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Smile Biofeedback Intake and Orientation

A Wellness and Positive Emotional Health (as opposed to solely a symptom alleviation approach) to Peripheral Nervous system Biofeedback intake and patient orientation. By Rob Kall

by Rob Kall
211 N. Sycamore, Newtown, PA 18940, 215-504-1700 fax 215-860-5374

Copyright 1995 Rob Kall. Do not duplicate without including complete contact information.   for personal use of person who downloaded this file.
This is excerpted from the Encyclopedia of Biofeedback, a work in progress.
Rob Kall offers one on one or group training in biofeedback.

The goal of this biofeedback

Identify reason for referral, symptoms, negative effects on life, emotional state, functioning,       attitude.  When patient seems really low, say, I want you to take an emotional physical snapsot of where you are and what you're feeling now.

-Identify things, medications, activities which relieve symptoms. What makes you feel good?  What inspires and uplifts you or gives you spiritual strength. What makes you smile? What makes you laugh? What makes you happy? What good things do other people say about you?

-When the patient is smiling or laughing, obviously feeling good, hopeful positive. Tell him or her, "Take another emotional, mental physical snapshot of how you're feeling."

-Point out how the patient went from feeling very bad to feeling good enough to smile and laugh.

This happened effortlessly in just a few minutes.

It shows that it's possible to turn on good feelings, to get rid of bad feelings, even if pain is present. The patient can do this. You just demonstrated it. But biofeedback helps her to learn to do this voluntarily, when she wants to. This turns the intake into an orientation of the potential to learn how to feel good rather than learning how to get rid of pain.

Explanation of biofeedback in context of his or her problem: What it is, how it works, how it will help her, how it is done, what happens to her during a session, course of treatment, signs of success, benefits, direct and indirect.
Have patient tense her forehead then relax, then tense it half as tight, then half again and half again until she cant' discriminate the difference in tension. Usually she can only tell three or four apart. Exlain how biofeedback acts like a telescope or microscope to look inwards, so you can know more about your body, become more aware of small, normally cahnges you couldn't normally detect with your regular senses.
Explain that muscle tension and thermal feedback are the two most common biofeedback measures, plus breathing, that the goal for the training will be to help her learn greater control over these.
Why Forehead EMG-- because facial muscles reflect mental and emotional tension or stress. The brain pays more attention to the face and hands than to all the rest of the body. Show picture of motor homunculus. Learning to relax your facial muscles will help you learn to quiet your mind, develop a calm feeling inside, so you don't have anxiety and racing thoughts. It helps to innoculate you against new
stressors, and helps prevent stress and tension from setting off muscle related pain.

Temperature biofeedback teaches you how to warm your fingertips and toes. If you think about it, the english language  describes the relationship between stress and the temperature of your extremities.  When you're scared, you have cold feet, a cold feeling in the pit of your stomach, or, when you're nervous, cold hands warm heart   and you break into a cold sweat when you're scared.
Stress causes the blood vessels in the extremities-- fingers and toes-- to squeeze tighter-- the pipes actually get naroower so they hold less blood. Your blood distributes heat from your body's core and it carries energy giving sugar and the ozygen which helps the body burn the sugar. Normally, the skin in the extremities holds a reservoir of extra blood which is kept ready for emergencies, when extra energy is needed. Stress causes the blood to be shifted from the skin to muscles so they can quickly react to the fight or flight response. When the blood leaves the skin in the fingers and toes, they get cooler.
Temperature biofeedback teaches you to relax and reverse thisstress reaction process, so your fingers and toes warm up because your blood vessels are relaxed because the stress nervous system has relaxed.