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Biofeedback

Effective treatment for:

  • Anxiety and Stress

  • PTSD

  • ADHD

  • Chronic pain

  • Sleep disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • High blood pressure

  • Improve Mood

  • Focus and attention

What is Biofeedback?

When you raise your hand to wave hello to a friend or lift your knee to take another step on your morning walk, you control these actions. Other body functions like heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure are controlled involuntarily by your nervous system . You don't think about making your heart beat faster. It just happens in response to your environment, like when you're nervous, excited, or exercising.

Biofeedback is a mind-body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology for the purpose of improving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control your body's functions and help prevent or treat conditions including anxiety, stress, PTSD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and other conditions.

What does Biofeedback do and how does it work?

 

With biofeedback, you're connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information (feedback) about your body (bio). This feedback helps you focus on making subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results such as reducing anxiety, stress, reducing blood pressure or pain. In essence, biofeedback gives you the power to train your brain to control your body, often to improve a health condition or physical performance.

Biolife Health Center uses several different biofeedback methods. Determining the method that's right for you depends on your health problems and goals. Biofeedback methods include:

  • Brainwave - This type of method uses scalp sensors to monitor your brain waves using an electroencephalograph (EEG).

  • Breathing - During respiratory biofeedback, bands are placed around your abdomen and chest to monitor your breathing pattern and respiration rate.

  • Heart rate - This type of biofeedback uses a finger or earlobe sensors with a device called a photoplethysmograph or sensors placed on your chest, lower torso, or wrists using an electrocardiograph (ECG) to measure your heart rate and heart rate variability.

  • Muscle - This method of biofeedback involves placing sensors over your skeletal muscles with electromyography (EMG) to monitor the electrical activity that causes muscle contraction.

  • Sweat glands - Sensors attached around your fingers or on your palm or wrist with an electrodermograph (EDG) measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety.

  • Temperature - Sensors attached to your fingers or feet measure your blood flow to your skin. Because your temperature often drops when you're under stress, a low reading can prompt you to begin relaxation techniques.

 

What does Biofeedback treat?

 

Biofeedback, sometimes called biofeedback training, is used to help manage many physical and mental health issues, including:

 

  • Anxiety

  • Stress

  • PTSD

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Depression

  • Chronic pain

  • Sleep disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headache

  • High blood pressure

  • Raynaud's disease

  • Stroke

 

Biofeedback appeals to people for a variety of reasons: it's noninvasive, It might reduce or eliminate the need for medications, a treatment alternative for those who can't tolerate medications, an option when medications haven't worked well, an alternative to medications for some conditions during pregnancy. and it helps people take charge of their health.

 

Scientific Evidence

 

Clinical biofeedback training is steadily gaining acceptance with the American public. The last decade has demonstrated a significant increase in the prevalence of complementary medicine. A recent in‐person survey of health‐and illness‐related experiences showed that in the USA alone, approximately 38% of adults and 12% of children are using some form of complementary medicine for general healthcare and wellness or to treat a range of symptoms and diseases.

As more and more Americans seek out such complementary therapies for their healthcare and as research continues to reveal the efficacy of biofeedback for more and more medical disorders, it has become an accepted therapy for more disease conditions. Continued research by the Cleveland Clinic, with funding from the Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, seeks to investigate the efficacy of biofeedback in treating three populations of patients – those with coronary artery disease, diabetes or multiple sclerosis. Biolife Health Center continues to establish in these and other diseases that biofeedback is successful in improving quality of life and clinical status, as well as possibly reversing biological aspects of each disease.

TESTIMONIALS

“I, my staff, and my family use this device. Many people do not know how to intentionally create the emotional states they want. The software trainer is ideal for easily and effortlessly accomplishing this.” 

 

Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, co-author of The Success Principles

“Biofeedback has helped me with relaxation and stress relief without the use of medication. It has been a lifesaver for me in waiting rooms and crowded areas. People think I am just listening and training using my I-Pad or smartphone.” 

 

Carla M.

“I like this, it is great, I do not use it as much as I wished to, but I will use it more because it helps me break the normal habitual breathing pattern. Proper oxygenation of the body through breathing exercises can be insanely powerful, and this tool has the capability to make it done right.” 

 

Julia V.

"The benefits I have received are greater emotional control and resilience to stress and emotional triggers, greater emotional flexibility to get back into coherence when I fall out, a greater level of inner peace and joy throughout my day, deeper sleep than ever before and an overall improvement in my wellness.” 

