Biofeedback is defined as the technique of using state-of-the-art instruments to monitor such biological functions as muscle tension, skin temperature, heart rate, sweat gland activity, and brain wave activity. There are many types of Biofeedback. Each type measures some biological process and feeds back the information in a way that can be used by a person to change. For example, sEMG biofeedback measures the level of muscle tension, EEG or Neurofeedback measures brainwave activity. Temperature feedback helps to determine blood circulation, and Heart-Rate Variability provides information on pulse and breathing patterns.
Biofeedback is a specific treatment that addresses some of the physical problems of pain and can help individuals relax muscles, improve blood-flow or control brainwave activity. This is often combined with progressive relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, mental imagery, and other forms of self-control.
Biofeedback does not do anything to you. Instead, it provides information that allows you to see when change is occurring and to practice techniques to make positive changes more easily. Like many of the techniques used in behavioral medicine, biofeedback encourages self-efficacy and to help develop skills and use the body’s own ability to restore health.
Neurotherapy, also known as EEG Biofeedback, is a painless, non-invasive treatment approach that allows an individual to gain information about his or her brainwave activity.
With appropriate training, the information gained is used to produce changes in brainwave activity. Extensive research has been done with Attention-Deficit Disorder with promising results. Neurofeedback is used with disorders having a strong physiological arousal component. Training protocols have been established through research for chemical dependency, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), certain forms of depression, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, head injury, and strokes.
The mental health and physical health communities have always believed there was a close connection between the mind and the body. Psychophysiology explores the relationship between mental activity and physical functions in a scientific way. Biofeedback is the process used to monitor and treat these physical changes. Self-regulation is the goal. Stress-related health problems are a concern in our society. How we think and respond to our daily stressors directly relate to the prevention of many physical problems.