Resilia ~ Biofeedback Services

What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument. The objectives are to help persons develop greater awareness and voluntary control over their physiological processes that are otherwise outside awareness. With biofeedback as a guide, the individual learns, in relatively short order, how to lower their overall arousal levels.

Conditions Addressed:

Anxiety (Panic,Phobia, OCD)
ADD/ADHD
Depression
Post Traumatic Stress
Pain
Sleep Challenges
Stress Reduction

The science of Biofeedback began in 1960s with very simplistic methods and evolved into a mainstream sophisticated methodology for treating certain medical conditions and improving human performance. This evolution has been driven by years of scientific research demonstrating that the mind and body are connected, and that people can be taught to harness the power of this connection to change physical activity and improve health and function.

Biofeedback is pain-free and non-invasive. It is effective for both adults and children. It has many applications for a wide variety of health problems such as headache, asthma, stroke, learning disorders, myofascial pain, and mood disorders.

At Resilia we utilize the following biofeedback techniques:

Electromyograph (EMG) - uses surface electrodes to detect muscle action potentials from underlying skeletal muscles that initiate muscle contraction. Clinicians record the surface EMG using one or more active electrodes that are placed over a target muscle and a reference electrode that is placed within six inches of either active. The EMG is measured in microvolts (millionths of a volt).

Skin Temperature - A small thermometer that measures skin temperature so that individual can learn to control temperature of body parts. Training in self controlled vasodilation (handwarming) technique has been found useful in treating migraine headaches and anxiety.

Electrodermograph/Skin conductance - also known as galvanic skin response (GSR), electrodermal response (EDR), psychogalvanic reflex (PGR), skin conductance response (SCR) or skin conductance level (SCL), is a method of measuring the electrical conductance of the skin, which varies with its moisture level. This is of interest because the sweat glands are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system[1], so skin conductance is used as an indication of psychological or physiological arousal. There has been a long history of electrodermal activity research, most of it dealing with spontaneous fluctuations or reactions to stimuli.

Due to the response of the skin and muscle tissue to external and internal stimuli, the conductance can vary by several microsiemens. When correctly calibrated, the skin conductance can measure these subtle differences. There is a relationship between sympathetic activity and emotional arousal, although one cannot identify which specific emotion is being elicited. The SCR is highly sensitive to emotions in some people. Fear, anger, startle response, orienting response and sexual feelings are all among the reactions which may produce similar skin conductance responses.

Heart Rate Variability - The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a technical term for the measuring and the analysis of the variability of cardiac frequency, and it is assuming a growing importance because from these measures it is possible to deduce valuable information, for example we can estimate the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and infarct, and also the balancing between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The HRV was born in the field of the Cardiology, but several scientific studies, in the last years, have shown its importance as reliable pointer also in others fields regarding such psychology, and Sport's Medicine.

HRV is detectable because the cardiac frequency normally changes to factors like the rhythm of the breath, the state of anxiety, stress, anger, relaxation, positive or negative thoughts, etc. In a healthy heart, the cardiac frequency quickly answers to all these factors, modifying itself in few seconds, in order better to adapt the organism to various situations. In a generalized manner, a healthy individual has a good degree of variability of the heart rate, it is to say a good degree of adaptability to the various situations.

The HRV is correlated with the balancing between the two nervous system Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. In particular, the Sympathetic nervous system, when it comes more activated, produces a series of effects which are: acceleration of the heartbeat, expansion of the bronchus, increase of the arterial pressure, peripheral vasoconstriction, pupilar expansion, increase of the sweating. The chemical mediators are nor-adrenaline, adrenalin, corticotropine, and various corticosteroids. The activation of Sympathetic system is the normal answer of the organism to situation of alarm, fight, stress.

To the contrary, the nervous system Parasympathetic, when it comes more activated, produces a slowing down of the cardiac rhythm, an increase of the bronchial muscular tone, peripheral vasodilatation, diminution of the pressure, slowing down of the respiration, increase of the muscular relaxation, the breath becomes more calm and deep, the genitals, hands and feet become more warm. It acts through the typical chemical mediator acetylcholine. The activation of Parasympathetic system represents the normal answer of the organism to a situation of calm, rest, and absence of dangers and stress.

Our body, in every moment, is in a situation determined from the equilibrium or the prevailing of one of these two nervous systems and this equilibrium is detected via the HRV.

 

Insurance reimbursement is often available.