Biofeedback, or applied psychophysiological feedback, is a patient-guided treatment that teaches an individual to control muscle tension, pain, body temperature, brain waves, and other bodily functions and processes through relaxation, visualization, and other cognitive control techniques. The name biofeedback refers to the biological signals that are fed back, or returned, to the patient in order for the patient to develop techniques of manipulating them.
Biofeedback has been used to successfully treat a number of disorders and their symptoms, including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Raynaud’s syndrome, epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disorders.
Illnesses that may be triggered at least in part by stress are also targeted by biofeedback therapy. Certain types of headaches, high blood pressure, bruxism (teeth grinding), post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, and some anxiety disorders may be treated successfully by teaching patients the ability to relax and release both muscle and mental tension. Biofeedback is often just one part of a comprehensive treatment program for some of these disorders.
NASA has used biofeedback techniques to treat astronauts who suffer from severe space sickness, during which the autonomic nervous system is disrupted. Scientists at the University of Tennessee have adapted these techniques to treat individuals suffering from severe nausea and vomiting that is also rooted in autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
Recent research also indicates that biofeedback may be a useful tool in helping patients with urinary incontinence regain bladder control. Individuals learning pelvic-floor muscle strengthening exercises can gain better control over these muscles by using biofeedback. Sensors are placed on the muscles to train the patient where they are and when proper contractions are taking place.
In 1961, Neal Miller, an experimental psychologist, suggested that autonomic nervous system responses (for instance, heart rate, blood pressure, gastrointestinal activity, regional blood flow) could be under voluntary control. As a result of his experiments, he showed that such autonomic processes were controllable. This work led to the creation of biofeedback therapy. Willer’s work was expanded by other researchers. Thereafter, research performed in the 1970s by UCLA researcher Dr. Barry Sterman established that both cats and monkeys could be trained to control their brain wave patterns. Sterman then used his research techniques on human patients with epilepsy, where he was able to reduce seizures by 60% with the use of biofeedback techniques. Throughout the 1970s, other researchers published reports of their use of biofeedback in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, headaches, Raynaud’s syndrome, and excess stomach acid, and as a tool for teaching deep relaxation. Since the early work of Miller and Sterman, biofeedback has developed into a front-line behavioral treatment for an even wider range of disorders and symptoms.
During biofeedback, special sensors are placed on the body. These sensors measure the bodily function that is causing the patient problem symptoms, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension (EMG or electromyographic feedback), brain waves (EEC or electroencophalographic feedback), respiration, and body temperature (thermal feedback), and translates the information into a visual and/or audible readout, such as a paper tracing, a light display, or a series of beeps.
While the patient views the instantaneous feedback from the biofeedback monitors, he or she begins to recognize what thoughts, fears, and mental images influence his or her physical reactions. By monitoring this relationship between mind and body, the patient can then use these same thoughts and mental images as subtle cues, as these act as reminders to become deeply relaxed, instead of anxious. These reminders also work to manipulate heart beat, brain wave patterns, body temperature, and other bodily functions. This is achieved through relaxation exercises, mental imagery, and other cognitive therapy techniques.
Autonomic nervous system — The part of the nervous system that controls so-called involuntary functions, such as heart rate, salivary gland secretion, respiratory function, and pupil dilation.
Bruxism — Habitual, often unconscious, grinding of the teeth.
Epilepsy — A neurological disorder characterized by the sudden onset of seizures.
Placebo effect — Placebo effect occurs when a treatment or medication with no known therapeutic value (a placebo) is administered to a patient, and the patient’s symptoms improve. The patient believes and expects that the treatment is going to work, so it does. The placebo effect is also a factor to some degree in clinically-effective therapies, and explains why patients respond better than others to treatment despite similar symptoms and illnesses.
Raynaud’s syndrome — A vascular, or circulatory system, disorder which is characterized by abnormally cold hands and feet. This chilling effect is caused by constriction of the blood vessels in the extremities, and occurs when the hands and feet are exposed to cold weather. Emotional stress can also trigger the cold symptoms.
Schizophrenia — Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that causes distortions in perception (delusions and hallucinations), inappropriate moods and behaviors, and disorganized or incoherent speech and behavior.
Temporomandibular joint disorder — Inflammation, irritation, and pain of the jaw caused by improper opening and closing of the temporomandibular joint. Other symptoms include clicking of the jaw and a limited range of motion.
