Can Meditation and Biofeedback Reduce Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging, both physically and mentally. Fibromyalgia symptoms, such as chronic pain and fatigue, can make it difficult to complete daily tasks. These symptoms can also negatively affect mood and emotions. Both meditation and biofeedback are relaxation techniques that can help reduce some symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The practice of meditation focuses on breathing while clearing the mind of negative thoughts and stressors. Studies demonstrate that meditation emits brain waves associated with peace and happiness. Quite simply, it helps promote tranquility.
There are numerous mental and physical benefits of meditation if practiced on a regular basis:
Mental health benefits of meditation
- Decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Improved memory
- Decreased mood swings
- Increased feelings of vigor and vitality
Physical health benefits of meditation
- Decreased heart rate and pulse
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced nervous system activity
Biofeedback is another relaxation technique that may be helpful for individuals with fibromyalgia. During biofeedback therapy, specialized technology monitors certain involuntary bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure; any problematic physical responses to stressors are identified. Then, a trained therapist teaches the individual in therapy how to use relaxation techniques and other strategies to control these involuntary responses. As therapy progresses, the individual learns to control the involuntary bodily responses independently, without the need for the technology, with the goal of reducing fibromyalgia symptoms.