Biofeedback, and check out Biofeedback on Wikipedia, Youtube, Google News, Google Books, and Twitter on Digplanet. Biofeedback may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
Information coded biofeedback is an evolving form and methodology in the field of biofeedback. Over the years, biofeedback as a discipline and a technology has continued to mature and express new versions of the method with novel interpretations in areas utilizing the electromyograph, electrodermograph, electroencephalograph and electrocardiogram among others. The definition reads: Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. In both of these definitions, a cardinal feature of the concept is the association of the a€?willa€? with the result of a new cognitive a€?learninga€? skill.[9] Some examine this concept and do not necessarily ascribe it simply to a willful acquisition of a new learned skill but also extend the dynamics into the realms of a behavioristic conditioning [10][11] (7).
The "Muscle Whistler", shown here with surface EMG electrodes, was an early biofeedback device developed by Dr. An electromyograph (EMG) uses surface electrodes to detect muscle action potentials from underlying skeletal muscles that initiate muscle contraction. In addition to surface electrodes, clinicians may also insert wires or needles intramuscularly to record an EMG signal.
A feedback thermometer detects skin temperature with a thermistor (a temperature-sensitive resistor) that is usually attached to a finger or toe and measured in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. An electrodermograph (EDG) measures skin electrical activity directly (skin conductance and skin potential) and indirectly (skin resistance) using electrodes placed over the digits or hand and wrist.
In skin conductance, an electrodermograph imposes an imperceptible current across the skin and measures how easily it travels through the skin.
This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. An electroencephalograph (EEG) measures the electrical activation of the brain from scalp sites located over the human cortex. The EEG uses precious metal electrodes to detect a voltage between at least two electrodes located on the scalp. Slow cortical potentials are gradual changes in the membrane potentials of cortical dendrites that last from 300 ms to several seconds. The synchronous alpha rhythm ranges from 8 to 13 Hz and is defined by its waveform and not by its frequency.
The synchronous sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) ranges from 12 to 15 Hz and is located over the sensorimotor cortex (central sulcus). A photoplethysmograph (PPG) measures the relative blood flow through a digit using a photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensor attached by a Velcro band to the fingers or to the temple to monitor the temporal artery. A photoplethysmograph can provide useful feedback when temperature feedback shows minimal change.
The electrocardiogram (ECG) uses electrodes placed on the torso, wrists, or legs, to measure the electrical activity of the heart and measures the interbeat interval (distances between successive R-wave peaks in the QRS complex). A pneumograph or respiratory strain gauge uses a flexible sensor band that is placed around the chest, abdomen, or both. 2 (the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in expired air at the end of expiration) exhaled through the nostril into a latex tube. Rheoencephalography (REG), or brain blood flow biofeedback, is a biofeedback technique of a conscious control of blood flow. Pressure can be monitored as a patient performs exercises while resting against an air-filled cushion.[58] This is pertinent to physiotherapy.
Mowrer detailed the use of a bedwetting alarm that sounds when children urinate while asleep.
Kegel developed the perineometer in 1947 to treat urinary incontinence (urine leakage) in women whose pelvic floor muscles are weakened during pregnancy and childbirth.
Research has shown that biofeedback can improve the efficacy of pelvic floor exercises and help restore proper bladder functions.
Biofeedback is a major treatment for anismus (paradoxical contraction of puborectalis during defecation). Forbes reported the replacement of the string galvanometer with a vacuum tube to amplify the EEG in 1920. Adrian and Matthews confirmed Berger's findings in 1934 by recording their own EEGs using a cathode-ray oscilloscope. Walter (1937, 1953) named the delta waves and theta waves, and the contingent negative variation (CNV), a slow cortical potential that may reflect expectancy, motivation, intention to act, or attention. Kleitman has been recognized as the "Father of American sleep research" for his seminal work in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles, circadian rhythms, the sleep patterns of different age groups, and the effects of sleep deprivation. Dement, another of Kleitman's students, described the EEG architecture and phenomenology of sleep stages and the transitions between them in 1955, associated REM sleep with dreaming in 1957, and documented sleep cycles in another species, cats, in 1958, which stimulated basic sleep research.
