Consider the human brain for a minute. It is an amazing piece of machinery, processing on parallel avenues, maintaining the body’s day-to-day functionality, all while giving us consciousness, the ability to create and appreciate art, and build structures and complex machinery. But what about harnessing the brain’s power of the involuntary? On Thursday, July 16, David Newman, MA, will discuss the idea behind biofeedback at the South Florida Science Center’s “Science on Tap: Mind Over Matter” event at O’Shea’s Irish Pub.
Biofeedback is a technique that allows people to learn to control one’s own body functions, even involuntary body responses. The theory posits that as the subject gains more control of one’s body, they can gain more control over their health, helping treat a variety of conditions, including: chronic pain, migraine headaches, and even high blood pressure. Newman, former director of the Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society, life coach, and founder of South Florida Biofeedback, will discuss the benefits of this technique, which is often combined with rehabilitation work as a relaxation technique, and the benefits from its practice.
During a biofeedback session, electrical sensors are placed on different parts of the body, monitoring the body’s physiological state (brain waves, skin temperature, muscle tension). The information, fed back to the patient with auditory or visual cues, teaches the patient to control the body’s physiological reactions by changing thoughts, emotions, or behavior—if certain muscle tension leads to headaches, the biofeedback device will pinpoint that reaction, letting the patient know to relax that muscle to ease tension and pain.
- Science on Tap is a free event. O’Shea’s Irish Pub happy hour ($3 draft beers, $4 bottle beers, $1 off well drinks) will begin at 7 p.m. and run through the discussion. For more information, visit sfsciencecenter.org.