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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Biofeedback Contributes to gold Medal Performance

Newswise — When Abhinav Bindra took home the gold medal in the 10 metres air
rifle event at the Beijing Olympics, he not only earned the first individual
medal ever for India, he also demonstrated how biofeedback training can be
an integral part of performance optimization at the highest level.

Skills of a Shooter
Dead aim is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the skills needed
to excel at shooting. In addition, shooters need controlled breathing and
heart rate, no excess tension in their muscles, no interior monologue, and
sharp focus and good reactions to trigger at the moment when the sight image
is correct.

Sport psychologist Timothy Harkness used biofeedback training to help Bindra
master control over all these areas. Using the a FlexComp Infiniti hardware
system with BioGraph 4.0 software, Harkness joined a team of shooting
coaches, a physician, chiropractor, dietician and physiotherapist to prepare
Bandra for the 2008 competition. The result was that an already
world-champion athlete was able to push his skills and focus even higher. He
achieved his personal goal and earned the only medal for India during the
2008 games.

Biofeedback and Optimal Functioning
Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change
physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance.
Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart
function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These
instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The
presentation of this information - often in conjunction with changes in
thinking, emotions, and behavior - supports desired physiological changes.
Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.

Biofeedback is used primarily for treatment of various medical disorders, including ADD/ADHD, chronic pain, headaches, and other. But it is gaining prominence in a more proactive capacity as well. Individuals, ranging from athletes to artists to business leaders and more, are tapping into the benefits of biofeedback to optimize health, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual functioning, and peak performance fields.

Biofeedback training can help individuals optimize brain function for peak mental performance. It empowers people to achieve their goals, be they Olympic level or within day-to-day activities. It helps users manage their mental and emotional states and how these may help or hinder achievement of goals.


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