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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Biofeedback and Crohn's Disease

During the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school I was in a small car accident. For a normal person this might not have been a very big deal; maybe a little whiplash and thats all. But a couple of years prior to this I had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

Unfortunately the stress from the accident caused my Crohn's to flare with a vengeance. Of course being a teenager at the time I knew everything ... so I decided that since medicine had failed me, I was going to ditch medicine. Thus began my [short] journey through the world of alternative treatments.

After some in depth [superficial] research into possible treatments I decided on Biofeedback. For those of you unfamiliar with Biofeedback, it is a non-medical process that involves measuring a patients bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension, giving the information to the patient in real-time. This raises the patient's awareness and the possibility of conscious control of those functions.

I learned some very important lessons during this time in my life; Probably the most important is that Crohn's, at least for me, cannot be controlled without conventional treatments. However I also learned that Biofeedback can be a very helpful tool in managing Crohn's disease. There are times when I am in severe pain, or really have to use the restroom but have to wait, where the relaxation and breathing techniques have really helped me to cope. It is no replacement for conventional medicine, but it sure has helped over the years.

For anyone interested in learning more, here is a link to an article on Biofeedback by the Mayo Clinic:

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