Biofeedback and Neurofeedback
Biofeedback uses special instruments attached to the body to give the person information about what is happening in the body. The instruments serve to amplify the signals that the person may not otherwise be able to detect so they can then use this visual or auditory feedback to learn to regulate certain bodily functions. Many people find this form of assistance very helpful for learning to relax.
The most commonly used form is electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback. An EMG sensor is attached to the skin and reveals the amount of electrical activity related to muscle tension in the area of the sensor. This is very useful in helping people learn to relax the muscles, for they have direct feedback-which may be visual readouts, lights, beeps, or tones-as to the degree of tension. This approach is often used for tension headaches and chronic pain conditions.
Other kinds of biofeedback include thermal, sensing the temperature of the skin as an indication of blood flow and relaxation; electrodermal (EDR), measuring subtle changes in amounts of perspiration; finger pulse, for measuring heart rate and force, useful for anxiety or cardiovascular symptoms; and monitoring breathing patters-rate, volume, rhythm and location (belly or chest) of each breath.
Biofeedback has many application, such as headache and migraines, anxiety, chronic pain, teeth grinding and clenching, Raynaud's disease (vascular disorder causing cold hands and feet), incontinence, asthma, and muscle disorders (including helping people learn to reuse arms or legs that have been traumatized). Essentially and bodily process that can be measured can potentially be controlled or influenced through the help or these techniques.
---William Collinge, American Holistic Medical Association
MICHAEL A. SITAR, PH.D. PSYCHOLOGIST
AAD Psychological, Biofeedback, and Neurofeedback Services Non-pharmacological Alternative Treatment for Attention Deficit, Addictions, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Head Injury, Stroke, Depression, Sleep Problems. Bethesda 301-718-3588.