You’ve heard about the benefits of using relaxation and stress management techniques such as Biofeedback training to sleep better, have clearer thinking and improved performance, but did you ever think…
How could Biofeedback really work?
I’ve been a Biofeedback therapist since the 1970’s and believe me; I’ve met my share of skeptics…
So let me share with you 5 surprising reasons that Biofeedback training works!
Reason #1 Biofeedback does not eliminate stress
Sometimes clients come to me with the idea that I can help them remove all stress from their lives.
The truth is that the goal of stress management-of which Biofeedback is a part, is not to eliminate every bit of stress.
Stress can be health-promoting and our lives would be less joyful, productive and passionate if all stress was removed.
That is why Biofeedback therapy has a much more “do-able” goal
The stress management techniques in Biofeedback only seek to train the conscious mind to sense when the stress is moving into the zone of being counter-productive and bring the body back to a state of balance.
This very achievable goal is one of the reasons why so many people have been helped with Biofeedback training.
Reason #2 Biofeedback therapists are part of your healthcare team
Another reason why Biofeedback is so effective with so many people is that your Biofeedback therapist is part of your healthcare team.
If you are referred by a specialist or primary care physician, we can make sure your progress is part of regular communication reports to your health care provider.
Next, Biofeedback is recognized by many major medical insurance plans and workers compensation plans as well plans like Auto-Medpay.
Biofeedback therapists go through a rigorous Certification process.
To be a Certified Biofeedback therapist, which includes clinical training and testing, a person must have (at least) an undergraduate degree in a field related to mental or physical health and meet certification requirements by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.
Reason #3 You can learn to regulate your muscular, respiratory and nervous systems
In Biofeedback training, you are connected to a monitor that provides auditory or visual feedback to your conscious mind of the changes in your muscular, respiratory and nervous systems….much like seeing a monitor that tells you about your blood pressure or an EKG.
We know that the changes in the systems of the body are ways that we can track an increase or decrease in tension or stress.
For instance, when muscles become more active, you can learn the sensation that tells you that your body is experiencing an intense or prolonged increase of stress.
The Biofeedback equipment is essentially a communication device.
With this new awareness about what the body is doing, you will learn to sense the changes in your body without the need for the Biofeedback machine.
For example, are you experiencing?
- An increase or decrease of tension in the muscles?
- Fast or shallow breathing?
- Changes in heart rate?
- Differences in finger temperature or nervous system activity?
Biofeedback training teaches your mind how and when to help the muscular, respiratory and nervous systems come back into effective and periodic recovery.
In time, those patterns of stress and recovery become trained into the body system, and replace unhealthy patterns of tension that are not being released for prolonged periods of time.
You learn to switch gears!
This “banking” of stress is what causes many of the health issues we experience.
Reason #4 Your nervous system influences your cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and immune systems
Our nervous system is the most sensitive part of our body to engage in the stress response that we experience.
It is also the area that most needs periodic recovery.
When the nervous system gets out of balance, we’ve all heard of the negative effects of stress such as:
- Slow healing/delayed recovery
- Chronic pain
- Sleep problems
The goal of Biofeedback training and many relaxation techniques is to get our body to go through a natural and healthy pattern of stress, recover, stress, and recovery.
The recovery period doesn’t have to be long, for example with the correct training it can be 30 minutes on, two or three seconds off.
Biofeedback training will teach your mind how and when to help move the major systems such as cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and immune systems back into balance.
Reason #5 Biofeedback Is Like Training Your Puppy
When medical equipment is involved, it’s easy to over-complicate things.
So let me simplify the Biofeedback training experience to something we can all relate to.
It’s very much like training a puppy.
You don’t train a puppy successfully by doing it just once.
You do the same steps over and over until the training “kicks in” and it becomes the “new normal” behavior.
This represents a sustainable addition to your mind-body pattern of engaging in daily life.
Biofeedback training is simply the reconditioning/retraining of our own bodies.
You are teaching your body how to engage in daily life in a way that is not locked into unhealthy battle preparation.
Instead your mind and body develop a graceful rhythm of engaging in life and also maintaining a level of feeling safe and self-aware.
Feel like this might be the right solution for you? Take the first step!
Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body
Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow