What if you could control the your heart rate, your blood pressure, or the growls in your hungry stomach around the lunch hour? Biofeedback therapy may be a method to do just that.
Many of the problems our bodies contend with are thought to be the byproduct of our lifestyle and behaviors. Each component of our life contributes to some of the pains, stresses, and other functional problems that plague our bodies. Many people believe that biofeedback is the thing we need to help us regain control over our physical and mental performance.
What Is Biofeedback Therapy?
Biofeedback is a way of measuring bodily functions and delivering information about various activities in the body in a way that enables us to train and control our bodies. It is a unique but noninvasive approach to looking inside your body to see what is happening.
Think of all of the things your body does. Your lungs have to breathe. Your heart has to beat. Your body feels pain whether due to trauma or an inflammatory response. Your digestive system commands you to provide you with relief through your bowel and bladder.
Unfortunately, there are times when we are not in control of our body’s operations or we do not have an immediate awareness that our body is about to go off of the rails. Biofeedback therapy teaches you techniques that enable you to control and better coordinate your bodily operations. This noninvasive therapy that does not use drugs, and thus, the risk of nasty sides effects is low.
What Happens During Biofeedback Therapy?
During biofeedback therapy, a practitioner attaches electrodes to your skin. The electrodes generate signals that are displayed on a monitor as flashes of light, images, or sounds. These represent your blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, and muscle activity.
The electrodes help you to evaluate your body’s coordination as you engage in a variety of activities. For example, it can help to identify if you are breathing too fast, your heartbeat is racing, or you’re tensing up at a certain point in the session.
Your practitioner uses this information to determine where it is you need to learn how to engage your relaxation response.
Relaxation Techniques During Biofeedback Therapy
Biofeedback therapy utilizes a variety of relaxation techniques including the following:
• Mindfulness meditation
• Guided imagery
• Deep breathing
The length of biofeedback sessions can vary from person to person depending on the need. They can last from 30 minutes to an hour and can be held once a week for between six to twelve weeks.
Benefits of Biofeedback
There are numerous benefits associated with biofeedback therapy. Biofeedback therapy can help you to magnify the efficiencies and inefficiencies of your body. It can teach you to control a variety of bodily functions that are related to the following conditions, to name a few:
• Pain
• High blood pressure
• Heart rate
• Headaches (tension and migraine)
• Constipation
• Insomnia
• Urinary incontinence
• Anxiety
Biofeedback can improve your nervous system and empower you to navigate any of the issues in the above list comfortably. Once you can visualize your body’s response on the monitor, you can increase your awareness and sensitivity to what you are feeling and what is happening within you.
Psychology Today also quotes Carol Austad’s (PhD psychologist at Central Connecticut State University) opinion of biofeedback, “As an adjunctive aid to psychotherapy, it’s fantastic,” she adds. “The patient feels as though they have control over their own bodily functions. When they have that feeling of mastery, you can accomplish more in psychotherapy.” “Mind-body medicine is so prominent right now, and this is a way to help people learn mindfulness more quickly.”
In summary, biofeedback can be a wonderful way to help your body navigate a variety of situations that impact our body’s ability to function at optimal levels. Biofeedback helps to restore balance and aid your body in better managing a variety of physical, mental and emotional events.

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