Biofeedback is a noninvasive, safe, and effective therapy that improves your mental and emotional health by teaching you how to relax and regulate your body’s physiological response to stress. With expert guidance from the team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California, patients typically need six biofeedback sessions to master relaxation techniques and learn how to integrate their new skills into everyday life. If you have questions about biofeedback, call the office today.
Biofeedback trains you to regulate the body functions associated with your emotional state, such as your heart rate, skin temperature, and sweating. Normally, your sympathetic nervous system controls these stress biomarkers, automatically making changes as needed to deal with daily challenges. When your body’s self-regulation becomes imbalanced, however, you stay in a chronically hyperactive state, and this leads to a variety of problems.
Biofeedback is an effective therapy for many mental health problems. The team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic often recommends biofeedback for patients struggling with anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, panic attacks, and insomnia. Biofeedback may also improve health conditions such as hypertension, headaches, migraines, chronic pain, and irregular heartbeats.
Biofeedback helps you improve self-regulation by showing how your conscious effort affects your internal biomarkers. For the first step, your clinician at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic places electrodes on your skin and/or fingers.
As the electrodes pick up and measure physiological responses, they transmit that information to a computer. The computer then creates a visual representation of your internal state on the monitor.
Depending on the program used, you may see your biological processes displayed as moving lines, objects, or other images, with or without sounds. While you wear the electrodes, you’ll immediately see changes on the monitor as changes occur in your stress levels.
During your biofeedback sessions, your provider at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic teaches you relaxation techniques. You may learn skills such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or mindfulness meditation, depending on the method that works for you.
You practice your technique while wearing the electrodes, allowing you to see real-time changes on the monitor as your purposeful effort affects your body. The goal is to train yourself to relax, let go of negative emotions, and maintain that improved state.
At first, you’ll achieve the goal by looking at the monitor. You may think you’re calm, but if the image on the monitor shows your stress increase, then you need to refocus on your relaxation technique.
Over about six weekly sessions, you’ll learn to self-regulate without the real-time biofeedback. At that stage, you can use your new skills to maintain emotional balance in your real life.
To schedule a biofeedback consultation, call Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic today.