Frequently Asked Questions about Biofeedback
What is Biofeedback?
The Journal of the American Medical Association calls biofeedback " a technique that uses instruments to reveal to a person the … activities of his or her body". Common areas of focus are the breath, heart rate, muscle activity, and brain waves.
What About Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that specifically measures brain activity to help address issues involving focus, behavior, performance, and emotions.
How Does It Work?
In the same way that a heart monitor measures heart rate, biofeedback measures and displays to you information or "feedback" about your body. This information is precise and immediate. Biofeedback shows when and how the smallest signs of your symptoms begin to reverse (when you’re on the right track). With time, in your own way, you will understand how to reverse your symptoms.
How Do I Learn This?
Biofeedback is like other kinds of learning. For example, as children many of us learned to balance and ride a bicycle through concentration and practice. The same is true for biofeedback. With dedication and consistent effort, anyone can develop their inborn capacity to regulate their body.
How Long Does It Take?
Newer symptoms respond most quickly to biofeedback. Children appear to learn a bit more quickly than adults do. Many symptoms are reduced in 8-12 appointments.
How Come I’ve Developed Symptoms?
Certain individuals have a very strong physical response to everyday events; the physical response of others lasts a long time. Muscles sometimes contract for long periods of time, strain the body, and lead to symptoms such as tension headache and irritable bowel syndrome.
Long constriction of blood vessels leads to cardiovascular symptoms such as migraine headache and high blood pressure.
Why These Specific Symptoms?
Some symptoms – migraine headache and irritable bowel, for example – seem to run in families. Certain individuals, because of their physical makeup, are vulnerable to particular symptoms. Under high levels of tension, for a long enough time, symptoms will develop.
What Kinds of Problems Can Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Help?
Through clinical research and application, biofeedback techniques have expanded into widely used procedures that treat an ever-lengthening list of conditions. Some of these include:
Other types of chronic pain
Disorders of the digestive system
High blood pressure
Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormalities in the rhythm of the heartbeat)
ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
Raynaud's disease (a circulatory disorder that causes uncomfortably cold hands),
Paralysis, spinal cord injury and other movement disorders.