quantum biofeedback

  

What is Biofeedback?
How Does Biofeedback Work?
Who Uses Biofeedback?
The History of Biofeedback
Biofeedback Research
Biofeedback and Athletic Peak Performance


WHAT IS BIOFEEDBACK?

Biofeedback, quite simply is any technique which takes a measurement of the body, and provides a result.

A scale can be said to be a biofeedback device that measures weight; a thermometer one that measures body temperature. We can measure factors of the body electric such as the voltage of the firing brain cells, the amperage of the heart muscle contractions, the voltage of the muscles and the resistance to the flow of electricity of the skin.

We can measure the oscillations of these factors and as seen by the EEG, ECG, EMG and GSR. The same technological theories that brought us biofeedback in the 1960’s, have also brought devices like the CAT Scan, MRI, TENS, ultra-sound, and many other sophisticated technologies to our healthcare systems.

The information measured with a biofeedback device is then “fed-back” to the client, informing them of various physiological parameters and stress responses within the body, and educating them about the need to retrain their body’s stress responses, balance the body electric, make lifestyle changes or learn to control physiological reactions, in order to achieve improved relaxation and better health overall.

Health Canada’s reference acknowledges its therapeutic aspects, and is perhaps the most indicative of its powerful potential, calling biofeedback “psychotherapeutic measures for nonpharmacologic interventions”.

HOW DOES BIOFEEDBACK WORK?

Biofeedback utilizes electro-dermal sensors to measure Galvanic Skin Resistance (GSR), also referred to as Electro-Dermal Response (EDR). GSR measures mild electrical impulses on the surface of our skin, which change due to moisture. The moisture of the skin changes according to the body’s degree of stress and/or relaxation. There is a direct relationship between sympathetic nervous activity and emotional arousal. GSR is so sensitive it can even measure fluctuations in emotional states; think about the lie detector, for example.

Biofeedback instruments measure muscle activity, skin temperature, electrodermal activity (sweat gland activity), respiration, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, brain electrical activity and blood flow. There are many types of biofeedback: GSR, EEG, CAT scan, MRI, etc. These technologies are able to capture the bodies’ analog electrical signals and translate those signals into meaningful information through complex algorithmic software that a technician can then decipher.

Research shows that biofeedback, alone and in combination with other behavioral therapies, is effective for treating a variety of medical and psychological disorders. Biofeedback is currently used by physicians, nurses, psychologists, counselors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, a host of other professionals and lay people alike.

What are the proven benefits of biofeedback?

Everyone can benefit from biofeedback. Most people report biofeedback sessions to be relaxing, soothing and beneficial. Yucha and Montgomery (2008), in their article “Evidence Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback” published in The Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback summarized the most current and complete medical research based on scientific rigor and consistency of outcome on biofeedback benefits and efficacy with the following health related issues.

In 1987, Schneider found that biofeedback is effective in reducing physician visits, medication usage, duration and frequency of hospital stays, as well as reducing mortality and enhancing quality of life.

Studies by Jonas and Levin show biofeedback as an ideal intervention for patients who demand:

  • Gentler, less toxic and less invasive first line interventions
  • More integrative and alternative therapeutic options
  • More information and choice in making the best possible decisions for their care
  • More participation and involvement in their treatment

Leading doctors and scientists are now viewing biofeedback, in its aspect of being a psycho-educational therapy, stating: “One of the most fundamental and critically necessary strategies for reducing long term health care costs and improving health and quality of life is appropriate, timely, psychological and educational interventions.”

WHO USES BIOFEEDBACK?

Individuals and families find it an affordable, safe, easy to use tool for monitoring and managing all kinds of stress and stress related symptoms at home.

Many individuals complete their Biofeedback Specialist Certification and begin a private biofeedback practice, helping others. While others team up with others and see clients with their device in wellness centers, doctors and chiropractors offices.

Practitioners, Clinicians, Therapists

From a wide array of complimentary modalities use biofeedback as an additional technique with which to educate their clients, assist them with managing stress and pain, and teach people how to take control of their lives, making positive changes in their physiological states and their overall health.

Psychologist, Social Workers, Counselors, Mental Health Clinicians

Use the INDIGO Biofeedback System to identify and retrain, very quickly, the emotions that are most reactive for that client – which can often help build rapport and speed the therapeutic process immensely.

