Biofeedback therapy (BF) has been used for more than thirty years in psychosomatic medicine. Although commercial healthcare products that are related to BF are accepted among health-conscious people, there are not many clinicians and researchers who are interested in BF and our association, the Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research (JSBR). In order to revitalize BF and JSBR, we considered it to be important to investigate and clarify what the clinicians and researchers who have not yet joined the JSBR think of BF. From this standpoint, members of the JSBR who were interested in this study gathered to conduct a questionnaire survey of how BF has been recognized and used in university hospitals. We made two questionnaires. In one questionnaire, we asked each department questions about their experience of using BF and how they recognized BF. In the other questionnaire, we requested the members of each department who were interested in BF to answer similar questions from their personal standpoint. We considered that departments specializing in neurology, psychiatry, psychosomatic internal medicine, rehabilitation, and general medicine could have used BF. We mailed the questionnaires to those departments in the middle of November, 2001. Although we sent the questionnaires to 355 departments, three did not have any clinical function. Out of 352 departments that had clinical functions, 164 departments (47%) answered one or both of the questionnaires. Out of 154 departments that replied, 65 (42%) answered that they knew BF well, and 69 (45%) answered that they had used BF. However, only fifty-two (34%) replied that they would use BF in the future. We considered that potential interest in BF was unexpectedly high. We need to take appropriate action to connect this interest with practical activities.
We evaluated the effectiveness of biofeedback therapy which applied to in-patients. The prognosis of the cases was also estimated. In addition, we showed concrete treatment profiles of 2 cases and discussed its utility. The total number of the cases that were admitted to our department and received the biofeedback therapy in these 11 years was 39. These consisted of 25 cases with spasmodic torticollis, 10 cases with writer's cramp and 4 cases with other neuromuscular diseases. The average age of these patients was 40.2 years old. Among them, 28 cases of improvement, 7 cases of slightly improvement, one case of no improvement, 2 cases of accidental discharge, including one case for examinations were noted by the estimate of attending physicians on discharge. The accumulated percentage of improvement and slightly improvement was 71.8. From the follow up investigation, the degree of symptom was reduced to half of the initial state during the hospitalization treatment and did not change from the discharge to the investigation point (the average period is 57 months). Next, we showed treatment profiles of 2 cases. As for the first case, we assessed a psychological factor associated with her symptom, but she was defensive in a psychological intervention at first. However, the biofeedback therapy made our intervention easier because the therapy does not directly approach the patient from the psychological aspect. Patient - doctor relationship was gradually constructed by the continuation of the biofeedback treatment session and the author could intervene psychologically. In the second case, the biofeedback therapy prompted the patient's awareness of the relation between mind and body. Taken together, biofeedback therapy is useful not only as a physical treatment but also as an introduction to a psychological intervention.
For the last 20 years we have been engaged in ongoing systematic biofeedback therapy at the Department of Psychiatry, Hiroshima City Hospital. At the Department of Psychiatry of Hiroshima City Hospital, a general hospital, "medical coordination" has been established with other departments of our hospital and elsewhere, and a high need for biofeedback therapy has been demonstrated. In particular, multi-purpose application made possible with the establishment of multi feedback therapy is also considered to be a factor to permit continuation of biofeedback therapy. The results of the recent questionnaire survey have indicated a decline in the interest and use of biofeedback therapy. This has also been pointed out in the questionnaire survey conducted in 1988 by Inamori et al as the reason why biofeedback therapy has not been disseminated. The results of the current questionnaire survey showed that these problems have not yet been resolved. As information for application of biofeedback therapy, information available via Internet (homepage) may be effective. At Hiroshima City Hospital, there have been a large number from distantly located individuals expressing their interest in biofeedback therapy obtained through Internet. It is indicating at the present status that biofeedback therapy is no widely available. By introducing 1) basic and clinical aspects of biofeedback therapy and 2) biofeedback therapy equipment with the coordination of makers of biofeedback therapy equipment in widely disseminating information on "how biofeedback therapy is possible" and "what is possible by biofeedback therapy," it is considered possible that level of recognition of biofeedback therapy can be elevated. Next, in order to invite more to participate in biofeedback therapy society, for the activation of the society it is considered necessary not only to change the nomenclature of the biofeedback therapy society but also to expand to scope to biobehavior and self-regulation of patients so that membership can be sought from those of many fields.
In order to elucidate the mechanisms of oxidative damage in human bodies caused by mental stress, the author biochemically examined changes in the levels of excretion into urine of some substances in normal healthy males and females before and after performing arithmetic calculations. Acceleration of excretion of albumin and the elevation of the levels of glucose (G), L-ascorbic acid (=vitamin C, VC) and catecholamine (CA) in urine were identified as biochemical responses to mental stress, although time-dependent changes in their patterns of excretions were seen in male and female subjects. Significantly, positive correlations were observed between the concentrations of adrenalin (A) and G, as well as between G and VC, in urine samples exhibiting increased excretions. These results indicated that excretions into urine of G and VC are accelerated when the blood G level is elevated because of mental stress-induced secretions of CAs, especially A, and that the resultant deficiency of VC as a major internal antioxidant may be one of the causes of oxidative damage as a result of mental stress.
The purpose of this experiment was to investigate whether we can observe synchronizations of respiration among handbell ringers. Twelve female university students played Christmas songs with handbells, and their respiration were monitored. Results showed that respiration frequencies of the players rose to around 0.45Hz. Respiratory phase synchronization, however, was not obviously seen in this experiment.