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Biofeedback Now Seen as 'Regular' Medicine

Computer-assisted treatment has joined mainstream for pain, anxiety and more

HealthDay news imageTHURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2010  (HealthDay News )Biofeedback used to be thought of as alternative therapy -- something that might help but wasn't considered a fully legitimized medical treatment.

No more.

U.S. soldiers returning from war now use biofeedback to help deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. People suffering from chronic pain often find relief in biofeedback. Even athletes are using biofeedback to gain better control over their bodies.

"It used to be considered a very radical type of therapy, but what we have found is, as the years have gone by, it has become more and more mainstream," said John Arena, lead psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Ga., a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia and president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. "It now is considered part of regular medicine, actually."

With biofeedback, someone is strapped to sensors that provide real-time readings of internal bodily processes, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature and brain-wave activity. They then are taught strategies by which they can gain better control over those processes, which in turn can help them achieve certain health goals...(read the rest of this article)

Full Article: http://news.health.com/2010/02/04/biofeedback-now-seen-as-regular-medicine

Bioenergetics: A New Science of Healing

Ken Smith. Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, March-May 2006, No. 10., pp. 11-13, 34
Bioenergetics is the field of the future. As the term indicates, it deals with biology (the study of all life) and energy (perhaps the underlying substance of all life) and where these two intersect. The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., defines bioenergetics in part as “the study of the flow and transformation of energy in and between living organisms and between living organisms and their environment.” This covers quite a bit of ground. Indeed, the meeting area between biology and energy is vast, perhaps going beyond imagination as virtually every area of human activity and every nook and cranny of our world are touched by it.

The field of biophysics, for instance, evolved as a natural result of physicists furthering their research into all areas where energy plays a role. This discipline has grown to include such topics as cellular communication, neurobiology, and the role of photons within the human body. The new field of energy psychology explores models of how the psyche works at an energetic level. The mystic’s pronouncement that “the world is one” is being scientifically backed by quantum physicists theorizing that a “unified field” connects everything. And the world of technology is ushering in devices that are revealing, measuring, and altering biologic energy fields.

As a result of these types of investigation, we are rapidly increasing our appreciation of the fact that energy fields cause a wide variety of physical occurrences. In his landmark text Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis of Bioenergy Therapies (Churchill Livingstone Press, 2000), James Oschman, PhD, points out that the resonant properties of DNA have already been documented, as has DNA’s response to pulsing magnetic fields. He also describes an extracellular matrix found throughout the body and its multifaceted relation to energy fields. This matrix “exerts specific and important influences upon cellular dynamics, just as much as hormones and neurotransmitters."

Full Article: http://media.noetic.org/uploads/files/S10_Bioenergetics_Smith.pdf

Bioenergetic Medicines

Author: Beverly Rubik, PhD.  Director, Institute for Frontier Science; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine

Often called “energy medicine,” the two main categories of bioenergetic medicine, are (1) bioelectromagnetic therapies, and (2) biofield therapies.

Bioelectromagnetic medicine (BEM) utilizes external medical devices such as therapeutic magnets, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), and pulsed magnetic fields. These devices apply extremely low-level electromagnetic fields (EM) (electrical fields of the order of microamperes or less; magnetic fields generally of the order of microTesla or less) externally to the body as therapy.

Biofield therapies (BT) refer to medicinal use of the human body’s subtle energy using a wide variety of practices, and are administered by biofield practitioners who work with the subtle energy or biofield of the patient. The concept of the human body’s subtle energy, vital force, or cosmic life energy is recognized in every medical system except allopathy. In Ayurveda, this subtle energy is known as prana, qi in traditional Chinese medicine, ki in traditional Japanese medicine, reiki in the Usui system, vital force in homeopathy, innate intelligence in chiropractic, vis medicatrix naturae in naturopathy, and olodumare in Yoruba medicine.

BIOELECTROMAGNETIC MEDICINE (BEM)

BEM is an application of bioelectromagnetics, the science that investigates the interaction of extremely low-level non-ionizing, externally applied EM fields with organisms. EM fields in medicine have a mixed history. Some uses including: radiation therapy, magnetic resonance imaging, and defibrillator devices are well known and used. Historically, many other EM devices used in medicine were later relegated to quackery. In contrast to conventional EM medical devices, BEM devices operate at much lower energy levels and often in extremely low frequency ranges (1-100 Hz) compared to EM devices used in conventional medicine.

BEM is more widely known and used in Russia, Europe, and Japan than in the U.S.. The most prominent BEM devices employed in the U.S. are the (1) TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices for pain control; (2) PEMF for non-union bone fractures; and (3) TCS (transcranial stimulators) or TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulators), used to treat mood disorders and insomnia.

In practice, pulsed EM fields (PEMF) or pulsed magnetic fields (PMF) are the most frequently used therapeutic signals.  They readily penetrate tissues in a painless, non-invasive manner and without side-effects.  FDA approved for over 20 years, one of the firrst and most successful uses of PEMF since the 1970's is for non-union bone fractures.

Full Article: Bioenergetic Medicines - A National Curriculum for Medical Students, Author Beverly Rubik, PhD. (pdf).

Biofeedback Assists with Anxiety-Based Problems

Northern Ontario Medical Journal

Biofeedback, a process that records brain activity and other bodily functions, while not new, is recognized more today as people look for alternatives to prescription medications.

The treatment technique prompts the patient to control or monitor his or her physiological or mental state in order to enhance learning, concentration, and relaxation, or to modify physiological responses that may accompany anxiety-related problems.

Bassis and Carter, a Sudbury-based psychotherapy and consultation service, has been using biofeedback as part of its assessment and treatment programs since the mid-'90s and has found it to be a useful tool.

Dr. Edward Bassis uses it for a variety of anxiety-related problems like depression, brain-injury and retraining, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), phobias, as well as performance enhancement for competitive sports, and to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Biofeedback covers a range of modalities. Physiologically, it can measure heart rate, breathing, skin conduction, temperature and muscle tension. Neurologically, a process known as EEG (electroencephalographic) biofeedback, also called neurofeedback, measures brain waves, allowing patients to look at how their brains function.

Full Article: http://www.nomj.ca/Articles/ComplimentaryMed/10-08-biofeed.aspx

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