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Types of Biofeedback Machines or Biofeedback Techniques

Several different types of biofeedback machines can provide information about the systems in your body that are affected by stress.

Electromyogram (EMG)

The electromyogram (EMG) measures muscle tension. Two electrodes (or sensors) are placed on your skin over the muscle to be monitored. The most common muscles that biofeedback practitioners will use are the frontalis (the "frowning" muscle in your forehead), the masseter (jaw muscle), and the trapezium (the shoulder muscles that hunch when you're stressed). This machine had been utilized to rehabilitate patients paralyzed by stroke. Even when a person has no sensation in a paralyzed limb and cannot move it voluntarily, EMG can often detect some electrical activity in the muscles. The EMG machine amplifies the electrical sound emitting from the paralyzed limb, and as the patient becomes aware of the activity, his nervous system may stimulate more muscle activity. Eventually, new nerve endings may grow in the affected muscles and the patient may regain some mobility.

More often EMG is used to promote relaxation in muscles that have become tense in response to stress. When the electrodes pick up on muscle tension, the machine gives you a signal, such as a colored light or sound. In this way, you can see or hear continuous monitoring of your muscle activity and begin to focus on what the activity (or tension) feels like. As you become more aware of this internal process, you will begin to recognize in your daily life when tension starts to build. You then can use the techniques you learn in the biofeedback training to control the tension before it gets worse or causes other physical problems.

EMG had been used for the treatment of tension headaches, backache, neck pain, and bruxism as well as in the stress related illnesses such as asthma and ulcers.