Author: John Carter

Biofeedback Therapy: Uses and Benefits

biofeedback therapy

For example, physical therapists often use biofeedback to help people with urinary incontinence. You may not realize it, but when you have pain or are under stress, your body changes. Your heart rate may increase, you may breathe faster, and your muscles tighten.

biofeedback therapy

Thus, a lower rating may reflect the lack of research rather than the ineffectiveness of biofeedback for the problem. Personal use biofeedback devices often claim to target a number of different ailments, such as migraines, pelvic floor weakness, snoring, depression, ADHD, autism, and sleep disruptions. Spend some time examining the claims, which are often highly exaggerated and not supported by research. Many different health care providers offer biofeedback therapy, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and general physicians.

Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback)

When starting biofeedback training, it is a good idea to try three to five sessions and assess how things are going. You may require 10 to 20 sessions to improve your mind-body connection and get control of your body’s systems. Prior to starting biofeedback, your therapist should perform a brief evaluation. A medical history should be taken, and goals for therapy should be discussed. Baseline measurements of the impairments will be recorded so that change over time can be monitored. To find a healthcare professional who engages in biofeedback, it is a good idea to have a chat with your healthcare provider.

Your experience with biofeedback may vary, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to understand exactly what you should expect. This form of therapy helps you gain control of your breathing during situations that may cause increased tension or anxiety. This type of process may help with hypertension and certain respiratory issues as well. Some require special instruments that monitor your body’s functions and tell you what is going on. Other types of biofeedback simply require mindfulness of your body’s systems.

How Biofeedback Works

It may be used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Some types of biofeedback therapy may help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some consider biofeedback a type of training, rather than a treatment.

Studies have shown that biofeedback therapy has many potential benefits and does not appear to be dangerous or risky. Working with a biofeedback specialist to supplement medical treatment for your condition can be helpful. Keep in mind that biofeedback requires practice, and you should not expect significant changes in one session of training. But with time, you should be able to see positive changes in the impairments for which you are receiving biofeedback therapy.

This device is worn on your chest and has a small wearable monitor that provides you feedback about the rate of your breathing. It then gives you an audible melody that helps you slow your breathing. Slower breathing rates—those less than six breaths per minute—may be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

  1. There are also a number of in-home biofeedback devices and wearables available on the market.
  2. This can improve a health problem or help make daily activities easier.
  3. Another example is the HeartMath Inner Balance sensor, which monitors heart rate variability.
  4. In fact, a past review found that pairing pelvic floor muscle training exercises with biofeedback was potentially more effective for treating urinary incontinence than pelvic floor muscle training alone.

Keep in mind that mindfulness mediation is a practice, and therefore it is not meant to be perfect. Your meditation session should be relaxing and should allow you to clear your head and accept your thoughts and emotions as part of your life and being. Then, your guide can ask you to imagine a peaceful or pleasant situation.

Urinary incontinence

One portable biofeedback device, RESPeRATE, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for helping reduce stress and lowering blood pressure. Another example is the HeartMath Inner Balance sensor, which monitors heart rate variability.

What is biofeedback?

Often we use medication to control our body’s systems and sometimes these medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Biofeedback may help you gain control of some of these systems, like heart rate or breathing, without the use of medicine and without having to deal with the side effects. Some of these are meant to help physical problems like pain or loss of movement. Others are meant to help sleep disorders or psychological and emotional problems. There are various techniques that you can use during biofeedback training—some you can do on your own.

Once you learn exercises through biofeedback with a certified healthcare provider and monitoring instruments, you can practice the methods at home. Devices like these can be an entry point for those who can’t pay for biofeedback therapy, since the device may be added as a complementary approach under the guidance of your primary healthcare team. Just make sure to do some research beforehand, and as always, ask your professional healthcare provider before trying anything new. While these are important things that help keep us safe, sometimes these functions serve to derail us from the task at hand.

And in certain situations, your body goes through a stress response; it often has to engage in the fight or flight mode.

It has been accepted by many in the medical field as an alternative treatment for mood and anxiety disorders. Respiratory biofeedback involves wearing sensor bands around the chest and abdomen to monitor breathing rates and patterns. With training, people can learn to have greater control over their breathing rates which can help in a variety of situations including when experiencing anxiety.