The Power of Biofeedback

2364 Words10 Pages
Mind Over Matter: The use of Biofeedback to control stress, pain, and other bothersome problems

Having a bad day? Well, I am. I have too much work to do, like always, but I want and have to graduate. I think I'm happy about that, about putting an end to all the pressure I have felt in these last four years. Then again I am not sure what to think. I will miss my friends, especially all those people with whom I was briefly acquainted and liked enough to sense the possibility of friendship but will never know now. On top of these worries are more general fears of the uncertainty of the next few years, not to mention the rest of my life. Going home to a place I've never really liked simply because I can't think of anything better to do scares me; the possibility of getting stuck there scares me even more. I need to find a job. I need to find a career. I want to go to graduate school at some point, but my grades after this semester will not make admission easy. Needless to say, there is a lot on my mind. This morning I went in for a doctor's appointment, just a quick check-up because I've been sick. As is routine, the nurse took my blood pressure. Then she turned and frowned at me. Seems that the pressure I'm under is not just weighing down on my mind. My body is responding to my higher level worries by sending my blood slamming through me with alarming force. We like to think of stress as a purely higher level function which only effects us on that level, and generally ignore the effects it might have on us on a more biological as opposed to psychological level, i.e. on the level of our voluntary and autonomic response systems. We hear Doctors on TV and DJs on NPR warning us that stress can kill, but we disregard them until we see ...

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...y and promise of a more complete understanding of just what our minds can do. Perhaps the nurseÕs frown is a needed wake up call. I may feel like my life is out of control, but the one thing I always do is think positive. It will not only improve my mental state, but my physical well being as well. Besides, things are looking up; I've just finished another paper.


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