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Biofeedback Therapy for Cancer

Biofeedback Therapy for Cancer

Although no form of therapy can cure cancer, biofeedback techniques are proven to deliver positive results in many patients. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), research confirms the effectiveness of incorporating biofeedback into traditional cancer treatment plans.

What is Biofeedback Therapy?

Biofeedback therapy is an advanced monitoring technique used on patients currently undergoing cancer treatment. New studies have shown promising benefits of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) while treating different types of cancer. 

Biofeedback therapy is a technique that allows patients to learn to control their body and physiological stress responses while undergoing cancer treatment.

When you go for a walk or speak to a friend, these actions are performed by you voluntarily. You are in control of your voluntary actions. On the other hand, many of your body functions, such as your heart rate and blood pressure, are controlled involuntarily by your nervous system.

Biofeedback is a technique that helps you become more aware of these involuntary actions and allows you to have more control over them. The more power you have over your mind, the more you can manage your psychological and mental health. Deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation are other techniques your therapist will show you.

During a biofeedback session, a therapist will attach electrodes to your skin, and sometimes sensors may be placed on your fingers. The biofeedback sensors then transmit data to a computer where the therapist can observe the results in real-time on the monitor’s display.

Biofeedback data will show details such as your:

  •       Heart rate
  •       Breathing rate
  •       Blood pressure
  •       Skin temperature
  •       Perspiration
  •       Muscle activity
  •       Brain waves

Benefits and Uses of Biofeedback Therapy

While it’s known that this type of therapy doesn’t cure cancer or diseases, biofeedback techniques have proven to have a positive effect on patients. The more biofeedback sessions that are conducted allow you to develop more control over your involuntary body functions. These techniques provide positive results even after chemotherapy has ended and your cancer is in remission.

Many people reportedly experience a condition often referred to as “chemo brain,” which can cause unwanted problems such as trouble sleeping, headaches, and other psychological issues. Biofeedback therapy for cancer helps improve these symptoms and gives you a greater sense of well-being.

Other types of Biofeedback therapy involve different relaxation techniques, and according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, may include:

  •       Deep breathing
  •       Guided imagery
  •       Mindful meditation
  •       Progressive muscle relaxation
  •       Self-hypnosis

Biofeedback techniques help anyone looking for ways to enhance natural relaxation, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and improve your quality of life. These therapy sessions will most likely provide positive results for anyone suffering from daily stress, chronic back pain, high blood pressure, and other physiological problems.

How Does Biofeedback Therapy Work for Cancer Patients?

Biofeedback therapy doesn’t replace current cancer treatment methods that are already effective. Instead, it’s a form of treatment that helps patients manage stress and anxiety and gain a stronger sense of control over their bodies. While undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatment methods, it can be a good idea to learn about biofeedback techniques and their benefits.

Everyone knows that living with cancer can be extremely stressful and frustrating. The psychological and physiological effects of that stress itself can be detrimental to your health on its own. Biofeedback therapy is a way to understand what your body is going through and how it reacts to cancer and its treatments. Biofeedback studies conducted by Harvard Medical School further show that it helps regain urinary and bowel function and muscle strength during and after cancer treatment, among other positive results.

It’s essential to be open-minded and honest with your therapist for the treatment to be as effective as possible. You will most likely participate in numerous biofeedback sessions at your local medical center, so it’s necessary to be motivated and responsive to the treatment process.

Over time, your therapist will work with you, showing results after each session and providing you with techniques to practice on your own time. Biofeedback therapy is proven to help patients be more aware of and understand their bodies as stress responses react to cancer and chemotherapy.

Is Biofeedback Therapy Safe for Cancer Patients?

Biofeedback therapy is a fairly straightforward process with no procedures or surgeries involved and has been deemed safe for all patients. In some cases, patients have reported dizziness and anxiety during biofeedback sessions. Biofeedback therapy is a method for measuring certain body functions, reactions, and muscle tensions.

During a biofeedback session, small electrode pads are attached to the skin on various body parts to measure specific body functions. This process is entirely painless.

The electrodes then send electrical signals to a machine, displaying the information and body function levels on a monitor in real-time. Your therapist shows you how to use the device and interpret the data. The therapist will also teach you safe techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation and show you how the biofeedback machine gives instant feedback on how well the system works.

Even though the process is considered safe, it’s still a good idea to consult your physician and discuss whether biofeedback therapy will benefit your current treatment regimen.

Contact the Professional Biofeedback Therapists in Long Branch, NJ

Although anyone can purchase and use a biofeedback device, It’s important to see a qualified therapist certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). Having a knowledgeable therapist makes the process easier and offers the best results. A patient participates in several biofeedback sessions that take time and resources.

Typically, the numerous devices and machines on the market sold for at-home use aren’t as advanced or accurate as the professional level equipment you will find here at Natural Medicine and Rehabilitation (NMR). 

Our doctors and therapists are ready to give you quality service and help you get the best results from biofeedback sessions to improve your daily life and reduce stress and anxiety during cancer treatment.

If you have questions about biofeedback therapy, the treatment process, or want to schedule a time to visit our medical center, give us a call at 908.252.0242. You can also request an appointment by filling out our contact form and sending us a message right on our website.

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

West End Physical Therapy, 10-12 West End Court, 2nd Floor, Long Branch, NJ 07740 | Phone 732.222.7799

399 Campus Drive, 1st Floor, Somerset, NJ | Phone 908.252.0242| Fax 908.252.0243