Biofeedback is a fancy term that refers to a form of alternative medicine involving measuring your bodily functions. It’s actually nothing new. Getting the results of a blood test, having your blood pressure taken, or getting an EKG are all forms of biofeedback.
This high tech relaxation technique designed to teach the body how to directly and immediately change it’s response, puts you in control of the bodily functions. A biofeedback session could involve getting hooked up to equipment (depending on what’s being measured) it may measure functions such as your skin temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and muscle tension.
A trained biofeedback counselor guides you through relaxation techniques while you watch the machine monitor. When your heart rate or breathing rate decreases, both you and the counselor are able see it on the monitor. You learn how your body feels when your heart and breathing rate decreases. The first time you try biofeedback, you may actually experience a heightened stress response. This is normal and natural. Once you get comfortable with the process of monitoring physical reactions, your body functions return to normal
What if you can’t afford the time or money to use biofeedback equipment. You can come up with your own tools.
A watch with a second hand. By taking your own pulse, you get a measure of your heart rate, which varies according to your level of relaxation. Tech New Master
A thermometer. Holding the bulb of a thermometer between your fingers can give you a measure of your skin temperature. Relaxing you body should raise your skin temperature.
A stethoscope. By counting heart beats you have a measure of your stress level. Lowering your stress should result in a lowered heart rate.
A mirror. The way you look can be a pretty good indicator of just how stressed you are. Furrowed brows, clenched jaw, bags under your eyes all can be signs of stress.
While this process sometimes takes several sessions to master, eventually you become adapt at producing deep states of relaxation simply by being tuned in to the pattern of your own body.