Biofeedback - How does it work?
With biofeedback, you learn how to behave in a conscious and targeted manner, such as physical relaxation, tensing and relaxing certain muscles, or reducing negative feelings of stress.
This is done by influencing your breathing, muscle tension, heartbeat, blood circulation and sweat gland activity - all functions of your body that reflect the current state of certain parts of your nervous system.
How the measurement works
Among other things, self-adhesive electrodes are used for the measurement, which can be quickly and easily attached to the skin. Temperature sensors and sensors that can measure the blood flow in the upper layers of tissue are attached with Velcro. The sensors and electrodes are small, light and do not interfere with your training.
Alternative therapies and healing methods are often criticized. The question arises: "Do they really help, or do they only cost money?"
Biofeedback is an exception. In the course of biofeedback therapy, the patient learns how to consciously control or influence bodily processes.
In this way, he can actively contribute to his recovery and reduce pain and discomfort without side effects.
Miracle healing through biofeedback?
Of course it's not quite that simple. In principle, the effect of biofeedback can be explained by the fact that we learn from experience. As an example one could use one of our earliest childhood memories.
A learning process that we either go through ourselves or have observed. We're talking about the hot stovetop that burned your fingers. As a rule, this will not happen a second time because we adapt our behavior in the future and avoid the danger.
Knowledge is the prerequisite for change
Biofeedback enables the patient to recognize that even small mental changes affect the functions of his body. The aim of the therapy is that he learns how he can have a positive effect on the processes in his body.
Biofeedback can be used for all kinds of diseases. Biofeedback therapy can help with physical, mental and psychosomatic illnesses. Whether and to what extent success is achieved depends very much on the patient himself.
If the patient takes the opportunity to correct his or her behavior, considerable progress can be observed in the recovery.
Biofeedback - what is it?
Biofeedback is a procedure in behavioral medicine in which patients receive feedback about their behavior. Processes that normally take place subconsciously are measured using sensors and made comprehensible via optical and/or acoustic signals.
The German Society for Biofeedback e. V. defines the procedure as a scientifically based instrument of behavioral therapy and behavioral medicine.
Psychophysiological processes anchored in the subconscious are made perceptible through feedback.
Sensors attached to the skin measure bodily functions such as breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, skin resistance and muscle tension.
Which diseases can be treated with biofeedback?
The diseases that can be treated with the promising method are often in the psychological area. Mental illnesses can be very diverse and also affect physical health in the form of psychosomatic disorders and more.
The purely physiologically distinct symptoms that can be treated with biofeedback include, for example, tension headaches and migraines. In general, one can say that the therapy is promising for all types of chronic pain. This includes chronic back pain.
Good results can also be achieved with urinary and fecal incontinence, as well as constipation (medical constipation). Other treatable conditions include high blood pressure (hypertension medically), epilepsy and other types of seizures and muscle tension.
For more detailed explanations and references, we recommend the Wikipedia article on biofeedback or this book on biofeedback and neurofeedback.
Stress is one of the greatest health risks of our fast-moving times. The consequences include sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome or tinnitus. These symptoms can also be successfully treated with the biofeedback method.
Where does biofeedback help?
Take a look at our infographic and learn what is possible with biofeedback today.
How does biofeedback therapy work?
There are different ways of measuring bodily processes, depending on the type of complaint
Various techniques are available for measuring bodily processes, depending on the type of complaint. The most widespread are measurements via sensors on the skin, or measurements of the respiratory rate.
Sensors are attached to the patient's body and are connected to a computer via cables. The necessary data can be determined, for example, with a measuring probe that is attached to the patient's finger.
This probe measures the so-called skin conductance. It indirectly shows the degree of tension to which the autonomic nervous system is subjected. The sensors attached to the body can also be used to measure muscle tension in the forehead and neck and the activity of the sweat glands.
With a pulse amplitude measuring device on the temporal artery, important data for the treatment of migraine patients can be recorded. A breathing curve also provides relevant information.
The respective measured values ??are displayed on the computer monitor. This is done in a graphically prepared form, for example as a curve chart.
The patient, who has a good view of the monitor, can now read and understand the body's own processes. The screen shows him all the relevant results. He can observe exactly what is happening in his body. For example, he can understand how his blood pressure rises when he gets into a stressful situation.
The trigger for a reaction can be, for example, the memory of an emotionally charged experience, such as an argument with the neighbor, but also pleasant events, such as the birth of the first child. Each reaction pattern is just as individual as the patient himself. However, it helps him to assign the displayed values ??to his own tension or relaxation.
