this week the posts shall educate about biofeedback. What is biofeedback? It’s history? It’s applications? How could it be applied in larger settings? How could it contribute to the reduction or flat out discontinuation of medication? Biofeedback is a form of medicine truly establishing and enforcing the mind-body connection. Let’s get to it.
Back in the 60’s there were a few brave man working on a project to disproof the conventional wisdom of the time, which held, that only the voluntary systems in the control of the CNS (central nervous system) could be controlled by learning. The players were Dr. Miller, then a psychologist at Yale University. Lee Birk, a psychiatry resident working with David Shapiro, David Shapiro himself, Bernard Tursky.
Subtle movements of muscles could alter heart rate, blood pressure, hand temperature. What needed to be achieved was a way to eliminate such possibilities so researchers could claim “purely learned visceral” control. They thought this could be accomplished by giving curare, an agent that eliminates muscle movement, hence completely paralyzing the subject. Where to find a subject to risk an experiment which could lead to death? Birk, insisted that it was not so dangerous and volunteered himself.
The experiment worked. The conditioned responses were autonomic, because Birk was totally paralyzed. Birk also wrote the first medical book on biofeedback entitled Biofeedback: Behavioral Medicine (1973).
Other factors contributing to the establishment of biofeedback: Altered states of consciousness, behavioral therapy and medicine, biomedical engineering, consciousness, cultural factors, cybernetics, electroencephalogram, advances of electromyography devices, instrumental conditioning, professional development, psychophysiology, stress management and research.
Providing credibility to the field of biofeedback was the formation of the Biofeedback Society of America in 1968. Now called the:
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) 10200 West 44th Avenue Suite 304 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 1-800-477-8892 303-422-8436 http://www.aapb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1.
They cosponsor the periodical Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, publishing a lot of research in biofeedback.
And then there is the:
Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) 10200 W. 44th Ave, Ste 310 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-2840 Phone:303-420-2902 • FAX 303-422-8894 http://www.bcia.org/which oversees the certification of biofeedback practitioners.
Tomorrow: Biofeedback defined
Thank you for reading.