With over 40 years of combined experience in Biofeedback, the practitioners at Life Quality Resources are pioneers in the field…Our knowledge and experience are unparalleled and will serve as guides in your pursuit of recovery and accomplishment.
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is a training process that helps a person develop the ability to regulate various physiological functions.
Biofeedback involves the use of instruments capable of accurately measuring aspects of the patient’s biological activity such as heart rate, peripheral blood flow, muscle tension, brain waves.
Information about those measurements is made available to the patient in an understandable form, such as changes on a computer screen display or changes in an audio tone.
The patient is then coached on using that information to influence or control the underlying biological activity.
This learning/treatment process can be compared to a dancer or martial arts student using his or her reflection in a mirror to work on the correct form of movement.
If you experience tension or migraine headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or related GI distress, or TMJ pain you have probably noticed that stress and tension can trigger symptoms or make them worse. The technology of biofeedback and its use in the process of Self Regulation Training can provide significant help in your symptom management.
For example, one aspect of IBS symptoms involves dysregulation in the autonomic nervous system (responsible for the control of the “automatic” functions of the body like digestion). Biofeedback instruments that measure autonomic functions can assist patients in reducing GI related dysregulation.
Biofeedback is used to help treat many physical and mental health issues, including:
Anxiety or stress
Chemotherapy side effects
High blood pressure
Irritable bowel syndrome
Biofeedback appeals to people for a variety of reasons:
It is noninvasive.
It can reduce or eliminate need for medications.
It can be a treatment alternative for those who can’t tolerate medications for their conditions.
It can be an option when medications haven’t worked well.
It can be an alternative to medications for some conditions during pregnancy.
It helps people take charge of their health.
Typically most adults find that it takes three to five sessions before the self-regulation process begins to “make sense”.
In an uncomplicated case most adults require 12 to 20 training sessions to master Biofeedback – Self Regulation Skills. More complicated cases, such as when the patient is dealing with chronic pain or significant stress from family or work problems, can require more treatment sessions. However, in all cases once the skill of self regulation is mastered it can continue to provide lifelong benefit without the need for additional training sessions.
Types of Biofeedback
Your therapist may use several different biofeedback techniques. Determining the technique that’s right for you depends on your particular health problems and objectives.
Biofeedback techniques include:
Surface Electromyographic (sEMG) biofeedback- This process monitors the activity of the motor nerves that control muscle contraction, providing you with information about your body’s muscle tension so that you can improve your relaxation response and reduce muscle-contraction related pain.
Temperature (thermal) biofeedback- Sensors attached to your fingers or toes measure your skin temperature. Peripheral temperature often drops when you’re under stress. Surface temperature feedback can assist with increasing peripheral blood flow thus can be effective in reducing migraine headaches, Raynauds syndrome, IBS, and other conditions involving Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction.
Galvanic skin response training- Sensors measure the activity of your sweat glands via the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety and assisting in improving Autonomic Nervous System function.
Heart rate variability biofeedback- This type of biofeedback focuses on the important relationship of breath rate and heart rhythm to facilitate Autonomic Nervous System relaxation and improve healthy heart rate variability.
EEG biofeedback/neurofeedback- See section on Neurofeedback.