The first step is recognition. Now it's time to draw the right conclusions. Once the patient has recognized the direct connection between stressful situations and their physical reactions, a learning process should be initiated.
He must learn how to counteract the negative effects. The aim is for him to use methods such as relaxation exercises, breathing exercises or mental exercises in order to be able to influence his body.
How effective is biofeedback?
In the 1960s, thanks to the invention of electroencephalography, known to most as EEG for short, researchers were able to demonstrate the connections between physical functions and mental processes. Biofeedback builds on this knowledge. Over time, various devices that can be used for biofeedback therapy have been developed that can graphically display the influence of thoughts on processes in the human body. The reflection, the processes, the feedback allow the patient to develop strategies through certain exercises that help him to reduce disturbances. For example, he can train states of relaxation by stimulating certain areas of the brain, or try to hide them.
Get out of the subconscious
With the biofeedback method, unconscious physical processes should be brought into the patient's consciousness so that he can counteract undesirable processes.
The aim of biofeedback is to heal the body with the help of the psyche. That this can work is based on the fact that many diseases and disorders result from a dysregulation of brain activity.
A simple example
In order to balance on a surfboard, we need our sense of balance. If this is disturbed, we will never succeed. Even if this process only runs in the background and is not perceptible to us, it still has a major impact on our ability to function. In order to learn things, we need feedback, feedback. Learning something that we cannot consciously perceive is hardly possible, since no connection can be made between what we do and what we want to achieve in the form of success.
With biofeedback, this is within the realm of possibility. The previously unknown parameters can be presented in a way that is accessible to our senses. Thanks to optical and acoustic feedback signals, we become aware of the connections and the learning success can be measured.
For example, biofeedback is very often used for incontinence. Here, too, the problem arises that the sphincter is not consciously controlled by the patient. You do not feel it and therefore cannot influence it. With the biofeedback method, those affected by incontinence can understand the function of the sphincter muscle measured with a probe. This enables direct training of the muscle. The actually unconscious process was made conscious - the supreme principle of biofeedback therapy. In a similar way, biofeedback can help with many diseases and is also considered to be very effective in pain therapy. With biofeedback training, the patient learns how to counteract the pain with certain exercises and the creation of states of relaxation.
What happens during a biofeedback session?
The aim of biofeedback therapy is to lead the patient out of the passive, suffering role and to show him a way of actively fighting his symptoms. In a first conversation, the patient and the doctor or therapist should get an overview of the current situation. This is the only way to ensure that successful therapy is possible.
Measuring devices are then used to check bodily functions and make them visible on a monitor. The patient is made familiar with how his behavior and thoughts are reflected in the displayed values.
Step-by-step to the goal
This is done by reminding the patient of an experience that triggers a psychological stress situation in him. He can now see on the monitor how this is affecting his bodily functions. He receives biofeedback. The next step is to guide the patient so that he learns to be able to ignore external influences. This means he learns to focus and mentally control his bodily functions. Ideally, after successful therapy, he or she can face stressful situations with a relaxed inner attitude.
The reasons why
This can be achieved, for example, by recalling beautiful moments in these moments. During the therapy session, the patient can observe on the monitor how this is affecting their body. Motivating pictures that the patient can carry with them have also proven to be helpful. It is important that the strategies learned in therapy can be applied to everyday life.
At what age can the biofeedback method be used?
There is no age limit for biofeedback therapy. The method can already be used successfully in elementary school. For children with a lack of concentration such as ADHD, it is even used at preschool age.
In principle, the method of biofeedback can be learned at any age. As with many other things, the ability to learn is all the greater the younger the subject is.
Behaviors once learned are not forgotten. Similar to riding a bicycle, which, as is well known, you never forget, the learned mechanisms remain accessible.
For lasting success, however, it is advisable to keep your skills at the same level or even improve them through regular practice and training.
Who Offers Biofeedback?
The German Society for Biofeedback e. V. awards the graduates of a further training course offered by it as recognized biofeedback therapists. The prerequisite for this is an approbation as a doctor or psychologist.
Anyone who works in healthcare and has a relevant degree in this area can qualify as a biofeedback trainer. Alternative practitioners, nurses, speech therapists, physiotherapists and ergotherapists as well as sports scientists are entitled to complete further training to become biofeedback trainers.
With many of our products, you can also use biofeedback at home and, with the help of apps, achieve results very inexpensively even without biofeedback therapy.
