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Biofeedback Therapy

Most mental illnesses involve the mind, body, and the surrounding environment around. The correlation between these factors has been studied, and devices are developed accordingly to help get historic data on an individual’s response to these combined factors. This data is then used to build predictive mechanisms to forecast mood swings, etc.

What Is Biofeedback Therapy?

Biofeedback is a technique that uses visual or auditory feedback to gain control over involuntary bodily functions such as blood flow, heart rate, pain perception, muscle tension, and blood pressure.

These subtle changes result in desired effects like treating migraines, hypertension, headaches, controlling the blood pressure, alleviating digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome; along with aiding relaxation and stress management.

Few other conditions where biotherapy may help – 

  • Anxiety or stress
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • Chronic pain
  • Constipation
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Injury
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
  • Urinary incontinence

Biofeedback is aimed at combating stress through relaxation techniques. A patient undergoing biofeedback therapy better understands the dynamics of his behavior during a stressful or mood-altering situation or physical health problems. On ascertaining the reasons for the specific behavior, treatment is then strategically planned by the biofeedback doctors. 

Types of Biofeedback

There are different types of biofeedback therapy. The specific approach your biofeedback therapist chooses may depend on what is required to accomplish.

Breathing or Respiratory Biofeedback – Sensor bands are worn around the chest and abdomen to monitor breathing rates and patterns. This process helps to achieve greater control over the breathing rates which can help in a variety of situations.

Brain Waves or Neurofeedback – The scalp sensors are connected to the EEG device to monitor your brain waves using an electroencephalograph (EEG). For conditions like ADHD, pain, addiction, anxiety, depression, and other disorders, this biofeedback technique is used as a non-invasive treatment.

Muscle Tension – In this process, the sensors are placed at various points on the body and connected to an electromyography (EMG) device, which helps detect changes in muscle tension by monitoring electrical activity that results in muscle contractions.

Skin Temperature – The patient wears the sensor on to his fingers or feet which measures the blood flow to the skin. When it comes to stress, body temperature tends to drop quite often. Low reading in this biofeedback therapy can indicate a need to utilize some stress management techniques.

Blood Pressure – In this type of biofeedback therapy, the information about the patient’s blood pressure is collected. A Biofeedback doctor then guides the patient through relaxation techniques that may rely on visual cues, breathing exercises, or music to ease hypertension.

Galvanic Skin Response or Sweat Gland Activity – This technique involves measuring the amount of sweat on the surface of the skin, which helps detect the levels of emotional arousal. The sensors attached around your fingers, on your palm, or wrist with an electrodermograph (EDG). This biofeedback process is also known as skin conductance.

Heart Rate– This is also known as heart rate variability biofeedback, where the sensors are placed on the wrists, chest, or lower torso and though an electrocardiograph (ECG) the heart rate and its variations are measured and monitored. In another process, the blood volume changes (photoplethysmograph) is measured through the finger or earlobe sensors.

Benefits of Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback is quite useful for various mental health conditions. Here are some of the major benefits of biofeedback therapy to a patient:

Helps in Chronic Pain – Biofeedback helps you identify any tense muscles and then teaches you to relax them, this will help relieve any discomfort or issues that affect the lower back, abdomen, and joints. Biofeedback techniques are great for people of all ages, from children to senior citizens.

Treats Headaches- Headaches are the most studied ailments that are treated by biofeedback psychology. Migraines are triggered by stress and muscle tension, which also triggers other types of headaches that can make the symptoms more intense.

There is positive evidence that biofeedback pain relief therapy can relax muscles and ease stress. This will reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches as well. A biofeedback specialist will help treat headaches and combine psychological treatment with medications.

Provides Relief from Anxiety– Relief from anxiety is one of the most common uses of biofeedback. Biofeedback therapy for anxiety will help you be more aware of your body and how it responds to stress and anxiety. Once you are aware, you will learn how to control the responses.

Helps in Urinary Control– When Biofeedback therapy is used properly, can help people who experience trouble controlling the urge to urinate. Biofeedback is beneficial to women, especially after giving birth, because it helps them strengthen their pelvic floor muscles that control the emptying of the bladder.

After many sessions of biofeedback, women will be able to control the urge to urinate. Biofeedback will also help children who wet the bed and patients who are unable to control their bowel movements. Biofeedback therapy doesn’t cause any side effects, unlike prescription drugs that are used to treat incontinence.

Biofeedback techniques can also be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Injury
  • Asthma
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Constipation
  • Epilepsy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

How Effective Is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback therapy can be very useful as it can reduce or completely eliminates the need for medications. It is often considered as training, rather than a treatment. With training and practice, Biofeedback therapy helps people develop new skills to cope or perform better. 

Why Cadabam’s Hospitals?

At Cadabam’s Hospitals, biofeedback specialists assess major bodily activities and analyze other vital information to understand and know more about the patient’s psychological behavior. With the use of sophisticated instruments and monitoring procedures, biofeedback doctors identify and correlate voluntary and involuntary physiological responses.

In order to be most effective, biofeedback therapy requires patients to play an active role in their treatment as their dedication to regular practice will yield the best result.

To build relapse prevention of illnesses such as bi-polar affective disorder, addiction, etc., please do avail of this treatment at our hospital.  


What are the other diseases that are treated with Biofeedback therapy?

Raynaud’s Disease

Biofeedback therapy is known to help with Raynaud’s disease, which is a condition that can make certain body parts feel numb or cool. These feelings are triggered due to emotional stress or cool temperatures, which is caused due to blood supply problems to the skin. A biofeedback specialist can conduct thermal biofeedback to help relieve symptoms. It can improve circulation and reduce the symptom frequency, after therapy.

Chronic Constipation

Biofeedback therapy has shown better results than laxatives, for chronic constipation; also, it can retain the muscles that cause chronic constipation. Biofeedback can improve bowel movements by eighty percent, which makes it an effective treatment for patients who suffer from constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Nocturnal Bruxism

This is a condition that leads to clenching, grinding, or bracing your teeth and jaws, while asleep. Biofeedback treatment can reduce any signs of nocturnal bruxism and result in a meaningful improvement. Studies have also shown no side effects during the treatment period.

Cognitive Behavior

Research shows that biofeedback therapy can have a positive impact on cognitive behavior and open new avenues as well. Functional magnetic resonance brain imaging can control the activity of certain brain regions, especially when they receive feedback signals.

Other diseases include:

  • Backache
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Anorexia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Motion sickness

How many sessions of biofeedback therapy do you need?

Usually, the sessions will last for an hour but it depends on the condition. Some patients will experience relief right away, while some may need eight to ten sessions to experience results. Patients suffering from high blood pressure may need twenty sessions to see improvements. Along with the sessions, a biofeedback specialist will suggest that you conduct some mental and relaxation activities at home, for five to ten minutes daily.

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