Imagine being able to make subtle changes within your body to help control or manage certain medical conditions. This is possible thanks to a type of mind-body therapy called biofeedback. This alternative medicine approach teaches people to control how their bodies function to manage and improve both physical and mental health. How does biofeedback work, and what can it do for you? At NeuroHealth, we aim to provide you with the skills necessary to live a successful, happy life, and biofeedback can help.
What Is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is a technique used to treat various health problems by teaching you how to change how your body functions. This mind-body therapy technique helps improve both mental and physical health. During a session, your body’s functions are monitored, and the feedback is then used to recommend what you can do to create physiological changes. This feedback may help to reduce pain, manage anxiety, and more. Biofeedback is designed to help you make subtle changes within your body based on recommendations from your response during a session.
Types of Biofeedback
There are a variety of biofeedback types. The type used depends on your specific health issues and your goals. Biofeedback has successfully treated various medical conditions or helped to reduce unwanted symptoms. The kind of therapy you receive will be based on your condition and desired results. Some biofeedback types include:
- Breathing. During a respiratory feedback session, bands are placed around your chest and abdomen to monitor your respiration rate and breathing patterns.
- Brain waves. An electroencephalograph (EEG) monitors brain waves using scalp sensors.
- Temperature. Sensors are attached to the skin to monitor your body’s temperature, which can drop when under stress. Low readings can prompt a need for relaxation techniques to be initiated.
- Heart rate. A sensor will detect changes in your heart rate and how much your rate varies.
- Sweat gland activity. An electrodermograph (EDG) may be attached to the skin to measure your sweat glands and their activity. Excessive perspiration may indicate anxiety.
- Muscle contraction. An electromyography machine (EMG) can be used over your muscles to monitor muscle contraction.
Biofeedback can indicate your condition’s severity and help your therapist develop recommendations for what can be done to improve your health.
How Does Biofeedback Work?
Biofeedback therapy works by using the measurements found in your session to suggest strategies to control how your body is reacting, ultimately helping to treat your condition. Your provider may recommend exercises to slow down your heart rate or help control your breathing for anxiety or relax your muscles to help alleviate chronic pain. You can use these tips, and with practice, your body will learn not to react to certain stimuli. At your appointments, your provider’s recommendations may change as your body does.
Successful biofeedback requires time, motivation, practice, and communication. Your therapist will detail the results of your session and offer training to help improve your condition.
What Conditions Can Biofeedback Treat?
Biofeedback is used as an effort to help manage various mental and physical health conditions. It is especially beneficial to people who may suffer from conditions related to or worsened by stress. Some of your symptoms may be alleviated by using the relaxation and mental exercises taught during biofeedback sessions. Biofeedback treats many conditions, including:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
- Chronic pain.
- Raynaud’s disease.
- Urinary incontinence.
- High blood pressure.
- Panic disorder.
- Sleep disorders.
If you suffer from any of the above, you may benefit from biofeedback therapy. Talking to a professional, such as those at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights, may help you discover how biofeedback therapy can help you.
Risks of Biofeedback
Biofeedback therapy is appealing to many people. It’s non-invasive and helps to enhance the benefits of the current medications you’re taking. There are no potential complications or side effects that should be expected. Biofeedback is generally considered safe for most people. There are certain circumstances where it may not be useful and is not appropriate. There are certain people as well as specific conditions for which biofeedback may not be recommended. If you’re considering biofeedback, it’s essential to find someone who is trained, such as the team at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights.
Preparing for Biofeedback
There is no special preparation for biofeedback therapy, although studying up on the concept may be helpful so that you have a general idea of what you can expect. It can also help to be optimistic and stay motivated throughout your treatment. Each treatment will last approximately 30 to 60 minutes, and the number of sessions you’ll need to resolve your health issues will vary.
How Often Are Treatments Needed?
Biofeedback therapy is considered more of a training than a treatment for the aforementioned conditions, meaning that multiple sessions are recommended for optimal results. As a patient, you’ll need to participate actively in your practices and be open during your appointments. After your consultation, our specialist will recommend a treatment or therapy plan based on the results of your biofeedback measurements. Remember that biofeedback does not take the place of other treatment methods; instead, it complements them. If you’re currently on a treatment plan, such as medications prescribed by your physician, you should continue to follow your plan as directed.
Contact NeuroHealth of Arlington Heights Today
If you’re interested in learning more about biofeedback and want to discuss it with one of our team members, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NeuroHealth of Arlington Heights today. Someone will be glad to answer any questions you may have or get you scheduled for an assessment and consultation for treatment. At NeuroHealth, our goal is to provide you with the tools and treatment you need to live a happy, healthy life.
Give us a call today at 847-584-1824, or complete our convenient and secure online contact us form to get started. NeuroHealth of Arlington Heights also serves the surrounding areas including Elk Grove Village, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, and more. Our team looks forward to working with you.