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WHAT IS NEUROFEEDBACK? WHAT IS BIOFEEDBACK?

NEUROFEEDBACK is a specialized form of BIOFEEDBACK.

NEUROFEEDBACK is a painless, non-invasive procedure used to train people to improve the way their brain functions. An individual receives instantaneous information (feedback) about whether the brain is moving towards or away from optimal function. It may be thought of as a kind of exercise for the brain: a retraining of the way the brain organizes itself.

When the brain is out of balance, people can experience a wide range of problems that affect learning, moods, sleep, concentration, and behavior. Neurofeedback training brings these problems gradually under control.

At BiofeedbackWorks in Virginia, we offer EEG Neurofeedback, LENS Neurofeedback and two forms of HEG neurofeedback (please see FAQ).

BIOFEEDBACK is a non-invasive technique by which people learn to use signals from their own bodies to improve their health. Various instruments (from sophisticated machines to simple hand-held thermometers) are used to provide information to individuals on the state of bodily processes about which they are normally unaware. They are then trained to adjust these states to ease a wide range of symptoms.

During a training session, measurements of a relevant physiological process (for instance, skin temperature, muscle tightness, or brainwave pattern) are continuously made. At the same time information (that is, feedback) is given to the individual about whether the measurements indicate optimal functioning, or are in a range that is indicative of symptoms they wish to relieve. The individual receives this feedback in the form of a musical tone, a computer graphic, or the continued playing of a movie.

HOW IS GENERAL BIOFEEDBACK DIFFERENT FROM NEUROFEEDBACK?

General biofeedback trains a person to obtain greater control over certain involuntary body responses such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension. By learning to control these physiological responses, an individual can exert control over mental and physical health problems. General biofeedback is essentially using your mind to control your body.

Unlike neurofeedback, where the brain responds to feedback at an unconscious level, biofeedback requires an individual’s conscious participation in the process. The client may be learning to change breathing patterns, control muscle tension and/or lower blood pressure or heart rate. When a video progresses or music plays, the client makes internal adjustments to alter the signal. Over time the client will learn to either increase the feedback (in the case of someone trying to make a muscle become stronger) or decrease the signal (in the case of someone trying to make a muscle relax.) It is like holding a mirror to your physiology.

At BiofeedbackWorks our primary focus with general biofeedback is targeting health problems and mental conditions that are stress-related. Stress and anxiety manifest in our bodies in a variety of physiological ways. With our state-of-the-art equipment, we bring your physiological responses to your awareness. With this increased awareness you can alter these responses and thus reduce your body’s stress. Some forms of biofeedback require little or no equipment, and are simple enough that clients can practice between sessions.

Biofeedback is often used in addition to neurofeedback to optimize training. Temperature training (in which a person holds a thermometer and concentrates on either raising or lowering their temperature) and breathing technique are two biofeedback techniques commonly used in conjunction with neurofeedback.