What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback taps into your body's potential to heal itself. Specialized equipment is used to measure important biological metrics such as heart rate or finger temperature. These measurements are projected onto a computer screen or similar device for monitoring. The individual gradually learns to modify these signals in a manner that promotes health.
Video: Understanding Biofeedback
Why do people receive biofeedback?
Standard psychotherapies are not the best intervention for everyone. Many people report that despite their best effort psychotherapy was insufficient. In fact, traditional psychotherapies can make some problems worse. This is is especially true if you struggle with the persisting impacts of traumatic stress, have trouble staying focused and mentally present when talking about stressful events or you have significant trouble feeling safe with others. In such cases standard talk therapy may inadvertently reinforce or worsen the very difficulties the client is attempting to resolve. In such scenarios the individual may benefit from support with the self-regulation before therapy or other interventions can be effective. Biofeedback is all about self-regulation.
For example, we are often unaware of our breathing and the manner in which it becomes shallow and rapid with the onset of stress or anxiety. For individuals who tend to be anxious or overly aroused (common to traumatic stress), this shallow and rapid breathing is chronic. I use biofeedback to help these individuals learn to modulate their breathing into calming patterns. With repeated practice, the body learns how to sustain the calmer, healthier breathing patterns. Similarly, our bodies handle stress by redirecting blood flow to the core of our bodies which results in decrease in temperature at our extremities such as the fingertips. Hand warming biofeedback is used to teach these individuals to quickly return blood flow to the fingertips which corresponds with an overall decreased stress response. With practice, we can learn to produce these changes without the specialized equipment. This means that entrepreneurs and executives who practice hand warming now have a means to quickly return to a grounded focused state in stress situations which enhances performance in addition to the health benefits of decreased exposure to stress. Similarly, students who suffer from test anxiety now have a means of removing this barrier to academic achievement.
Types of biofeedback offered:
- Hand Warming (Teaches you to consciously change your stress level so that you can meet challenges of stressful situations)
- Heart Rate Variability (Helps your body improve resilience to stress. Has MANY health benefits.)
- Skin Conductance (Measure the electrical signals in your skin, an indicator of immediate stress responses. The individual learns to decrease conductivity and regain regulation of emotions).
Specialized biofeedback assessments:
- Stress Profile
- Relaxation Profile
Would you like to know if and how biofeedback can help you? Please contact me for further information.