Olympic Athletes, Professional Trainers, Coaches

Have been using biofeedback for years to enhance performance. Stress reduction and pain management can really give athletes an edge in their sport. In fact, INDIGO Biofeedback practitioners are currently receiving recognition internationally for their work with Olympic athletes and professional sports teams in leading sport nations with outstanding results.

Health professionals

Health professionals from all modalities find that the INDIGO Biofeedback System matrix reactions can provide valuable clues and benefits, as to the stressors most affecting their client. This helps them direct a more individualized and effective stress management intervention, without toxic medications or invasive measures.

Doctors, Nurse Practitioners

Find biofeedback a less costly, drug free, non-invasive, accurate assessment tool – informing their diagnosis as to various kinds of stressors which may be at the root of illness; as well as a necessary means of educating clients and helping them address or manage these stressors.

PEAK PERFORMANCE

Biofeedback has been used with both professional and Olympic level athletes for over 30 years.

It’s ability to improve mental focus, mind-body control, and overall sport performance is well documented. EPR Biofeedback made its Olympic debut in 2008 at the Federal Sports Hospital in Beijing. For four months prior to the Beijing Games, over 1000 sessions were performed with 50 physicians and over 200 athletes of the Chinese National and Olympic Teams. Thirty two of China’s record 100 medalists were participants in the biofeedback health management program.

Subtle factors like diet, minerals, emotions, allergies, and air pollution can separate Olympic-class competitors that are compared by inches and fractions of a second. For instance, sub-clinical dietary deficiencies may reduce endurance, affect sleep, cause muscle cramps, and impair performance and recovery in countless ways.

The earliest signs of distress are exhibited by the body’s bio-field, and only Electrophysiological Reactivity (EPR) testing is capable of this kind of subtle measurement. The INDIGO Biofeedback System measures the athlete’s own reactions, using their own baselines as the control, rather than comparing them with a “norm”, though results correlate well with standard diagnostic tests when cases are more advanced. This way, each athlete’s individual needs can be ascertained and corrected proactively.

The program also includes high-end 3D graphics intended to allow the athlete to visually interact with the program, which triggers a mind-body connection.

Injury Prevention and Treatment

When athletes are healthy, balanced, and have good stress management strategies, like EPR biofeedback, then the probability for injury is decreased. By monitoring the athlete for the earliest signs of distress, it easier to identify and treat overtraining, poor recovery, insomnia, nutritional imbalance, or other factors that increase the chance of injury. Of course, not all injuries can be prevented.

When an injury occurs, INDIGO Biofeedback bioresonance programs should be used in conjunction with standard medical interventions to dramatically accelerate healing and recovery.

Results are surprising, especially when done frequently.

Training Recovery

The excessive demands of world-class training require quality rest and recovery. All current EPR biofeedback athletes are impressed with the improved recovery time they experience when using the device regularly. Quick recovery translates into better training tolerance and improved contest preparation (particularly between heats or events). During high-volume training cycles and as athletes get closer to peaking, they often struggle more with sleep, digestion, and rejuvenation.

As the body becomes more stressed, the autonomic nervous system gets stuck in a “sympathetic-dominant” state, which increases the likelihood of injury, infection, and emotional distraction.

Mental Emotional

One of the most intriguing abilities of the INDIGO Biofeedback System is in providing insight into mental and emotional states. With a skilled operator, very specific emotional stress and historical information can be uncovered with uncanny accuracy and effectiveness. Discussing relevant emotional stress with athletes helps to validate their emotions and helps them to consciously comprehend the impact that emotional factors have on performance.

All athletes have full lives, and athletics are only a part. Their ability to deal with concerns about family, peers and coaches, finances, relationships, competition pressure and other events in their lives have profound impact on competitiveness. This capability serves as a perfect complement for sport psychology and mental conditioning performed by the athletes’ trained counselors and coaches.

Peak Performance Written by Jeff Sutton, H.B.Sc., C.S.C.S. – Calgary AB

THE HISTORY OF BIOFEEDBACK

The accuracy and reliability of the INDIGO Biofeedback System is based on decades of research conducted in the fields of bio-energetic and bio-response medicine.

It incorporates some of the best elements of electro-medicine, vibrational medicine, and energetic medicine. Electro medicine, or the use of energetic modalities to treat physical ailments, is considered one of the oldest and most documented sciences known.

The subtler and more profound applications of the concept of the body electric are just being discovered now; but the long history of great minds and thinkers contributing to this body of knowledge is impressive.

