The brain and body connection is stronger than anyone might want to admit, and maladaptive thought patterns can exacerbate or even create bodily illnesses. Training your brain and strengthening the connection between your thoughts and your parasympathetic nervous system, helps the individual gain control of their bodily responses to stressful events and environments, and thus lead to overall health and wellbeing.
Biofeedback utilizes electronic and computerized feedback systems to project real time information to the client about how their parasympathetic nervous system is reacting to negative thoughts and emotions. Using this information, the client is taught how to take control of their response and heal issues they have been struggling with.
Biofeedback therapy is a process in which a client learns to monitor and regulate the mind and body in ways that promote mental and physical health and well-being. Initially, this is done with the assistance of a clinician and special equipment. This equipment includes sensors that monitor respiration, heart rate, skin temperature, muscle tension, and brain waves. Eventually, the client may learn how to monitor and regulate on their own without equipment.
What can biofeedback be used to treat?
- Pain in the body
- Digestive Issues
- Panic Attacks
- Bipolar Disorder
Common effects of biofeedback treatment include improved self-regulation of arousal level, stress reduction, increased attention and concentration, decreased impulsivity, and some relief from feelings of anxiety and depression.
Occasionally, a client may experience a temporary increase in a symptom they want to decrease. If this is the case, the client should immediately inform the biofeedback clinician who will adjust the treatment approach.
Some types of biofeedback training may result in the client experiencing a state of reflection and creativity that is accompanied by temporary drowsiness. When this type of biofeedback training is used, the clinician will inform the client that they should not drive a car or use heavy equipment for at least one hour following treatment.
Biofeedback is an individualized process. Many, but not all, clients experience improvement and satisfaction.