Blog Post

05 April 2018

Biofeedback & Neurofeedback: What is it and What Does it Treat?

We all want to perform at our best. Whether that is physically performing in a sport or activity, or mentally performing at school or work, the better our minds and bodies are able to perform, the more success we’re going to have. When medical conditions and symptoms are obstructing us from performing at the best of our ability, it can strain our enjoyment of the work we do.

Biofeedback and neurofeedback are emerging tools that are demonstrating efficacy in improving both physiological and psychological performance through increased response time and concentration. The cutting-edge and medication-free therapies have led to tremendous results in treating a number of conditions.

What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a therapeutic procedure that utilizes computers and electronic sensors to accurately measure, process, and “feed back” a patient’s information about their neurophysiological, neuromuscular, and autonomic activity. The data is received and analyzed in the computer in the form of auditory and/or visual signs. The data that is collected is then observed and deployed to train someone to voluntarily control specific involuntary functions.

Each and every day, your body commits thousands of actions. Some of those actions are considered voluntary actions and others are involuntary. For example, when you reach for a pen to jot down some notes on a piece of paper, that’s a body function that you’re in control of. Your brain is sending out messages to your arm, hand, and fingers to instruct them to do their part so that you pick up the pen and copy down the information. The same goes for shaking someones hand, bending your knee, taking a step, and typing a text message on your phone. You’re already in control of each of these body functions. Biofeedback is all about learning how to control what are normally involuntary body functions.

Involuntary body functions consist of things like heart rate, body temperature, brainwave activity, and blood pressure. Your body’s involuntary functions are usually dictated by your environment. For example, when you’re stressed or nervous, your heart rate and body temperature will spike. Most involuntary body functions are going to have a negative effects on your performance. With biofeedback, you can train to control  and manage these functions, which by result will improve your performance.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a specialized type of biofeedback therapy where the data that is collected focuses specifically on an individual’s brainwaves. Neurofeedback provides a look at an individual’s brainwaves in the form of a live EEG scan. The information collected allows for an individual to understand how their mind is working, which is the first step in learning how to control and train their minds to improve performance.

The human brain is constantly firing off messages in the form of electrical impulses. The EEG scan used in neurofeedback therapy allows for professionals to observe those impulses. The scan provides a detailed reasoning for why particular brain functions may be inhibiting performance. Once the source of the issue is detected in the data, therapy and exercises are designed to retrain the subject’s brain to more effectively dispatch those impulses, thereby improving performance.

What Do Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Treat?

Through biofeedback and neurofeedback, patients can train themselves to be more aware their physiological and neurological processes. The therapies can be applied to treat a number of symptoms and medical conditions. At The Center for Biofeedback and Peak Performance, we’ve used biofeedback and neurofeedback to treat the following symptoms and conditions:

The Center for Biofeedback and Peak Performance

While both biofeedback and neurofeedback have demonstrated efficacy in treating the symptoms and conditions above, it’s important to understand that the therapy requires a number of sessions over a period of time. At the end of each session we review how an individual is progressing and make adjustments to the training methods if needed. Depending on the involuntary function and the person receiving treatment for, it can take anywhere from 10-40 sessions to retrain the brain through biofeedback.

At The Center for Biofeedback and Peak Performance, our staff boast over 20 years of brain-training experience that, in combination with our state-of-the-art technology, makes us the go-to mental health professionals for biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about why we are so good at what we do, contact us today.