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Articles    H3'ed 1/26/10

What to Look For in Biofeedback Treatment

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* Do you use special insertable vaginal EMG sensors, or just surface "patch" electrodes?

All of the major vulvodynia systems are designed to use insertable sensors, because they all give much more valid and reliable indications of pelvic muscle activity than external surface electrodes. All American-made sensors with longitudinal (as opposed to circular) electrodes are licensed under the Perry patents. Longitudinal electrodes have been shown to correlate highly with "inserted needle electrodes", but without the risks or pain.

What's a "GOOD SCORE"?

We have not attempted to "score" this checklist because the answers are so variable. But in general, the more "right" answers you get, the better the therapy, and the better the therapy, the more likely you are to get better!

So, what if your proposed therapist did not score a Perfect "10"? Depending on the issues, you might still be far better off than if you prematurely elect a non-reversible therapy with a high risk of side-effects. As they teach in Massage Class, "Remember, any touch is better than no touch at all!" The only danger in getting BAD biofeedback is that you will not get better, but you'll think you have already tried and "it" failed. Maybe it wasn't the instrument or the patient, but the untrained therapist who is to blame.

One alternative is to find someone who is Very Good in either Biofeedback, or Nursing, or Physical Therapy, and encourage them to review this checklist (and the Glazer Protocol) and learn how to help you, and people like you. They may not realize how many potential patients are waiting for help.

To find out more about biofeedback in general, visit the website of the AABP - the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. To find out more about the EMG Treatment of other pelvic muscle dysfunctions, check out the topics listed on the home page of InContiNet.

Copyright 1997 by John D. Perry & Howard I. Glazer

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Howard I. Glazer, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry. Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in Ob/Gyn, Cornell University Medical College.
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