When we walk, lift our hands, or smile, we’re in control of our movements, and are generally aware that we’re in control. But there are other bodily functions, like our heart rate, body temperature, and pain reaction, that we can’t control, or that we do involuntarily, without thinking about too much.
Biofeedback is a kind of therapy that helps you gain a measure of control over typically involuntary functions. During a biofeedback therapy session, electrodes are attached to your skin that help us monitor your body’s natural responses to pain and help you to regulate them. This method is helpful for cancer pain as well. The team here at Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center offers the following information to help you find relief from pain when it comes to cancer.
How biofeedback sessions work
During your biofeedback session, we attach electrodes to your skin. The electrodes relay signals to a monitor that measures all of your body’s responses, like breathing rate, blood pressure, temperature, muscle activity, even sweating.
The monitor directly measures your body’s responses to stress. So you can see immediately how your body reacts when you experience pain or a migraine comes on. We then help you practice relaxation techniques that can be precisely tuned to control a variety of bodily functions.
With biofeedback, we help you to relax with a couple of methods, including:
- Deep breathing — you concentrate on your breath
- Mindful meditation — you focus on being fully present and aware in the moment
- Guided imagery — you concentrate your mind on a specific image to focus and relax your mind
- Progressive muscle relaxation — you tighten then relax particular muscle groups
As you employ these relaxation techniques, we can see on the monitor how your body responds to each relaxation method and how you can control the biological functions that exacerbate pain.
How biofeedback helps with cancer pain
Biofeedback has been helpful in reducing the severity of cancer symptoms like chronic pain, headaches, and insomnia. Biofeedback is also great for retraining your muscles following an injury or surgical procedure that you might have while treating cancer. Research shows that biofeedback has helped patients regain urinary and bowel function following cancer surgery.
Biofeedback helps treat the pain that’s associated with cancer. It can also help you manage stress and the emotional toll that often comes with the illness. And it can be useful as you work to regain your strength. However, while it’s great for managing symptoms, biofeedback doesn’t treat cancer itself.
You don’t have to suffer with the symptoms of cancer alone. Biofeedback can help you manage your pain and symptoms effectively. Call us or make an appointment right on our website at one of our convenient Maryland locations.