Biofeedback is a powerful technique for learning how to bring yourself into healthy physical and emotional balance. As you receive instantaneous feedback from sensors on your body that measure your heart rate, blood flow, adrenaline, brain activity, muscle tension, and other subtle physiological processes, you learn how to better control your brain and nervous system. By making subtle changes in your breathing, thinking patterns, and emotional state, you learn to handle stress better and maintain a healthy state of relaxed alertness. Biofeedback training can help to decrease anxiety, enhance mood, reduce headaches and chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep and concentration. The improvements in concentration and the ability to handle stress often lead to enhanced academic, athletic and occupational performance.
HEART RATE VARIABILITY BIOFEEDBACK
Of all the biofeedback methods available, I have found heart rate variability to be especially effective and rapid in bringing about positive change (often within one or two sessions). Heart rate variability (HRV) reveals the beat to beat changes in your heart rate. Under stress, these rhythms become disrupted and erratic. In moments of calmness, HRV becomes noticeably more rhythmic and orderly, reflecting greater balance and orderliness in the autonomic nervous system and the many processes it regulates. With HRV biofeedback training you can learn to shift your thoughts and your breathing pattern to enhance your heart rate variability and rapidly bring yourself into a healthy state of balance.
Ironically, these techniques for regulating thinking and breathing have been intuitively understood and practiced for thousands of years among yogis and Zen masters. Biofeedback helps you accelerate the learning curve for developing these self-management capabilities. Many of my clients learn these skills quickly in my office and then practice them between sessions, often with at-home biofeedback programs they can use on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. They enjoy being able to see on their screen how the self-management technique they are practicing instantly creates a smooth, healthy heart rhythm.