Biofeedback Therapy Training
Biofeedback therapy is a non-invasive treatment that helps patients learn to control involuntary physiological processes including heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and more.
How do we achieve that with Biofeedback Therapy?
Electrical sensors are connected to the body and measure physiological processes. Those readings are provided to the patient in the form of feedback (auditory and/or visual) and show when there are physiological changes taking place that might not otherwise be noticed. Feedback can come in multiple ways like a blinking LED or a buzzing sound. The whole idea is for the patient to learn to recognize when physiological changes occur and then learn how to consciously relax to bring back balance to the body.
How Biofeedback Therapy Training works?
When we are given feedback, we can use that information to help our body work better. This is the same principal that is in play when we learn anything. For example, when learning to ride a bicycle, the feedback is the bicycle begins to wobble when the rider is not balanced correctly. With a little bit of practice, one gets better at riding as a result of the feedback.
Another example is Heart Rate Variability Training, which is one of the most popular forms of biofeedback therapy for anxiety and performance enhancement. Heart Rate Variability Training, or HRV, is a technique that measures breathing techniques to help manage anxiety and tension, elevate mood and/or improve sleep. By measuring breathing patterns, these patterns can be displayed on a computer monitor and the person can learn how to practice the pattern that is best for them and can then apply this in their daily life, therefore helping to reduce stress, anxiety and many other illnesses.
What conditions can be treated with Biofeedback?
Among the conditions that can be treated with biofeedback training are those that are heavily influenced by stress and can be solved by relaxing. Those conditions include:
How different is the Biofeedback Therapy from other types of therapies?
The main advantages from Biofeedback Therapy are:
- Empowers the individual who becomes in control of their body
- Non invasive
- No medication involved
- Low risk of undesirable side effects
Because of the mentioned advantages, biofeedback is recommended for patients who wish to avoid medications or who simply can’t use medication.
Different types of Biofeedback Training
The most common types of biofeedback training:
Heart Rate Variability Training: Uses breathing techniques via computerized feedback to ward off anxiety and tension, elevate mood, improve focus, and/or improve sleep.
EMG (Electromyography) Biofeedback: EMG Biofeedback is a method of retraining muscle by creating new feedback systems as a result of the conversion of myoelectrical signals in the muscle into visual and auditory signals. EMG uses surface electrodes to detect a change in skeletal muscle activity, which is then fed back to the user usually by a visual or auditory signal. EMG biofeedback can be used to either increase activity in weak or paretic muscle or it can be used to facilitate a reduction in tone is a spastic one. EMG biofeedback has been shown to be useful in both musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation.
GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) Biofeedback : galvanic skin response (GSR) feedback instrument measures skin conductivity from the fingers and / or palms. … GSR feedback has been used in the treatment of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and related dermatological conditions, and for relaxing and desensitization training.
Temperature Biofeedback Training: Skin temperature biofeedback uses a thermistor (i.e., a temperature sensitive resistor) that is usually attached to a finger or toe to detect changes in skin temperature as measured in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. As measured from the surface of the skin, skin temperature primarily reflects changes in the diameter of the small blood vessels (i.e., arterioles) that supply blood to the skin. Skin temperature is used primarily as a stand-in for blood circulatory function Hand-warming and hand-cooling are controlled through the autonomic nervous system and produced by separate mechanisms, and their regulation involves different skills. Hand-warming involves arteriole vasodilation (i.e., blood vessel relaxation/opening) by a beta-2 adrenergic hormonal mechanism. Hand-cooling, on the other hand, involves arteriole vasoconstriction (i.e., blood vessel tension/closing) produced by the increased firing of sympathetic C-fibers.
The goal of skin temperature biofeedback is usually to train the individual to be able to increase or decrease the temperature of their hands or feet at will and gain increased control of this aspect of autonomic nervous system functioning.
Biofeedback therapists may use temperature biofeedback when treating such conditions as chronic pain, edema, migraine and tension headache, essential hypertension, Raynaud’s disease, anxiety, and stress. Skin temperature biofeedback can be very useful in the treatment of problems that may be based on poor circulatory blood flow.
EEG Biofeedback Training: Neuromodulation is use of devices to directly impact and improve brain function. Some forms of neuromodulation involve biofeedback which allow you to train your brain to allow you to be your best by exercising your brain to improve its ability to regulate itself.
EEG Biofeedback includes various types, based on different schools of thought:
- Infra-Slow SCP
- pIR-HEG Biofeedback Training: Train your brain to increase blood flow to the frontal/prefrontal lobes to increase executive functions and reduce migraines.
Body BRT Biofeedback Training (PEMFT): This is biofeedback for the body reading electromagnetic cellular activity using Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) technology. Bioregulation Therapy (BRT) is a unique energy modality that uses advanced biofeedback and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology to support biological communications at the cellular level – ultimately helping the body to better self-regulate, adapt and heal naturally. This can be helpful for many concerns, including trauma and chronic pain.
Interactive Metronome:Use auditory and visual feedback coupled with motor timing to help strengthen the connections between your brain and the rest of your body to improve attention and overall performance.
There are also training methods used to support biofeedback that can be used at home, under the supervision of a licensed/board certified practitioner, including:
- Lumosity – online exercise for your brain.
- Alpha Stim – FDA approved portable solution for stress, depression, and insomnia using mild stimulation.
- the BAUD – portable method of reducing PTSD symptoms or other unwanted symptoms/sensations
- Unyte – formerly Journey to the Wild Divine- meditation and biofeedback using graphics and instruction by experts in the field of mediation.
- The David – Audio-visual entrainment. This non- invasive approach uses light and sound to change patterns in the brain.
Our Approach to Biofeedback Therapy
Our approach is to determine which biofeedback and supportive methods are best suited for each individual and to design a program that will be interesting and rewarding to pursue under the training and supervision of board certified practitioners.