Biofeedback

Biofeedback can help…

Biofeedback is a computerized training technique where you are taught to improve your health by understanding signals and "feedback" from your own body.  With the help of computerized equipment and an experienced biofeedback therapist, you can successfully learn how your decisions, thoughts, and behaviors can affect your physical health.  Even more importantly, you can learn effective strategies to change the coping skills that may be contributing to anxiety, panic and medical problems (including heart problems, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, headaches/migraines, and high blood pressure).  The result?  Better coping skills, less physical symptoms, and an increased sense of awareness that can lead to a better quality of life. 

The equipment used for biofeedback therapy provides you with information that is beyond the normal senses.  Measurement devices are connected (non-invasively) to you that allows you to actually see, firsthand, how your body is reacting to stress and other factors that may be resulting in physical or emotional problems.  Once you understand how your body is affected by such factors, you’ll learn several strategies that can help improve your physical symptoms.    

How It Works

Biofeedback training allows you to better understand how your thoughts and actions are affecting your physical body.  The body's response to stress, often leading to unhealthy coping methods, can result in (or accentuate) serious medical and emotional problems. By learning ways to control your physical reactions to stressful situations, not only will you reduce your symptoms, but you can prevent them from coming back!

Biofeedback training utilizes measurement devices to provide "feedback" to you during your training sessions.  It provides information to you that is beyond the normal senses of physical functioning.  The biofeedback therapist will help you understand this feedback and teach you strategies to train your mind and your body to be more efficient in the areas of thinking and behaving, leading to reduced physical symptoms and increased emotional comfort.  Through biofeedback, you can decrease headaches and/or migraines, lower blood pressure, improve your ability to deal with anxiety and panic, and reduce physical symptoms and pain, among many other positive outcomes.

The most commonly used measurement devices used at the Center for Coping include:

  • EMG (electromyograph): Measures muscle contractions in different areas of the body       
  • Thermal:  Measures skin temperature (blood flow) in the fingers    
  • Skin conductance: Measures conductance (sweat gland activity) of the skin   
  • Heart rate: Measures heart rate   
  • Respiratory rate: Measures abdominal breathing      
  • Blood pressure:  Measures blood pressure in the body
                                                    

All measurement devices are non-invasive and completely safe. All equipment is state-of-the-art, and of the most advanced in biofeedback technology.  

Benefits

The purpose of biofeedback training is to help you learn skills that empower you to take responsibility for your emotional and physical health.  Some of the most common problems that the Center for Coping biofeedback therapists treat include:

  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Stress Management
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's, Colitis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) & other menstrual disorders
  • Insomnia, other sleep disorders
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • TMJ
  • Raynaud's Phenomenon
  • Muscle pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • and many more

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

How does biofeedback work?
During a typical biofeedback session, the therapist will connect you to one or several measurement devices that help you  better understand the physiological processes occurring within the body.  Some devices include EMG (measuring muscle contractions), thermal (skin temperature), skin conductance (sweat gland activity), respiration (breathing), heart rate activity, and blood pressure.  By monitoring these measurements and utilizing customized techniques (taught by the biofeedback therapist) to help reduce stress and physical or emotional symptoms, you can begin to experience relief for many problems that were otherwise treated by medication and subsequent therapies.  (Click here for more information about how biofeedback works.)

What age group is treated through biofeedback?
Individuals of all ages can be treated with biofeedback.  For children, it is recommended that they be over the age of 5.  

How long are biofeedback sessions?
The first biofeedback session is 60 minutes in length.  This involves a comprehensive intake evaluation and baseline reading, which will enable us to track your progress throughout treatment. All subsequent sessions are approximately 45 minutes.  The length of treatment depends on the intensity and frequency of the symptoms and your motivation.  The therapist will periodically evaluate and discuss your progress to better determine the approximate length of treatment. 

Does the equipment involve needles or otherwise invasive procedures?
Biofeedback is completely safe and non-invasive.  There are no needles or insertion devices used in this treatment.  Measurement devices are attached to your skin, either through adhesives, medical tape, or velcro.

Who conducts the biofeedback training?
The Center for Coping's biofeedback therapists are approved by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) and the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback (AAPB).

How can I set up an appointment?
Please call the Center for Coping at (516) 822-3131 to set up an initial appointment with one of our trained biofeedback therapists.