Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Biofeedback therapy is helping recovering addicts gain control over their minds and body as they undergo treatment.  In fact, this type of therapy is safe.  However, this form of treatment may not be for everyone.  You should consult your primary care provider or medical experts before starting this or any other type of complementary therapy.

Basically, this form of therapy can help recovering patients with substance use disorder by understanding their involuntary functions.  And then, medical professionals use this information to create a treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.

Biofeedback is a therapy treatment in which patients learn to control involuntary bodily processes, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.  During biofeedback, you will be connected to electrical sensors that will help you receive measures or information about your body.  This feedback will make subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing specific muscles to obtain control, such as reducing pain.

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Biofeedback Therapy for Addiction

The most common method of biofeedback used for addiction is Electroencephalographic (EEG).  EEG is a method that measures brain wave activity over time.

Several treatment centers have been employing Electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback in substance use disorder (SUD) over the last three decades.  The SUD is a complex series of diseases with frequent comorbidities and EEG abnormalities of several types.  Treatment centers have been applying EEG biofeedback in conjunction with other therapies and may help enhance specific outcomes of treatment.

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Biofeedback Therapy for Dual Diagnosis

Based on published clinical studies and operating efficacy criteria adapted by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research, alpha-theta training—either alone for alcoholism or in combination with beta training for stimulant and mixed substance abuse and combined with residential treatment programs, is probably efficacious.  Considerations of different research designs taking these factors into account are discussed, and descriptions of contemporary research are given. [1]

drug addiction is now also considered a mental disorder with distinctive behavioral, cognitive, and psychosocial features.  The substance use disorder commonly referred to as “drug addiction” is characterized by physiological dependence accompanied by the withdrawal syndrome on discontinuance of the drug use; psychological support with craving, the pathological motivational state that leads to the active drug-seeking behavior; and tolerance, expressed in the escalation of the dose needed to achieve a desired euphoric state.

Information from epidemiological surveys indicates that drug addiction is a common phenomenon and is associated with significant effects on both morbidity and mortality. 

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Thus, the Biofeedback approach may improve outcomes, especially in conventional treatment-resistant participants. [2]

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The Purpose of Biofeedback Therapy

Other Types of Biofeedback

  • Galvanic Skin Response Training:  It measures the amount of sweat on your body over time.
  • Heart Variability Biofeedback:  This form of biofeedback measures your pulse and heart rate.
  • Electromyography (EMG) Biofeedback:  Measures muscle tension as it changes over time.
  • Thermal or Temperature Biofeedback:  It helps to standards body temperature changes over time.

Biofeedback has been effective at combating stress through relaxation techniques.  You consciously manipulate your breathing, heart rate, and other usually “involuntary” functions to override your body’s response to stressful situations.  In conclusion, biofeedback appears to be most effective for stress-related scenarios.  Some examples include learning disorders, eating disorders, bedwetting, and muscles spasms.  Treatment centers for addiction also are now applying this method or form of therapy.

Biofeedback for Numerous Physical and Mental Health Issues

  • Asthma
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Side Effects From Chemotherapy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Chronic Pain
  • Stress Or Anxiety

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Through counseling, patients develop long-term bonds with their doctors and their peers, providing a great source of support for clients to complete treatment and stay connected beyond.

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Most importantly, your care is backed by Alumni and Family Solutions counselors offering personalized planning, answers, and information along your journey to recovery.  Even before you embark on treatment, a personal counselor can be reached 24/7 to answer all your questions, regarding biofeedback therapy as well, without any obligation.

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[1-2] EEG Biofeedback as a Treatment for Substance Use Disorders – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine