Biofeedback Therapy: A Proven Treatment for 16+ Medical Conditions
Format: Magazine Article
Publication Year: 2018
Source ID: shanti-sources-34146
Collection: Biofeedback Devices and Wearables
Abstract: Various forms of biofeedback therapy — performed using certain muscle relaxation, breath and mental exercises — are now being proven in numerous studies to treat more than a dozen health conditions.But how does this mind-body intervention work? At its roots, biofeedback therapy helps reduce a wide range of symptoms by lowering sympathetic arousal. Through identifying and changing certain mental activities and physical reactions, biofeedback trains patients to help regulate their own unconscious bodily processes and better control their stress response. Biofeedback therapy acts as a natural painkiller and a natural headache remedy, among other things. Some experts use the metaphor of “learning to putt a golf ball” to describe how biofeedback works. As someone practices putting and seeing where the ball goes, the feedback helps to improve their next stroke. In biofeedback, a patient follows measurements of their physiological responses — and as they move in a healthier direction, positive reinforcement and learning take place. After reviewing more than 60 studies related to biofeedback, The Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London described biofeedback therapy as a “non-invasive, effective psycho-physiological intervention for psychiatric disorders,” concluding that over 80 percent of studies reported some level of clinical decrease in symptoms as a result of biofeedback exposure. (1) According to their research, biofeedback interventions have been used successfully to treat common disorders including anxiety, autism, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia. But biofeedback therapies aren’t just useful for managing mental disorders — they’re also becoming more common in the treatment of injury recovery and chronic pain. Because therapists now offer several different biofeedback modalities, experts recommend patients try multiple bio-regulating approaches during their sessions. This has been shown to be most effective in significantly reducing symptoms.