How Biofeedback Is Used In Therapy
Wave World in the Flowly app displays biofeedback graph in real-time
Biofeedback research can be traced back to the early 1900s, but it took on a newly evolved understanding in the 1970s that focused it towards health, wellness, and better awareness.
Biofeedback is used as a tool where you are trained to pay closer attention to the responses your body automatically does. It is not solely a matter of focusing on your mental state, like meditation techniques. It is a form of therapy that pairs your mind and body through a technique that can alter physiological responses.
Biofeedback has become more popular over the years as more clinical trials are conducted with people showing more interest in alternative ways for healthcare. Biofeedback can be used to help a variety of conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, tinnitus, high blood pressure, constipation, chemotherapy side effects, fibromyalgia, and many other chronic illnesses.
Types of Biofeedback
Within therapy, biofeedback looks a lot like a relaxation technique. The technique, whether you are using a mobile app, or wearing a device within a medical facility, all takes a similar approach in helping you be more aware of your body’s responses.
Types of biofeedback include:
● Electromyogram (EMG): monitors muscle contraction ● Neurofeedback (EEG): measures brain waves ● Electrodermal Activity (EDA): measures sweating, often used for pain and anxiety ● Thermal: monitors skin temperature ● Heart rate variability (HRV): measures heart rate, often focuses on anxiety or asthma
Depending on the type of biofeedback that may be helpful for what you need it for, you can focus on different areas of your body through verified techniques that can help.
Biofeedback Is Noninvasive
For most people suffering from chronic pain or a chronic illness, healthcare options often involve a level of invasiveness that is not always comfortable. Biofeedback is noninvasive and can often reduce the need for medications, or enhance the effect of medications you need to keep using.
Using biofeedback as a therapy method allows you to be more in control of your health, and be more aware of what can increase or decrease your pain or anxiety levels throughout the day.
Biofeedback sessions typically last to 30 to 60 minutes but can differ based on your condition or whether you are within a clinic or choosing to use a mobile app option to monitor your responses.
While biofeedback is not a cure, it can help you better manage chronic pain, chronic illness, anxiety, or other conditions on a daily basis. Eventually, the techniques you learn by monitoring your response can help you actively engage in ways that alleviate symptoms on your own.
What To Expect
When in a clinical session, a practitioner will use non-invasive electrical sensors to different areas of your body to monitor your reactions. The information is then fed back to you through cues, such as a sound or light, that indicates a reaction.
The feedback then gives you the opportunity to shift how you physically, emotionally, and mentally react. For instance, biofeedback can point to what muscles are tensing that may be causing headaches or migraines. Knowing how you respond helps calm those muscles to lessen pain, ease headaches, or calm a repeated behavioral reaction. Remember, that biofeedback in therapy is not a treatment, but is used as a training tool to help you better manage your condition.
Many healthcare providers offer biofeedback therapy, but it is also something you can manage at home with a mobile app, like Flowly.
Flowly helps you learn how to control your heart rate and breathing better manage symptoms around pain, anxiety, stress, and even sleep. Download the app here to start a biofeedback session from home.
Biofeedback Gives You Better Control
When living with chronic pain, an illness, or anxiety, it can be hard to see what areas you are able to control within your life. Biofeedback gives you the chance to manage your condition in a way that works for you with feedback learning techniques you can do from the comfort of your home.