Green and Green (1986) investigated voluntary control of internal states by individuals like Swami Rama and American Indian medicine man Rolling Thunder both in India and at the Menninger Foundation. Sterman (1972) showed that cats and human subjects could be operantly trained to increase the amplitude of the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) recorded from the sensorimotor cortex. Birbaumer and colleagues (1981) have studied feedback of slow cortical potentials since the late 1970s. Lubar (1989) studied SMR biofeedback to treat attention disorders and epilepsy in collaboration with Sterman.
Jacobson (1930) developed hardware to measure EMG voltages over time, showed that cognitive activity (like imagery) affects EMG levels, introduced the deep relaxation method Progressive Relaxation, and wrote Progressive Relaxation (1929) and You Must Relax (1934).
Several researchers showed that human subjects could learn precise control of individual motor units (motor neurons and the muscle fibers they control). Basmajian (1963) instructed subjects using unfiltered auditory EMG biofeedback to control separate motor units in the abductor pollicis muscle of the thumb in his Single Motor Unit Training (SMUT) studies. Whatmore and Kohli (1968) introduced the concept of dysponesis (misplaced effort) to explain how functional disorders (where body activity is disturbed) develop. Shearn (1962) operantly trained human subjects to increase their heart rates by 5 beats-per-minute to avoid electric shock.[106] In contrast to Shearn's slight heart rate increases, Swami Rama used yoga to produce atrial flutter at an average 306 beats per minute before a Menninger Foundation audience. Engel and Chism (1967) operantly trained subjects to decrease, increase, and then decrease their heart rates (this was analogous to ON-OFF-ON EEG training).

Schwartz (1971, 1972) examined whether specific patterns of cardiovascular activity are easier to learn than others due to biological constraints. Schultz and Luthe (1969) developed Autogenic Training, which is a deep relaxation exercise derived from hypnosis. Fahrion and colleagues (1986) reported on an 18-26 session treatment program for hypertensive patients. The 'Feedback Concept' is where you get information about some previous action and this helps you to decide the next action to be taken. You can try these techniques and, with information from a heart monitor, assess the affect on heart rate.
Our Noumic invention is an electronic computerised biofeedback device that provides biological information particularly useful for training yourself in relaxation and mind, body, nervous system control; but, it is not a heart rate monitor. It can provide two different types of bio-information used during biofeedback techniques for self-development in relaxation, stress management, and meditation skills.
When held gently, with unchanging hand pressure, our Biofeedback Device precisely monitors changes in skin conductivity; which directly correlate to tension and relaxation changes in the body and mind. Using Noumic Biofeedback Devices you practice very gentle hand muscle exercises, increasing and decreasing in hand grip pressure extremely slowly. The user of a Biofeedback Device tries some practice or technique to change his body or mind activity, and the device shows the result; it gives 'feedback' information.
In the 1960's, psychology research discovered that, when people had access to biofeedback information about their body, they could then learn to control their mind and body's performance in useful ways. Information from Biofeedback Devices is particularly useful when learning relax the body and mind, and to reduce tension. Noumic™ beautiful design Biofeedback Devices you can use in the dark, and relax with almost anywhere.
Meditation Techniques and the difficulties that arise when using electronic devices for meditation. Biofeedback and Meditation, certain types of biofeedback training are particularly useful for enhancing meditation practice. Biofeedback Therapy Professionals, introducing our Noumic Device to biofeedback researchers and GSR specialists, with some technical data graphs.
The concept of biofeedback is based on the fact that a wide variety of ongoing intrinsic natural functions of the organism occur at a level of awareness generally called the a€?unconsciousa€?.[6] The biofeedback process is designed to interface with select aspects of these a€?unconsciousa€? processes. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. Behaviorism contends that it is possible to change the actions and functions of an organism by exposing it to a number of conditions or influences.
The term itself is derived from the Latin verb informare which means literally a€?to bring into form or shapea€?.