Biofeedback Timeline

Below is a brief, and very elementary review of some of the pivotal discoveries and influences in the field. These are just a few of the pioneers who used electrical impulses to learn more about the condition of the body and to help the body heal itself.

5th Century BC

The Greek philosophers Democritus and Leucippus proposed that matter was made up of tiny, indivisible particles they called atom, or in Greek “a-tomos”, including the human body.

Medical professionals of ancient Greece also learned that the electrical impulses emitted from electric eels in clinical foot baths relieved pain and produced a favorable influence on the blood circulation.

46 AD

Doctors Largus and Dioscorides documented substantial therapeutic results with electrical currents in circulatory disorders and in the management of pain from neuralgia, headache, and arthritis.

1700 AD

Many European physicians used controlled electrical currents from electrostatic generators almost exclusively for numerous medical problems involving pain, trauma and circulatory disorders. Also during that period, Benjamin Franklin documented pain relief by using electrical currents for conditions such as “frozen shoulder.”

1840 AD

England’s first electrical therapy department is established at Guy’s Hospital, under Dr. Golding Bird. The electrical discovery of Galvano leads to the use of mechanically pulsed Galvanic currents.

1860 AD

The start of Faradic Stimulation. Bristow develops the Bristow Coil, using Faraday’s principle of electro-magnetically controlling the voltage of electricity.

1860’s AD

The Discovery of the Body electric by Michael Faraday. Electricity is used all around the body. Special nerves made up of cells called neurons carry electrical signals to the brain from every part of the body and from the brain to all parts of the body. These nerves even carry electricity from one part of the brain to another.

Generally, this is the way that our brain helps us get information from our senses, processes information and helps us control our muscles and organs. Historians of science refer to Faraday as one of the best experimentalists in the History of Science.

1897 AD

Thompson discovered the first component part of the atom: the electron, a particle with a negative electric charge.

1891 AD

Nikola Tesla presents a paper in ‘Electrical Engineer’, about the medical application of high frequency currents. He notes that when the body is transversed by alternating currents above a certain frequency, heat is perceived.

1905 AD

Einstein confirms Plank’s theory showing that the energy of light is determined by its frequency, where E=hf.

1910 AD

Approximately 50% of all U.S. physicians used electro medicine in their practice daily.

1920 – 1930 AD

Dr. Royal Raymond Rife produced some rather astounding accomplishments in medicine and biology using frequency.

1920 – 1960 AD

Extensive research of Bio-energetics and biofeedback by Rife, Tesla, Miller. Bioenergetic Biofeedback is studied as effects of electrical signals on healing wounds and defects.

1944 AD

Schrödinger wrote “What is Life?” which contains a discussion of negentropy (things becoming more in order) and the concept of a complex molecule with the genetic code for living organisms. In his book he writes that DNA and thus biology is Quantic in nature not thermodynamic.

According to James D. Watson’s memoir, DNA, the Secret of Life, Schrödinger’s book gave Watson the inspiration to research the gene, which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix structure.

1929 AD

Lakhovsky publishes his book “The Secret of Life”. Conducts studies and concludes that cells possess resistance, capacitance, and inductance and function like tuned resonant circuits, capable of resonating to a resonant frequency when exposed to a range of frequencies.

1950’s AD

Studies evaluating electrical reactivity began with Dr. Reinhold Voll’s investigations. Voll was able to measure changes in skin resistance at acupuncture points and demonstrate that the body electrically reacts to things it needs and in turn is able to react to things that are harmful.

1955 AD

Dr. James Pershing Isaacs prints his work on the “Complementarity in Medicine”, and defines Biology as Quantic. Werner Heisenberg writes an introduction.

1985 AD

Becker publishes “The Body Electric”. His theories challenge the established mechanistic understanding of the body. With these research findings, he is able to reveal clues that lead to a better understanding of the healing process for the theory of electricity being vital to life.

Becker set out to examine why normal bones heal, and then explore the reasons why bones fail to heal properly. His experiments were mostly with salamanders and frogs, and his scope was widened to studying regeneration after lesions such as limb amputation. He suspected that electric fields played an important role for controlling the regeneration process, and therefore mapped the electric potentials at various body parts during the regeneration. This mapping showed that the central parts of the body were normally positive, and the limbs negative.