As the biofeedback response takes place, patients can actually see or hear the results of their efforts instantly through the sensor readout on the biofeedback equipment. Once these techniques are learned and the patient is able to recognize the state of relaxation or visualization necessary to alleviate symptoms, the biofeedback equipment itself is no longer needed. The patient then has a powerful, portable, and self-administered treatment tool to deal with problem symptoms.
Biofeedback that specializes in reading and altering brain waves is sometimes called neurofeedback. The brain produces four distinct types of brain waves—delta, theta, alpha, and beta—that all operate at a different frequency. Delta, the slowest frequency wave, is the brain wave pattern associated with sleep. Beta waves, which occur in a normal, waking state, can range from 12-35 Hz. Problems begin to develop when beta wave averages fall in the low end (underarousal) or the high end (overarousal) of that spectrum. Underarousal might be present in conditions such as depression or attention-deficit disorder, and overarousal may be indicative of an anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or excessive stress. Beta wave neurofeedback focuses on normalizing that beta wave pattern to an optimum value of around 14 Hz. A second type of neurofeedback, alpha-theta, focuses on developing the more relaxing alpha (8-13 Hz) and theta waves (4-9 Hz) that are usually associated with deep, meditative states, and has been used with some success in substance abuse treatment.
Through brain wave manipulation, neurofeedback can be useful in treating a variety of disorders that are suspected or proven to impact brain wave patterns, such as epilepsy, attention-deficit disorder, migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disorders. The equipment used for neurofeedback usually uses a monitor as an output device. The monitor displays specific patterns that the patient attempts to change by producing the appropriate type of brain wave. Or, the monitor may reward the patient for producing the appropriate brain wave by producing a positive reinforcer, or reward. For example, children may be rewarded with a series of successful moves in a displayed video game.
Depending on the type of biofeedback, individuals may need up to 30 sessions with a trained professional to learn the techniques required to control their symptoms on a long-term basis. Therapists usually recommend that their patients practice both biofeedback and relaxation techniques on their own at home.
Before initiating biofeedback treatment, the therapist and patient will have an initial consultation to record the patients medical history and treatment background and discuss goals for therapy.
Before a neurofeedback session, an EEG is taken from the patient to determine his or her baseline brainwave pattern.
Biofeedback typically is performed in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere with comfortable seating for the patient. Depending on the type and goals of biofeedback being performed, one or more sensors will be attached to the patient’s body with conductive gel and/or adhesives. These may include:
•Electromyographic (EMG) sensors. EMG sensors measure electrical activity in the muscles, specifically muscle tension. In treating TMJ or bruxism, these sensors would be placed along the muscles of the jaw. Chronic pain might be treated by monitoring electrical energy in other muscle groups.
•Galvanic skin response (GSR) sensors. These are electrodes placed on the fingers that monitor perspiration, or sweat gland, activity. These may also be called skin conductance level (SCL).
•Temperature sensors. Temperature, or thermal, sensors measure body temperature and changes in blood flow.
•Electroencephalography (EEG) sensors. These electrodes are applied to the scalp to measure the electrical activity of the brain, or brain waves.
•Heart rate sensors. A pulse monitor placed on the finger tip can monitor pulse rate.
•Respiratory sensors. Respiratory sensors monitor oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output.
Individuals who use a pacemaker or other implantable electrical devices should inform their biofeedback therapist before starting treatments, as certain types of biofeedback sensors have the potential to interfere with these devices.
There are no known side effects to properly administered biofeedback or neurofeedback sessions.
Research and general acceptance
Preliminary research published in late 1999 indicated that neurofeedback may be a promising new tool in the treatment of schizophrenia. Researchers reported that schizophrenic patients had used neurofeedback to simulate brain wave patterns that antipsychotic medications produce in the brain. Further research is needed to determine what impact this may have on treatment for schizophrenia.
The use of biofeedback techniques to treat an array of disorders has been extensively described in the medical literature. Controlled studies for some applications are limited, such as for the treatment of menopausal symptoms and premenstrual disorder (PMS). There is also some debate over the effectiveness of biofeedback in ADHD treatment, and the lack of controlled studies on that application. While many therapists, counselors, and mental health professionals have reported great success with treating their ADHD patients with neurofeedback techniques, some critics attribute this positive therapeutic impact to a placebo effect.
