Biofeedback is a way to help clients develop greater awareness and ability to regulate their physiological functioning by using signals from their own bodies with the goal of improving their well-being, health, and performance. Biofeedback helps in retraining the nervous system to produce more helpful responses in the long term.
Common modalities of biofeedback include:
1. Respiratory: measuring rate and pattern of breathing
2. Cardiovascular: measuring heart rate, heart rate variability, and blood volume pulse
3. Neuromuscular: measuring muscle tension with surface electromyography
4. Skin Conductance: measuring eccrine sweat gland activity
5. Peripheral skin temperature: measuring finger and/or toe temperature
Clients who may benefit include those suffering from:
2. Chronic Stress
3. Panic Disorder
4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
5. Headaches (migraine and tension headaches, but not cluster headaches)
6. Chronic Pain
7. Difficulty sleeping
Clients with the following concerns are not likely to benefit from biofeedback:
1. Psychotic illness
2. Inability to develop sensory awareness
3. Lack of motivation
4. Unable to attend to process
5. Unable to complete home practice
6. Cluster Headaches
During a typical biofeedback session:
- sensors are placed on specific areas of the client’s body depending on the type of response being measured
- the sensors are connected to a device that provides visual or audio feedback on clients physiological responses
- Therapist guides client through various exercises that may include visualization, meditation, breathing etc.
- homework will be assigned between each session
Each session is about one hour and you can expect the full treatment to include at least ten weekly sessions.
Check out this video on what biofeedback if about here.