Biofeedback

Biofeedback allows us to obtain information about a biological activity that we aren't normally aware of; for example our heart rate, muscle tension, hand temperature, or brain waves.  Sensors attached to the surface of the body record and display the signal to the client on a computer screen.   The biofeedback professional interprets the signal and instructs the client in understanding and controlling the signal to learn to control a bodily function.   Biofeedback is a safe and drug-free way of learning self-regulation and restoring health and internal balance.   It is also a lot of fun!

Are there different types of biofeedback?

The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America defines three biofeedback specializations: general biofeedback, EEG biofeedback (also called neurofeedback) and pelvic muscle dysfunction biofeedback. Lake Professional Psychology Corporation specializes in general biofeedback to treat headaches, panic and anxiety, Raynaud's disease, hypertension, teeth clenching and grinding, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic illnesses. 

Does biofeedback work?  Is there research support for biofeedback? 

Research has shown that biofeedback is effective for numerous disorders including anxiety, headache, hypertension, jaw pain, Raynaud's and dysfunctional patterns of breathing.  The AAPB web site provides further information about treatment efficacy. 

Do I need to practice my biofeedback exercises between therapy session?

Yes.  Biofeedback involves learning a new skill and will require some daily practice.  This may involve 5-10 minutes of slow abdominal breathing, muscle relaxation or other "homework".  

What is a certified biofeedback professional?

A certified biofeedback professional is a licensed or supervised health professional who has completed specialized training in biofeedback.  This requires academic courses, supervision and passing an exam.  A certified professional has to obtain continuing education credits every year and adhere to the ethical principles of biofeedback..  (See BCIA for a more complete explanation).

Is biofeedback safe?

Yes, it is safe, non-invasive and does not cause side-effects.  However, if you are on certain medications (for example anti-hypertensives,  thyroid medication, etc.) you may require less medication as you improve with biofeedback.  Your therapist will discuss this with you and your doctor.

How many session of biofeedback will I need?

For milder conditions, as few as 2 to 5 sessions may suffice.  For more tenacious conditions or for clients who have experienced trauma,  a longer period of therapy may be needed. 

For more information about biofeedback,  go to the links page.