When a limb of a salamander or frog was amputated, the voltage at the cut changed from about -10 mV (millivolts) to +20 mV or more the next day – a phenomenon called the current of injury. In a frog, the voltage would simply change to the normal negative level in four weeks or so, and no limb regeneration would take place.

In a salamander, however, the voltage would during the first two weeks change from the +20 mV to -30 mV, and then normalize (to -10 mV) during the next two weeks – and the limb would be regenerated.

1970’s AD

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is acknowledged as a viable method of pain management by America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many American companies begin production of TENS devices. The heart pacemaker is developed.

1959 AD

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1959 was awarded to Jaroslav Heyrovsky “for his discovery and development of the polarographic Voltammetry methods of analysis”. This proves the fact there is an energetic signature of a Voltammetric field around all items.

1988 AD

The Voll electro-acupuncture energetic medicine device is registered with the FDA (the Voll device was a one dimensional measure of skin resistance).

1989 AD

1989 The FDA registers Professor Nelson’s a biofeedback Xrroid which is a trivector 3D device to send in and measure voltammetry.

2010 AD – Today

Today, thousands of doctors and medical researchers worldwide are investigating electro medicine and biofeedback as effective alternatives to traditional methods of treatment.

These avenues are leading to new possibilities for treating conditions such as spinal cord injury, muscular restoration, nerve regeneration, brain stimulation, bladder disorders, heart disease, tumors, and other chronic catastrophic diseases and disorders.

BIOFEEDBACK RESEARCH

The following published articles support the general science of biofeedback, and its applications as effective therapies for a host of clinical ailments.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback in the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain: A Time Series Analysis. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Researchers at the Center for Pain Studies located in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago / Northwestern University Medical School performed a study of nine individuals with Phantom Limb Pain to assess the effects of biofeedback on pain. The participants received biofeedback treatments over the course of four to six weeks. The results of the study showed that eight of the nine patients experienced reductions in pain that varied from 25-66 percent.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback in the Treatment of headache and other Childhood Pain. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Much research has been conducted on the subject of the effects of biofeedback on childhood pain, mainly headaches. Empirical data was studied and reassessed by researchers at both the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany and the Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders in Albany, New York. The findings have shown evidence that approximately two thirds of the children experienced a 50% pain decrease regarding headaches. The studies concerning biofeedback on related pain such as arthritis and recurrent abdominal pain have shown to be inconclusive due to a lack of research.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback for Chrinic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the Treatment of headache and other Childhood Pain.  QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: A study done was conducted at the University of Washington Medical Center to test the likelihood of an intervention that included heart rate variability biofeedback and walking with pulse oximetry feedback to improve quality of life for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Twenty participants were studied over the course of nine sessions using the Six Minute Walk Distance Test. Outcomes. The outcome showed a statistically and clinically significant improvement in walking distance and overall quality of life.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback of R-Wave-to-Pulse Interval Normalizes Blood Pressure. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Doctors in Munich, Germany explored the way biofeedback treatment affected patients with problematic blood pressures. Twenty-two participants received three individual sessions over the course of two weeks. Twelve of the participants had high blood pressure while the other ten experienced low pressures. The findings concluded that both high and low pressures were modified in a significant and positive way after three sessions of biofeedback.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback Treatment for Asthma. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Research was conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to evaluate the effectiveness of biofeedback as a complimentary treatment for asthma. Ninety-four adult volunteers with asthma participated. Results suggested that the participants required less steroid medications and averaged a decrease in one full level of asthma severity.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Comparison of the Efficacy of Electromyography, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Conservative Medical Interventions in the Treatment of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Researchers at the University of Tubingen in Germany compared three different types of treatments for chronic musculoskeletal pain to evaluate which would be most effective. The treatments compared were EMG biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and conservative medical treatment. At the 24-month follow-up, only the biofeedback group maintained significant reductions in pain severity.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback for Hypertension. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: The Health and Public Policy Committee has reported that biofeedback is a constructive tool to decrease the use of medication in patients with hypertension. The research is based on 10-20 thirty-minute sessions, which have been proven to lessen blood pressure levels.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback-Assisted Relaxation in Migraine Headache: Relationship to Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity in the Middle Cerebral Artery. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: The departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Medical College of Ohio tested 20 patients experiencing migraines with and without auras. After being treated with 20 sessions of biofeedback the patients experienced a reduction in pain, depression, and anxiety. Patients with and without aura experienced equally positive outcomes.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Evaluating the Efficacy of a Biofeedback Intervention to Reduce Children’s. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Over a six-week period, 150 7th and 8th grade children with high anxiety were assigned to 12 sessions of biofeedback to determine if the treatments would aid in a reduction of symptoms. Students received six sessions of thermal training and six sessions of EMG training. The research showed that there was a significant decline in both state and trait anxiety.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback in Treatment of Heart Failure. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Biofeedback training can be used to reduce activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and increase activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). It is well established that hyperactivation of the SNS contributes to disease progression in chronic heart failure. It has been postulated that underactivation of the PNS may also play a role in heart failure pathophysiology. In addition to autonomic imbalance, a chronic inflammatory process is now recognized as being involved in heart failure progression, and recent work has established that activation of the inflammatory process may be attenuated by vagal nerve stimulation. By interfering with both autonomic imbalance and the inflammatory process, biofeedback-assisted stress management may be an effective treatment for patients with heart failure by improving clinical status and quality of life.

