Biofeedback is a method for treating people to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Therapists and psychologists use biofeedback to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax and to help their patients cope with pain.
There is a good chance you have already used a form of biofeedback. For instance, ever gone outside to walk the dog on a cold and blustery day? Your body told you it was cold, prompting you to wear a jacket. How about when you stand on a scale and it shows you gained weight? Time to consider doing a little cutting back. And at sometime in our life we have had our temperature taken, thinking perhaps we are exhibiting signs of illness. If you were running a temperature higher than 98.6, then would be a good time to rest and drink liquids, and of course, contact your physician. Clinician?s machines can find a person’s internal bodily functions with much greater sensitivity and precision than in the past. The results of each biofeedback session are valuable for both the patient and the therapist, as the information can be applied to gauge and direct the next treatment session.
Biofeedback training can be demanding on patients. Patients need to review their daily routine to learn if they are contributing to their own negative feelings. Patients need also personally commit to practicing biofeedback training awareness or relaxation exercises every day. They must change their routine, their day-to-day lifestyle, and accept much of the responsibility for maintaining their own health.
Brainwaves are the electrical wave patterns generated in every person’s brain. These waves vary according to level of consciousness, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness and are characterized by four distinct types of brainwaves. Each of these electrical wave patterns has distinctly different ways of perceiving, processing, learning and knowing information. All of these brain waves are produced at all times. However, a predominance of a specific desired brainwave state can be created at will, which allows a person to potentialize his or her capabilities towards achieving human excellence.
For a better understanding of what brain waves are and how those are utilized in biofeedback sessions, brainwave frequencies are described in terms of hertz (Hz), or cycles per second, which are measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The four general categories of brainwave frequencies and their main characteristics are:
Gamma brainwave frequencies are a high frequency pattern beginning at thirty-five hertz. There has been some evidence that gamma frequencies are associated with states of peak performance. Most light and sound instruments have the capability to generate gamma frequencies. While in this brainwave state, sensations are centered on being mentally, emotionally and physically “charged” or extremely energized. These frequencies are the highest known brainwave patterns, but are considered by some researchers to be part of the beta frequency category.
Beta brainwaves are the next highest frequency pattern, ranging from thirteen to thirty-four hertz, and can be separated into three sub-categories. The first is high beta, ranging from nineteen to thirty-four hertz. When high beta is the dominant brainwave state, anxiety and stress are most likely to occur. The second sub-category is mid beta, with frequencies ranging from fifteen to eighteen hertz. Mid beta is characterized by action, with focus on external surroundings. The third is SMR beta (Sensorimotor Rhythm), ranging from thirteen to fifteen hertz. While in this state, focus is also on external surroundings, but the individual is more relaxed than in mid beta. Within SMR is fourteen hertz, which is gaining attention from researchers and clinicians utilizing EEG / neurofeedback instrumentation. The true benefit of creating fourteen hertz in humans has yet to be determined, but a recent study at the University of California at Los Angeles found that felines could produce fourteen hertz at will, while humans cannot.
Generally speaking, beta brainwaves are characterized by logical, analytical and intellectual thinking, verbal communication and awareness of surroundings.
Alpha brainwaves are a frequency pattern ranging from eight to twelve hertz. They most commonly occur when we are calm and relaxed, yet mentally alert. These brainwaves are also present during daydreaming.
Theta brainwaves range from four to seven hertz, characterized by being deeply relaxed and inwardly focused. This brainwave state is also associated with rapid learning and the assimilation of new information with high retention, heightened motivation to activate goals, bursts of creativity, insight and new behavior patterns.
Delta brainwaves range from five-tenths to three hertz and are associated with being extremely relaxed, characterized by sleep.
Researchers have proven that brainwave frequencies determine what brainwave state is being experienced at any given time. By measuring the production of brainwaves through the utilization of EEG (electroencephalogram) equipment, the frequencies that produce these various brain states can be tracked on a computer monitor. As mentioned earlier, these frequencies are generated in every person’s brain, and are the result of outside stimulation that has been passed to the brain via electrical signals from our different senses. Light and sound instruments stimulate the neural activity of our vision and hearing, and can safely guide our minds to produce specific frequencies that are associated with the four general brainwave categories.
There is absolutely nothing wrong about going to see your physician or therapist for alleviating anxieties, modifying behavior and a myriad of other symptoms biofeedback has proven effective in treating. The drawbacks are the time it takes to adequately overcome your unwanted symptoms, the amount of practice necessary to progress, the need for scheduling multiple appointments and the cost of each visit.
Choosing biofeed-in mindmachines that can target the same frequencies as a biofeedback monitor, in far less time thereby speeding the progress of the individual, done personally in the comfort of your home rather that scheduling appointments elsewhere, and the obvious savings on money (you can buy a light and sound biofeed-in mindmachine for less than visiting a biofeedback specialist for several sessions), gives you a beneficial and cost-effective alternative.
Remember: Excelling in biofeedback takes time and is dependent upon the patient to access the desired brainwave frequency at will, with no outside help. Biofeed-in is just the opposite. Biofeed-in gently leads you to the targeted brainwave frequency state, without any conscious effort on your part.
? you do not need to schedule an appointment, pay a therapist, or rush to make your appointment on time. So keep it simple, use a biofeed-in mindmachine, when you desire, and you too will realize the advantage of owning your own mind machine far outweighs the hassles of practicing biofeedback sessions with the accompaniment of a well-paid clinician.