If a person raises his hand to wave hello or lift his knee to take another step on the stair, he controls his action. Likewise, other body functions, heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure are monitored and reflected by the nervous system. These usually involuntary functions could be controlled by a technique named as biofeedback therapy. This technique is used to gain more control, prevent or treat conditions that include migraine headaches, incontinence, chronic pain, and high blood pressure.
This is a form of therapy that helps in recovering addicts to gain control over their body and mind during the treatment process. This technique involves electronic sensors that are placed on a patient’s skin. The particular medical device is wired to these sensors that provide medical professionals feedback of bio-signs. These bio-signs are transferred back to the patients in the form of biofeedback information like pulsing sounds, images, and flashes of light. This information helps an individual to use relaxation exercises to control body responses to different stressful situations like withdrawals and cravings.
How Does Biofeedback Therapy Work?
According to the research, it is not exactly sure how or why biofeedback works. Biofeedback promotes relaxation, which in turn helps in relieving several conditions that are related to stress. During this technique, electrodes are attached to a person’s skin, and finger sensors can also be used. These electrodes and sensors transfer the signals to a monitor, and this is displayed as a sound, flashlight or image that shows a person’s heart and breath rate, blood pressure change, skin and body temperature or muscle activity.
Under stress, these functions are changed like speed up of heart rate, muscle tightens, increased blood pressure, sweating, and quick breath. These responses could be seen on the monitor. This is done usually in a therapist’s office. This therapy helps practicing relaxation exercises that ultimately fine-tune to control body functions.
Some of the relaxation exercises used in biofeedback therapies, including:
• Deep Breathing
• Muscle Relaxation- tightening and relaxing the muscle groups alternatively
• To focus the mind on a Guided Imagery to make you feel relaxed
• Mindfulness Meditation that helps in concentrating thoughts and negative emotions
The Purpose of Biofeedback
This therapy is aimed at providing stress relief by using relaxation techniques. An individual functions to override his body’s response to stressful situations to continuously manipulate the breathing, heart rate, and other involuntary functions.
This technique proves to be most effective and result oriented for conditions that are influenced by stress. Eating disorders, bedwetting, learning disorders, and muscles spasms are some of the examples.
Biofeedback could be used to treat various physical and mental health issues, including:
• Bowel syndrome
• Chemotherapy side-effects
• High blood pressure
• Chronic pain
• Raynaud’s disease
• Anxiety or stress
• Motion sickness
• Urinary incontinence
• Ringing in the ears
Types of Biofeedback Used to Monitor Different Body Functions
Electromyogram (EMG)– This therapy is used to measure muscle activity and tension. It is also used for back pain, headache, muscle retaining, and anxiety disorders, and incontinence. Thermal- This is used to measure skin temperature. It could be used for a headache and Raynaud’s disease.
Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG)- This measures brain or nerve waves. It is also used for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and other seizure disorders.
Electrodermal Action (EDA)– This could be done to include sweating and can be used for anxiety and stress.
Heart rate variability (HRA)– Heart rate is measured by this therapy. In addition to it, it is used for anxiety, asthma, and irregular heartbeat.
Each biofeedback therapy usually lasts about 60-90 minutes. This benefits occurred to these therapies could be seen within ten sessions or less.
Biofeedback and Other Addiction Treatments
Biofeedback therapy is administered and assisted by medical professionals with specialized equipment. These therapy sessions could be supplemented by using dedicated, biofeedback smartphone apps. On the site sessions generally, last for 30 minutes or more. An individual with mild addiction might need only ten biofeedback sessions to observe the result. More severe addiction could require up to 50 sessions.
Biofeedback therapies are noninvasive and advanced. Biofeedback option is a useful alternative for the person who experienced unpleasant reactions to addiction treatment medicines. As it is a medication-free treatment, it is also helpful for addicted women recovering while pregnant.
Biofeedback and neurofeedback therapies prove to be for recovering addicts a psychological edge overcoming addiction. This helps in understanding how the mind and body physically affected by addiction and how its effects could be modified. This understanding helps recovering addicts feel in control of recovery. This therapy could be useful in treating mental health disorders that are co-occurred with alcohol and drug abuse. Some of the diseases include attention deficit hyperactive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and could say post-traumatic stress disorder.
Finding Help to Overcome Addiction
Biofeedback therapies are also used to in some of the programs like- Inpatient and Outpatient drug rehab that helps the recovering addicts to understand their treatment needs. This therapy integrates and assimilates well with other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy. This could also be well paired with some other recovery techniques like art and music therapy.
Consult to an addiction specialist to overcome the addiction as many treatment centers offer a comprehensive addiction treatment plan, including biofeedback therapies and other treatment. If biofeedback is result-oriented for an individual, it might help an individual to overcome and control symptoms of your condition and reduce the amount of medication.