ONDAMED & Biofeedback

What is Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that involves using visual or auditory feedback to gain control over involuntary bodily functions. This may include gaining voluntary control over such things as heart rate, muscle tension, blood flow, pain perception, and blood pressure. This process involves being connected to a device with sensors that provide feedback about specific aspects of your body.

A Closer Look at Biofeedback

The goal of biofeedback is often to make subtle changes to the body that result in the desired effect. This might include relaxing certain muscles slowing heart rate or respiration, or reducing feelings of pain. By doing this, people are often able to improve their physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, biofeedback can also be used to help people better manage the symptoms of a condition.

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback defines biofeedback as a process that allows people to alter their physiological activity in order to improve health or performance. Utilizing precise measurement instruments, information about the body’s functions are provided to the user.

“The presentation of this information—often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior—supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument,” they suggest.

Types of Biofeedback

There are many different types of biofeedback. The specific approach you choose to utilize might depend upon what you hope to accomplish and what your therapist or physician recommends.

Some of the available options include:

Breathing: Respiratory biofeedback involves wearing sensor bands around the chest and abdomen to monitor breathing rates and patterns. With training, people can learn to have greater control over their breathing rates which can help in a variety of situations.

Heart rate: This type is known as heart rate variability biofeedback and there is some evidence that it might possibly be useful for a number of different disorders including asthma and depression. Patients using this type of biofeedback wear a device connected to sensors in either the ears or fingers or sensors placed on the wrists, chest, or torso. These devices measure heart rate as well as heart rate variability.

Galvanic skin response: This type of biofeedback involves measuring the amount of sweat on the surface of the skin. Galvanic skin response, also known as skin conductance, is a useful marker for detecting levels of emotional arousal. Aside from the obvious thermoregulatory function of sweat, emotional stimulation can also easily trigger sweating. The more strongly people are aroused, the stronger their skin conductance will be.

Blood pressure: This type of biofeedback involves wearing a device that measures blood pressure. These devices provide information about the patient’s blood pressure and often guide the user through relaxation techniques that may rely on visual cues, breathing exercises, or music. While such devices have gained popularity, one study reviewing eight previous trials did not find convincing evidence that this type of biofeedback has any lasting long-term impact on hypertension.

Skin temperature: In this form of biofeedback, patients wear sensors that detect blood flow to the skin. Because people often experience a drop in body temperature during times of stress, such devices can help people better detect when they are starting to feel distressed. A low reading on one of these monitors can indicate a need to utilize some stress management techniques.

Brain waves: This type of biofeedback, often referred to as neurofeedback, involves utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain wave activity. Scalp sensors are connected to an EEG device. Neurofeedback is sometimes used as a non-invasive treatment for ADHD, pain, addiction, anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Muscle tension: In this type of biofeedback, sensors are placed at various points on the body and connected to an electromyography (EMG) device. This device detects changes in muscle tension over time by monitoring electrical activity that results in muscle contractions.

And then there is ONDAMED: While stimulating the body with gentle focused pulsed electromagnetic fields similar to what your own body uses for communication purposes, it helps identify stressed areas in the body with the help of the patient’s pulse feedback (vascular signal). The identified stressed areas are brought to the patient’s attention and stimulated for repair and regeneration of such tissue areas, which are potentially responsible for patients’ symptoms and disease processes. This therapy is especially helpful to balance parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, impacting the psyche, immune system, and endocrine system.

Ref: Biological Psychology Sept. 25, 2019

Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback therapy is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature.

How Is Biofeedback Used?

Biofeedback has been used for a range of applications, including:

  • Treating tension headaches, migraines, and other pain
  • Controlling high and low blood pressure
  • Alleviating digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Helping patients control physical reactions to stress or anxiety
  • Aiding in relaxation and stress management
  • EEG feedback has also been shown to be beneficial in managing symptoms of certain brain injuries and attention deficit disorder, and there is some evidence suggesting it might be efficacious in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Biofeedback is particularly useful for managing stress as well as symptoms of conditions that may be exacerbated by stress. For example, therapists might use biofeedback to help patients control their responses to stress. Chronic stress can have a wide range of negative health effects including decreased immunity, heart disease, depression, digestive problems, and sleep disorders. By learning how to manage the stress response using biofeedback, patients are able to decrease the harmful physical and psychological effects of stress.

Biofeedback Equipment/Machine

Biofeedback devices (including devices that measure muscle stress or tension, breathing or brain waves, etc.) are actually a combination of highly sophisticated physiological recording equipment and audio and visual teaching display systems.

Biofeedback Training

Biofeedback is often considered a type of training, rather than a treatment. With training and practice, biofeedback can be used to help people develop new skills that may help them to better cope or perform. In order to be effective, biofeedback requires that patients play an active role in their treatment.

How Does Biofeedback Work?

So how exactly does biofeedback work? By learning how to recognize the physical signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as increased heart rate, body temperature, and muscle tension, people are able to learn how to relax. Scientists believe that it is often the stress response, the body’s tendency to go into a state of “fight-or-flight” in order to deal with potential threats that often exacerbate certain conditions. By learning how to control physiological responses to stress, biofeedback patients are able to learn how to relax their minds and bodies and better cope with the symptoms of stress.

So what is a typical biofeedback session like? Electrical sensors will be connected to specific areas of your body, depending upon the type of response that is being measured. These sensors will be connected to a measurement device that will provide feedback on your physical responses. During your session, your therapist will guide you through different mental exercises that may involve visualization, meditation, breathing, or relaxation techniques. As you perform these activities, you will receive information on your physical response from the measurement device.

How long does Biofeedback take?

A biofeedback session will often last between 30 and 60 minutes. The duration of treatment and the number of sessions required depends on many factors, including how well you respond to the training, the condition you are focusing on, and your goals for treatment. A typical course of treatment often includes 4 to 6 sessions, although 8 to 10 sessions are also not uncommon.

ONDAMED & Biofeedback

The ONDAMED Biofeedback System combines stimulation of gentle focused pulsed electromagnetic fields with Biofeedback. The feedback from the patient is done by monitoring the pulse rate and SpO2 displayed on the device. In addition, the practitioner palpates the patient’s radial pulse (aka vascular signal). This method allows personalizing stimulation of frequencies and sound along with placing applicators on most reactive stressed areas on the body for the patient’s fastest and lasting recovery.

The ONDAMED device is an intelligent approach to providing stimulation with your body’s own communication language, which is electromagnetic. The brilliance of the ONDAMED method is the personalization of targeted localized frequency stimulation raising awareness to the patient to overcome stress and stress-related disorders.