Biofeedback is a branch of applied psychophysiology. In this approach a person can view in real time what their body is doing. For example, using muscle electrodes a person can learn when their muscles are tensed and when they are relaxed. This approach allows people to have an increased awareness of their bodily responses, and learn how to change these responses for better health.
Biofeedback uses safe and painless electronic equipment to measure: skin temperature, skin conductance, muscle tension, breathing patterns, heart rate parameters, and brain waves (termed neurofeedback).
Biofeedback has been shown to be effective for migraines, tension type headaches, and anxiety among other disorders.
In this episode I talk to Dr. Richard Sherman about biofeedback, what it is, what happens in a biofeedback session, and how it can help pain in general, and migraines in particular.
Dr. Richard A. Sherman received his doctorate in psychobiology from New York University in 1973.
He is best known for his work elucidating mechanisms and treatments for phantom limb pain, temporal relationships between changes in muscle tension and pain, and environmental studies on mechanisms of and behavioral treatments for urinary incontinence.
This work has resulted in over 130 articles and several books for both professionals and patients, including numerous studies on assessment and treatment of tension and migraine headaches.
Dr. Sherman is currently the director of the Psychophysiology Doctoral Program at Saybrook University and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research and Training Foundation.
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