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Observations placeholder

Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Thyroid disease using Biofeedback



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green

In his book Autogenic Training (1965) Luthe reports on a research project with thyroid patients who were taught the standard relaxation exercises of Autogenic Training. During the training period, which averaged about seven months, both protein-bound iodine and serum total iodine were measured.

The main finding was that the hyperthyroid patients (those who show excessive thyroid activity) came "down" toward normal; hypothyroid patients came "up" toward normal.

This is an interesting and significant result in relation to stress. Stress affects people in different ways, depending upon their genetic structure and previous conditioning. In some people blood pressure will drop when there is stress, and in others blood pressure will rise. In some people there is an increase in thyroid activity in response to stress, and in others there is a decrease. What Luthe demonstrated in the case of thyroid malfunctioning was that through the use of identical exercises for hypo- and hyperthyroid patients, the body tended to return to normal.

The importance of this for biofeedback applications is that we do not need to detect the concentration of every chemical in the blood in order to control it, or control the blood flow in every organ in order to restore it to normal. As Luthe pointed out, often it is necessary only to restore the system to homeostatic balance through learning how to self-tranquilize the striate and the autonomic nervous systems, and various disorders fade away.

For handling many psychosomatic problems (and few diseases seem to be without a psychosomatic component), such a procedure seems ultimately logical. Benson's recent book, The Relaxation Response (1975), emphasizes this point.

Clinicians who use autogenic or biofeedback training, like yogis, sometimes have difficulty explaining the variety of results achieved. Luthe, for instance, in reviewing the literature pertaining to iodine metabolism, mentioned that "A number of authors . . . noted independently that [during Autogenic Training for thyroid Problems) secondary manifestations such as sweating, hyperkinesis, fine tremor, hypermetabolism, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, palpitations and other cardiac complaints gradually tend to subside. . . ."

The source of the experience

Green, Dr Elmer and Alyce

Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps