The ability of the body to heal itself is an important part of most medical therapies. This is very true when it comes to the treatment of cancer. Different techniques have been used as alternative cancer therapies including biofeedback therapy. We will explore this topic further and show how it has been of benefit.
Biofeedback is a way in which people learn to consciously control certain physical processes which are normally done automatically including their heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and others. A feedback device such as a blood pressure meter is used to provide a user with real time information on critical body functions.
A significant benefit of applying biofeedback techniques is the ability to relax and reduce muscle tension. As far as how these techniques pertain to cancer, while it has been found that biofeedback may not directly influence the progression of cancer it can provide significant relief from many of symptoms associated with the disease.
There can be a great deal of stress and pain associated with cancer. By applying some biofeedback techniques, patients can learn to control their bodies more directly and help to lessen this stress significantly. At the same it has been shown to have benefit in lowering pain associated with the disease or some treatments involved.
A number of aggressive cancer treatments can have unpleasant side effects including nausea, pain and stiffness. Biofeedback techniques have been used successfully to address some of these unfortunate and unpleasant side effects.
It has also provided a positive outlook to these patients by helping them to understand that they do indeed have control over many parts of their body. As indicated earlier, there is no direct and conclusive evidence to support biofeedback as a way to treat cancer, it is nevertheless believed to be of benefit by many users who apply these techniques to consciously try to instruct their bodies to attack and destroy the cancer cells and leaves the healthy cells alone.
As indicated earlier, biofeedback relies on the use of feedback devices which emits a signal so that a patient is aware when a particular desired change to their physical processes is occurring. A number of different devices are used including:
- An electromyogram which measures the electrical activity in muscles. This piece of equipment is an important way in which people can detect the level of muscle stress. A patient learns how to use this feedback device in order to achieve desired levels of relaxation
- Thermal feedback devices can provide information regarding skin temperature to patients. Patients can be taught to use these devices to help to regulate their skin temperature through lowering of blood pressure and other factors.
- A finger pulse measuring device can help a patient to know what their pulse or blood pressure is on a real time basis and then learn to adjust these readings consciously.
Biofeedback does require some practice to master and some people achieve better results than others. However it does appear to offer a good way for cancer sufferers to reduce the unpleasant side effects of treatments and achieve a better quality of life.