Biofeedback is a treatment option that empowers you to interrupt your body's stress response and re-establish heart-rhythm coherence.
Science has proven that our body and mind are connected and that our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes–ranging from love and compassion to fear and anger–can trigger reactions in the body. We know that whatever is happening with our emotional wellbeing is having a direct impact on our physical body and vice-versa. This impact manifests differently for each of us.
For example, in younger kids the emotional imbalance can manifest in anxiety or digestive issues, including chronic worry and persistent stomach aches. For instance, a child may have an awareness that their stomach hurts, and then they have anxiety about it. The mind response (the anxiety) triggers the body response (the digestive issue) and back and forth, over and over. This is the repetitive mind/body cycle.
Similarly, in adults, you might see fatigue, numbness and tingling, headaches, or chronic illness as an example of the body's response to emotional distress.
At Natural Resilience and Resilient Kids, one of our specialties is our attention to the mind body connection and the integration of complementary and alternative therapies that help strengthen an individual's ability to restore and balance the systems of their body. Biofeedback is one of them.
Biofeedback - Add Heart.
At our three West Virginia and Pennsylvania practices, we incorporate biofeedback into our integrative mental health counseling because it empowers our patients to be better self-regulators; and we love this!
We use HeartMath software, a program that displays your effectiveness at self-regulation–strengthening your confidence that you can manage your emotional and physical wellbeing, anytime and any place.
So, how exactly does HeartMath work? What should I expect?
Using an infrared pulse plethysmograph (ppg) ear or finger sensor, we'll detect your pulse and heart rate. We'll coach you on breathing techniques, and you'll watch your progress on a computer screen that translates your Heart Rate Variability into a coherence score. Quite quickly, you'll start to see the impact your mind can have on your body. With time and practice, you'll be able to know what to do when you experience a stress trigger and you will be able to bring yourself back into an optimal mind/body state, known by scientists as high coherence.
According to a HeartMath Educational brochure:
When you’re stressed, your body is out of sync. Typical negative emotions we feel when stressed—like anger, frustration, anxiety and worry—lead to increased disorder in the heart’s rhythms and in the nervous system. In contrast, positive emotions like joy, appreciation, care, and kindness create synchronization in the heart’s rhythms and the nervous system. Other body systems sync up to this rhythm, creating a state that scientists call coherence. Because coherence leads to more mental clarity, creativity, and better problem-solving abilities, it’s easier to find solutions and better ways to handle stressful situations.
© HeartMath - https://www.heartmath.com
Are you ready to add heart?
Our treatment plans are holistic and intentional. They can include nutrition, breath work, meditation, biofeedback, movement therapy, walking, and other complementary and alternative therapies.
Contact Natural Resilience at 304.381.2211 if you’d like to partner with one of our therapists to take the next step in your journey to wholeness.
BLOG POST AUTHOR:
NICOLE O'BARTO TRAINER, PH.D, MS, LPC
Nicole has a Ph.D in counseling psychology from West Virginia University and completed her clinical training at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. Nicole has worked as a licensed professional counselor since 2006 and has been in private practice since 2007. Nicole founded Natural Resilience on the belief that integrative counseling-combining evidenced based complementary and alternative therapies with conventional methods would provide clients with a holistic treatment experience.
Born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Nicole recently moved back to Latrobe to be closer to family. Nicole opened Natural Resilience's third office in February 2018. Now the same integrative mental health philosophy that's been helping patients in Morgantown for over 7 years is available to families in Latrobe and Greensburg PA.
Based on the fundamental belief that each of us has what it takes to achieve balance in our life and cultivate wellness, Natural Resilience offers holistic counseling and coaching services for individuals and families. By establishing a collaborative relationship, Natural Resilience clinicians create the optimal healing environment.
Natural Resilience • www.naturalresilience.org
2000 Coombs Farm Road, Building B, Suite 106 • Morgantown, WV 26508 • Phone: 304-381-2211
1277 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive • Morgantown, WV 26505 • Phone: 304-381-2211
816 Ligonier Street, Suite 307, Latrobe, PA 15650 • Phone: 724-708-6400