There may also be some debate among mental health professionals as to whether biofeedback should be considered a first line treatment for some mental illnesses, and to what degree other treatments, such as medication, should be employed as an adjunct therapy.
INDIGO Biofeedback System
In approximately five minutes, the INDIGO Biofeedback System can simultaneously detect and record information about the individual client’s stress reactions.
The INDIGO Biofeedback System reveals a client’s voltage, amperage, resistance and other electrical calculations which may be important indicators of wellness.
Different lifestyle factors which could be contributing to the body’s overall stress load are reflected in the INDIGO Biofeedback System’s Suppression Obstruction Cure (SOC) scores.
Information about reactions to over 11,000 subtle stress related signatures and physiological parameters are also reported for client education.
How can the INDIGO Biofeedback System help to improve my health?
The INDIGO Biofeedback System functions in a multitude of ways, it can send signals to measure and record electro-physiological reactions to a multitude of items, re-educate certain muscles, nerves or organs or it can retrain areas of the body / mind to healthier patterns.
In other cases, it can invert certain signals which seem to be closely associated with a stress pattern.
The INDIGO Biofeedback System is by far the most comprehensive biofeedback system on the market today. Pre-designed stress reduction protocols may be used, or programs can be designed to meet the specific individual needs of each client. There are hundreds of different training programs that may used back-to-back in limitless combination’s to obtain optimum results.
INDIGO Biofeedback Session
During an INDIGO Biofeedback session, the client wears wrist and ankle bracelets as well as a head harness.
The sensors / electrodes comfortably read electrical impulses from the body and send the information to the computer which acts as a monitoring device. The biofeedback practitioner is able to educate the client as to what specific areas of the body / mind are most in need of stress reduction and re-education based on the information translated from the biofeedback device to the computer screen.
These data findings allow the client to better understand their reactions to stress and learn how to better control their physiological responses.
During an INDIGO Biofeedback session, the biofeedback practitioner is also able to educate the client as to what specific areas of the body / mind are most in need of stress reduction and re-education based on the information translated from the biofeedback device to the computer screen. While the biofeedback process is completely non-invasive and gentle, this powerful stress management support system allows relaxation and increased ability for the body to heal.
The body is designed to heal itself! The process of biofeedback is not to heal – but to help the body remember the balanced and stress free state. When it is entrained to the healthier patterns of a relaxed state, this process of self-regeneration often happens naturally.
How many sessions are needed?
Biofeedback is an entrainment process. Entrainment is a well studied phenomenon within physics, by which two separate systems, operating at varying frequencies, 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. Some people respond very quickly, especially those whose lifestyle choices are already aligned with good health.
Others may need more education, training and support around improving nutrition, exercise and / or sleep patterns, or avoiding addictive substances etc. Generally speaking, the longer a client has held certain stress patterns which are causing them pain or illness, the more sessions they may need to begin re-balancing or re-training those patterns and reactions.
Generally, we recommend clients make a commitment to their health by investing in multiple sessions in order to truly see and feel the results.
Fight or Flight Response
Stress can trigger the body’s response to perceived threat or danger, the fight or flight response. During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, shunting blood flow to major muscle groups, and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, it’s now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work.
When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response, but in times of chronic stress, this often doesn’t happen, causing damage to the body if stress is not reduced and managed.
Common physiological changes resulting from stress reactions include:
Increased Heart Rate, which can lead and / or contribute to heart conditions. Hormonal Fluctuations, which can lead and / or contribute to endocrine, reproductive, digestive disorders, obesity, diabetes and mental disorders.Constriction of muscles and blood vessels, can lead and / or contribute to pain, tension, circulatory issues, cardio-pulmonary issues and asthma. The suppression of non-essential life processes, which affects reproduction, higher executive brain function, digestion and immunity.
Many people think of stress only in terms of things like deadlines at work, family or relationship stress, financial pressures, traffic jams, or the death of a loved one perhaps. However, stress reactions also occur on the unconscious, cellular, subtle or energetic levels each time we are exposed to a toxin, pathogen or allergen; and every time our body experiences a nutritional deficiency or excess.
What are the benefits of Biofeedback?
