Many people feel like there is something going wrong inside their bodies, but they can’t quite put a finger on what it is or what’s causing it. If you can relate to this sentiment but aren’t exactly excited about pumping your body full of prescription drugs, perhaps biofeedback therapy is a route worth exploring. This article will describe what biofeedback is, the conditions it is used to treat, and who can benefit from this non-drug treatment.
What Is Biofeedback?
There are a few different types of biofeedback therapy, including neurofeedback, electromyography, and thermal biofeedback. Some forms of this therapy measure brain wave activity, while others measure skin temperature and muscle tension.
But ultimately, the goal of this type of therapy is to help patients control their own bodily processes naturally without monitoring, medication, or invasive interventions. The big idea behind this approach is if people become more aware about what’s going on inside their bodies, then they can take back control of their health and regulate their own bodily functions to feel better.
Conditions Treated by Biofeedback
In general, biofeedback therapy promotes relaxation to reduce internal stress and alleviate the various symptoms that stress can cause. Medical studies have suggested that biofeedback therapy may reduce the severity and frequency of migraines, for example.
Other conditions that show promise with biofeedback approaches include ADHD, PTSD, constipation, depression, and chronic pain. Epilepsy, asthma, high blood pressure, and COPD and patients may also benefit from biofeedback. Meanwhile, other people seek biofeedback methods to address learning disabilities, motion sickness, and even athletic performance.
How Biofeedback Works
In a typical biofeedback session, a therapist will connect a series of sensors or electrodes to a person’s skin. These devices send signals back to a computer monitor that notes muscle activity, breathing rate, skin temperature, and other factors.
Relaxation exercises may be taught and practiced, such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and guided imagery meditation. There are interactive computer programs that can provide biofeedback data, as well as wearable devices.
Pros and Cons of Biofeedback Therapy
Even with all the research that has been conducted so far, scientists still aren’t exactly sure how biofeedback works or how effective it is for various conditions. However, the benefit is that it doesn’t cause side effects like prescription medications and surgical interventions do.
Biofeedback may not work for every patient, and it may not be covered by your health insurance plan. But there is a certain benefit to becoming more aware about what’s going on in your body so that you can address issues before they worsen. Just try to not be overwhelmed with the results of a biofeedback session or make any rash decisions about your future treatment plan without careful consideration and experienced consultation.
Finding a Biofeedback Therapist
Not every doctor believes in the benefits of biofeedback therapy or is experienced in these techniques, so you may have to look around for a qualified professional to consult about this medical approach. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and general physicians may all perform biotherapy tests and analyses, and resources like the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback may be able to steer you in the right direction as well. Finally, make sure that your chosen biofeedback therapist is licensed, registered, or certified in these methods and has experience in providing feedback for your specific condition or symptoms.
Have you tried biofeedback therapy to address a health concern? We welcome you to share your experience with us in the comment section below.