When you experience a stressful situation, you may feel your body tense up, your heart palpitate, and your anxiety levels rise. These reactions are often so automatic, you may not even realize they’re happening — and you may not know how to stop them.
Through biofeedback training, you can strengthen your ability to be relaxed during stressful situations and lessen many emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms that hinder rather than help. Even better, you can do much of it without leaving the comfort of your home.
At Abbey Neurodynamic Center, our experienced neurology team provides biofeedback therapy to help improve your overall quality of life. While there are some components of biofeedback that require an office visit, we can help you get even better results with supplemental at-home exercises.
How biofeedback training works
Biofeedback therapy helps assess what’s going on in your body so you can change your behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. It lets you see how your body responds in stressful situations and allows you to gain better control over responses that result in pain or tension, helping you feel more relaxed.
Using a series of electrical sensors placed strategically on your skin, we can monitor activity levels in your brain. We can also measure things like muscle tension, heart rate, breathing, and temperature. We use this to assess what causes physical responses in your body and provide techniques that help you reduce those responses.
During biofeedback sessions, your body’s responses are reported back via cues like beeping on a monitor or flashes of light. With this feedback, you can see how relaxation techniques better change or control your body’s reactions in certain situations to provide relief from things like:
- High blood pressure
- ADHD and ADD
This is the part of biofeedback that must be done in the office. While there are at-home biofeedback devices that you can buy, the results still need to be read by a trained professional.
Practicing biofeedback training at home
Many of the relaxation techniques we show you during your in-office biofeedback sessions are meant to be practiced and strengthened at home. Here are just a few of the ways you can work on biofeedback training from the comfort of your living room.
Mindfulness meditation can help quiet your mind, keep you focused on the present, and reduce tension in your body. By practicing mindfulness techniques like meditative walking or noticing your five senses, you can learn to focus your thoughts and release negative emotions.
Deep breathing can also help you quiet your mind and body so you can focus on your thoughts and feelings. Taking several deep breaths in and out can relax you and calm any anxiety, stress, or frustration you feel.
With progressive muscle relaxation, you can reduce symptoms of headaches and other bodily tension. To practice this type of biofeedback training, you tense and then release certain muscles in your body, starting at your feet and moving up to your head.
Guided imagery can help you relax through the power of imagination. Find a quiet, relaxing place where you can sit and calm your mind. Think of something that relaxes you — a setting or a situation — and imagine yourself there. Spend time noticing your sensations and the details to bring yourself into a state of extreme relaxation. If you have trouble doing this on your own, there are many apps you can use to walk you through a guided imagery session.
If you notice your body starting to tense up, you can try any of these biofeedback training techniques to help you feel more relaxed. These can help you stave off a headache, panic attack, or other stressful reaction you may have.
To schedule a biofeedback therapy session and learn more relaxation techniques, call our office in Palo Alto, California at 650-210-7922 or send us a message online today.