What is Biofeedback?


Biofeedback has evolved from a fascination in the 1960s and 70s to a mainstream methodology today for treating certain medical conditions and improving human performance. This evolution has been driven by years of scientific research demonstrating that the mind and body are connected, and that people can be taught to harness the power of this connection to change physical activity and improve health and function. This dovetails beautifully with Counseling. Public interest in biofeedback is growing, and with it the need for a clear answer to the question, “what is biofeedback?” The leading professional organizations representing the field have answered with the following standard definition:

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.

Approved May 18, 2008 by:
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB)
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA)
International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR)

Brighten Your Life with Biofeedback

Recent research shows us that the brain needs four basic types of nurturing to help it to help you stay bright and alert, yet calm and relaxed at the same time!

1. First, you must remember to drink enough water to prevent dehydration, fatigue and confusion. What is enough water? One 8oz glass or bottle every three hours during waking time would work very nicely in this regard.

2. Second, remember to eat protein at every meal, especially breakfast and NEVER skip breakfast; the brain is busy creating dopamine to help you focus and concentrate in the morning; that is when it needs protein to help facilitate dopamine production. Never let your blood sugar fall by skipping meals; that dulls brain functioning and creates mood swings and irritability.

3. Thirdly, the length and quality of your night sleep will determine how alert and calm you are the next day. Avoiding caffeine and liquids before bedtime and doing a simple relaxation exercise before bed will help you to go into the sleep mode in a more relaxed manner. Then, hopefully you will fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, waking up refreshed and renewed.

4. Finally, the way you BREATHE , has a very powerful influence upon how you experience your daily activities; how you respond to stressors, real or perceived.

Breathe slowly, in through your nose to a slow count of 4 or 5

Do not hold your breath, but let it out slowly through your mouth or nose to a slow count of 5 or 6.

As you exhale, let your jaw & shoulders drop.

Repeat this 2 or 3 times many times per day for best results over time.

Biofeedback uses non-invasive devices to measure how effective your relaxation interventions are and can then also guide you to learn how to control your body’s stress responses. This can help to mediate or diminish the anxiety related to symptoms such as: Migraine and tension headache, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, Raynauds syndrome, ADHD, ADD focusing issues, insomnia, tinnitus, high blood pressure and more.

The following web sites can provide additional information: http://www.aapb.org/ , http://www.isnr.org/ , http://www.bcia.org/ , http://www.eeginfo.com/ , http://www.nrbs.org/

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