What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is a learning process in which people are taught to improve their health and performance by observing signals generated by their own bodies. It is scientifically based and validated by studies and clinical practice. It is a highly effective way to control stress, realize true relaxation and help achieve important personal goals.
Fear, over-eating, smoking, anxiety and other problems are actually
linked to, or aggravated by, stress. For some, stress is a stimulant
to effective action, but for others it’s a barrier to self-fulfillment.
The secret is knowing your
reaction to stress, and using this new awareness as a springboard to a life in control. A life where you can release the powers of the mind for greater achievement and better health.
Biofeedback is the widely-used and medically-accepted technique for teaching us to control stress, achieve relaxation, and channel talents and energies toward realizing our full potential. Our home biofeedback devices make you aware of your unconscious “involuntary” physical reactions to stress - “feeding back” subtle changes in stress levels. You’ll be able to hear or see changes in your stress level!
The dangers of stress are well-documented. We have learned that stress has a real and significant effect on our health and our performance in life, work and sports.
We all know how our hands become "sweaty" before a important meeting, or a first date. This is because when we are excited or anxious the sweat glands on the hands secrete small amounts of moisture. The secret of biofeedback is that the most minute changes can be detected and monitored using a Galvanic Skin Resistance Monitor (GSR).
Biofeedback offers a unique, non-invasive window on your body's stress level. It monitors and "feeds-back" how well you are succeeding at reducing your stress levels. Rest your fingers on the monitors two sensing plates and it emits a tone. Increasing tension is indicated by a rising tone. When you apply stress management techniques the tone goes down. The feedback of your success is instantaneous. This gives you the user instant understanding of what techniques are working and which are not.
Biofeedback shows people how to use their mind to take voluntary control over their body. When using a biofeedback machine, your inner body’s signals are fed back to you in a tangible way. You can then make the necessary changes to achieve the results you wish.
There are several types of biofeedback:
Skin resistance biofeedback (GSR Galvanic Skin Response) is a measure of how relaxed you are, which changes based on your overall mood and emotions.
A sensor is placed on your hand, you hear a tone that increases in pitch when your emotions or mood becomes more tense, and decreases when you are relaxing.
Muscle tension biofeedback measures how tight a particular muscle
is. Relaxing your forehead can help reduce headaches, release jaw
tension, and upper shoulder tightness. You wear a pair of headphones
with a band containing sensors that goes across your forehead. When
the muscles in your forehead let go, then the tone that you are
Brainwave biofeedback measures the quality of your brainwaves. Improving the quality of your brainwaves helps people with learning and concentration, reduce mental clutter, reach deeper states of relaxation faster, and to improve the quality of sleep.
Two electrodes are placed on your scalp. Using a computer interface, you can see your brainwaves on the screen, which appear as wavy lines, much like ocean waves. When the waves are close together, it means that you are alert. When they are further apart (slower), that means you are relaxing into deeper states of alpha, or creative visualization (theta).
When you see irregular waves, the quality of that particular brainwave state is not very good. When the waves become smooth and regular, you are able to sustain focus within that particular brainwave state.
Heart Rate Variability biofeedback measures how your heart responds to emotional, mental, and physical stresses, and its ability to bounce back to a relaxed and better functioning state. It helps for general relaxation, and cardio vascular distress.
You wear a finger sensor, and a computer interface allows you to see your heart rhythms on the screen, which appear like ocean waves, or lines that move up and down. Irregular, ever-changing waves mean that things easily upset you, whereas smooth waves mean that you are able to stay calm in stressful situations.
Skin temperature biofeedback measures the amount of blood flow beneath the skin. The warmer the temperature, the greater the degree of relaxation in that area which improves circulation for healing.
You place the electrode wherever you want to increase blood flow,
such as on your hand. A digital thermometer then tells you if that
area is getting warmer, which means there is more blood flowing
through that area of your body.