Throughout this site we emphasise our view that biofeedback is training rather than therapy, although there are many applications with conditions that we would normally associate with types of therapy. Biofeedback approaches can give us new insights into the status of an individual's Autonomic and Central Nervous systems and this has massive health benefits.
There are dozens of applications including the management of Stress, Insomnia, Traumatic Brain Injury, ADHD, stroke and much more. We know that by using biofeedback technology we can help people achieve greater balance in their Nervous System which is fundamental to improved health. We will cover many of these applications in Blog articles in the weeks and months to come - at present lets look here at just two applications of biofeedback that have proven efficacy - Biofeedback for Stress and Biofeedback for ADHD.
Biofeedback and Stress
What is stressful is a very individual thing. We all need a certain amount of stress to thrive but when this is too much individuals, teams and entire organisations are going to be damaged. It's all down to our physiology and the way we are "wired", Our response to stress is governed by our Autonomic Nervous System, (ANS) which is commonly described as our "fight or flight" response. This system does it's job largely unnoticed by you or I (we are not consciously controlling it) but when a stressful situation is detected by our brain a cascade of events are set in motion; some rapid and some much slower. Human physiology is better matched to an age when life was much simpler than it is today. Events can trigger and unbalance our ANS without our noticing and the long-term effects of imbalance are serious.
In our modern world rapid change and uncertainty are the norm. The way we live our lives can lead many people to feel overwhelmed, under-resourced, time pressured and stressed and this is a big problem. Symptoms such as indigestion, body aches, feelings of negativity and resentment may appear relatively insignificant or even unrelated to the workplace yet an accumulation of these “minor” symptoms often lead to far more dangerous conditions. Stress, when chronic is linked to conditions such as cancers. heart attacks and strokes.
Research has shown that a rise in the physical symptoms is a leading indicator of productivity losses. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most prominent public health issues affecting approximately one in four adults. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for death and disability, and has been strongly linked with decreases in cognitive performance, memory loss and deterioration of healthy brain tissue.
Biofeedback today can allow the instantaneous identification of many physiological signals. More than this, critical information can be fedback to the trainee in a way that builds an awareness of exactly what is out of balance. This feedback gives the trainee leaverage to learn how to have greater awareness and control of their own response to stress. Over time the equipment is not needed.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Biofeedback
Large numbers of those diagnosed with ADHD have been studied with so-called quantitative EEG (qEEG) and it was found that their brain wave patterns are distinctly different from those of a "normal" population. The study of EEG often takes the form of analysing the frequency content of the raw signal and classifying the observations accordingly. Practitioners working with ADHD can utilise the EEG and other physiological signals and devise methods of feedback that encourage a "normalisation" of brain patterns with a coincident change over time in behaviour. Well developed and researched protocols now exist to impact on this condition. NeXus systems together with Biotrace software provide a perfect technical basis for ADHD training. Contact us for more information.