Clinicians record the surface electromyogram (SEMG) using one or more active electrodes that are placed over a target muscle and a reference electrode that is placed within six inches of either active. While this is more painful and often costly, the signal is more reliable since surface electrodes pick up cross talk from nearby muscles. The EEG records both excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) that largely occur in dendrites in pyramidal cells located in macrocolumns, several millimeters in diameter, in the upper cortical layers. The thresholds or boundaries defining the frequency ranges vary considerably among professionals.
Delta is the dominant frequency from ages 1 to 2, and is associated in adults with deep sleep and brain pathology like trauma and tumors, and learning disability.
Theta is the dominant frequency in healthy young children and is associated with drowsiness or starting to sleep, REM sleep, hypnagogic imagery (intense imagery experienced before the onset of sleep), hypnosis, attention, and processing of cognitive and perceptual information.
Alpha activity can be observed in about 75% of awake, relaxed individuals and is replaced by low-amplitude desynchronized beta activity during movement, complex problem-solving, and visual focusing. The sensorimotor rhythm is associated with the inhibition of movement and reduced muscle tone. An infrared light source is transmitted through or reflected off the tissue, detected by a phototransistor, and quantified in arbitrary units. As a general rule of thumb, the LF component of HRV represents sympathetic activity, and the HF component represents parasympathetic activity,.
An electronic device called a rheoencephalograph [from Greek rheos stream, anything flowing, from rhein to flow] is utilized in brain blood flow biofeedback. As its name describes, it measures the differences in the color of light reflected back through the scalp based on the relative amount of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood in the brain. This simple biofeedback device can quickly teach children to wake up when their bladders are full and to contract the urinary sphincter and relax the detrusor muscle, preventing further urine release. The mode of action of vaginal cones, for instance involves a biological biofeedback mechanism. This therapy directly evolved from the investigation anorectal manometry where a probe that can record pressure is placed in the anal canal. Their demonstration of EEG recording at the 1935 Physiological Society meetings in England caused its widespread acceptance. He located an occipital lobe source for alpha waves and demonstrated that delta waves can help locate brain lesions like tumors.
He published an influential article in Psychology Today that summarized research that showed that subjects could learn to discriminate when alpha was present or absent, and that they could use feedback to shift the dominant alpha frequency about 1 Hz.
In research designed to identify the subjective states associated with EEG rhythms, she trained subjects to increase the abundance of alpha, beta, and theta activity using visual feedback and recorded their subjective experiences when the amplitude of these frequency bands increased.
They brought portable biofeedback equipment to India and monitored practitioners as they demonstrated self-regulation. He demonstrated that SMR production protects cats against drug-induced generalized seizures (tonic-clonic seizures involving loss of consciousness) and reduces the frequency of seizures in humans diagnosed with epilepsy.
He demonstrated that SMR training can improve attention and academic performance in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD). Bracing your shoulders when you hear a loud sound illustrates dysponesis, since this action does not protect against injury.[100] These clinicians applied EMG biofeedback to diverse functional problems like headache and hypertension.
He then used this approach to teach patients to control their rate of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), where the ventricles contract too soon.

This procedure combines passive volition with imagery in a series of three treatment procedures (standard Autogenic exercises, Autogenic neutralization, and Autogenic meditation). The Menninger program combined breathing modification, autogenic biofeedback for the hands and feet, and frontal EMG training. For example, you want to learn how to relax your body and decide that reducing heart rate will help. If a technique causes the heart rate to reduce you can continue with that technique; if the heart rate does not decrease, then perhaps that technique is not right for you.
Learning better control of hand muscles and nerves can affect the whole body's ability to relax more efficiently. With this bio-feedback information you know if you are successful or not, so it speeds up the self-training process. How our Noumic Biofeedback Device is designed to minimise the impact it has on users who are trying to deeply relax or meditate.
Psychology research discovered unusual results from biofeedback devices during meditation where special relaxed states, or altered states of consciousness, are achieved.
Key to the concept is not only that the functions are unconscious but that conditioning processes themselves may be unconscious to the organism.[12] Information Coded Biofeedback relies primarily on the behavior conditioning aspect of biofeedback in promoting significant changes in the functioning of the organism. The use of surface electrodes is also limited to superficial muscles, making the intramuscular approach beneficial to access signals from deeper muscles.