Everyone can benefit from biofeedback. Most people report biofeedback sessions to be relaxing, soothing and beneficial. Yucha and Montgomery (2008), in their article “Evidence Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback” published in The Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback summarized the most current and complete medical research based on scientific rigor and consistency of outcome on biofeedback benefits and efficacy with the following health related issues.
We have been listening to you and this has been a long time request from practitioners, even pre INDIGO.
This is one of the newest features recently developed as an addition to your already incredible INDIGO Biofeedback System. Now you, as the Practitioner, can preselect a choice of programs and then set them to run hands free for up to 90 minutes. Just like setting up a play list, Wow!
As you go down the list making your choices, you can individually set the number of minutes for each program selection. These can be set from 1-15 min. If you make a mistake and wish to remove something from your “play list” simply click the button name and it removes the timer which then takes it off the “play list”.
There are 17 Simply INDIGO training program options to choose from:
•Nervous System Stress
•Organ Sarcode Signatures
•Nutritional Absorption Stress
•Endocrine /Hormonal Stress
•Mind Body Connection
•Peak Brain Performance
•Weight Loss Stress
•Accident/ Injury/ Pain
A New Vision For Well Being
The INDIGO Biofeedback System brings A New Vision For Well Being to the global healthcare marketplace. Many clients who receive INDIGO Biofeedback sessions report that they can “feel” a gentle warmth or tingling sensation during the treatment. This sensation is a result of our 64x increased sensitivity, 12x faster rate of information transfer, 50x greater range of frequency output and 1.5x more amplitude capacity, as well as significant increases in accuracy, range and coherence of the signals delivered by the INDIGO Biofeedback System.
It’s capabilities are far advanced from any of its competitor devices; in fact, practitioners internationally are trading in other, older biofeedback devices to ensure the best possible outcomes for their clients, using the very best that the INDIGO Biofeedback System technology has to offer today.
The principles of modern medicine’s “hippocratic oath” (helping professionals should do no harm) are integrated within the INDIGO Biofeedback System operational design. Its built-in alarm will signal the practitioner when a client has reached maximum training capacity during a specific program.
The device itself will shut down if for any reason the client is not integrating the training in a safe, healthy and satisfactory way during that session.If you find my information is helpful, please tip me into my TIP JAR $1 or more , to help me keep up this website. Thank you
|What is homeopathy?||How does it work?||What can it do?|
|Homeopathy is a branch of medicine originated in Germany in 1794, which is based on the principle of The Law of Similars. In a way, it is an advanced form of vaccination; whereby a substance which is capable of producing a disease like state is administered to the patient, but in a very minute dose, to cure the similar disease.
Homeopathy works much beyond vaccination. Here, the dose administered is unbelievably miniscule, which renders if absolutely harmless yet very powerful.
Contrary to the conventional medicine, the action of homeopathy is much safer, deeper acting, somewhat slower, and results much longer lasting by energizing the body’s curative powers.
Homeopathy is amongst the youngest and latest medical sciences calling for more research and promotion.
|As supported in major clinical trials and in practice, it is believed to be working by stimulating body’s own healing mechanisms. There are theories on how exactly homeopathic medicine works.
For example, in case of diseases which are caused by infection, it seems to be working by stimulating the production of antibodies, defense blood cells, etc.
In cases of immune diseases, it seems to be working by correcting the immune mechanism.
In case of painful conditions, by activating body’s anti-pain mechanisms.
Similarly, its action must be on the lines of being antispasmodic, anti-allergic, immuno-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, hormone stimulatory, anti-carcinogenic, etc.
Large scale studies alone will allow full exploration of this young science.
|Homeopathy boasts of tremendous powers as a system of medicine.
Especially in case of chronic, long standing and recurring diseases like allergies, bronchitis, Chrohn’s disease, …..Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Sinusitis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Vitiligo, etc, homeopathy offers results which can change the life of patients.
In the cases of allergic diseases like Asthma, urticaria, and the like, it can enhance body’s immune mechanism is such as way that the body no more reacts in abnormal way by producing constricted bronchial tubes, abnormal release of histamine, spasm, inflammation, etc.
In cases of ulcerative diseases (like Ulcerative colitis), it leads the immune mechanism to enhance ulcer healing mechanism.
In cases of chronic infections (e.g. Hepatitis C ) it reduces the count and activities of the virus.
This goes true for most chronic diseases.
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