When you raise your hand to wave hello to a friend, or raise your knee to take another step on a Stairmaster, you control these actions. Other body functions like heart rate, skin temperature, and high blood pressure are managed involuntarily by your nerve system. You do not think of making your heart beat faster. It simply occurs in reaction to your environment, like when you're anxious, thrilled, or working out.
Biofeedback is one strategy that can help you acquire more control over these normally uncontrolled functions. The treatment is used to help avoid or deal with conditions like migraine headaches, persistent discomfort, incontinence, and hypertension. Biofeedback can help you deal with common symptoms of drug withdrawal.
The concept behind biofeedback is by using the power of your mind and being mindful of exactly what's going on inside your body. With doing this, you can gain more control over your health.
Biofeedback is a treatment method where individuals are trained to enhance their health by using signals from their own bodies. Biofeedback physical therapy can help victims that have had strokes gain back motion in paralyzed muscles. Psychologists use it to help tense and nervous patients learn how to unwind. Professionals in several fields use biofeedback to help their patients manage discomfort.
Chances are, at one point you have actually used biofeedback yourself. You have used it if you have ever taken your temperature or stepped on a scale. The thermometer informs you whether you're running a fever, and the scale informs you whether you've put on weight. Both machines "feed back" information about your body's condition. Equipped with this information, you can take steps that you've discovered to learn the condition. When you're running a fever, you go to sleep and drink lots of fluids. When you've put on weight, you try to manage to eat less.
Clinicians respond on complex biofeedback devices in the same way that you rely on your scale or thermometer. Their machines can find an individual's internal physical functions with far higher levels of sensitivity and accuracy than an individual can alone. This information might be important. Both patients and therapists use it to evaluate and direct the development of treatment.
For patients, the biofeedback device functions as a sort of intuition which permits them to "see" or "hear" activity inside their bodies. One typically used type of device, for instance, puts electrical signals in the muscles. It equates these signals into a form that patients can identify. It activates a flashing light bulb or a beep each time muscles grow more tense. If patients want to unwind tense muscles, they attempt to decrease the flashing or beeping.
Like a pitcher, you learn how to throw a ball to home base, the biofeedback trainee, in an effort to enhance a skill, keeps an eye on performance. When a pitch is off the mark, the ballplayer changes the adjustment so that he can perform better the next time he attempts to throw. When the light flashes or the beeper beeps frequently, the biofeedback trainee makes internal changes which changes the signals. The biofeedback therapist serves as a coach, standing at the sidelines setting objectives and limitations on exactly what is anticipated and provides tips for ways to enhance efficiency.
One of the most Common Methods Used Within Addiction Treatment
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the three most common pre-owned types of biofeedback treatment are:
- Electromyography (EMG), which determines muscle tension.
- Thermal biofeedback, which determines skin temperature.
- Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG), which determines brain wave activity.
The later form, which is called neurotherapy, is used the majority of the time in the world of addiction treatment. Throughout the course of these sessions, an individual has actual electrodes connected to their scalp which are attached to an electroencephalograph that keeps track and reports the individual's brainwaves.
The biofeedback therapist helps you keep track and understand the changes portrayed by the biofeedback device. These changes are then communicated through various pitches of tones that represent your brainwaves.
As you work through relaxation workouts, the tone will change as your mindset responds. By assessing these tones, your therapist will help you become conscious of these changes and associate their domino effects in a way that directs your focus and psychological activities that produce wanted outcomes.
Research studies reveal that biofeedback holds success for those that deal with PTSD, stress, depression, anxiety, and ADHD, which are all conditions that might intensify, or add to a substance use condition. Anytime you have a concurrent health problem or condition, it is necessary that you notify any and every person that is associated with your addiction treatment of its existence and history. In order to be successful in your recovery and sobriety, you have to deal with any hidden issues, consisting of these or other comorbid conditions.
Research Study that Supports this Therapy
A paper released in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse narrated a research study that followed 121 people that abused numerous substances. Of these people, 94% reported using more than one substance.
All individuals were registered in an inpatient treatment program and received therapy and treatment based upon the Minnesota Model (otherwise called the abstaining technique). The speculative group of individuals got 40-50 EEG biofeedback sessions, while the control group received continuous treatments that compared to the period of time for the biofeedback sessions.
