Monitoring Your Stress: Biofeedback that Matters

Even if you are not paying attention to the stress you are experiencing, I guarantee that your body is noticing and attempting to communicate to you. You can choose to pay attention or ignore those signals. However, there will be physical, emotional, energy and behavioral consequences if you choose not to listen to these body feedback messages. What messages you ask? When you are in stress overload, a variety of signals will be present. It is important to learn and understand YOUR body’s messages for your sake and those around. Some symptoms of stress include (but not limited to:

  • sleeplessness/insomnia
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • teeth grinding
  • pain
  • hives
  • panic
  • increased drinking
  • crying spells
  • loneliness
  • anger/irritability

What to do? RELAX & REST. Take an inventory of the balance or imbalance in your life. Find what is out of sync in terms of work/life/play/spiritual areas. Stress and pain are manageable, but you need tools to assist in managing symptoms. Engaging in life balance helps build resilience and reduce stress. Listening to your body and then making adjustments will help improve the quality of your life. Biofeedback is a therapeutic modality that “teaches” you about what generates or relieves stress. Give it a try. This is a photo of a Temperature Training for Biofeedback. There are 3 other methods of Biofeedback, GSR or Galvanic Skin Response or Skin Conductance, EEG or Electroencephalogram (EEG) Test to Measure Brain Electrical Activity. There are four brain wave types: Beta, Alpha, Theta & Delta. Beta is for our normal waking state, Alpha is the “relaxed” state or desired wave pattern. The last type of Biofeedback is EMG or Electromyograph or muscle training to relax specific muscle groups. The electrodes are placed on the neck, forehead, or area of pain or spasm and you can teach that particular muscle to relax by watching the EMG wave pattern. These different Biofeedback monitors and systems just help determine ways to measure relaxation or tension via “feedback” from your body to determine if you are relaxed. Once you learn the mental, emotional and physical markers in your mind and body, you can train yourself to alter them for relaxation, tension reduction or relaxed brain wave. For example, for Temperature training, the higher your peripheral skin temperature, the more relaxed you are. Warm hands and feet indicate increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension and thusly, reduced pain and stress. The training goal is the 90 degree range. Give Biofeedback a try. There are many applications that will give you relief and control.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.