What is Biofeedback ?

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What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a method to visualize the physiological processes which are taking place ‘inside’ the body, triggered by the nervous system.Biofeedback is a technique to learn how to control internal functions normally outside of conscious control. You learn this by using sensitive instruments that measure and display physical or mental processes of which you are not normally aware.

Biofeedback is typically used to treat chronic pain, urinary incontinence, high blood pressure, tension headache, and migraine headache.

The three most common types of biofeedback therapy are:

  • Thermal biofeedback - which measures skin temperature
  • Electromyography - measures muscle tension
  • Neurofeedback - measures brain wave activity

For example; if you run a race, it's handy to have a stop watch so you know when you're doing better and when you're not. In the same way, you can learn how to control muscle tension if you have a sensor showing you exactly how tense you are, when you are relaxing, and by how much. Or, it’s simple to learn how to control your heart rate if you have a heart monitor giving you 'feedback' about what your heart rate is.

With a thermometer you can learn how to change your skin temperature, which changes your blood flow and in turn can stop the onset of migraine headaches. By learning to control pelvic muscles with the help of a special monitor, you can learn to stop incontinence. Control your heart rate and you can regulate your stress levels.

Biofeedback is standard practice in sports performance. Its proven effectiveness has made it an accepted medical technique for decades; however few people are aware of this logical, self-regulatory alternative.

Neurofeedback is brainwave biofeedback

Sport psychologist Timothy Harkness used biofeedback training to help AbhinavBindra win the gold medal in the 10 metres air rifle event at the Beijing Olympics.

Advantages of biofeedback

  • Biofeedback can truly help eliminate health problems that are stress-related or that have a major psychosomatic component, whereas medication mostly addresses symptoms;
  • Biofeedback can assist in rehabilitation, incontinence and other areas as a complementary solution, applied along with therapy and medication;
  • Biofedback delivers persistent effects, as patients learn to apply the techniques in daily life, without needing equipment;
  • Biofeedback has no known side-effects, so they are a low risk solution;
  • Biofeedback educates people about their health and empowers them to take control. It shows the progress they are making, which is a strong motivating factor.

Commercial application of Biofeedback

The MindReflector® C-1 Neurofeedback Training Application is a true EEGBiofeedback/Neurofeedback training device for Windows-based operating systems (Coming soon for Mac OS). Your brain trains itself using visual and audio feedback from your library of mp3 and avi media files.

The MindReflector® C-1 application uses EEG brainwave data received from the NeuroSkyMindWave USB headset . Real-time information about a user’s state of mind is provided by the MindReflector® application to offer four different training protocols

  • Quiet Focus,
  • Meditative Relaxation,
  • Full Spectrum Training,
  • Alpha/Theta Training.

These protocols incorporate proprietary algorithms based on current brain-behavior research and knowledge of the neural correlates of consciousness.

Additional information on MindReflector Technologies, LLC and EEG Neurofeedback can be accessed at: www.mindreflector.com

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