 

Christian Long 

  • What is Biofeedback?
    Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately “feedback” information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.
  • What conditions are helped by Biofeedback training?
    Successful outcomes, not limited to those listed below, have been reported by Neurofeedback Practitioners for: ADD/ADHD, addictions. anger, anxiety, autism, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, closed head injuries, concentration, depression, headaches and migraines, learning disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pain management, reading skills, seizure disorders, sleep disorders and stroke recovery. Biofeedback has also proven effective when used for Peak Performance Training, such as developing memory skills, focusing abilities, and increasing concentration.
  • What childhood conditions is Biofeedback successful in treating?
    Biofeedback has been used to treat seizures and subclinical seizure activity, problems of attention and learning, bipolar disorder, autistic spectrum, and other conditions.
  • Why does Biofeedback work?
    The brain is amazingly adaptable. It is capable of making adjustments to improve its own performance if given cues about what to change. When the brain is regulating itself well and is alert and attentive, brainwaves (EEG) show particular patterns. We challenge the brain to maintain this “high-performance” alert and active state. Gradually, after 20 or more training sessions, the brain learns to stay at this high-performance state for longer periods of time and to retain these new skills.
  • Do the effects of Biofeedback training really last?
    If the problem being addressed is one of brain dysregulation, then the answer is yes, and that covers a lot of ground. Biofeedback involves learning by the brain and if that brings order out of disorder, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, and thus reinforce them.
  • How is Biofeedback training done?
    At a training session, sensors are placed on your body. The sensors pick up information on your brain’s and body activity at very specific locations. (No electricity enters your brain. The sensors merely read information from the brain and body and relay it to the Practitioner’s computer.) You then sit back in a comfortable chair as you watch a computer monitor that displays a computer game, a movie, a bar graph, music, sounds or simply colors that change as your brainwaves change. The Practitioner monitors your brainwaves and sets training parameters which are based upon information obtained during your comprehensive intake process. This process gives your brain instantaneous feedback about its performance during the training session. On a subconscious level it begins to “work out” and It begins to produce more of the helpful type of brainwave patterns and less of those that are correlated with the symptoms you wish to address. With practice, your brain learns new patterns. Desirable neuronal pathways are strengthened and new pathways are created.
  • How long do sessions last?
    Each session takes between 45 and 60 minutes. The actual training period lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. Additional time is needed beforehand for sensor placement and adjustment. We also speak with our clients briefly before and after each training session to monitor how things are progressing. We reserve 60 minutes for each client to ensure that no one is rushed and that there will be time to discuss the results you are experiencing.
  • How many sessions will I need?
    Results from Biofeedback training are seen gradually, over time. Initial progress can be seen within 10 sessions for most conditions. A typical treatment program consists of between 15 and 30 sessions, depending upon the conditions being addressed, with the average being 15 sessions. Current understanding among Biofeedback providers is that it takes a minimum of 20 sessions for learning to be consolidated so the client can maintain the gains that have been made. Sometimes a client will complete 20 sessions, take a year off, and then return to complete training.
  • How frequent should the training session be?
    When starting neurofeedback training, sessions should be regular and frequent at two or three (or more) sessions per week. As learning begins to consolidate, the pace can be reduced.
  • What happens if Biofeedback clients are taking medication?
    With successful Neurofeedback / EEG Biofeedback training, the medications targeting brain function may very well no longer be needed, or they may be needed at lower dosages, as the brain takes over more of the role of regulating itself.
  • What is the research on Biofeedback?
    Research continues to show that biofeedback therapy training, results in patients learning to control their own brain activity, while effectively “retraining” their own brain waves toward healthier patterns. Since its inception in the 1960s biofeedback has been rigorously studied. A recent review of the term biofeedback on the National Institute of Health’s database ‘PubMed’ reported that Biofeedback has gained attention in recent years showing only 948 articles and peered-reviewed research published between 1990 and 1995, and 2,267 published since 2010 to present. For current researh articles and publication visit our research page here.
  • What is Neuroplasticity and how Biofeedback plays a role?
    Historically the brain was seen as hard wired with each area having its own function; when that area was injured the function was lost. Today the concept of neuroplasticity has replaced the hard wired model. Neuroplasticity refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels ranging from cellular changes due to learning to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory and recovery from brain damage, all from which Biofeedback can help.
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