Biofeedback Training vs. Mind Machines: What Everyone should know…
Biofeedback is a method for treating people to improve their health by using electrical signals from their own bodies. Therapists and psychologists use biofeedback to help stressed and anxious patients learn to relax and to help their clients cope with pain.
We all know something about biofeedback. It’s about learning to alter our brainwaves with no outside help. And when we achieve the targeted brainwave frequency, our mind receives an audio or visual reward. It works. Repetition is key to progressing. The more you practice the better you get. But if you don’t personally have a biofeedback system, making appointments to visit a biofeedback technician can get expensive.
There is a good chance you have already used a form of biofeedback. For instance, have you ever gone outside to walk your dog on a cold and blustery day? Your body told you it was cold, prompting you to wear a jacket. How about when you stand on a scale and it shows you gained weight? Time to consider doing a little cutting back. And at sometime in our life we have had our temperature taken, thinking perhaps we are exhibiting signs of illness. If you were running a temperature higher than 98.6, then would be a good time to rest and drink liquids, and of course, contact your physician. Clinician’s machines can find a person’s internal bodily functions with much greater sensitivity and precision than in the past. The results of each biofeedback session are valuable for both the client and the clinician, as the information can be applied to gauge and direct the next treatment session.
Biofeedback training can be demanding on patients. Patients need to review their daily routine to learn if they are contributing to their own negative feelings. Patients need also personally commit to practicing biofeedback training awareness or relaxation exercises every day. They must change their routine, their day-to-day lifestyle, and accept much of the responsibility for maintaining their own health.
There is absolutely nothing wrong about going to see your physician or therapist for alleviating anxieties, modifying behavior and a myriad of other symptoms biofeedback has proven effective in treating. The drawbacks are the time it takes to adequately overcome your unwanted symptoms, the amount of practice necessary to progress, the need for scheduling multiple appointments and the cost of each visit.
So keep it simple. One method for determining your current level of stress is measuring your GSR (Galvanic Skin Response). GSR refers to changes in your sweat gland activity that are reflective of the intensity of your emotional state. If biofeedback is your method of choice, there are several at-home GSR-measuring devices that can be beneficially adjunctive to the treatment you receive from your biofeedback clinician, devices like the Thoughtstream with Mental Games, Biodots and Aware Squares.
With biofeedback the participant must produce the targeted brainwave frequency with no outside help. Yes, that does take time and a lot of practice. There is an alternative. Mind machines are the opposite of biofeedback. Instead of trying to produce the targeted frequency all on your own, mind machines contain programs that guide the mind’s brainwaves to a specific brainwave frequency with absolutely no effort on the part of the participant. No need to see a clinician for guidance, mind machines have proven to be highly beneficial and cost-effective alternatives for those seeking improved daily performance and increased wellness.