and without harming the patient

The below methods are considered as part of the Chinese medicine treatment:

1. Chinese herbal medicine
2. Acupuncture and Moxibustion
3. Die-da or Tieh Ta
4. Chinese food therapy
5. Tui na – massage therapy
6. Qigong and related breathing and meditation exercise
7. Physical exercise such as T’ai Chi Ch’uan and other Chinese martial arts
8. Mental health therapy such as Feng shui and Chinese astrology

Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is notably different from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The Nationalist government elected to abandon and outlaw the practice of CCM as it did not want China to be left behind by scientific progress. For 30 years, CCM was forbidden in China and several people were prosecuted by the government for engaging in CCM. In the 1960’s, Mao Zedong finally decided that the government could not continue to outlaw the use of CCM. He commissioned the top 10 doctors (M.D.’s) to take a survey of CCM and create a standardized format for its application. This standardized form is now known as TCM.

Rolfing

Rolfing/ Rolf therapy/ Structural Integration is a massage technique using deep manipulation of the fascia (connective tissue) to restore the body’s natural alignment.

The word Rolfing was coined from the surname of Ida Rolf. Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf (1896-1979) developed this method in 1950s. According to Rolf, bound up fascia (or ‘connective tissue’) often restricts opposing muscles from functioning independently from each other, much as when water, having crystallized, forms the hard, unyielding ice. In her practice Rolfing, she aimed to separate the bound up fascia by deeply separating the fibers manually so as to loosen them up to allow effective movement patterns. During a Rolfing session, the patient generally lies down and is guided through specific movements. During these, the Rolfer manipulates the fascia until it returns to its original length. This takes place over the course of 10 one-hour sessions, with a specific goal for each session, creating cumulative results.

Benefits of Rolfing

Rolfing improves posture by bring the body’s natural structure into correct alignment. It is helpful in general aches and pains, physical and mental stress, chronic back, neck, shoulder, and joint pain, and repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome etc…

Side Effects in Rolfing Therapy

There are no reported serious side effects associated with Rolfing when delivered by a certified practitioner to adults and juveniles.

Note:

People with kidney disease, liver and intestinal disease and pregnant women should consult their physician before beginning Rolfing.

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