Homeopathy, Biofeedback & Your 1st Visit

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of natural health care that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years.Homeopathy treats each person as a unique individual with the aim of stimulating their own healing ability. A homeopath selects the most appropriate medicine based on the individual’s specific symptoms and personal level of health.

It is recognized by the World Health Organisation as the second largest therapeutic system in use in the world. While it is most popular in India and South America, over thirty million people in Europe, and millions of others around the world, also benefit from its use.
The name homeopathy, coined by its originator, Samuel Hahnemann, is derived from the Greek words for ‘similar suffering’ referring to the ‘like cures like’ principle of healing. Hahnemann was born in Germany two hundred and fifty years ago. At this time the old world-view was being renovated and traditional beliefs, many flimsily based upon superstition, were being increasingly subjected to the rigour of experimental scrutiny and assessment. The practice of Homeopathy is based upon science while its application is an art.
Samuel Hehnemann
Homeopathy is founded on two principles that have occurred regularly throughout the history of medicine, both in eastern and western worlds. The first principle of ‘like cures like’ can be looked at in several ways. One way is to assume that the body knows what it is doing and that symptoms are the body’s way of taking action to overcome illness. This healing response is automatic in living organisms; we term it the vital response. The similar medicine acts as a stimulus to the natural vital response, giving it the information it needs to complete its healing work. Since the initial action of the vital response plus the medicine is to increase the strength of the symptoms, this is our first indication of internal healing taking place, of diseases being cured from within – pushed outwards along the established routes of past and present symptoms.

Before the medicines are decided upon, their curative powers are discovered by testing them out on healthy human subjects and carefully noting emotional, mental and physical changes. This is termed a ‘proving’. This information constitutes the basis for ‘like cures like’, for a medicine’s unique symptom picture must match up with the individual’s unique expression of their disease, that is, the present and persisting symptoms of the disease.

The second principle, that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be employed is based upon the understanding that the stimulus of the medicine works from within the vitality and is not imposed from the outside. Only enough is administered to initiate the healing process, which then carries on, driven by its own internal healing mission. Homeopathic medicines given in minimum doses, while they do stimulate the body’s vital response, do not produce the gross side effects that are so often the pit-fall of conventional treatment.

  • Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well being.
  • You are treated as an individual, not as a collection of disease labels.
  • Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical and finds the ‘like cures like’ match for them.
  • Homeopathically prepared remedies, providing the minimum dose, are gentle, subtle and powerful. They are non-addictive, and not tested on animals.

Biofeedback Therapy

Is a tool used by Homeopathic Practitioners to better evaluate your bodies state of wellness. “Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately ‘feed back’ information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument” –  Association for Applied Psycho-physiology and Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a form of alternative medicine that involves measuring a subject’s quantifiable bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, conveying the information to the patient in real-time. This raises the patient’s awareness and conscious control of their unconscious physiological activities. By providing the user access to physiological information about which he or she is generally unaware, biofeedback allows users to gain control of physical processes previously considered an automatic response of the autonomous nervous system.

Health Conditions that are said to respond to biofeedback include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding, often at night)
  • Circulatory problems such as Raynaud’s Disease
  • Concentration improvement for education and meditation
  • Control of brain waves for spiritual development and inner tranquility
  • Mild depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Musculoskeletal disorders involving chronic muscle tension
  • Neuromuscular re-education of gait mechanics
  • Optimal Performance: Sports, Arts, Public Speaking, etc.
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Stress management techniques
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), jaw pain and dysfunction
  • Tremor disorders/Parkinsonism
  • Urinary incontinence (bedwetting, nocturnal enuresis, leaky bladder)

Interest in biofeedback has waxed and waned since its inception in the 1960s; it is, however, undergoing something of a renaissance during the early 21st century, which some experts attribute to the general rise in interest in a variety of alternative medicine modalities and the mind/body/spirit connection.

What to expect at your first visit to a Holistic Practitioner

You’ll have a chance to talk about your current situation and what you hope to gain from biofeedback.  A baseline analysis with biofeedback assessment (Psychophysiological Stress Profile) will help determine if you are a good candidate for biofeedback.  Don’t worry.  There are no needles or pain involved.
Placement of electrodes on your fingers, shoulders and/or forehead will measure heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, sweat gland activity and muscle tension.  A Velcro belt around your waist will measure your respiratory rate and breathing pattern.  You’ll be able to see your body’s reactions to stress on a computer screen. You’ll learn a lot about your body in just this first visit!  We’ll discuss your results , along with some biofeedback training recommendations. Plan on approximately 90 minutes for your first session.  Subsequent sessions will last 45-60 minutes.

General Biofeedback Measurements

Muscle Tension:  Electromyography (EMG) measures electrical activity of skeletal muscles.  Excess muscle tension and “bracing” can cause fatigue,
pain, muscle spasms and weakness.  Biofeedback increases your awareness of muscle tension.  Learning to decrease tension can lessen symptoms associated with chronic pain, headaches, muscle strain, TMJ and assist
in overall relaxation.
Electrodermal Activity (Galvanic Skin Response) (GSR) (Skin Conductance): Electrical activity on the skin surface corresponds with sweat gland activity. It is highly sensitive to thoughts and emotions and is an indirect indication of your stress response.  Individuals with anxiety or panic attacks can benefit from learning to lessen electrodermal activity.  GSR levels can be affected when perpetual arousal of the sympathetic nervous system begins to put a strain on adrenal gland function.

Skin Temperature: Thermal biofeedback is used to indirectly evaluate blood flow through the vessels under the skin. When stressed, some individuals experience cold hands due to overactive sympathetic nervous system arousal.  A relaxed state increases blood flow and is beneficial to the cardiovascular and immune systems.  You can learn to voluntarily warm your hands.  This can be helpful for those with high blood pressure, pain, migraines, Raynaud’s Disease, complications of diabetes and for overall relaxation.
Heart Rate, Respiratory (Breathing) Rate and Patterns:
You can influence your body’s ability to regulate involuntary functions of the automatic nervous system, simply by improving your breathing patterns.
Learning to enhance cardio-respiratory synchrony (heart rate
coherence) and heart rate variability (respiratory sinus arrhythmia)
has many benefits. There is research that indicates increasing your heart
rate variability may lead to improvements in your stress response, heart and lung function, blood pressure, sleep patterns and cognitive
performance.

During a biofeedback session, a therapist attaches electrical sensors to different parts of your body. These sensors monitor your body’s physiological state, such as brain waves, skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate and breathing. This information is fed back to you via cues, such as a beeping sound or a flashing light.

The feedback teaches you to change or control your body’s physiological reactions by changing your thoughts, emotions or behavior. In turn, this can help the condition for which you sought treatment.

For instance, biofeedback can pinpoint tense muscles that are causing headaches. You then learn how to invoke positive physical changes in your body, such as relaxing those specific muscles, to reduce your pain. The ultimate goal with biofeedback is to learn to use these techniques at home on your own.

A typical biofeedback session lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The length and number of sessions are determined by your condition and how quickly you learn to control your physical responses. You might need at least 10 to 15 sessions.

My first appointment I filled out a couple of personal information sheets ans signed a consent. Then I was introduced to the practitioner and led into a quiet room with a large comfortable lazy boy recliner. A Velcro band was put around my head across my forehead, then four more smaller ones were put on my wrists and ankles.

Informed to lay still and not to touch my feet or hands together as this will interrupt the process. I relaxed, we talked about my symptoms and how I was feeling. We discussed life and had a lot of laughs at each appointment and over a period of 2 years have become good friends.  I obviously highly recommend these forms of health and wellness care for everyone!

~Andrea

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