Over the last two decades, communications technology has increasingly sped up the tempo of day to day activities, allowing individuals to be more productive. However, this rapid pace of life has led us to devote more and more time to our jobs or obligations, while neglecting our own minds and bodies. Stress is treated as an obstacle that needs to be overcome, rather than a bodily reaction to our everyday routines that needs to be treated.
Understanding how our bodies react to different situations and what the drivers of stress are in our lives, will give us valuable insight into how our bodies work and how to develop healthy, sustainable practices, whether they may relate to behaviour, psychology or diet.
Advancements in bio-feedback technology have now given health professionals, the tools they need to adequately evaluate an individual’s stress patterns, diagnose them effectively, and choose specific courses of action. Bio-feedback gives professionals and users alike, accurate data about various processes in the body and how they are changing with respect to an individual’s environment and state of mind. This gives people a more intimate understanding of their body, and encourages them to develop greater control over these processes, and consequently stress.
What is Bio-feedback?
How does the bio-feedback mechanism work though? Bio-feedback is a recently developed technique that individuals may use to track and record signals that their bodies are giving them, in the quest for better health. Bio-feedback is premised on the understanding that our minds have the capacity to control our bodily processes through sheer will-power and conditioning. The idea is that individuals will become more conscious of their bodily processes if they had a device that alerted them to take care of their bodies, when required. Over time, bio-feedback users will learn to recognize and understand signals that their bodies give them, without the aid of the device.
Bio-feedback techniques allow health professionals and individuals to monitor processes like heart rates and breathing. They can also provide information relating to body temperature, muscle tension and stress signals. Changes in these processes will be treated as symptoms of the onset of stress, and measures must be taken to control them.
What Does a Bio-feedback Practitioner Do?
Bio-feedback practitioners are highly trained professionals who are not only experts in the fields of diet, nutrition and anatomy, but in psychology as well. They will typically evaluate and diagnose individuals using their own training and the bio-feedback equipment, before prescribing a course of action. Your relationship with your practitioner will begin as a simple chat so that he/she may gain insight into your lifestyle and daily routines. Once you have built a rapport with your practitioner, electronic sensors that record signals from the body will be attached to your body. These sensors will either flash or beep when there are abnormal changes in your bodily processes and alert you to them.
Practitioners will also teach individuals a number of relaxation techniques that will be extremely useful when trying to control your body’s processes. These will usually be recorded on tape, for an individual’s reference. Moreover, these tapes will be useful for individuals looking to practice on their own.
Bio-feedback is a completely non-invasive treatment and has shown to be extremely effective in making individuals more conscious of their bodies and their health. These techniques have also been used to help control or alleviate medical disorders like headaches, rising blood pressure levels and in some cases even IBS. Moreover, once you learn bio-feedback techniques, you can use them throughout your life, without the aid of a practitioner.
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