The mind is a marvelous and mysterious thing. As we learn more about how our inner-workings function, flow and connect, the roads to unlocking mental health resources lead to new strategies and fascinating opportunities for treatment recovery. Like a muscle, the mind can be trained and retrained, or even stuck in one position. Like a gear that refuses to shift, we find ourselves struggling to overcome obstacles such as pain, memories or trauma.
In those instances when a mind can’t seem to move forward, or seems to be unable to process through the pain and trauma without negative consequences, its time to call in a secret weapon – Biofeedback Therapy.
Biofeedback as a Means to Recovery
Biofeedback Therapy is a technique that can help you regain more control over these involuntary functions. Biofeedback therapy works by fluctuating your awareness of how your mind interacts with your body, adjusting states of elevated reactions and improving ability to respond effectively to stress and mental activity. This specialized therapy is generally used to help prevent or treat conditions, including migraine headaches, chronic pain, and high blood pressure.
Research behind the technique of biofeedback is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what’s going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health. By modifying your physiology through Biofeedback, you can navigate through physical, mental and emotional triggers and stimulus.
While Biofeedback may seem relatively new and innovative, this process has been studied for decades. It has recently been gaining traction, as more research shows a growing connection between exactly what our minds are capable of, and our involuntary responses towards those actions. Biofeedback aligns all of the physical responses together, including brainwaves, muscle tension, cardiovascular activity, temperature and sleep.
Biofeedback and Addiction Recovery Treatment
No one wakes up and just “decides” they are going to become an addict. Addiction is a disease that continues to isolate and drive clients towards self-medication. In self-medicating, they believe they are “managing” the problem, when in actuality, they are just masking true symptoms.
Looking at Addiction Treatment through the lens of Dual Diagnosis allows physicians and clinicians, like those at American Addiction Centers, to help their clients understand that the desire to use is often caused by much deeper level physical pain and mental traumas. Biofeedback therapy has proven a resourceful treatment for individuals suffering from many stress or trauma induced conditions, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic pain and muscle pain, which are often seen as the secondary diagnoses beneath the surface.
For this reason, Biofeedback therapy can often provide an environment to physiologically create new resources and involuntary responses to those previously triggered by addictive responses. A certified biofeedback therapist helps you practice relaxation exercises, which you fine-tune to manage different body functions. For example, you might use a relaxation technique to turn down the brainwaves that activate when you have a headache.
Several different relaxation exercises are used in biofeedback therapy, including:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation — alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups
- Guided imagery — concentrating on a specific image (such as the color and texture of an orange) to focus your mind and make you feel more relaxed
- Mindfulness meditation — focusing your thoughts and letting go of negative emotions
Greenhouse’s Biofeedback Therapy
While Biofeedback may not be ideal for every client’s Addiction Recovery treatment plan, it may be right for you. Biofeedback may aid clients specifically looking to eliminate their dependence on multiple medications and looking for a more holistic approach to their recovery, as it allows invasive study without the use of external medications.
If Biofeedback therapy sounds like an option for you or your loved one, reach out to one of our Admissions Navigators to begin your journey with an AAC facility today. You may be surprised at what your mind and body are truly capable of doing!
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