Stress reduction and healing has received dramatic support from a new technology known as Biofeedback. It is a technology that helps a person to achieve voluntary control over normally unconscious bodily functions like heart rate, body temperature, muscle tension, blood pressure, brain wave activity and others. Many clinicians now believe that it will be possible to achieve some degree of voluntary control over any biological process. Numerous applications of this technique over the past 12-15 years have shown its usefulness in wide variety of stress-related diseases and even cancer. Biofeedback department has become an integral part ofmost medical institutions of U.S.A.
Brain wave rhythms have been grouped into four major categories : Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta.
Alpha was the first brain wave frequency discovered and it is alpha which is presently causing a lot of stir. About fourteen cycles per second and higher are known as beta wave about seven to fourteen cycles per second are called alpha, four to seven theta and finally four and below are called delta. It is now recognised that increased alpha production accompanies the practice of meditation. When a person is in alpha stage, renewing and self-healing processes are accelerated. During alpha state, a person becomes more receptive to suggestions. This susceptibility to suggestions during alpha stage has some startling implications. When the person is in Alpha state , all his self healing ability and the ability to heal others is enhanced. Spiritual healers from all over world, while they were engaged in healing, produce large quantity of alpha waves at ten cycles per second. More significant was the discovery that the patient unconsciously changed their brain wave pattern. So it conformed to the brain wave patterns of the healer who worked on them. People who function regularly at ten cycles per second have stronger immune system and heal more quickly. By combining affirmations and visualizations while at alpha level people can heal themselves and can also project healing thoughts and energy to others.
In Biofeedback therapy a person is seated in a comfortable position and the electrodes are placed on the front part of his brain and EEG is recorded. Normally beta activity is recorded from the frontal brain and in persons who are in great mental stress and confusion, bizarre beta activity ( an irregular, rapid, more than twenty cycles per second rhythm) is recorded. It has been observed that during bizarre beta activity secretions of neuropeptides and endorphins required for maintaining immune status of individual are reduced. The therapist then trains the person to achieve relaxation of his mind by visualization of happy events of his life. When the person is able to co-operate, bizarre beta activity is converted to regular beta activity and with further relaxation alpha state is achieved. When the EEG pattern changes from bizarre to regular beta, a still different signal is give to the patient, and when the alpha state is achieved, a different signal is given, helping the patient to realise that the desired relaxation is being achieved. This is the principle of feedback. As it is used in altering the biological functions it is known as Biofeedback. The simple technique of meditation taught in our program brings about alpha activity in the participant very easily and effectively.
A human being is part of the whole, called by us " universe " a part limited in time and space. He experiences his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the past - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal discussions and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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