The devices are also a very good addition to therapy, because the exercises are varied. They bring joy to most people and can continue to be practiced even after the end of therapy.
How many sessions of biofeedback do you need?
A session usually lasts 60 minutes. In addition to the exercises, this period of time also includes any preparations and therapeutic discussions.
The number of therapy sessions required depends primarily on the type of illness. With some diseases, long-term therapy can only reduce the health problems.
Sometimes 3 to 5 sessions are enough to bring relief. In the case of migraines, for example, up to 10 sessions may be necessary to guarantee initial success.
In this particular case, this is due to the fact that it is difficult to induce a narrowing of the vessels in the head area and especially in the temple area.
Biofeedback therapy is often used alongside other therapies. This also affects the number of sessions required.
How much does a biofeedback session cost?
The cost of each treatment can range from EUR 60 to EUR 110. If you want to carry out the therapy at home, there may be additional costs for home devices. Depending on the function, the prices for this can vary greatly.
Are the costs covered by health insurance?
There is no general assumption of costs by health insurance. Therefore, all those affected who would like to carry out biofeedback therapy should first contact their health insurance company to check whether the costs can be covered in a specific case. However, this must ALWAYS be clarified in advance. There are good chances of success for migraine sufferers. If the biofeedback training is carried out as part of pain therapy or behavioral therapy, the costs are borne by the health insurance company. Neurofeedback therapy has been recognized as an ergotherapeutic measure by some health insurance companies since 2012 and can be billed through them. You can find out directly from your health insurance company whether the respective indication is sufficient for the recognition of the costs.
Where can you do biofeedback? Also at home?
The German Society for Biofeedback e. V. offers a list of trained therapists that you can access on the Internet. You can also contact a hospital and you can also ask doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists.
In consultation with the respective therapist or trainer, biofeedback and neurofeedback can be carried out at home. After a previous thorough instruction, the patient later only has to make an appointment for the meetings in the practice that looks after him.
In order to be able to complete the training at home, there are devices for home use that can be found in the extensive range of Mindtecstore.
When should biofeedback be discontinued or terminated prematurely?
Biofeedback therapy influences the processes taking place in the human body. Chemical substances or the like are not used. Therefore, there are no known side effects that would require discontinuation of treatment.
A negative reaction of the body to the biofeedback is not to be expected.
Do I need biofeedback therapy myself?
The biofeedback method has already been tried and tested very successfully for all people who suffer from chronic pain. In modern medicine, not only the connection between body and mind, but also the active participation of the patient in the healing process is becoming more and more important. As a result, biofeedback therapy could play a major role in the future. Conventional medicine hardly offers any solutions, especially for the chronically ill. Biofeedback therapy could be a way out for many.
What brings the success of therapy?
You don't have to bring a lot with you for the therapy to be successful. Apart from the motivation to want to actively improve your state of health and the willingness to actively work together with the therapist or trainer, you really don't need anything else. And even if the motivation at the beginning of the therapy is still somewhat reserved - the sense of achievement that goes hand in hand with biofeedback could change this quickly. Feedback from your own body is immediate and direct. Special suitability fields Biofeedback therapy has shown great promise in the treatment of migraines. If you also suffer from constant headaches, you should talk to your doctor about it. The therapy is also suitable for mental disorders such as mood swings, depression or even anxiety disorders. By specifically influencing the brain waves, positive changes can be brought about with biofeedback.
Biofeedback therapy is highly recommended if your child suffers from ADHD or any other form of lack of concentration. The training programs specially developed for children promote learning success with funny cartoon characters. Here in particular, it is advisable to continue the treatment at home. With biofeedback - make relaxation learnable Stress is one of the most widespread diseases of civilization. Almost every Western European suffers from its effects. In addition to the high efficiency in clinical applications, learning certain skills through biofeedback is also very helpful here. Targeted training can significantly increase the ability to relax. This can also lead to an increase in stress tolerance. A real plus that can make our lives much easier, not only in the professional area.
Biofeedback can also help you to carry out work more easily and with greater concentration. With biofeedback training, you can control your attention more specifically and achieve increased receptivity. Do not hesitate and get to know your body better with our products and find out regularly about the status of your health. With our proven tools, you can safely familiarize yourself with the world of biofeedback. Find the right biofeedback devices - for home use You now have an overview of the various areas of application of biofeedback and may have clicked on one or the other link. To find the right biofeedback device for your needs, please do the following: Enter a term that comes to mind for your needs in the search above and you will be presented with the right devices. © www.mindtecstore.com 2019 For further information we recommend the following pages.
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