Biofeedback is a method of gaining awareness of many important parameters of the body’s physiology using equipment that provides information about the activities of those systems, enabling us to move them towards desirable patterns. Some of these parameters are: skin conductivity, heart rate, surface temperature, breathing and…
Biofeedback can be effective in improving health, improving performance, as well as physiological changes related to changes in thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Three major biofeedback organizations, including the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the International Biofeedback Certification Association (BCIA), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) came up with a single definition of biofeedback in 2008:
A process that enables a person to learn how to change their physiological activities in order to improve health and performance. The equipment used can measure parameters such as brain waves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity and skin temperature quickly and with high accuracy and display them to the user. Providing this information causes the desired physiological changes in such a way that after some time these changes are institutionalized in the person and there will be no need for equipment in the continuation of the work.
sEMG biofeedback (surface electromyography):
Using surface electrodes, it detects muscle activity that begins to contract from the underlying skeletal muscles. Doctors do this by using one or more active electrodes placed on a specific muscle and comparing its potential difference with a specified reference point in the target muscle area.
This type of biofeedback is used in the treatment of anxiety and stress, chronic pain, computer-related disorders, headaches (migraines, tension headaches), physical rehabilitation (cerebral palsy, incomplete spinal cord lesions and stroke), disorders of the temporomandibular joint, etc. Taken. It is also used to evaluate the muscle activity of patients.
Biofeedback Skin Temperature:
Skin temperature information is received using a temperature-sensitive resistance (thermistor) that is usually attached to the hand or foot. Skin temperature mainly reflects the diameter of the blood supply artery. The warmth or coldness of the hand is created through different mechanisms and therefore its adjustment requires different methods. Hand warmth is caused by vasodilation caused by beta-2 adrenergic; While the coldness of the hand is caused by the contraction of the arteries, which is produced by increasing the metabolism of C fibers. This sensor and its feedback are used to treat chronic pain, swelling, headache (migraine and tension headaches), blood pressure, anxiety, stress, etc.
Biofeedback Photoplethysmograph (blood pressure):
This parameter shows the blood flow related to the temporal artery to the sensor vessel connected around the fingers or temple. This work is done by passing or reflecting an infrared light irradiated to the tissue and analyzing it. The higher the blood flow, the less light is absorbed, and as a result, the sensor receives more light.
PPG can measure BVP, which is actually the phasic changes in blood volume and is transmitted in each beat, heart rate and Heart Rate Variability, which is caused by the difference in each consecutive heart beat.
When the temperature sensor shows very small changes, PPG is able to provide more appropriate feedback due to its greater sensitivity. For this reason, therapists can combine these two in some disorders and use both of them during treatment sessions.
Biofeedback ECG/EKG (cardiac strip):
The measurement of this parameter is done using electrodes that are placed in the torso, wrists, or legs. To measure the electrical activity of the heart, the interbeat interval (the distance between the peaks of the R-waves in the QRS) is used. This interval is divided into 60 seconds and the obtained number shows the heart rate at the moment. The statistical changes of the interbeat interval is what is called heart rate fluctuation. This parameter is more accurate in measuring heart rate changes than PPG. Heart rate biofeedback has been used in the treatment of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, some heart diseases, abdominal pain and fibromyalgia.
Pneumograph biofeedback (breathing):
This module evaluates breathing changes using sensors placed on the chest or abdomen and can display the number of breaths per minute. Its application is in identifying and correcting incorrect breathing patterns and behaviors. Patterns such as shallow clavicular breathing, reverse breathing and thoracic breathing. Dysfunctional breathing behaviors include apnea, gasping, sighing, and wheezing.
Breathing biofeedback can be used in the treatment of asthma, chronic lung obstruction, anxiety, basic blood pressure, stress and panic attacks. It has also been shown that the simultaneous use of this module with ECG or PPG increases its efficiency.