Biofeedback Therapy Relaxation

Biofeedback therapy is a way to get feedback from the body to measure how relaxed you are. This exercise uses simple biofeedback therapy you can do easily at home.

When you are relaxed, breathing rate slows, heart rate decreases, hands and feet become warmer, blood pressure and muscle tension decrease, and brain waves change. By measuring these types of physical responses, it is possible to determine how relaxed or how stressed the body is.

In this exercise, you can measure hand temperature to indicate relaxation. You will need a thermometer - the kind with liquid inside is best - that you can hold in your hand or attach to your index finger with surgical tape.

If you know when your body is more relaxed, you can learn to deliberately cause a relaxed state.

By using biofeedback therapy, you can learn to control physical responses that are normally automatic. Those who are skilled can actually change their heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and other factors at will.

Here the objective is to learn to become relaxed at will by learning to alter your hand temperature.

To begin, attach the thermometer to the palm side of your index finger using surgical tape, or just hold the thermometer gently in your hand. Keep the thermometer in this position for the duration of this biofeedback therapy relaxation exercise.

First, let’s get a baseline temperature, to see what temperature your hands are right now, and give you a number to compare to at the end of this biofeedback therapy exercise.

I’ll pause now for one minute to allow you to get a temperature reading and find a comfortable position where you can relax.

(Pause)

Okay. Now you can read the temperature on the thermometer. Write this number down.

Let’s begin the biofeedback therapy exercise. Get comfortable. You may want to sit or lie down. Uncross your legs to improve circulation. Place your hands in your lap or at your sides.

Begin to relax by focusing on breathing.

Breathe slowly in...and slowly out...

In...and out...

In...out...

In...out...

Keep breathing slowly...comfortably...relaxing more and more with each breath. Allow each breath to calm and relax you.

Now you can relax your body all the way from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.

Start by focusing on the tips of your toes. Imagine a feeling of warmth beginning in the tips of your toes. Imagine what this warmth would feel like if it was to spread from your toes up to your feet, warming and relaxing your feet completely.

Allow your feet to become limp. They may even feel heavy...warm...heavy...and relaxed.

Let this feeling of relaxation continue to your ankles...up to your lower legs...your knees...

Let your lower legs completely relax now. Allow the relaxation to continue...to your upper legs...all the way to your hips, letting your legs be completely limp and loose and relaxed. Heavy with relaxation.

Focus on the core of your body now...from your hips to your stomach and lower back...to your chest and upper back...your sides...all the way to your shoulders.

Feel your calm breathing...gently moving your stomach...chest...and sides...so relaxed and calm and pleasant...

Concentrate on the tips of your fingers. Imagine a feeling of warmth beginning in the tips of your fingers...spreading up your fingers and thumbs...to your hands...to your wrists...

Your hands may feel warm...and heavy...so warm and heavy with relaxation...limp...relaxed...filled with warmth and relaxation...

Allow this feeling of relaxation to spread to your lower arms...elbows...upper arms...shoulders...

Let your arms completely relax from your shoulders to your fingertips...so completely loose and limp...filled with warmth and relaxation...so heavy...so relaxed...

Allow your neck to relax...your face...your head...

Let your forehead become smooth, cool, and relaxed.

Feel your whole body relaxing...letting go...allow all the muscles to give up their hold...becoming totally limp...loose...and relaxed...

You may even feel like your body is sinking into the surface you are on...your arms and legs are becoming heavier...so very heavy...sinking down...

Imagine that your body is made of caramel, or chocolate, or some other solid that can be melted. Right now, your body is like a solid, hard piece of caramel.

Imagine a feeling of warmth, starting in your hands and feet, that starts to soften the caramel that your body is made of. Soon your hands and feet are soft...getting softer and more liquid. The warmth spreads throughout your body...from your hands, up your arms. Feel your arms melting, softening. It is a pleasant feeling...so relaxing.

Feel the warmth as it continues up from your feet, up your legs. Notice your legs softening, as if they are melting to a completely relaxed state.

Feel the core of your body as the warmth coming from your arms and legs meets at your stomach. Feel your core relaxing, melting. Imagine that your whole body is very soft...like caramel that has melted and is soft and stretchy.

Simply rest, enjoying this relaxation. Floating...relaxing.

(Pause)

Repeat the following relaxing statements in your mind, imagining each one:

My right arm is warm

My left arm is warm

My right arm is heavy

My left arm is heavy

My right arm is warm and heavy

My left arm is warm and heavy

Both arms are warm and heavy

My right leg is warm

My right leg is heavy

My left leg is warm

My left leg is heavy

Both legs are warm and heavy

My arms and legs are warm

My arms and legs are heavy

My arms and legs are very warm and very heavy

My heart rate is slow and regular

My heart beat is slowing comfortably

My forehead is cool

My arms and legs are warm and heavy

My heart beat is slow and steady

My forehead is cool

My arms and legs are very warm…relaxed...

My arms and legs are so heavy and relaxed

My heartbeat is steady...slow...relaxed…

My forehead is smooth and cool

I am relaxed

I am relaxed

(Pause)

As you relax...so deeply...so comfortably...you might become aware of the warmth in your hands...so warm and relaxed...filled with heaviness and relaxation...

Drifting pleasantly...

It feels so good to relax...so pleasant...calm...relaxed...peaceful...

(Pause)

Notice that you can relax even more deeply by counting. In a moment, you can begin, starting at 100. If you lose count at any point, simply begin back again at 100. Start now, at 100...count backwards slowly...focusing completely on the numbers...99...

98...

Keep counting on your own, just focusing on the numbers...

Drifting deeply into relaxation...

So relaxed and comfortable...calm and relaxed...

Keep counting slowly...relaxing more deeply with each number...

(Pause)

Now you can stop counting...and just relax...letting the numbers fade away...so completely relaxed and calm and comfortable...

(Pause)

Now you have completed the biofeedback therapy exercise.

In a moment you can compare the temperature of your hand at the beginning of this biofeedback therapy exercise to the temperature of your hand at the end of this biofeedback therapy exercise, and see if there is any change. You may notice that your hand became warmer. With practice, you can learn to relax more easily. It is best to practice this biofeedback therapy exercise every day.

Slowly reawaken your mind and body...returning to full alertness. I will count to five, and when you hear the number five it causes you to open your eyes and feel completely energetic, awake and alert.

One...

Two...

Three...

Four...

Five.

Good. Now sit quietly for a few moments, and look at the reading on the thermometer in your hand. Write this number down. Compare the numbers before and after this biofeedback therapy exercise.

When you feel completely awake and alert you can resume your usual activities, feeling calm and filled with energy.





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