Biofeedback Therapy is a non-drug treatment in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.It is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception.
Types or measurment procedures/instruments of Biofeedback Therapy
Several different relaxation exercises are used in biofeedback therapy, including:
- Progressive muscle relaxation – alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups
- Guided imagery – concentrating on a specific image (such as the color and texture of an orange) to focus your mind and make you feel more relaxed
- Mindfulness meditation — focusing your thoughts and letting go of negative emotions
- Brainwave – This type of method uses scalp sensors to monitor your brain waves using an electroencephalograph (EEG).
- Deep breathing – During respiratory biofeedback, bands are placed around your abdomen and chest to monitor your breathing pattern and respiration rate.
- Heart rate – This type of biofeedback uses finger or earlobe sensors with a device called a photoplethysmograph or sensors placed on your chest, lower torso or wrists using an electrocardiograph (ECG) to measure your heart rate and heart rate variability.
- Muscle – This method of biofeedback involves placing sensors over your skeletal muscles with an electromyography (EMG) to monitor the electrical activity that causes muscle contraction.
- Sweat glands – Sensors attached around your fingers or on your palm or wrist with an electrodermograph (EDG) measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety.
- Temperature – Sensors attached to your fingers or feet measure your blood flow to your skin. Because your temperature often drops when you’re under stress, a low reading can prompt you to begin relaxation techniques.
Different types of biofeedback are used to monitor different body functions
Electromyography (EMG) biofeedback – measures muscle tension as it changes over time
Thermal or temperature biofeedback – measures body temperature changes over time
Electroencephalography – measures brain wave activity over time
Galvanic skin response training – measures the amount of sweat on your body over time
Heart variability biofeedback – measures your pulse and heart rate
- Electro Acupuncture, Reflexology, and Cranio- Sacral.
- Allergy Desensitization.
- Detoxification and Homotoxicology.
- Spinal Scan and Adjustment.
- Dental and TMJ.
- NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming).
- Nutritional Balancing.
- Rejuvenation and Anti-Aging
- Biofeedback and Stress Reduction.
- Classical and Combination Homeopathic Remedies.
- Colour and Music Therapy.
- Energy Center Balancing, Rife Frequencies
- Weight Management and Fat Loss.
Indications/ Uses of Biofeedback Therapy
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- High blood pressure
- Raynaud’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Post traumatic stress syndrome
- Headache – migraine – tensionheadache
- Balance disorders
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervical whiplash
- Chemotherapy side effects
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Complex regional pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Cumulative trauma
- Muscle tension or spasms
- Urinary incontinence (frequent urges to urinate)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Tension or migraine headaches
- TMJ symptoms (temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Digestive symptoms including constipation, IBS and diarrhea
- Anxiety and depression
- Eating disorders
- ADHD and autism spectrum disorders
- Head injuries
- Learning disabilities
- Motion sickness
- Muscle spasms
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cancer recovery
- Heart disease
- And just about any other condition made worse by stress
- Myofascial pain
- Panic attacks
- Pelvic pain
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Referred pain
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Shoulder impingement
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
- Unstable shoulder
- Upper extremity pain
- Upper trapezius myalgia
Main test categories of Biofeedback Therapy
- Nutritional Deficiencies and Hormonal Imbalance.
- Allergies and Food Sensitivities
- Toxicities, Fungi, and Parasites
- Physical Body – Organs, Muscles, Glands, Blood, and More
- Brain Wave Patterns.
- Emotional Blockages and Mental Stress, Chakras.
- The Top Most Reactive Issues With the Risks Profile.
- Skin, hair, saliva, and urine testing.
- Supplements and Drugs Energetic Compatibility.
Efficacy of Biofeedback Therapy
Yucha and Montgomery’s (2008) ratings are listed for the five levels of efficacy recommended by a joint Task Force and adopted by the Boards of Directors of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology (AAPB) and the International Society for Neuronal Regulation (ISNR).From weakest to strongest, these levels include:
Not empirically supported, possibly efficacious, probably efficacious, efficacious, and efficacious and specific.
