The past and present state of biofeedback was surveyed and then its future was discussed. Firstly, the history of biofeedback, including Miller's pioneer work, researches for human application on the early stage, clinical applications in psychosomatic medicine, and applications to other field like sports, education, rehabilitation and welfare, was reviewed. Although merits of biofeedback have been widely shared among people, biofeedback has become less popular than expected in Japan. Reasons for it include medical system that is less tolerant to treatment by psychological practitioners than U.S. and rigorous regulations on medical equipments. For the future of biofeedback, it was proposed to collaborate with brain science and other relating fields in biofeedback research, to tolerate regulations on biofeedback equipments, to improve the education and certification system, and to make Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research (JSBR) more active.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Group Autogenic Training (AT) on skin temperature of fingertips and stress reduction in primary school children. Subjects were 46 third grade primary school children (22 boys and 24 girls), half of them were experimental group and the other half were control group. The experimental group subjects were trained twelve 3-min daily practice. They had got into second AT standard exercise. The control group subjects had no practice. Results indicated that 1) the skin temperature of children's fingertips increased at 2.3℃ in the experimental group, however no such effects were found in the control group, 2) in "Self-affirmative Stress Response Scale", significant rises of score were found in "Body reaction", "Attention concentration", and "Self-affirmative", 3) many children to improve their feeling of adaptability in the experimental group. These results supported the notion that third grade primary school children were able to increase their skin temperature and to reduce stress by practicing Group Autogenic Training, and that Group Autogenic Training could be effective preventive intervention in case of maladjusted children in primary school.
After the earthquake at Tohoku-Kanto, the number of the patients with psychiatric symptoms who need mental care is increasing. Not only adults but many children also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To prevent PTSD, learning the respiration control method, which relaxes the body and mind, is supposed to be efficient. Therefore, we decided to develop a stuffed toy, which can lead children's respiration and help them relax. Before developing the toy, we executed a preliminary experiment using a bear character on a computer display screen for respiration guidance. Seven girls and 5 boys aged 5 to 11 years participated in this experiment. Thus, we obtained 3 suggestions from the experiment. Firstly, it is recommended to start the respiration leading session from the respiration period, which is suitable for each child, because the most suitable respiration period for relaxing was different among children. Secondly, the amplitude of pulse rate variability can be used to estimate the respiratory periods, if the pulse wave is not disturbed. Thirdly, the pulse rate and pulse wave amplitude are suitable for assessing the degree of relaxation.