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Biofeedback Therapy and Learning Disabilities

Though biofeedback therapy research began in the 1960’s and proved successful for treatment of stress-related illnesses and symptoms, it was not until the 1980’s that the treatment process was evaluated as a possible solution for learning disabilities. Unlike many other disorders, such as stress, brain injury, or hyperactivity, there is no medication that poses as a remedy for learning disabilities. For decades, the focus has been to find the cause of the disabilities and treat the ailment rather than find a simple solution to the lack of learning ability itself.

Recently, with the help of biofeedback therapy, it ahs become apparent that there is no single cause for a learning disability of any kind. Rather, there are various causes and sources that cannot always be properly identified. However, with the same therapy, some learning disabilities can be either eliminated or symptoms severely reduced. By using biofeedback therapy, the exact point at which the learning ability is disrupted can be identified and treated.

For example, if a patient is experiencing dyslexia, biofeedback therapy can help to “retrain” the brain to feed data into the mind in the correct manner. With focus sessions and various tricks to help the individual relax and concentrate, the patient learns to recognize the general disorder of information absorbed and correct it. Studies show that, once a brain has, in effect, been retrained to process data normally (whether this is stimulation for a patient with ADHD or learning to properly organize information taken in by a dyslexic patient), it will retain this new process and never revert to the former dysfunction.

Biofeedback therapy is a noninvasive procedure that teaches one how to understand his- or herself and the way the brain functions and reacts to certain situations, and as such, is a great resource for getting to know oneself better, regardless of what may appear to be normal reactions. Biofeedback also allows us to take a look at our own shortcomings and work with a therapist to improve them, thereby improving our quality of life.

While learning disabilities are not the only problems to which biofeedback therapy offers a solution. However, because in the past there have been no definitive treatments that exact an overall solution to learning disabilities rather than an improvement in dealing with them, biofeedback therapy is a medical advancement that should not be taken for granted.

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