You are doing something voluntary when you raise your hand to say hello to a friend or when you raise your foot to go up the stairs. Of course, we do not have control over some body functions, such as heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. With the help of a technique called biofeedback, also called biofeedback therapy, these actions can be controlled to some extent. In the following, we will provide you with more information about this treatment technique and we will tell you exactly what it is, what its benefits and applications are, what equipment and devices are used in its treatment sessions, and other such details. Stay with us.
What is biofeedback?
Biofeedback is an alternative or complementary treatment technique that can be used to teach the client or patient how to master some involuntary functions of the body and improve or improve their general health by changing or modifying them.
During biofeedback sessions, the treating physician or specialist uses monitoring devices and equipment that can be used to assess and monitor the status of these functions. Then, based on the feedback he receives from these devices, he will tell the patient or client what he can do to improve his general health.
By training and practicing, you will learn over time how to make the desired changes and improve your health without going to the doctor and using biofeedback equipment and devices.
The following are some of the body functions that can be mastered over time with the help of biofeedback:
- blood flow;
- blood pressure;
- heart beat;
- Muscle cramps;
- feeling pain.
Biofeedback sessions also use relaxation exercises (mind and body relaxation), such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation (intermittent tightening and relaxation of muscles in different parts of the body according to the therapist or specialist).
When you do such exercises, such as lowering your heart rate or blood pressure, or relieving muscle cramps in a specific part of your body, you will immediately see feedback on the change on a special device display. Over time, you will learn how to do this yourself without the need for a device or therapist.
Types of biofeedback
There are different types of biofeedback that you will read about later. Depending on the needs of the patient or client and the discomfort or complication he or she suffers from, one or more of these methods will be used.
Electromyography (EMG / nerve and muscle strip)
In biofeedback electromyography, the amount of activity and muscle cramps are evaluated. Electromyography has various applications and is used to improve the condition of some disorders, including:
- back ache;
- Anxiety disorders;
- Muscle recovery after injury;
- Fecal or urinary incontinence.
This method measures body temperature. Headaches and Raynaud’s disease are some of the symptoms that can be improved with the help of thermal biofeedback.
Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG / EEG)
With the help of neurofeedback, they take an electroencephalogram and assess the condition of the brain waves. It can be used to improve the symptoms of complications such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), epilepsy and seizures.
Electrodermal activity (EDA)
Using electrodermal activity, the body sweat status is assessed and evaluated. Its uses include reducing pain and improving anxiety symptoms.
Heart rate variability (HRA)
Using this method, the heart rate is assessed. The following are some of the complications that can be treated with the help of biofeedback of heart rate fluctuations:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Irregular heartbeat (do not confuse irregular heartbeat with arrhythmia).
Number of biofeedback sessions and their duration to achieve the desired result
The duration of each biofeedback session varies from 60 to 90 minutes. You will often feel the benefits of this treatment by attending 10 sessions or less. However, more sessions may be needed to improve the symptoms of certain conditions, such as high blood pressure.
What side effects does biofeedback use to improve?
Biofeedback therapy can be used to improve various complications. In the previous sections, some of these complications were briefly mentioned. In this section we will talk about this in a little more detail and mention the benefits of biofeedback and how this treatment technique will help to improve the complications.
1. Reduction of chronic muscle pain
With the help of this technique, the muscles of the affected parts of the body will be identified and you will learn what to do to relieve the cramps and release the muscles. This benefit of biofeedback will generally reduce pain in different parts of the body, including:
- back ache;
- Abdominal pain;
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ);
- Fibromyalgia (a type of chronic musculoskeletal pain syndrome).
۲. Reduce and eliminate headaches
Improving the types of headaches is one of the most important benefits of biofeedback, which has the most scientific support. Muscle cramps and stress can trigger migraines and other types of headaches, and can also make headache symptoms worse.
Credible studies and studies prove the role of biofeedback therapy in relieving muscle cramps and reducing stress. Benefits that will reduce the number and frequency of headaches.
3. Reduce and eliminate anxiety
Reducing and treating anxiety is another benefit of biofeedback. By attending the sessions of this treatment technique, you will become aware of the reactions that your body shows when you are anxious and stressed. By better understanding these reactions, you can learn how to control them.
4. Eliminate the problem of fecal and urinary incontinence
Another benefit and application of biofeedback is for those who have frequent urination or suffer from fecal and urinary incontinence.
This biofeedback benefit will be especially useful for women. The pelvic floor muscles control the process of emptying the bladder. By participating in biofeedback sessions, women can learn exactly where the pelvic floor muscles are and receive guidance on how to strengthen them. This process will improve the frequency of urination in them.
Intestinal biofeedback is also for those who suffer from fecal incontinence, and with the help of this treatment technique, the condition of this group of people can also be improved.
Other benefits and applications of biofeedback therapy
The following is a list of side effects that can be improved with the help of biofeedback:
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Addiction to alcohol, drugs and arbitrary drug use;
- Brain injuries;
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS);
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
Biofeedback therapy equipment and devices
The biofeedback device will vary depending on which type of treatment technique is used. But it usually involves sensors that are attached to the wrist, ear, or fingertips, and these sensors are connected to a computer with special cables. In this way, changes in various body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and reducing or increasing stress can be seen instantly on the device display.
Another device used in this treatment technique is a special headband that attaches to the forehead and is used to monitor the activity and function of the brain in an instant.
Advances in technology have made it possible for people to receive such feedback outside of medical centers. For example, smart wristbands are now available that connect to their own applications and can be used to receive the desired feedback at any time. Some types of smartwatches also offer this feature to the user.
The cost of biofeedback and its treatment sessions also depends on various factors, including:
- Patient age;
- Therapist experience;
- Duration of each session;
- Biofeedback type;
- Necessary equipment.
Of course, as usual and according to the last section of the Ministry of Health in 1400, the cost of participating in each session of this treatment technique is between 150 to 200 thousand tomans. Abroad, the patient is required to pay between $ 35 and $ 85 to participate in biofeedback therapy sessions.
in the end
Biofeedback and its variants are non-invasive treatments and have almost no side effects. Attending sessions can sometimes eliminate the need for medication altogether. If used in conjunction with medication and as a complementary treatment strategy, it will improve the effectiveness of medications. Most important of all is finding a sense of control over the mental-physical functions. A better understanding of these functions will have good and inspiring effects in the long run and will also improve the general state of health.
what is your opinion? How effective do you think participating in bio-feedback therapy sessions is in improving and relieving symptoms? Have you had the experience of attending these meetings? Were you satisfied with the result of your treatment?
If you wish, you can share your experiences and views with us and your audience in the “Submit Comments” section.
Other sources: webmd