Biofeedback - visualisation and controllability of our autonomous stress- and tensionsystem

Biofeeback is a software-supported diagnostic and therapeutic device. It utilizes hardly perceivable physiological parameters like skintemperature, heartrate or skin conductance level and actualizes these values on a PC-screen. These body functions are controlled and influenced by our unconscious nervesystem and react very sensitively to stress- and overloading stimuli.

After the detailed initial clinical interview the patient sits in front of the screen and has to follow a standardised stresssituation generated by the program. Concommitantly the unconscious values are measured, so at the end the facts allow an interesting insight in the stresscausing mechanisms in the patient.

There are diagnostic and therapeutic application fields of biofeedback: 
1) In the stress loading test we can reveal, whether the sympathetic nervesystem is overactivated causing a permanent "overdrive" with a highly relevant hypertone in the muscles.
 
2) The second diagnostic value of biofeedback is the measurement of the pathological high tone in muscles with superficial EMG-electrodes located over the suspicious muscle-belly. Very often patients are not aware at all that e.g. the M. trapezius has a significant hypertone and soreness . Just when the patient gets the visualized graphics about his musclepain and his ability to influence the vicious circle, he mostly gets a very strong motivation to do something against it.

3) The therapeutic applications of biofeedback: on the one hand it is a very effective tool to support the process of relaxation. So the patient may be prepared with the sensor on his finger, then told to visualize a relaxing scenery with closed eyes. After a short break the patient is questioned to visualize e.g. his/her aggressive chief. Then the result will be interpreted and the best relaxationmethod defined to overcome the painful physical-psychical linkage.