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Diabetes Educ. 2007 May-Jun;33(3):442, 444-5, 447-8, 454.

Clinical benefits of training patients to voluntarily increase peripheral blood flow: the WarmFeet intervention.

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University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Epidemiology Clinical Research Center, 1100 Washington Avenue S Suite 201, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA.


The purpose of this article is to introduce a training program that can help diabetes educators get a fresh approach to assist their clients with the diabetes complication of limited peripheral blood flow. Biofeedback-assisted relaxation training is an educational and integrative intervention that supplements traditional medical care. Biofeedback-assisted relaxation training can be taught to the patient in a single setting. The relaxation training allows peripheral blood vessels to widen, providing enhanced circulation to peripheral tissues, including nerves. The training includes an explanation of relaxation and its effects on the patient, after which the technique is practiced with the assistance of thermal biofeedback. Biofeedback is an effective physiological training modality that teaches the patient what is going on in his or her own body. As the patient relaxes correctly, peripheral blood vessels dilate and blood flow improves, resulting in increased skin temperature. The change in skin temperature is measured with a small alcohol thermometer. Consistent relaxation yields significant outcomes such as improved peripheral blood flow, a reduction in peripheral pain, enhanced healing, improved ambulation, and increased coping skills in the patient's life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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