What are Biofeedback & Neurofeedback?
Biofeedback is a learning process in which people are taught to improve their stress response and performance by observing body signals represented on a computer screen. It is scientifically based and validated by studies and clinical practice.
Biofeedback helps to alter brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and other physiological responses often thought to have been beyond voluntary control.
Biofeedback-assisted physical changes are accompanied by feelings of relaxation, improved motor control, and often by relief of dysfunctional physical and/or emotional symptoms.
Biofeedback is non-invasive. When used clinically, a therapist attaches sensors to the body and these sensors provide a variety of readings--feedback--which is displayed on a computer, for the patient to see or hear. Such as a light that turns on and off and/or a tone that sounds, every time muscles become more tense. If one wants to relax tense muscles, one must try to slow down or eliminate the flashing or beeping. People learn to associate sensations from the muscle with actual levels of tension and develop a new, healthy habit of keeping muscles only as tense as is necessary for as long as necessary. After treatment, individuals are then able to repeat this response at will without being attached to the sensors.
Other biological functions which are commonly measured and used in these ways are skin temperature (for relaxation), heart rate (EKG, BVP), sweat gland activity (GSR, SC), respiration, and brainwave activity (EEG).
Biofeedback of brainwave activity is called Neurofeedback. Clinicians rely on electronic biofeedback systems in somewhat the same way that you would rely on a thermometer. Their systems can detect a person's internal bodily functions with far greater sensitivity and accuracy than a person can alone. With this information, patients can learn to make changes so subtle that at first they may not be consciously perceived. This information may be valuable, as both patients and therapists can use it to gauge and direct the progress of treatment.
Studies have shown that we have more control over supposedly involuntary bodily functions than we ever thought possible. Researchers have proven that many individuals can alter their involuntary responses by being "fed back" body information either visually or audibly. As a result, biofeedback can train individuals with techniques for living a healthier life overall – less stressed and with better life performance.
Click on this link to watch a video demonstration: