Seattle Biofeedback Therapy & Benefits
Apollo Health Clinic
Biofeedback therapy, or the technique by which people can improve their health via control over certain body processes, has been proven to be an effective treatment for many conditions. Patients suffering from high blood pressure, tension headaches, migraines, chronic pain, and urinary incontinence have all shown promising improvements as a result of biofeedback therapy.
There are three types of biofeedback therapy commonly used to treat patients:
– Electromyography (EMG)
– Thermal biofeedback
– Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG)
While it’s a unclear how exactly biofeedback therapy works, one essential through-line remains: stress seems to be the deciding factor in successful biofeedback treatments. Because the human body responds to stress with reactions such as increased blood pressure, it’s important to learn to lower your blood pressure through relaxation. Biofeedback can show you a visual representation of your efforts and display the results of your relaxation techniques onscreen.
Explaining the Relationship Between Biofeedback Therapy and Heart Rate Variability
Long considered a harmful abnormality in the medical field, variability in heart rhythms – and what causes them – are a leading interest among researchers and scientists around the world.
For decades, scientists believed that each aspect of the human body – cells, tissues, and organs – all strove to maintain a consistent or steady state of operation. However, variability in heart rate, or the time intervals between heartbeats, is directly related to the body’s interdependent systems. Any changes in the health or efficiency of these systems may result in irregular heart rhythm. Too much variability or instability in this metric may present arrhythmia or compromised nervous system performance that could have a negative impact on efficiency in physiological functions and utilization of energy.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) coherence training is a method of measuring and controlling the body’s physical responses to psychological or environmental conditions. Studies have shown promising results in patients who have experienced PSTD, ADHD, and heart congestive disorders, with HRV coherence training resulting in marked improvements in each patients’ ability to self-regulate as well as improvements in various cognitive functions, resulting in increased cardiac coherence.
The Possible Benefits of Biofeedback Therapy
Biofeedback has been shown to effectively treat the following health problems and behavioral conditions:
– Macular degeneration
– Chronic back pain
– Panic Disorders
– Chronic Fatigue
– Eating disorders
– High blood pressure
– Spinal cord injuries
– Learning disabilities
– Bed wetting
– Muscle spasms
– Motion sickness
– Sexual disorders
What to Expect from Your First Biofeedback Treatment
During a standard biofeedback session, electrodes are placed on your skin and the data collected is displayed on a nearby monitor measuring Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The measurements are translated into a visual meter that varies in brightness. Your biofeedback therapist will lead you through various mental exercises to help illicit the physical improvements you’re working toward.
Most sessions last about an hour and depending on the condition being treated, many people experience results after just 8 to 10 sessions. More chronic conditions such as persistent headache or incontinence may require as many as 10 sessions per week. High blood pressure treatments may require as many as 20 weekly sessions before improvements can be witnessed.
Your biofeedback therapist will also provide you with mental exercises and relaxation techniques for home use. These are simple and take between 5-10 minutes each day.
For more information on biofeedback therapy, please contact Dr. Samuel Madeira at Apollo Health Clinic to learn more or to schedule an appointment.