The Biofeedback Boost

By Kris Kucera

Biofeedback therapy is winning as many accolades as the movie No Country for Old Men won Oscars. A watchdog group, the American Health Care Policy Review board, reviewed the many studies done on the effectiveness of biofeedback and gave the mind-body therapy a Grade A rating. How does it work? A device measures subconscious physiological processes like blood pressure and teaches you how to alter them. The device attaches to your body and may measure skin temperature, breaths per minute, heart rate, perspiration, brain activity, or muscle tension, depending on the type. It then reports those stats so you can learn how to influence aspects of these normally involuntary functions.

The myriad ailments biofeedback effectively treats include high blood pressure, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, incontinence, epilepsy, and lower back pain. Find a practitioner through the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (www.aapb.org). Many patients achieve results in a few sessions, while others need more time to master the techniques. Best part: Insurance plans are starting to cover it.