What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a powerful, painless and non-invasive mind-body training that can teach you to how use your mind to regulate your body. By using biofeedback training you can learn to control and alter your physiological functions in relation to healthy behaviour. Such self-regulation skills can help you move towards more optimal level of functioning.

How does biofeedback work?

Physiological processes that normally happen involuntary such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, muscle tension, breathing or brain waves activity are measured by sensors placed on your skin, and displayed on the computer screen. While the practitioner guides you to control your physiological activities, you receive immediate visual or acoustic feedback from a biofeedback device. By becoming consciously aware of the processes in your body you can identify which cognitive or behavioural processes are influencing it.

What are the applications of biofeedback?

Biofeedback training is proven to be highly beneficial and provides a long lived or permanent relief for wide range of health conditions such as:

Migraines

A migraine is a severe headache usually felt as a throbbing pain at the front or on one side of the head.
Migraine headaches are mostly related to the problems with the blood flow and body temperature. However, many migraines seem to be triggered by external factors such a stress, diet, hormonal changes, toxins or weather.
Biofeedback training has been shown to be very successful by learning to increase the circulation, modifying the blood flow and relieving excessive stress.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are usually caused by tightened muscles in the neck, shoulders or jaws often related to inadequate rest, poor posture, stress, anxiety or depression.
Using biofeedback training you can learn to control muscle tension to reduce the intensity and even the frequency and duration of headaches.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a sign of difficulties with self-regulation by the brain and body.
Biofeedback training can show you how your body expresses anxiety responses like hyperventilation, muscle tension, body temperature, and how the mind connects these responses with thoughts of danger or fear.
Few studies have also shown biofeedback to be superior to other relaxation and self control methods for reducing anxiety.

Depression

Whereas anxiety responds better to peripheral biofeedback intervention, depression seems to respond more readily to neurofeedback. Depression can cause you poor attention, memory problems and low energy. These states are generally caused by ‘low arousal’.
Neurofeedback shows promising results not only in treating of underlying symptoms of depression, but in retraining the brain to bring you relief from sadness and regain general well-being.

Chronic pain

As pain continues over the long term, the pain threshold may become lower and the perception of pain may heighten. In other words, the brain pays more attention to the sensation of pain.
Biofeedback can reduce or eliminate the pain either by reducing stress symptoms or underlying causes of pain like muscle tension or abnormal brain activity.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common responses to the stress. Negative emotions and abnormal breathing patterns are causing ‘autonomic imbalance’ reflecting in increased blood pressure.
Biofeedback is proven to be effective tool in treatment of primary hypertension, teaching you to become aware of your body’s stress responses in conjunction with general relaxation techniques.

Respiratory disorders

Hyperventilation is a common trigger of many respiratory diseases like panic disorder, chest pain, anxiety or asthma.
Biofeedback training can teach you to apply healthy breathing patterns and correct abnormal interactions between heart rate variability and breathing.

Sleeping Disorders

Sleeping problems are often associated with excessive worries and anxiety caused by continuing stress.
Where biofeedback can help you improve your sleeping disturbances by relieving stress and anxiety, neurofeedback shows significant changes by regulating brainwave activity and train your brain to normalize the sleep.

 

Using biofeedback you can learn how to achieve your maximum performance by enhancing your:

  • Attention & concentration
  • Relaxation & well-being
  • Intellect & memory
To read more about biofeedback follow this link: 

Stress – Pain – Poor Concentration?  The Answer Lies Within…

Types of biofeedback:

SEMG (surface electromyography) – monitors bioelectrical activity produced by muscles. By using relaxation techniques, EMG biofeedback training helps us to reduce a muscle tension, headaches, neck or back pain which are often worsen under stress.

EDA (electrodermal activity) – measures sweat glands’ activity which tend to increase under exposed stress. We often experience cold and wet hands in situation like interview or public speaking. Therefore, the purpose of the EDA training is to consciously decrease an activity of sweat glands.

Temperature biofeedback – sensors are attached to the fingers or feet. Temperature tent to raise when you are relaxed and drops down under stress conditions. This type of training is often used as an initial training for other form of biofeedback to release anxiety from training, for circulatory diseases or migraines.   This method can teach you to reduce the impact of chronic stress on your mind and body.

HRV (Heart Rate Variability) training –  is a powerful tool in assessment of autonomic function which control your breathing and heart beat using ECG (electro cardiograph) sensors to measure beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. Positive HRV strengthens the heart and helps transform stress into positive energy. It has been recognised that for good health these intervals should vary in what appears to be a random and chaotic manner. A low HRV has been shown to be an indicator of early mortality. HRV training is used for relaxation purposes, anxiety relief, essential hypertension and also peak performance training.

EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback)monitors activity of your brain measuring the frequency and strength of the brainwaves. EEG Biofeedback trains the brain to help to improve its ability to regulate all bodily functions.

 Can biofeedback help you?

Yes it can!

It is very important to realise that biofeedback is a form of active learning rather than a therapy. However, the degree to how effective it is depends on the combination of your ability to fully participate on the training and the efficiency of your body to respond to the learning process.

 

 

Watch this short video to discover the power of biofeedback

 

What is biofeedback?