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February 2019

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Art therapy - biofeedback

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Art therapy - biofeedback

Post by AlleyRose on Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:25 am

Art therapy is the spontaneous use of art materials to produce images or sculpture by willing participants - you don't need to have artistic talent! It aims to heal emotional stresses and concerns by allowing the creative expression of your feelings, thoughts, concerns, fantasies and emotions through art.
Art therapy can be helpful for people who find it difficult to recognise and express their emotions and allows for the release of tension as well as acknowledging factors causing inner stress. It aims to identify these issues and opens the possibility for clarity, focus and management strategies.
Art therapists, or art psychologists, should ideally have a background in psychology. There is an increasing trend for art therapy to be incorporated into childbirth education classes to help educators identify couples' concerns and their approaches to labour and birth. Some people find art therapy confronting or awkward, while others enjoy it or already use it in their lives to some degree. Art therapy is a creative outlet that can benefit some pregnant women and their partners.
Autogenic training and biofeedback
Autogenic training is a form of relaxation therapy that was developed in Germany in the late 1800's. The trainer usually teaches six exercises to help relax the nerves and muscles, increase circulation and regulate the heart rate, using conscious breathing and creating warmth in the abdomen and coolness in the forehead.
The aim of this technique is to reach a state of near hypnosis and deep relaxation to allow the body to deal with stress, tension, migraines, concerns and trauma. The trainer may then progress onto autogenic meditation for visualisation, to allow deeper access to the subconscious.
Biofeedback is an evolution from autogenic training, developed in the USA. The difference being that as the client is systematically taught the exercises, they are monitored by machines showing their heart rate, brain waves and temperature, to help the person identify signals in the body when changes are achieved.
Both methods rely on the client to believe that once their body is relaxed, it is capable of healing itself by releasing stress. Systematic structured courses are usually done with a trainer qualified in autogenic methods, ideally also with a background in counselling. Eventually the exercises are done without the trainer and the machines.

Biofeedback has also been used to deal with such things as addictions, pain management, headaches and insomnia. Some exercises are unsuitable for pregnant women and will need to be modified during pregnancy. You should seek the advice of your caregiver before participating in biofeedback sessions.

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