I use biofeedback therapy in the treatment of PTSD, chronic pain, headaches, migraines, panic disorder, ADHD, anger management, anxiety, stress-related conditions as well as for optimal performance in sports, academics, and professional development.
Biofeedback therapy helps us to learn to control systems in our body that are usually automatic but can act in ways that become detrimental or to access systems which can help our symptoms. With biofeedback, we gain greater awareness and control of our body and its physiological and neurological functions. With practice, we can control our muscle tone, our heart rate, our perception of pain, and even our brainwaves.
Biofeedback Experience Since 1979
My interest in biofeedback began academically, which led to me becoming a research assistant and then a practitioner. I have personally done over 18,000 biofeedback sessions with children, adolescents, and adults. These were hands-on sessions done in private psychotherapy practice as well as headache programs, sleep programs, and hospital-based pain-management programs.
For someone wishing to use this approach, technology and neuroscience have advanced our equipment and processing abilities to see what we are affecting, along with the ability to process EEG, the development of QEEG utilizing FDA-approved normative databases have enabled us to tailor treatment protocols to the individual.
Heart rate variability biofeedback is a development which allows us to train multiple systems and networks, simultaneously. This has resulted in excellent results, often with fewer sessions for the client.
“Research has shown that biofeedback interventions are efficacious in treating a variety of medical conditions, and many Americans are turning to biofeedback and other less traditional therapies for their routine healthcare.” link
Early research in biofeedback proved that if we let an individual see activity in the body, biofeedback can be used as a cybernetic learning “loop” would enable the individual to develop greater control and awareness of processes that were previously thought to be under inaccessible, involuntary control. The importance of this objective information for both the client and clinician cannot be underestimated. Put another way; If I cannot see it and you are not aware of it, how do we know it needs to be addressed?
If we see it, and you can master it, you have improved your ability to control your system and access the greatest healer possible, your own body.
AAPB says Biofeedback is…
“Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately ‘feed back’ information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.” – About AAPB
Technology - My Biofeedback Machine
I utilize a ProComp 8 channel multi-modality encoder from Thought Technology in my biofeedback practice.
This is solid, top-of-the-line technology that has been around and evolving for decades. Being able to see the same data displayed in the same format over a long period of time and thousands of sessions makes interpretation much easier.
This system also allows me a full selection of physiological sensors where useful:
- HRV (heart rate variability)
- EMG (muscle tension)
- skin conductance (electrodermal activity related to adrenaline)
- Temperature (peripheral blood flow)
- EEG (brainwaves)
What is Biofeedback?
Thought Technology’s Founder, Chairman of the Board & Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Hal Myers.
McGill University, March/2011.
A review of sensors, clinical applications, and live demonstration.
“Biofeedback treatments for anxiety disorders are generally promising…both EEG feedback and HRV feedback are potential avenues for impactful and cost-effective treatment. Biofeedback therapies may be useful in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy for anxiety disorders…” link