A unique approach to stress reduction: application of biofeedback.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-156, 1978 Mar; :66-69
The use of biofeedback in stress management was discussed. Biofeedback was employed to help in the management of psychosomatic disorders. Biofeedback was used on the basis of the theory that any physiological function that could be monitored could be changed and that any physiological change would result in an emotional or mental change. Psychosomatic disorders were characterized as those in which there was both a mental and a physiological component. Stress related psychosomatic disorders may involve ulcers, high blood pressure, neurodermatitis, colitis, migraines, and tension headaches. The methods discussed for approaching these problems included general relaxation techniques, followed by biofeedback training directed toward the affected function. To treat generalized stress that preceded psychosomatic disorders, an experimental biofeedback approach was used in a group setting. Good results were obtained in teaching people to stop or prevent migraine headaches using a temperature monitor. The author concludes that biofeedback is a good learning device to make people aware of how stress is affecting their bodies, and is also useful in helping to reduce stress and the physiological symptoms stress produces.
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