The first meeting for biofeedback research in Japan was held in October 1973, Dr. David Shapiro of Harvard University came to Japan to give a presentation related to the voluntary control of human blood pressure at the meeting. After the meeting, the membership increased rapidly, and the Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research (JSBR) was formed in 1981. Members from three fields―medicine, engineering, and psychology―have come together to form this society, and this interdisciplinary collaboration is a unique characteristics of JSBR. Many experimental and clinical studies have been conducted. JSBR made a certification system for biofeedback technician in 1988. About thirty members of JSBR are certificated as biofeedback technicians to date.
In Japan, research on heart rate variability (HRV) has been conducted from an early period. At the third annual meeting in 1975, Umezawa and Suzuki indicated that the respiration rate affected HRV and produced few changes in the heart rate level. In 1986, Inamori published a paper titled “Influence of respiration on heart rate level and heart rate variability” in Japanese Journal of Biofeedback Research, volume 13. Many other studies about heart rate variability were carried out in Japan since the 1980s. At the 30th annual meeting of JSBR in 2002, heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) was first introduced. Dr. Paul Lehrer of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School attended the meeting and gave a lecture about HRV-BF. After his lecture, researchers and clinicians in Japan started getting more interested in HRV-BF. Lehrer was invited back to the 41th annual JSBR meeting in 2013. He gave a lecture at a special workshop about HRV-BF and made a presentation at the HRV-BF symposium. Further investigations of the basic mechanisms and the development of a theory about HRV-BF are expected.
Following natural disasters, accidents, and shocking incidents, some children experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Among the treatments, relaxation using respiration control is said to be an effective method for preventing PTSD and easy to learn. Therefore, we developed a respiration-guiding stuffed toy for children to encourage them to learn the respiration method using biofeedback mechanism. The respiration wave could be measured by the built-in sensing device, and the child's respiration could be led by the moving built-in device. Respiration-guiding by the device led children to breathe more slowly and made them more relaxed than just hugging it. Application to the PTSD patients is expected in the future.
Based on presentation at the International Session of the 45th Annual Meeting of the JSBR titled “QEEG Assessment and Clinical Case”, this paper describes three aspects of neurofeedback treatment, including QEEG, clinical case, and evaluation of treatment progress. First, the clinical interpretation of QEEG is described. When the patient has attention problems then hypothesize the attention network, or anxiety then hypothesize the anxiety network or memory then the memory network. Treatment protocols are based on clinical assessment and brain function tests. Second, various clinical cases were presented. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation and is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation training allows the system to function better. Frequencies and specific locations on the scalp where we listen in on the brain, are specific to the conditions we are trying to address, and specific to the individual. Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain dysregulation. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, the autism spectrum, and cerebral palsy. Finally, evaluation of treatment progress over time was described. Studies have shown that 2 to 3 sessions a week are optimal. Anything more than that is simply too much and does not give the brain enough time to consolidate. I do six 5-minute rounds and take a little break between each rounds and that is when I make my changes in the training period. Forty to 60 sessions need to be trained. If the client is reporting good behavioral changes and they have made some shifts over the course of sessions, it is time to change protocol. It is important to consider biofeedback, such as heart rate and breathing. Monitoring peripheral measure helps to answer some questions such as timing of protocol change and termination of treatment, because you will see some changes in the periphery that are positive.
Limitations of conventional medical treatments for neurologic patients are well documented. The characteristics of movement disorders among stroke patients are mainly loss of voluntary control of the upper and lower limbs and trunk, or disability of functional movement. Rehabilitation means the improvement of performance, functional movement ability, with respect to meaningful, practical problems in activities daily Living (ADL). Recently, learning techniques variously described as operant conditioning and biofeedback have been used more extensively. Biofeedback techniques may significantly improve the function of stroke hemiplegic patients with disorders of voluntary movement. Thus, it is certain that an application of biofeedback for any patient with motor disorders will have a good harvest. In this report, the current situation regarding biofeedback intervention, applying the theory of motor learning, as strategies for optimizing motor skills in stroke hemiplegic patients is explained.
Behavior therapy is recommended to acquire self-management of cancer pain, which is a psychosocial approach to pain of cancer patients. It can reduce patient anxiety for cancer by separation of manageable cancer pain from other cancer symptoms. This is also the approach to regenerate patient’s positive power for willingness for living. Myofascial pain is seen in approximately 30% of advanced cancer patients who complain cancer pain, and the pain is thought to be influenced by psychological factors. However, it is difficult to make cancer patients suffering from intractable pain understood their pathological conditions. In our hospital, we have been working on improvement of cancer patient’s awareness of changes in their physical and mental conditions, which enables patients to understand changes in their conditions within short time. For instance, in cases of myofascial pain, visual awareness is introduced by ultrasound imaging, and experiencing awareness is introduced by hypnosis.
Physical communication, including physical contact and body imitation, is characterized by interactivity and simultaneity in a manner that allows the sender to also be a receiver at the same time, in addition to the diversity of channels that mediate communication. This feature is different from linguistic communication, in which unidirectional focus and alternation from the speaker to the listener are clear. In medical and welfare environments, group work is often adopted as a medium for treatment and aid. One of the programs sometimes utilized is dance/movement therapy (DMT), which uses movement associated with dance as a physical communication process to promote personal emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration. During a DMT session, use of the body to express the inner feelings to the target person outside is encouraged. By using the body of the therapist as a framework, strength, space (direction), rhythm, and form of movement extend the body expression of the individual more richly, allowing for expansion of the body for communication. In addition, the body of the DM therapist while working together is considered to provide biofeedback. It is important to consider the relationship between therapist and client in DMT while referring to experimental data showing their coordination.