Biofeedback / HRV Training
What Is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback involves becoming cognizant of how your thoughts, emotions, and breathing can influence your body's functioning and discovering how to optimize your body and mind's capabilities through targeted feedback.
An effortless way to understand this concept is by recalling a time when you felt anxious or stressed. Like most individuals, you may have tightened your facial or shoulder muscles and held your breath. By holding your breath and then inhaling deeply, you disrupt your body's natural functioning and worsen your stress response. Although stress is frequently unavoidable, the purpose of Biofeedback is to teach you how to control your response to stress so that you do not become trapped in a harmful cycle. In essence, Biofeedback helps you develop self-regulation abilities, increase your resilience, and enter a state of balance more rapidly and easily.
What Is Biofeedback Helpful For?
Biofeedback is helpful for many issues or conditions, especially ones related to stress. Here are just some of the conditions and issues we recommend Biofeedback for:
Anxiety / Depression
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Chronic Muscle Pain
How Does Biofeedback Work?
Biofeedback encompasses a variety of techniques, but its primary objective is to shift the nervous system from a fight or flight response to a rest and digest state, which are respectively referred to as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. People leading busy or stressful lives tend to experience a more sympathetic response, which can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels while decreasing digestion, serotonin levels, and immune function. In contrast, a balanced nervous system promotes harmony between the body and mind, resulting in reduced heart rate and blood pressure, increased blood flow to the digestive system, improved focus and sleep, a sense of calmness, and increased energy.
The HeartMath Institute, a research organization focused on stress and resilience, has termed this state of being "coherence," which is akin to being "in the zone." The institute has also conducted extensive research on Heart Rate Variability (HRV), a measure used to assess general well-being, all-cause mortality, elite athlete training optimization, and innovation at top companies. Biofeedback training can help you achieve coherence and improve your ability to recognize how stress affects your body and mind, respond to stress more effectively, and recover from stressors more quickly. Moreover, it treats the underlying cause of the issue and promotes a sense of calmness, anytime and anywhere, without the need for medication. Biofeedback is a valuable tool that you can use throughout your life as needed.
Comparing Biofeedback And Meditation
The combination of mindfulness and biofeedback allows you to directly observe how your mindfulness practice affects your body's physiology through the use of feedback technology. This feedback helps determine if your practice is beneficial for your individual needs and differences. Although meditation is also beneficial in conjunction with biofeedback, it often requires finding a time and place to sit quietly, which can be challenging during stressful situations. Biofeedback provides discrete techniques to face stressors head-on, making it a "rescue inhaler" for stress. Practicing mindfulness or meditation independently of biofeedback may not take into account your ideal breathing rate or Resonance Frequency (RF) Breathing, which has been shown to improve coherence and heart rate variability (HRV). Dysfunctional breathing patterns, such as chest or reverse breathing, are common and can be addressed through biofeedback training.