Biofeedback is a mind-body therapy approach that teaches you how to mindfully alter the way your body functions. During biofeedback training, your body is connected to electrical sensors which detect changes in your pulse, skin temperature, muscle tone, brain-wave pattern or other physiological functions. This feedback enables you to make subtle changes in your automatic body functions, such as heart rate, muscle tension and even brain waves. In essence, biofeedback gives you the ability to practice new ways to control your physiology, often to improve a health condition, enhance physical performance or reduce pain or chronic stress. One form of this is TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which is a type of brain stimulation therapy.
What is Biofeedback/ TMS?
How does Biofeedback work?
During a biofeedback session, painless sensors are placed on your skin. The sensors measure physiological signals from your body, such as:
- Heart rate
- Muscle activity
- Muscle movement and tension
- Electrical brain activity
- Skin temperature
A nearby screen displays the results, which your therapist will explain. Then your therapist will suggest strategies to change how your body is functioning. You may be asked to change the way you sit, stand, or move, alter your breathing, or relax your muscles. With practice, you can learn to create the same physiological changes without the feedback screen or the therapist’s prompts.
TMS uses sensors that electro-magnetically stimulate your brain, and is found to help treat co-occurring diseases, like depression. TMS follows a similar process of monitoring how your body reacts to stimuli.
How will Biofeedback help heal my addiction?
Understanding how the mind and body are physically affected by addiction, and how to modify those effects, can help recovering addicts feel more in control of their recovery. Biofeedback therapy can be effective in treating mental health disorders that co-occur with alcohol and drug abuse. It can help you control symptoms of your condition or even reduce the amount of medication you take. Eventually, you can practice the biofeedback techniques you learn on your own.