Benefits of Biofeedback

Learn more about the benefits of biofeedback and how biofeedback can be used to improve overall health.

Table of Contents

What is Biofeedback Therapy?

Biofeedback therapy can treat several conditions, such as mental health challenges, addiction, and chronic pain. If you’re interested in biofeedback treatment, this article will cover the benefits of biofeedback and resources on the best way to get started. 

Biofeedback therapy involves tracking body functions like heart rate, breathing, and body temperature while receiving therapeutic treatment. While monitoring these body functions, therapists will help identify triggers and teach relaxation techniques to calm the mind and body.

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What is the Purpose of Biofeedback Therapy?

The main benefits of biofeedback revolve around the fact that tracking how your body responds to therapy provides positive reinforcement to patients about how different coping mechanisms can help. For instance, when someone sees that taking some deep breaths calms their heart or breath rate significantly during times of stress, they know it will be effective for coping in everyday life. Biofeedback enables individuals to regain autonomy over their lives through healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms.1

What are the Different Types of Biofeedback?

There are many types of biofeedback treatment. Common types of biofeedback will track things like:

  • Brain waves
  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle contraction
  • Sweat gland activity
  • Temperature
  • Blood pressure
The type of biofeedback used for treatment will depend on the individual and their condition. Brain wave biofeedback, also known as EEG neurofeedback, is common for treating conditions like mental health and substance use disorders.2

What are the Different Uses of Biofeedback?

Biofeedback treatment can be used to treat many conditions. Common conditions biofeedback treats include:

  • Asthma
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Side effects from chemotherapy
  • High blood pressure
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression

Studies have shown that biofeedback is effective for each of these conditions. It is an approved form of medical treatment in combination with a well-rounded recovery program.

What are the Benefits of Biofeedback?

There are many benefits of biofeedback. Benefits from therapy may be physical, mental, or emotional, and will vary based on individual application and need.

Physical Benefits of Biofeedback

The physical benefits of biofeedback often involve feeling in control of your physical response to stressful circumstances or managing things like chronic pain better.

Feel More in Control of Physiological Responses

During biofeedback, tracking things like heart rate and blood pressure will give you an idea of when your body’s physiological responses are elevated. This helps you use coping techniques effectively to calm the mind and body in stressful situations.

Reduce Headaches

Biofeedback also benefits those who struggle with headaches or migraines. Some who struggle with chronic headaches may experience them due to other factors in their lives. Biofeedback can teach you daily habits and exercises that help reduce headaches and other pain symptoms.

Reduced Dependence on Invasive Treatments

Biofeedback is a non-invasive treatment with little to no side effects. This helps you reduce medication doses and avoid other treatment options that are invasive or have more side effects.

Improved Sleep

Relaxation techniques learned during treatment can be used by those who struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Better quality sleep will also improve other co-occurring conditions as well.

Reduced Pain

Those who experience chronic pain may benefit from biofeedback. Treatment will teach physical relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes that can be implemented to reduce pain and muscle tension.

Reduced Urinary Incontinence

Those who struggle with urinary incontinence can benefit from biofeedback. Biofeedback will work to help identify the root cause of the issue and teach muscle relaxation techniques or other lifestyle changes that can help.

Faster Recovery from Injuries

Athletes or those who have been injured in an accident can recover faster with biofeedback as part of their rehabilitation program. Biofeedback can track how muscles respond to treatment methods and identify areas that can be treated that speed up recovery.

Improved Muscle or Motor Control

Biofeedback often incorporates exercises that help with posture or motor control through changes that can be made in your daily life. This helps those struggling with injuries or pain begin feeling healthier and regain control of their lives.

Mental & Emotional Benefits of Biofeedback

The mental and emotional benefits of biofeedback are often used to improve mental health, reduce stress, and manage behavioral struggles like substance abuse.

Improve Mental Well-Being

Biofeedback teaches relaxation techniques that benefit mental well-being. These are often coping skills that can help manage triggers and reduce stress in daily life.

Improved Focus

Those who struggle with ADHD or other behavioral conditions will experience improved focus from biofeedback. One of the benefits of biofeedback that tracks brain waves is identifying moments when someone becomes unfocused and teaching skills that can make great improvements in their lives.

Better Cognitive Functioning

One of the benefits of biofeedback that is often reported is better cognitive functioning, such as improved memory or learning new things more easily. Exercises in biofeedback that help manage brain waves can identify daily changes that help significantly boost focus in school, at work, and other areas of someone’s life.

Gain More Control Over Mood and Stress

The benefits of biofeedback can help you feel more in control of your mood, stress, or anxiety. Treatment will help you learn coping mechanisms that can be easily incorporated into daily life to help with this.

Helps with OCD, PTSD, Depression, and Other Mental Health Conditions

Biofeedback can benefit many different mental health conditions. Treatment helps patients identify triggers or areas of daily life where they are struggling and learn ways to calm the mind and body effectively.

Reduces Urges or Addictive Behaviors

One of the struggles many go through during addiction treatment is managing triggers that can pop up in everyday life. Biofeedback helps identify triggers and how the body responds to them. This allows treatment professionals to provide effective coping skills during these times.

Who Performs Biofeedback?

The person who usually performs biofeedback is a biofeedback therapist. All biofeedback therapists at Profound are licensed medical professionals that are highly trained in providing different types of biofeedback therapy. Proper training is very important for patients to get the full benefits of biofeedback treatment.

How is Biofeedback Performed?

Biofeedback therapy is performed by attaching sensors to the skin or fingers of the patient. Where the sensors are placed will depend on the type of biofeedback being used and what exactly the therapist is looking for. For instance, if you are tracking heart rate, the sensors would be placed on the chest or wrists.3

Once the sensors are in the right place, your biofeedback therapist will:

  • Ask you some questions
  • Go through different activities
  • Teach relaxation techniques
  • Help identify the best treatment options that suit your needs

Going through this treatment process will get you the benefits of the biofeedback treatment you want.

How Do I Prepare for My Biofeedback Treatment?

The best way to get the benefits of biofeedback is to go into your therapy sessions prepared and relaxed. In order to prepare for your first biofeedback session, it is helpful to talk to the treatment center, a medical professional, or the biofeedback therapist who will be providing treatment to ask any questions you may have about this type of therapy. 

Many treatment centers will allow you to have a consultation session before you start. The consultation helps treatment professionals determine the best treatment for your needs. You will also get a chance to learn about treatment and feel comfortable with the process.

What to Expect During a Biofeedback Therapy Session

During a biofeedback session, your therapist will likely ask you questions, discuss topics you are struggling with, and go through exercises that can help. It is important to be open and honest during these sessions to get all the benefits of biofeedback treatment.

Benefits of biofeedback

Where Can I Get Biofeedback Therapy?

If you’re looking for biofeedback therapy for mental health or addiction, going to a treatment center that provides a full inpatient treatment program is often the best option. If you’re in the Los Angeles, California area, Profound can help you get the best treatment for your needs.

How Does Biofeedback Reduce Stress?

Mindfulness and breathing exercises are some of the main activities during biofeedback. These exercises help reduce stress to even out your heart rate, breath rate, brain waves, etc., during times of stress. This is very helpful for those who struggle with anxiety, panic disorders, PTSD, or other conditions that put stress on the mind or body.4

Can You Do Biofeedback at Home?

You can do biofeedback at home. Many treatment centers will offer packages to set up and do biofeedback sessions at home. However, going to a treatment center and meeting with a therapist in person can have many added benefits to a therapy session since it can be more personalized to fit your needs.

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