Biofeedback Therapy: Northport NY
What Kinds of Biofeedback Therapy Are There?
Biofeedback therapy is an approach to managing disorders in which data reflecting normally automatic physical functions, such as breathing patterns or heart rate, is recorded using precision instruments. This information is then shown, or “fed back” to the individual being treated, which in turn helps the person, become aware of these processes so they can learn to exert conscious control over them. Using biofeedback therapy, people have been able to learn to control skin temperature, heart rate, breathing patterns, brainwave activity, and other normally non-conscious processes. This has applications for a wide range of disorders, ranging from migraine headaches to psychiatric disorders.
What Devices are used for Biofeedback Therapy?
There are several high-tech precision instruments that are commonly used to carry out biofeedback therapy. The device used depends on the condition being addressed, as well as the particular function that the person is being taught to control, such as heart rate or skin temperature.
Commonly used devices for biofeedback therapy include:
- Electromyograph (EMG) is an instrument that can measure action potentials in muscles. This can be used as a measure of muscle tension in biofeedback therapy for certain kinds of musculoskeletal pain.
- Feedback thermometer is a device that can measure skin temperature.
- Electrodermograph (EDG) uses electrodes placed on the wrist or hand to measure skin temperature in the extremities.
- Electroencephalograph (EEG) measures electrical activity patterns in the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp.
- Photoplethysmograph (PPG) measures blood flow through a finger.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) measures electrical activity in the heart and the interval between heartbeats.
- Pneumograph measures expiration rate (the rate of breathing).
- Capnometer is a device that uses an infrared sensor to measure how much CO2 a person exhales.
- Rheoencephalograph is a device that can measure the electrical activities in body tissues underneath electrodes placed on the skin.
- Hemoencephalography uses infrared sensing to measure differences in the color of light reflected through the scalp. This information indicates blood flow in the brain.
As you can tell from the list above, there are a variety of biofeedback therapy devices available for a wide range of medical applications.
What Kinds of Conditions can Biofeedback Therapy Treat?
Biofeedback therapy has been proven effective in managing a relatively wide range of health conditions, including:
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Back pain
- Anxiety disorders
- Raynaud’s disease, a condition involving inadequate blood flow to fingers and toes
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Temporomandibular Junction Pain (TMJ)
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- High blood pressure
These are just a few of the possible applications of the various forms of biofeedback therapy. The effectiveness of biofeedback therapy reveals that when people are made aware of processes, such as blood flow and heart rate that are unconsciously regulated by the body, they can use this information to gain conscious control over them to manage muscle tension, irregularities in heart rate or breathing, and other symptoms.
Neurofeedback: A Brain-Based Form of Biofeedback Therapy
Neurofeedback therapy is a promising form of biofeedback therapy that has been shown to be helpful in managing numerous brain-based disorders. In many conditions, including psychiatric conditions like ADHD and anxiety as well as pain conditions like fibromyalgia and tension headaches, research has demonstrated certain irregularities in brainwave frequencies in relevant areas of the brain. These frequencies can be measured with electroencephalography (EEG); when this information is “fed back” to the patient, often using images and sounds, the individual can actually learn to regulate and change these frequencies. For example, in ADHD patients research has identified abnormal “alpha” and “delta” activity in the prefrontal cortex and other brain areas relevant to attention, concentration, motivation, impulse control, and other mental and psychological processes impaired by attention deficit disorders. Using neurofeedback therapy, individuals can actually learn to re-regulate this activity to more normative “beta” frequencies to effectively manage symptoms of the disorder.
Neurofeedback and other forms of biofeedback are an incredibly promising therapeutic approach for an impressive range of conditions, diseases, and disorders. Biofeedback therapy can even be a suitable alternative to prescription medications that are traditionally used to treat some disorders, thereby avoiding unwanted side effects or health risks with long-term prescription use. Biofeedback therapy, including neurofeedback, is safe, clinically proven, and produces no adverse side effects. To find out more about biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy in Northport, NY, visit us on the web or call to schedule a consultation and find out firsthand how effective biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy can be for improving your health and transforming your life.