Connecting Perception and Reality with Attentional Focus:
Biofeedback, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and StrongPosture®
Evidence continues to describe a connection between mind and body (or is it body and mind?). In fact, many back pain studies and guidelines cite the influence of attitude and “Fear Avoidance Behavior” on back pain as a major predictor of how long an episode will last, likelihood of recurrence and future prognosis.
Dr. Weiniger’s take: It’s not body or mind, or mind and body…It’s Body—>Mind AND Mind—>Body…two sides of the same coin, both shaping the other.
A new paper by Erik Peper et. al., “Seeing is believing: Biofeedback as a tool to enhance motivation for cognitive therapy,” looked at how bio-feedback can be used to motivate people towards change, a key element of a psychotherapy known as CBT, or cognitive behavior therapy. In my perception, the essence of CBT is that positively or negatively controlling one’s body or mind is empowering, and allows for the individual’s realization of choice, and choosing to then move in a direction.
Peper used EMGs to demonstrate how increased forearm muscle extensor activity occurred when a pianist imagined herself playing the piano. However, there was no observable movement, and the pianist was unaware of the muscle activity until seeing the EMG tracings. The muscle activity was attributed to the linkage between visualization of sensory motor behavior with the physical activity of rehearsal (Suinn, 1984).
Dr. Weiniger’s Observation: Attentional focus (e.g. Imagining playing the piano) activates physiological body response, as demonstrated by subtle muscle contractions.
Which is the Body—>Mind side of how correcting sensori-motor misperceptions and errors with StrongPosture® protocols helps address the bio-mechanical faults triggering back pain.
And one level of the Mind—>Body side of addressing back pain is taking a posture picture to connect a person’s perception of their posture to reality. And why systematically benchmarking that towards the compass of StrongPosture® is the beginning of strengthening posture.
Peper, E., Nemoto, S., Lin, I., & Harvey, R. (2015). Seeing is believing: Biofeedback as a tool to enhance motivation for cognitive therapy. Biofeedback, 43(4), 168-172. doi:10.5298/1081-5937-43.4.0. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5298/1081-5937-43.4.03
Suinn, R. M. (1984). Visual motor behavior rehearsal: The basic technique. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 13(3), 131–142.