INTEGRATIVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

​​Intuitive Wellness Center LLC

Biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control your body's functions, such as your heart rate. 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 you want, such as reducing pain. In essence, biofeedback gives you the power to use your thoughts to control your body, often to help with a health condition or physical performance. Biofeedback is often used as a relaxation technique. Biofeedback is generally safe, but may not be appropriate for everyone. Be sure to discuss it with your doctor first. 

​​BIOFEEDBACK 

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

  • Anxiety or stress
  • Asthma
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • Chronic pain
  • Constipation
  • High Blood pressure
  • Incontinence 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Raynaud's Disease


Biofeedback appeals to people for a variety of reasons:

  • noninvasive
  • may reduce or eliminate the need for medications
  • may be a treatment alternatie for those who can't tolerate medications
  • may be an option when medications havent' worked well
  • may be an alternatie to medications for some conditions during pregnancy
  • helps people take charge of their health 


During a feedback session, a therapist attaches electrical sensors to different parts of your body. These sensors monitor your body's physiological state, such as brain waves, skin temperature or muscle tension. This information is fed back to you via cues, such as a beeping sound or a flashing light. This feedback teaches you to change or control your body's physiological reactions by changing your thoughts, emotions, or behavior. In turn, this can help the condition for which you sought treatment. For instance, biofeedback can pinpoint tense muscles that are causing headaches. You then learn how to invoke positive physical changes in your body, such as relaxing those specific muscles, to reduce your pain. The ultimate goal with biofeedback is to learn to use these techniques at home on your own. A typical biofeedback session lasts 30 to 60 minutes. The length and number of sessions are determined by your condition and how quickly you learn to control your physical responses. You may need a series of 10 sessions or as many as 50, which can make it more expensive and time-consuming. Biofeedback is often not covered by insurance. 


​TYPES OF BIOFEEDBACK


Your therapist may use several different biofeedback techniques. Determining the technique that's right for you depends on your health problems and goals. Biofeedback techniques include:

  • Electromyography (EMG) biofeedback - this type gives you information about your body's muscle tension so that you can practice relaxation. 
  • Temperature (thermal) biofeedback - sensors attached to your fingers or feet measure your skin temperature. Because your temperature often drops when you're under stress, a low reading can prompt you to begin relaxation techniques. 
  • Galvanic skin response training - sensors measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety. 
  • Heart rate variability biofeedback - this type helps you control your heart rate in an effort to improve blood pressure, lung function, stress, and anxiety. 


You can receive biofeedback training in physical therapy clinics, medical centers, and hospitals. But a growing number of biofeedback devices and programs are being marketed for home use. 
Some of these are hand-held portable devices, while others connect to your computer. You can try different devices until you find one that works for you, or ask your doctor for advice. Check with your health insurance company tot see what costs, if any, associated with biofeedback devices are covered.