Stress Management With
Biofeedback. In technical terms stress is a disruption of
homeostasis, triggered by either real or perceived physical or
psychological stimuli. Stress is something that occurs all the
time and affects everyone one way or another at least some of
the time. Stress can be a good thing.
It can be a source of motivation to help get something done
or help one to react quickly to a potentially dangerous
situation. Too much stress however is detrimental to the body,
mind and spirit. Since the effects of stress are so multi
faceted and some of the negative results and symptoms of stress
can be stressors in themselves; it is most beneficial to take a
holistic approach to stress management.
Biofeedback is one such holistic method of treatment.
Biofeedback operates on the notion that we have the innate
ability and potential to influence the automatic functions of
our bodies through the exertion of will and mind. Biofeedback
is not generally considered so much as a stress management
technique as it is an aid in relaxation. Biofeedback is often
used on athletes where electronic sensors to measure stress,
and then feed the results of this measurement back to the
This feedback may take the form of movement of a pen on a
graph plotter, or may be by the pitch of sound coming through
earphones. The feedback one receives then allows them to
explore different methods or techniques of stress management
and allows the individual to see or feel the effects. In this
way you are able to then try different methods and compare
results so that you find one best suited to your needs.
By helping you to become more attuned to your internal body
functions, biofeedback teaches you and gives you the ability to
control certain unhealthy conditions. There are three main
approaches to biofeedback methods. One is skin temperature.
During times of stress adrenaline is produced. Adrenaline
diverts the flow of blood from the surface of the body to the
core to prepare it for fight or flight. As less warm blood is
going to the surface a drop in temperature can be
Today's Stress Cure Fact
Bipolar StressThere are some common early warning signs, which if one recognizes early enough is able to combat the negative effects of stress and help prevent further harm. Some of the most common early warning signs of excess stress are chronic fatigue, excessive irritability or moodiness, amplified or disproportionate anxiety, poor emotional control, noticeable changes in appetite, sleep patterns or sex drive, insomnia, critical feelings of dependency or helplessness and withdrawal from normal activity or responsibility. One may even verbally express signs of stress by making comments or talking about not being able to relax, feeling tense, and inability to focus or stay on task They may verbalize that they don't feel good, right or are miserable and don't know why. If you pay close attention you may notice that you feel extremely fatigued, the TV may sound like it is blaring, a door being shut sounds like it was slammed. One may argue or yell at those around them for seemingly no or petty reasons. These are indicators that stress has reached a critical level and needs to be dealt with. While it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress it is of equal importance to be prepared for situations or events that are potentially stressful. coping with stress
Another method involving the skin is to measure the
electrical activity. When you sweat, and you sweat more during
times of stress your skin becomes damp. Damp skin conducts
electricity more effectively than skin that is dry. Biofeedback
measures the amount of electricity conducted between two
electrodes on the skin. Muscle electrical methods measure the
electrical activity of muscles under the surface of the
This is useful in measuring the tension of these muscles.
Some methods of relaxation or visualization techniques lack
definitive form or are too vague for some people to grasp.
Biofeedback can convert these vague feelings into hard,
observable information, allowing one to fully grasp and fined
tune the use of certain stress management
Do you have kids? Get down on
the floor and play with them for at least 10
minutes a day. This can be a great relaxation
technique - IF you let the kids be in
Maybe your neighbor will let you borrow
As stated earlier these methods are often used on athletes
but are not limited to their use alone. Biofeedback therapy is
not recommended for those who experience severe psychosis or
those who suffer from certain medical conditions.