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Title: Treatment of disease without the use of drugs. I. Research I. research on biofeedback training
Authors: Sim, M.K. 
Issue Date: 1976
Citation: Sim, M.K. (1976). Treatment of disease without the use of drugs. I. Research I. research on biofeedback training. Singapore Medical Journal 17 (4) : 167-173. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The close-to-total success of Kurtz's experiments provoke thoughts of the potential applicability of biofeedback in helping the individual to focus attention on self-awareness. Our current society offers many material comforts of life and the individual in striving for them may lose contact with his internal self. Concurrent with the development of modern progress is the ever suicidal increase in environmental pollution. A few enjoy the lion's share of comfort but pollution is forced on all. We should therefore not be sceptical of physicians who remind us that 80% of current human ailments are psychosomatic in origin or have some psychosomatic component. Table I depicts the disease and disability generating processes of our current society and the preventive measures biofeedback would have in revolutionising future medical and health care. If we accept provisionally that all diseases have a cause then it is not difficult to imagine how biofeedback can revolutionise our lives if it can be shown to be a means for us to remedy the cause. A patient with psychosomatic disease is not able to overcome his suffering by knowing that it is psychosomatic, but when provided with a means to re-adjust his physiological functions he is likely to be able to overcome and eliminate his suffering. If we do not abuse our bodily functions but learn to control and regulate them to prevent their malfunction we will then not be passive victims of our emotion, passion, and desire but a master of our own selves. Regular usage of biofeedback to voluntarily produce physiological changes that are known to be associated with meditation may provide a preliminary means for us to focus our attention internally to understand our reactions to external and internal stimuli, to understand the inter-dependence of living things and the dependence of living things on non-living things. If the individual puts into practice the noble view that prevention is better than cure then it should be his obligation to learn to overcome his defect, desire, emotion and control other environmental factors that will predispose him to sickness and suffering. That biofeedback would provide a means for the individual to work and live better in a stressful society may be illustrated by quoting Green, Green and Walters (1973): 'Thus, through EMG and temperature feedback training, the peripheral nervous system is relaxed. Anxiety tension is reduced. When alpha-theta feedback is included in a training program, a state of calmness also issues in the central nervous system. Whatever the neurological and hormonal details, the total effect tends toward emotional tranquility coupled with increased self-awareness and a sense of self-mastery. To some it may sound too good to be true, and perhaps it is, but it does make sense, both neurologically and psychologically and corresponds with other integrative findings from biofeedback research'.
Source Title: Singapore Medical Journal
ISSN: 00375675
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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