Biofeedback Therapy: Overview of Process / Treatment
What is Biofeedback Therapy and How does it Work
Biofeedback Therapy refers to a process, whereby through the use of biofeedback devices or equipment, you can become aware in real time of various bodily processes, that normally you have no awareness of, such as micro-changes in skin temperature / sweat gland activity (usually associated with stress), or changes in brain wave patterns, or muscle tension, and then through the biofeedback information, you can become able to gain a degree of control over those bodily processes.
What Can Biofeedback be Used For
With the help of a qualified biofeedback therapist you can learn to modify your heart rate, or blood pressure, or even diminish chronic pain, there are quite a number of conditions that respond well to therapy, but as with all problems whether physical or psychological, it is important to have whatever the problem properly diagnosed by your GP or physician before consulting a biofeedback therapist.
Alternatively you may want to use a personal gsr biofeedback meter / monitor (galvanic skin response meter / monitor) to achieve deeper levels of relaxation, this can be done by yourself at home. There are a number of links to various biofeedback devices on the 'treatment of stress' page.
The biofeedback information is relayed via whichever device is being used, in the form of either an auditory tone or beep that varies in pitch, or a visual reading. This visual reading can be a digital readout, or a variable intensity of light, or a graph on a computer monitor.
What Happens during Treatment
This depends on the form of biofeedback treatment, but generally electrodes or sensors are attached to the skin of the fingers, ears, or scalp, or a temperature sensor can be placed on or between the toes. Then with the aid of the biofeedback information from the electrodes / sensors, the therapist can guide you through the process of modifying various physiological responses to achieve the required change.
Does It Present any Risks
Biofeedback therapy is considered to be safe, with no known negative side effects. It is a non-invasive form of therapy, designed to give you control over certain processes that take place at a subconscious level of functioning. You are in complete control of the change process. As you modify your responses in the form of a change in brain wave patterns, or temperature, or muscle tension, or relaxation, the biofeedback information is relayed back to you, so you can assess how well you are doing.