Biofeedback and Neurofeedback - Adjuncts to Therapy

Capital Biofeedback:

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback as Adjuncts to Therapy

Friday, March 22, 2019

 There is a physiological basis to all of the following: stress, anxiety, decreased attention, tone/ muscle spasms, pain, body temperature, headaches.  Our bodies– fight or flight response can be set off with all of these symptoms.    

Biofeedback is a way of measuring the electrical response that happens in the brain due to stress.  With biofeedback training the therapist works to manipulate the electrical activity in the brain in order to titrate and control the body’s response to pain and stress. 

ANS and PNS – Sympathetic and parasympathetic drive – both systems run in fight or flight. 

When we are under stress we over-stress these systems and you can’t balance the two and it reduces your ability to have the resilience to perform fight or flight. 

Stress over time wears down these systems and decreases the vagal nerve response. 

 Modalities used in Neurofeedback:

Baseline Electrical Activity in brain   - measured with an ear clip.  This clip measures vagus nerve heart rate variability.   Your vagus nerve –aka Cranial Nerve X runs all throughout the body.  You need  it to have balance.  You want heart rate variability, but within a rhythm / tone

Regulatory power measures how well the body can regulate the ANS.  We want to increase that number as much as possible to change how our body responses to stress.

 Note there are 3 ways to increase our vagal responsiveness-

1.        Paced Breathing – 6 breaths/ minute – has both short term and long term affect

2.       Exercise

3.       Hearty Laughter 

 Screening tools

Heat rate variability

ANS Resposnsiveness – measures sympathetic and parasympathethic drive


Bring in a stressor and talk about it and then see if  it changes heart rate variability.  If so, you can use this same technique to regulate HR

The following Apps that can be used for paced breathing:

Breathe+ - mac users   set rate 4 sec in,  zero pause 4 sec out , 1 sec pause

Breathe2Relax  - Biofeedback of Europe with pacer – EX Air – downloadable app x 30 days. 

 Who is a Good Candidate for Biofeedback?– Anyone  who has  stress

 Therapist will see each patient  for an avg of 8-12 sessions 

 Who is Not a good candidate? – Someone with little to no cognitive function, or patients with personality disorders (trust issues)

 Neruo feedback - Looks at the firing of your brain rather than vagal nerve. 

Want maximum functioning of your brain.  Pattern of firing waves determines how you feel and how you interact with your environment.

Who?  God for those who suffer from: Pain, traumatic brain injury, stroke , headaches , migraines, ADHD, Anxiety

See gains within 8-12 sessions –

Eval Cost -  $149 for eval (1 ½ hour)

Sessions $130 for each  55 min sessions 

It can be covered under Mental Health Benefits – BCBS in-network ,  Medicare does not cover,  Can put out of network claim. 

Quantitative EEG helps to know if patient with TBI – helps to know where to focus and often receive long term training.