Recent studies have suggested that biofeedback and stress management have a positive impact in patients with chronic heart failure, and patients with higher perceived control over their disease have been shown to have better quality of life. Our ongoing study of biofeedback-assisted stress management in the treatment of end-stage heart failure will also examine biologic end points in treated patients at the time of heart transplant, in order to assess the effects of biofeedback training on the cellular and molecular components of the failing heart. We hypothesize that the effects of biofeedback training will extend to remodeling the failing human heart, in addition to improving quality of life.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Biofeedback for Headaches. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Summary: Biofeedback is a direct feedback of a physiological function. The aim of biofeedback is to change the physiological function into a required direction. To manage this, the physiological function has to be fed back visually or acoustically and it has to be perceived consciously. Biofeedback as a therapeutic practice derives from behavioural therapy and can be used in the context of behavioural interventions. Biofeedback has proved to be successful in non-medical treatment of pain. According to more recent meta-analyses biofeedback reveals high evidence in the treatment of migraine or tension-type headache. In these headaches biofeedback procedures are considered highly effective. PMID: 20563685 [PubMed – in process]

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Virtual reality in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder characterized by 6 months of “excessive anxiety and worry” about a variety of events and situations. Anxiety and worry are often accompanied by additional symptoms like restlessness, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and disturbed sleep. GAD is usually treated with medications and / or psychotherapy. In particular, the two most promising treatments seem to be cognitive therapy and applied relaxation. In this study we integrated these approaches through the use of a biofeedback enhanced virtual reality (VR) system used both for relaxation and controlled exposure.

Moreover, this experience is strengthened by the use of a mobile phone that allows patients to perform the virtual experience even in an outpatient setting. This paper describe the results of a controlled trial (NCT00602212) involving 20 GAD patients randomly assigned to the following groups: (1) the VR and Mobile group (VRMB) including biofeedback; (2) the VR and Mobile group (VRM) without biofeedback; (3) the waiting list (WL) group. The clinical data underlined that (a) VR can be used also in the treatment of GAD; (b) in a VR treatment, patients take advantage of a mobile device that delivers in an outpatient setting guided experiences, similar to the one experienced in VR.

Quantum Biofeedback Advocacy Association. (2010). Prolonged Electromyogram Biofeedback Improves Upper Extremity Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy. QBAA Published Research. Retrieved September 3, 2010 from www.qbaa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=476438

Biofeedback of muscle activity is commonly used as an adjunct to physical therapy, but it has not previously been used for long-term treatment of movement disorders. The authors hypothesized that chronic daily use of biofeedback of muscle electrical activity might promote improved use of the upper extremity in children with cerebral palsy and upper extremity motor deficits. They constructed a portable electromyography (EMG) unit that includes a surface EMG sensor and amplifier, microcontroller-based nonlinear signal processing, and vibration feedback of muscle activity.

A total of 11 children ages six to 16 years, with cerebral palsy or acquired static brain injury, wore the device at least five hours per day for one month. Changes in upper extremity function were assessed using an individualized Goal Attainment Scale. Results showed significant clinical improvement in all 10 children who completed the study. These results suggest that further testing of prolonged surface EMG biofeedback is warranted.

Suggested Reading List

Quantum physics and quantum biofeedback are complex topics. We encourage you to continue this quest for new information, share with others and enhance your lifestyle through education.

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