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Can Psychiatr Assoc J. 1975 Aug;20(5):337-49.

Physiological and psychological effects of alpha and EMG feedback training with college drug users: a pilot study.


Twenty-four volunteer college students who were regular drug users were randomly allocated to three training groups of equal size: alpha feedback, EMG feedback and a joked control group. The subjects were unaware of which feedback condition they received and were asked to practise at home during a six-month follow-up period in order to achieve a relaxed state similar to that experienced during training. No group was successful in retaining gains made in their alpha levels during each session, but the EMG group significantly reduced their muscular activity during training and retained the improvement during follow-up. The alpha and joked groups did not greatly improve their EMG during training but at follow-up achieved the same levels as the EMG group. There was evidence to suggest that a reduction in drug use among light and medium users was maintained during follow-up. Significant and lasting improvements were made by each group in the duration and quality of their sleep and anxiety levels were reduced.

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