Biofeedback is a mind-body healing technique used often by physical therapists. It can be used to treat a number of conditions and its primary goal is to teach the brain to have better control over your normally involuntary functions — such as breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. If your physician has recommended the treatment but you’re not sure what to expect, follow this brief guide to learn more about the innovative method.
Your Guide to Biofeedback
What is It?
The goal of biofeedback is to learn how to listen to your body. With the use of sensors connecting the body to special equipment, you receive information about how you’re responding to a physical or emotional stimulus. The equipment measures factors like muscle tension, skin temperature, heart and breathing rates, and other involuntary processes to give you a reading of the ways your body is reacting to the stimuli at that moment. With this information, you can then explore ways to consciously modify those internal reactions in order to alter your body’s responses to illness and pain.
What Conditions Can It Treat?
In physical therapy, biofeedback can help many different issues. Chronic pain, paralysis, and migraines have all been treated effectively with biofeedback. Certain blood circulation disorders, like Raynaud's disease, have also been improved with biofeedback. Any condition that activates a stress response may find benefit with this type of treatment.
What Can You Expect During a Session?
Biofeedback is meant to give you a certain amount of control over the body's innate stress responses. During a typical session, you’ll be hooked up to sensors that read your physiological state. Information is continually received and measured by the equipment, alerting you through either lights or beeps of how your body is behaving from moment to moment. A physical therapist works with you to ensure you’re mindfully and consciously intervening in these processes to improve the health issue at hand.
One of the most common biofeedback prescriptions is learning muscle relaxation. To relieve migraines, biofeedback locates the tense muscles causing pain; then, you can focus on relaxing those specific muscle groups to reduce your discomfort. It works similarly on chronic pain and paralysis, bringing awareness to tight muscles and areas of tension or numbness the patient may not be aware of. With Raynaud’s disease, relaxation exercises help relax constricted blood vessels. Sessions usually last between an hour and an hour and a half, and the number of sessions needed will be prescribed by your physical therapist.
With biofeedback, you take charge of your own health and healing by consciously telling the body what to do and how to recover. The physical therapists at Therapy Works in Cherokee Village, AR, are proud to provide biofeedback treatment to their clients. Since 2002, they have been offering physical and sports therapy, as well as pediatric therapy, to residents of Sharp County. Visit their website for more information on their team, or call (870) 856-4325 to schedule an appointment today.