Biofeedback therapy is an innovative treatment that has become a standard practice for relieving the symptoms of stress. However, in learning the various causes for specific neurological reactions to external stimulants, other areas of autonomic muscular and brain functions have come under the microscope as areas that are potentially controllable. What this means in layman’s terms is that there are ways to relieve symptoms of mental and learning disorders, as well as reverse the affects of some internal brain injuries. In fact, with the help of biofeedback therapy, we can even control hyperactive behavior.
Through biofeedback therapy, which is the use of electrical equipment to monitor the subconscious physiological reactions to stress and other outside stimulants, has given insight to the “malfunctioning” of the brain that caused Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Brain waves come in four different types, and those that affect ADHD are the beta and theta waves. In the average human brain, excessive theta waves and low levels of beta waves impact a dream-like state upon the person. This disallows the ability to focus in on a task at hand and makes maintaining concentration at an adequate level difficult.
In the brain of an individual with ADHD, this is the persistent brain wave pattern, meaning that the individual is constantly in an unfocused state of mind, rendering him or her virtually unable to concentrate on any particular task for excessive amounts of time. However, with the discovery of biofeedback therapy, the condition can not only be identified but corrected. Once such a condition is discovered, the individual suffering from ADHD can use biofeedback therapy with the assistance of a therapist, to retrain the mind to function normally. The therapist will help the individual understand the feedback that is being provided and then lead the patient through exercises that help to regulate the brain waves into a more normal pattern.
Over time, the biofeedback therapy will allow the brain to retrain itself to function with the more regular brainwaves, alleviating many of the symptoms of ADHD and allowing the individual to function in a more normal capacity, perhaps even without stimulants or other medication.
Biofeedback therapy is not limited to treating ADHD or stress; it has also been used successfully in several other capacities, such as regulating symptoms of diabetes or controlling bladder functions for patients with incontinence. In the future, there may be even more applications where biofeedback therapy can be considered a remedy.