Research studies have reported that "of the experimental subjects finishing the procedure, 77% were abstinent at twelve months, compared to 44% for the controls." In addition, they discovered that the individuals who got the biofeedback had a higher treatment retention, balancing one hundred thirty-six days in treatment, whereas the control population lasted ninety-eight days. Research study authors concluded that "this procedure seems helpful for both sedative in addition to stimulant substances of abuse."
Biofeedback Therapy and Addiction Treatment
Biofeedback treatment can help recovering addicts understand their uncontrolled functions. Physicians then use this information to develop a treatment plan customized to their particular needs.
A lot of our bodily functions take place without us needing to consider them. When we're worried, tense or under serious psychological stress, these uncontrolled functions can make us more distressed. Biofeedback treatment tracks how the body is automatically responding to physical and psychological stress.
Biofeedback treatment tracks uncontrolled functions like:
- Breathing rate
- Heart rate
- Skin temperature
- Blood pressure
- Muscle contractions
Alcohol or drug withdrawal signs frequently cause physical tension and increased uncontrolled responses. Biofeedback can help you handle common symptoms of drug withdrawal, such as stress and anxiety, depression, persistent muscle discomfort and restlessness.
Biofeedback machines record physical functions and display them back to the recovering addict. For example, somebody's heart rate may appear like a pulsing light or image on a computer screen. If the light is pulsing rapidly, the recovering addict understands they have to use stress-relieving methods to decrease their heart rate. The beating of the light or image on the screen will decrease appropriately as heart rate slows down.
Biofeedback Therapy Exercises
- Mindfulness Meditation- An exercise that focuses on launching unfavorable feelings and ideas through tranquil concentration.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation- A workout where recovering addicts concentrate on releasing stress in overly tight muscles that are in the body, working on one muscle group at a time.
- Guided Imagery- An exercise that directs ideas towards relaxing, favorable images and situations to unwind the body and mind.
EEQ therapy, referred to as "neurofeedback," is a subset of biofeedback therapy that tries to relax overexcited brain activity. Gradually, continued use of alcohol and drugs can interrupt common brain wave patterns. These waves can cause irregular brain activity that is connected to stress and anxiety, depression and other psychological problems that may set off relapse.
Neurofeedback, a subset of biofeedback, can help bring brain waves back to healthy, pre-addiction levels. Paired with other addiction treatment therapies, neurofeedback can offer recovering addicts the coping skills to prevent relapse.
Why It’s Not More Common?
Up until 3 years back, equipment was not easy to use. Today there is equipment on the market, which is completely automated and extremely efficient. The symptom-based assessment procedure was difficult to learn and operator-dependent, for that reason outcomes were not consistent prior to automation. The QEEG method is labor extensive and rather pricey to administer. When a professional would leave, it would take months to train a replacement. Now with automated symptom-based neurofeedback systems, a new service technician can be trained to hook somebody up within hours and can be competent within weeks.
How long does it take?
The broad response is that it depends upon the symptoms. With that been stated, Individuals (children, teenagers, and adults) with ADD/ADHD typically start to see results in focus and concentration within five to seven sessions and will often conclude treatment in twenty-five sessions. Customers with stress and anxiety conditions, unipolar anxiety and substance use conditions typically take advantage of a more prolonged course of treatment, typically forty to forty-five sessions reveal incredible (and irreversible) changes.
Bipolar depression, long term, migraine victims, people with persistent discomfort and individuals with chronic relapse will gain from a longer course of treatment. Although improvements will be experienced throughout the course of treatment, for these conditions, more is actually better. In some cases, as many as seventy-five to one-hundred sessions have been reported to be useful. Each session is around thirty-five minutes, however, beginning sessions are often much shorter in duration.
Find the Help You Need to Overcome Addiction
Inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programs using biofeedback treatment that can help recovering addicts better understand their treatment needs. Biofeedback treatment incorporates well with other treatment alternatives like cognitive behavior changes (CBT). This treatment pairs well with other alternative healing methods like art and music therapy as well.
Many addiction treatment centers provide an extensive addiction treatment plan that consists of biofeedback therapy and other treatments. Call The Recover to begin conquering your addiction today.