Biofeedback and Relaxation
Biofeedback is a term that was coined in 1969 to describe a unique process of developing the ability to self-regulate biological functions with the assistance of sensitive instruments. It is a natural process that incorporates the latest technology with holistic techniques of stress management. Biofeedback is utilized in a number of ways to treat various conditions. The most frequent use is to assist people in developing the ability to relax. Self-regulation of body processes is possible because of the mind-body interaction that exists in everyone and it is useful for a number of conditions including, but not limited to, anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, attention deficit disorders, pain management, tension headaches and migraine headaches. These are but a few of the areas for which biofeedback has been used.
Treatment length varies depending on the type and severity of symptoms and the motivation of the individual. Usually, individuals can gain proficiency in 10 to 15 sessions. Some disorders are treated quickly in 8-10 sessions. Long term or severe conditions may necessitate longer therapy. Due to relaxation and stress management being learned skills, practice is necessary at home between office visits. To maintain gains after training, continued practice is necessary and follow-up sessions may be recommended to insure that self-regulation skills and symptom reduction are maintained.
Credentialing/certification in biofeedback training is provided through the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA). The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) is the national organization for professional in this area. AAPB has a web site (http://www.aapb.org) that provides a great deal of information in this area. AAPB can also be contacted by phone 1-800-477-8892 or by mail 10200 W. 44th Ave., #304 Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033-2840.