Level 1: Not empirically supported – This designation includes applications supported by anecdotal reports and/or case studies in non-peer-reviewed venues. Yucha and Montgomery (2008) assigned eating disorders, immune function, spinal cord injury, and syncope to this category.
Level 2: Possibly efficacious – This designation requires at least one study of sufficient statistical power with well-identified outcome measures but lacking randomized assignment to a control condition internal to the study. Yucha and Montgomery (2008) assigned asthma, autism, Bell palsy, cerebral palsy, COPD, coronary artery disease, cystic fibrosis, depression, erectile dysfunction, fibromyalgia, hand dystonia, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, repetitive strain injury, respiratory failure, stroke, tinnitus, and urinary incontinence in children to this category.
Level 3: Probably efficacious –This designation requires multiple observational studies, clinical studies, waitlist-controlled studies, and within subject and intrasubject replication studies that demonstrate efficacy. Yucha and Montgomery (2008) assigned alcoholism and substance abuse, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, fecal disorders in children, fecal incontinence in adults, insomnia, pediatric headache, traumatic brain injury, urinary incontinence in males, and vulvar vestibulitis (vulvodynia) to this category.
Level 4: Efficacious – This designation requires the satisfaction of six criteria
- In a comparison with a no-treatment control group, alternative treatment group, or sham (placebo) control using randomized assignment, the investigational treatment is shown to be statistically significantly superior to the control condition or the investigational treatment is equivalent to a treatment of established efficacy in a study with sufficient power to detect moderate differences.
- The studies have been conducted with a population treated for a specific problem, for whom inclusion criteria are delineated in a reliable, operationally defined manner.
- The study used valid and clearly specified outcome measures related to the problem being treated.
- The data are subjected to appropriate data analysis.
- The diagnostic and treatment variables and procedures are clearly defined in a manner that permits replication of the study by independent researchers.
- The superiority or equivalence of the investigational treatment has been shown in at least two independent research settings.
Yucha and Montgomery (2008) assigned attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a chronic pain, epilepsy, constipation (adult), headache (adult), hypertension, motion sickness, Raynaud’s disease, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction to this category.
Level 5: Efficacious and specific – The investigational treatment must be shown to be statistically superior to credible sham therapy, pill, or alternative bona fide treatment in at least two independent research settings. Yucha and Montgomery (2008) assigned urinary incontinence (females) to this category.
Criteria eligibity of Information from the National Library of Medicine
During the previous year, all patients must have experienced or reported at least two of the following symptoms for at least three months and with 25% of bowel movements (when not taking laxatives)
- Patient must be right-handed
- stool frequency of less than three/week,
- passage of hard stools,
- excessive straining,
- a feeling of incomplete evacuation,
- sensation of anorectal obstruction or blockage and
- use of manual maneuvers to facilitate defecations (e.g., digital evacuation).
- No evidence of structural disease (excluded by colonoscopy)
- Enema and metabolic problem by lab tests.
- Patients on stable doses of antidepressants without anticholinergic effects will be included.
- Patient must be undergoing biofeedback treatment
- Patient must be right-handed
- Patients taking drugs that are constipating, (e.g.; calcium channel antagonists will either be excluded or drug discontinued)
- Patients with comorbid illnesses; severe cardiac disease, chronic renal failure or previous gastrointestinal surgery except cholecystectomy and appendectomy.
- Neurologic diseases e.g.; head injury.epilepsy,multiple sclerosis, strokes, spinal cord injuries.
- Impaired cognizance (mini mental score of < 15) and/or legally blind.
- Pregnant or likely to conceive during the course of the study. Women with potential for pregnancy must be willing to use contraceptive measures during the study. Urinary pregnancy tests will be performed on such women prior to any radiologic procedures.
- Hirschsprung’s disease.
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- Ulcerative and Crohns colitis.
- Previous pelvic surgery, rectocele repair, bladder repair, radical hysterectomy.
- Rectal prolapse or anal fissure or anal surgery.
- Presence of metal in the skull, cranial cavity, back or hips.
- People who have a cardiac pacemaker, an implanted defibrillator, or a medication pump.