Overview of Biofeedback

By Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum, Holistic Clinical Pharmacist, Founder & CEO, Rx Integrative Solutions, www.rxintegrativesolutions.com

By tapping into our mind body connection, we can learn how to heal! Biofeedback is a non-pharmacologic mind body technique taught by a trained practitioner that can help a person improve her/his physiological function (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, skin temperature, muscle tone).  This practice can be used to help manage conditions such as headaches, anxiety, high blood pressure, and stress, among others.

Certified biofeedback practitioners follow a standard of care based on scientific evidence.  They can use different methods involving electrodes and sensors in their 30-minute to one-hour session (e.g., electrodermal test, thermal biofeedback, and electromyogram for muscles).  It may take several sessions before progress is seen.  One could learn how to relax using deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and/or mindful meditation.

Computer graphics help visually guide relaxation so one can see progress made toward the health goal.  Wearable devices with sensors worn around the waist are also available. RESPeRATE is an FDA approved device for decreasing stress and lowering blood pressure that uses a downloadable app. Not all home use biofeedback devices are regulated by the FDA, so buyer be ware!

Consider adding biofeedback to your health tool kit.

Blessings for better health.

References:

McKee. Biofeedback: an overview in the context of heart-brain medicine. Cleve Clin J Med 2008;73(Suppl 2): S31-S34.

Gevirtz.  The promise of heart rate variability biofeedback: evidence-based applications. Biofeedback 2013;41(3):110-120.

Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback. www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/biofeedback/about/pac-20384664.  Accessed September 1, 2018.