Fast cortical potentials can be described by their predominant frequencies, but also by whether they are synchronous or asynchronous wave forms. Dysfunctional breathing patterns include clavicular breathing (breathing that primarily relies on the external intercostals and the accessory muscles of respiration to inflate the lungs), reverse breathing (breathing where the abdomen expands during exhalation and contracts during inhalation), and thoracic breathing (shallow breathing that primarily relies on the external intercostals to inflate the lungs). Electrodes are attached to the skin at certain points on the head and permit the device to measure continuously the electrical conductivity of the tissues of structures located between the electrodes. Biofeedback therapy is also a commonly used and researched therapy for fecal incontinence, but the benefits are uncertain.[66] Biofeedback therapy varies in the way it is delivered. At first he believed that he had discovered the physical mechanism for telepathy but was disappointed that the electromagnetic variations disappear only millimeters away from the skull. Almost half of his subjects reported experiencing a pleasant "alpha state" characterized as an "alert calmness." These reports may have contributed to the perception of alpha biofeedback as a shortcut to a meditative state. A film containing footage from their investigations was released as Biofeedback: The Yoga of the West (1974).
He found that his SMR protocol, which uses visual and auditory EEG biofeedback, normalizes their EEGs (SMR increases while theta and beta decrease toward normal values) even during sleep.
The authors reported that 89% of their medication patients discontinued or reduced medication by one-half while significantly lowering blood pressure. The presentation of this information a€” often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior a€” supports desired physiological changes. The electrical activity picked up by the electrodes is recorded and displayed in the same fashion as the surface electrodes.[19] Prior to placing surface electrodes, the skin is normally shaved, cleaned and exfoliated to get the best signal. It is also unknown if one type has benefits over another.[66] The aims have been described as to enhance either the rectoanal inhibitory reflex (RAIR), rectal sensitivity (by discrimination of progressively smaller volumes of a rectal balloon and promptly contracting the external anal sphincter (EAS)), or the strength and endurance of the EAS contraction. They developed alpha-theta training at the Menninger Foundation from the 1960s to the 1990s. Raw EMG signals resemble noise (electrical signal not coming from the muscle of interest) and the voltage fluctuates, therefore they are processed normally in three ways: rectification, filtering, and integration. Skin potential is the voltage that develops between eccrine sweat glands and internal tissues and is measured in millivolts (thousandths of a volt).
Three general types of biofeedback have been described, though they are not mutually exclusive, with many protocols combining these elements.[66] Similarly there is variance of the length of both the individual sessions and the overall length of the training, and if home exercises are performed in addition and how. They hypothesized that theta states allow access to unconscious memories and increase the impact of prepared images or suggestions. Their data showed that skill in controlling misplaced efforts was positively related to clinical improvement.
This processing allows for a unified signal that is then able to be compared to other signals using the same processing techniques. In skin resistance, also called galvanic skin response (GSR), an electrodermograph imposes a current across the skin and measures the amount of opposition it encounters. In rectal sensitivity training, a balloon is placed in the rectum, and is gradually distended until there is a sensation of rectal filling. He believed that the EEG had diagnostic and therapeutic promise in measuring the impact of clinical interventions. Successively smaller volume reinflations of the balloon aim to help the person detect rectal distension at a lower threshold, giving more time to contract the EAS and prevent incontinence, or to journey to the toilet. He first identified the alpha rhythm, which he called the Berger rhythm, and later identified the beta rhythm and sleep spindles. Strength training may involve electromyography (EMG) skin electrodes, manometric pressures, intra-anal EMG, or endoanal ultrasound. He demonstrated that alterations in consciousness are associated with changes in the EEG and associated the beta rhythm with alertness. One of these measures are used to relay the muscular activity or anal canal pressure during anal sphincter exercise. He described interictal activity (EEG potentials between seizures) and recorded a partial complex seizure in 1933. Co-ordination training involves the placing of 3 balloons, in the rectum and in the upper and lower anal canal. The rectal balloon is inflated to trigger the RAIR, an event often followed by incontinence. Co-ordination training aims to teach voluntary contraction of EAS when the RAIR occurs (i.e.

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