Biofeedback In Nursing Practices

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing and Biofeedback

Biofeedback In Nursing Practices

Biofeedback Certification In Nursing, Biofeedback And Self Regulation, Nursing Biofeedback Research And Its Effects, It is informative to point out the following.

What Is Biofeedback

    While in the past, biofeedback for chronic symptom patterns has been thought to be simply training muscles and body functioning through operant conditioning, now it is more common to consider the brain and central nervous system as the central focus of treatment. I\

    t is, after all, the electrical-biochemical systems through which all bodily activity is finally determined. to focus on the brain/ neural pathway acknowledges the mind-body interface and the centrality of the brain in the disease process.

Biofeedback And Self Regulation

    The use of biofeedback and its accounting belief in helping persons master self-regulation of body function and optimum states has been greatly impacted by the cellular research in recent years. 

    While on the one hand, groups of neuroscientists have explored the progress of using stem cells as a way of repairing organs, another movement in research has realized exciting possibilities in tracing evidence of the capability of the body to perform neurogenesis and neuroplasticity (Kempermann, Kuhn , & Gage, 1997; Eriksson et al., 1998; Kempermann & Gage, 1999; Bjorklund & Lindvall, 2000; Magavi, Leavitt, & Macklis, 2000). 

    Early evidence of the possibility of generating growth or re-growth in neural tissue was reported by Marion Diamond (1988). In these early studies, Diamond stimulated brain growth in older rats by enriching the environment. 

    From this study were derived the studies by Budzynski (1996), Budzynski and Budzynski (1997) to improve cognitive functioning of elderly humans by enhancing the brain with neurofeedback and light/sound stimulation.

    Results of studies on cellular restoration of nerve tissue together with reports of improvement of body functioning through neuro feedback suggested that changes in bodily functioning can be reached through the brain.    By managing appropriate change in the EEG or the brain's electrical activity, the body not only can rid itself of chronic symptoms but can also heal itself. These new directions for intervention are reaching consumers of health care.

Biofeedback Certification In Nursing

    There are over 100 nurse professionals in the Biofeedback Certification of America (BCIA), the certifying body for biofeedback/ neurofeedback. There are untold other nurses practicing without current certification. 

    Many of these practitioners are performing exciting biofeedback/neurofeedback work with target chronic problems, such as attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, stroke, mild head injury, migraines, and other symptom patterns. 

    But they practice outside the mainstream of nursing's institutions of care. They practice privately alongside multiple other health disciplines. Other schisms are that these practitioners are not inclined to undertake research, and those who are doing research (often in universities) have little access to practice settings.     

    The nursing biofeedback field could advance markedly if these activities and professionals could merge, as has medicine, to develop research based programs for specific target clinical problems.

Nursing Biofeedback Research And Its Effects

    Nursing biofeedback research has shown effective changes in patient symptoms through application of complementary techniques. 

    A review of biofeedback/self-management training research by nurses prior to 1997 indicated favorable patient outcomes when performing management of stress symptoms, progressive relaxation, reduction of tension with EMG training, hand warming, training during childbirth, respiratory training, and heart rate variability training. 

    These publications predominantly indicated individual efforts to inform the field of their respective specialized treatments. Over the years since then, there is very little shift to indicate that programs of care by nurses have proliferated. Also, fewer biofeedback studies have been generated in nursing publications. 

    But there is evidence that research methods and physiologic measurement has markedly improved many articles using feedback are competitive in non nursing journals.

It is informative to point out the following

    Chronic symptom patterns such as advanced heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, incontinence following surgery, and elderly cognitive decline as listed above have not previously been treated with feedback training. Physiologic indicators with a psychological self-care orientation are used to demonstrate change. 

    These above studies are few in number, but recently the kinds and quality of noninvasive instrumentation on the market are allowing researchers to trace change in bodily and psychological processes-EEG, heart rate variability, blood sugar levels, blood flow, CO2, and respiratory activity , to name a few. 

    The stage is set for offering feedback to any number of chronic problems which have heretofore been neglected. Lynda Kirk, the new President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, a nurse, recognized the dominance of the brain in feedback by quoting William James on the latest cover of AAPB Biofeedback: "The greatest thing, then, is to make the nervous system our ally instead of our enemy."

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