MPS PLLC is pleased to offer Biofeedback services to our clients. Biofeedback is a completely safe and effective tool that teaches adolescents, teens, and adults how to alleviate symptoms related to stress, anxiety, pain disorders, sleep issues, including insomnia while improving one’s overall functioning and performance. Biofeedback is seen as a great complement to psychotherapy and is often an alternative way to alleviate symptoms without the use of medication (depending on the condition).
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is defined by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback as a process that allows people to alter their physiological activity in order to improve one’s health or performance. It is a mind-body technique that involves using visual and/or auditory feedback to gain control over involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, muscle tension, blood flow, pain perception and blood pressure.
Conditions Biofeedback Treats
Biofeedback has been shown to be a highly effective, natural treatment of multiple mental health and physiological disorders including:
- Anxiety– Anxiety relief is one of the most common uses of Biofeedback. Biofeedback lets you become more aware of your body’s responses when you’re stressed and anxious. Then you can learn how to control those responses.
- Sleep Issues & Insomnia– Both the National Institutes and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have found that Biofeedback used in conjunction with relaxation training can significantly improve sleep issues. Sleep disturbances including difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings at night and early awakening (without being able to fall back asleep) are often related to stress, anxiety and depression. Biofeedback used in conjunction with relaxation training helps people recognize when they are having exaggerated physical stress responses, provides them with awareness to what they are responding to, and teaches them how to better control their physical and emotional reactions.
- Chronic Pain– Biofeedback helps individuals create awareness of tight muscles and teaches them how to relax those muscles. This training often alleviates the discomfort of pain conditions including but not limited to: Low back pain, abdominal pain, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ), and Fibromyalgia.
- Headaches & Migraines– Headaches are one of the best-studied Biofeedback uses. Muscle tension and stress can trigger migraines and other types of headaches and can make headache symptoms worse. There is good evidence that Biofeedback therapy can relax muscles and ease stress to reduce both the frequency and severity of headaches. Biofeedback seems to be especially beneficial for headaches when it’s combined with medications.
- Urinary Incontinence– Biofeedback therapy can help people who have trouble controlling the urge to use the bathroom. Biofeedback can help women find and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that control bladder emptying. Biofeedback can also help children who wet the bed, as well as people with fecal incontinence (the inability to control bowel movements). Unlike drugs used to treat incontinence, Biofeedback doesn’t tend to cause side effects.
Types of Biofeedback Training
- Breathing: Respiratory Biofeedback involves wearing sensor bands around the chest and abdomen to monitor breathing rates and patterns. When the body enters a stress state, changes in breathing occur and Biofeedback helps people learn to have increased control over their breathing, to deactivate physiological hyperarousal or a stressed state.
- Heart Rate (HRV): Heart rate variability Biofeedback studies suggest that this kind of Biofeedback is useful for many different diagnoses, including asthma, anxiety and depression. With HRV Biofeedback when changes in heart rate are detected, the device will signal to users when to initiate a relaxation response, resulting in an alleviation of physical symptoms.
- Galvanic Skin Response (GSR): GSR Biofeedback measures the amount of sweat on the surface of the skin. Galvanic skin response, also known as skin conductance, is a useful marker for detecting levels of emotional arousal, and GSR Biofeedback measures the amount of sweat on the surface of the skin. A rise in body temperature, indicates that there is physiological arousal which can lead the body into a stressed response, triggering symptoms of anxiety. GSR Biofeedback will indicate to users when they should implement relaxation responses to alleviate arousal.
- Blood Pressure: This type of Biofeedback involves wearing a device that measures blood pressure. These devices provide information about the patient’s blood pressure and often guide the user through relaxation techniques that may rely on visual cues, breathing exercises, or music.
- Skin Temperature: With skin temperature indicators, patients wear sensors that detect blood flow to the skin. Because individuals will often experience a decrease in body temperature during times of stress, the Biofeedback device aids individual in detecting an increase in feelings of distress, and when to initiate a relaxation response.
- Muscle Tension: Sensors are placed at various points on the body and connected to an electromyography (EMG) device. The Biofeedback device detects changes in muscle tension over time by monitoring electrical activity that results in muscle contractions, again signaling to the user when to initiate exercises to alleviate the stress response.
How Long Does Biofeedback Take?
A Biofeedback training session typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The duration of treatment and the number of sessions required depends on a multitude of factors including: How well you respond to the training, if you practice your training outside of the Biofeedback session, the condition(s) you are focusing on, and your goals for treatment.
What Biofeedback Program do MPS PLLC Clinicians Use?
MPS PLLC clinicians use the Alive Somatic Vision Biofeedback program. During Biofeedback sessions, you will be guided through different mental exercises that may involve visualization, meditation, breathing, or relaxation techniques. As you perform these activities, you will receive information (feedback) on your physical response from the Alive Biofeedback device.
Alive combines games, graphs, animations, music, and videos, to provide easy to use, fun, and high-quality programming to help individuals maximize training benefits. Individuals will train with heart rate variability, skin conductance, muscle tension, temperature and breathing. Relaxation levels and responses to the program will be displayed for users to see.
Alive Somatic Vision program has been recognized as the worldwide leader in Biofeedback programming for over 15-years. Extensive development and clinical testing have shown Somatic Vision products to be effective clinical tools. Learn more about Alive Somatic Vision at: http://www.somaticvision.com/
Contact us with any questions about how Biofeedback can help you at: [email protected] today!
Regardless of the challenges you are facing, oftentimes, beginning psychotherapy is the first step toward becoming the healthiest version of yourself. MPS clinicians teach clients strategies for well-being so they can achieve self-empowerment, improved insight and increased life satisfaction. Contact us today to see how we can help you.