Simply put, biofeedback is a dynamic and experiential tool to help your mind and body communicate better with one another. Thus, biofeedback helps enhance awareness and communication between the mind and body.
I do not consider biofeedback a “mono” or stand alone therapy, but an excellent adjunct to my other treatment protocols for specific problems or conditions.
I believe that for every emotion you have there is a physiological response. It is not uncommon for individuals not to be aware of this interaction. There are many things that we do that are not volitional which can aggravate or perpetuate a given condition. Biofeedback Therapy is a safe, non-invasive, relaxed way of helping you learn how to recognize, control, and maintain what is happening in both your mind and body. It provides opportunities for learning not available in other therapies and is appropriate for people of all ages.
Awareness is the key to self-regulation.
Biofeedback uses sensors that can monitor a variety of different physiological processes. These physiological processes (bio) are usually below conscious awareness. Through a computer display the on-going information is fed back to you, giving you real-time audio or visual feedback.
What physiological processes can be measured with biofeedback?
Some of the biological responses that can be measured and fed back ( hence the term bio-feedback) are:
- muscle tension
- skin surface temperature
- sweat gland activity
- heart rate
- blood pressure
Using this computer-generated feedback you become more aware of these physiological activities, and with a variety of tools I will be giving you, learn how to self-regulate them to allow for more healthy functioning. For example: you will be able to change hyperventilation to normal breathing.
As research shows, quite often hyperventilation is associated with high levels of anxiety.
Sensors that measure different body/physiological processes will be attached to you in a non-invasive manner in order to pick up various signals. For example, sensors that measure muscle tension will be attached to a muscle or group of muscles. The signal will show on a computer screen in a particular form that gives you on-going information about what the muscle is doing – how tense it is, and how that level of tension changes – often as a response to an emotional or mental state.
Biofeedback is safe. It does not do anything to you. It only provides you with information about yourself. As a certified biofeedback practitioner I can guide you and make suggestions, but it will be up to you to effect the changes.
What does Biofeedback help with?
Biofeedback can assist in the management of many disorders.
Some of the current biofeedback applications that are supported by scientific studies and approved by AAPB (www.aapb.org):
- Chronic Pain Syndromes
- High Blood Pressure
- Migraine Headaches
- Non-cardiac Chest Pain
- Performance Enhancement
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Tension Headaches
- Temporal Mandibular Disorders (TMD)
- Urinary Stress Incontinence
In order to initiate change you must be willing to practice new ways of using your body. Thus, it is important that you use what you learn in the therapy session outside the session, in your everyday world.
“There is no question that the things we think have a tremendous effect upon our bodies. If we can change our thinking, the body frequently heals itself.”
C. Everett Koop, M.D.
Former surgeon general of the United States