At Advanced Psychological Specialists, you can learn to change the way your body responds to stress and illness.

What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which people are taught to control certain physical responses by using signals from their own bodies. This is accomplished by using a machine to make specific bodily signals accessible (such as muscle tension or temperature) through mapping them on a computer screen. Once you can see what your body is doing, you can learn techniques to change these patterns. In this way, you can increase your control over seemingly uncontrollable problems and reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

There are different types of Biofeedback.

  • Neuromuscular Retraining: Neuromuscular retraining utilizes sensors to measure muscle use and tension. During neuromuscular retraining, you are taught to recognize which muscles are being used properly and which are being over-used or under-used. With feedback, you can learn to use your muscles properly and thereby decrease pain and other symptoms caused by muscle imbalance and misuse.
  • Temperature Biofeedback: Temperature biofeedback utilizes sensor readings from fingers and feet to provide feedback regarding skin temperature. Skin temperature is a measure of circulation and circulation is implicated in several medical conditions including Raynaud's syndrome and migraine headache. By learning to alter your circulation, you can often decrease the frequency and intensity of these and other painful episodes.
  • Galvanic Skin Response Training: Galvanic skin response training utilizes sensors that measure the activity of sweat glands and the amount of skin perspiration present. Perspiration is associated with anxiety and learning to identify the early signs of anxiety and its triggers can be useful in treating such disorders as phobias, anxiety, and stuttering.

During your first appointment, the doctor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for biofeedback therapy. Thereafter, a typical biofeedback session lasts 30 to 45 minutes. During each session, computer sensors will be applied to different parts of your body. These sensors will monitor different physiological processes like circulation, muscle tension, perspiration and brain waves. The doctor will then teach you ways to alter these processes and you will be able to track your efforts visually on a monitor and by sound cues.

The doctor will at times make audio recordings of your sessions so that you can practice your newly learned skills between sessions. In certain situations, you will be fitted with a mobile unit that will serve as a teaching aide between sessions.

Comprehensive biofeedback treatment incorporates many techniques in addition to the use of computer sensors. It is likely that your doctor will try to help you identify the triggers of your symptoms, correct muscle use, and change maladaptive habits that may be contributing to or maintaining your symptoms.

Many conditions can be helped with Biofeedback

  • Chronic Pain
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Migraine Headache
  • Chronic Tension Headache
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Raynaud's Syndrome
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD/TMJ)
  • Asthma
  • Tourette's Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Stress