What is a biofeedback session like?
Biofeedback involves the placement of a comfortable head harness that delivers voltammetric signatures via electrodes. Soft rubber straps are attached to the wrist and ankles with leads that connect to the biofeedback device. The limb straps measure the electrodermal response of all 4 quadrants of the body. The information loop between the client and the machine is continuous. The practitioner looks for certain values to be reached that indicate rectification. Rectification is a correction of stress patterns. As various stress patterns are corrected the practitioner visits other programs within the software that focus on the particular stress profile being addressed. This is called entrainment. Biofeedback is an entrainment process. Entrainment is a well studied phenomenon within physics in which two separate systems, operating at varying frequency, will settle into a common frequency when situated within one’s field of influence. It may take the body multiple sessions to entrain or “relearn” healthier patterns. Since mind-body connection is key to stress reduction, some of the session involves a guided body scan meditation to raise awareness at a conscious level, while the system is interacting with the nervous system at a subconscious level. The rest of the session is simply relaxing with soothing music and aromatherapy.
What is EDR (electrodermal response)?
EDR measures mild electrical impulses on the surface of our skin, which change due to moisture. The moisture of the skin changes according to the body’s degree of stress and/or relaxation. There is a direct relationship between sympathetic nervous activity and emotional arousal. EDR is so sensitive it can even measure fluctuations in emotional states; think about the lie detector, for example. There are many types of biofeedback: EDR, EEG, CAT scan, MRI, etc. These technologies are able to capture the bodies’ analog electrical signals and translate those signals into meaningful information through complex algorithmic software that a technician can then decipher. Quantum Biofeedback uses a wide range of refined parameters unique to each client through autonomic nervous system interaction via electro dermal responses.
Does biofeedback treat and diagnose?
Biofeedback neither treats nor diagnoses. It is cleared through the FDA for stress reduction, muscular re-education, pain management and brainwave relaxation training. Because stress is multifaceted and encompasses both external and internal factors, the scope of stress reduction is very broad in application and is useful to support the stress profile of virtually any health concern. Stress reduction has been shown to have a positive effect on wellness overall.
The Mayo Clinic says that biofeedback is used to help manage many physical and mental health issues, including:
Anxiety or Stress, Asthma, ADHD, Chemotherapy Side Effects, Chronic Pain, Constipation, Fecal Incontinence, Fibromyalgia, Headache, High Blood Pressure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Motion Sickness, Reynaud's Disease, Tinnitus, Stroke, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Urinary Incontinence. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/biofeedback/details/why-its-done/icc-20169729
Does insurance cover biofeedback?
Check with your insurance company to see if biofeeback is covered. More and more insurance companies include it as a benefit. I am not contracted with any insurance companies, but I am happy to provide clients with a statement of services containing the biofeedback code for submission.
I don't have any major sources of stress, why consider biofeedback?
Typically stress is thought of as a difficult job, a major life event or stressful relational issues, just to name a few. But stress is anything that places a burden on the body. Regardless of the perceived lack of mental or emotional stressors, the environmental stressors we deal with on a daily basis cannot be escaped. Biofeedback is an excellent modality, not only for specific wellness issues but also for general wellness. Biofeedback is also a great tool to use in conjunction with chiropractic care and other wellness modalities.
Do I need to do anything special to prepare for a session?
Making sure you are well hydrated is necessary. Taking some electrolytes before a session can be helpul as well.
How long does a session last?
A session typically takes about 1.5 hours: about 15 min for setting up, calibration and the electrodermal response phase. The actual biofeedback portion is about an hour long and then a review of the session details.
How many sessions will I need?
This depends on what sort of support you are looking for. Typically, a minimum of ten sessions for specific stress reduction, muscular re-education, and pain management, about a week apart, is encouraged. However, everyone is unique, and the ability to hold the corrected patterns will vary from person to person. Responses are also dependant on the individual's lifestyle habits. Generally speaking, additional sessions at two week intervals, and then monthly, may be of benefit. A core philosophy at Mind-Body Wellness is to empower clients to learn stress reducing tecniques to incorporate at home.
What will I notice after a session?
Typically, people feel more relaxed after a session; some clients feel energized while some feel quite fatigued. Either response is perfectly normal. Responses may also vary from session to session. As the body becomes more aware it is also possible to notice heightened sensations as well. Tightness and tension carried in the muscles is one example. Any sensations should be mild and brief. This awareness is how the body can begin to correct and repair imbalances it has stopped reacting to. Clients are encouraged to keep well hydrated after a session. As the body lets go of stressors causing blockages and imbalances, their may be some mild detoxification - a bit like having a massage.
Are there any contraindications?
Biofeedback is contraindicated for people with seizure disorders, pace makers, rubber sensitivity, and who are pregnant.