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Electromyographic biofeedback for relief of tension in the facial and throat muscles of a woodwind musician


Electromyographic(EMG) biofeedback, for the relaxation of specific throat and facial muscles, was given to a woodwind musician. The patient had a nineteen-year history of tics and high levels of tension in his throat and facial muscles. Eventually these problems progressed to a point that interfered with his ability to perform as a professional woodwind musician. Following detoxification from alcohol and Dexamyl, and after a period of psychotherapy, EMG biofeedback relaxation training was started for the muscles specifically showing chronically high tension levels. The EMG training consisted of four phases designed to help the patient progressively lower tension and generalize these newly learned techniques to his professional life. He had a total of twenty treatments of approximately 45 minutes each. This procedure resulted in dramatic reductions in tension levels of the specific throat and facial muscles along with increased proficiency as a muscician and in psychological functioning.

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Appreciation is expressed to Dr. Wayne Hanson for technical assistance and to Dr. E. Ruth Mezquita for medical supervision of the patient.

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Levee, J.R., Cohen, M.J. & Rickles, W.H. Electromyographic biofeedback for relief of tension in the facial and throat muscles of a woodwind musician. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 1, 113–120 (1976).

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  • Alcohol
  • Health Psychology
  • High Tension
  • Dramatic Reduction
  • Psychological Functioning