Biofeedback is beneficial in treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma and more
What the heart signals, its pattern, rhythm, and activity, can have a significant impact on your brain’s function, influencing your perception, how you think and feel, your performance, and more.
Your brain continuously processes the information in the hypothalamus, where your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) sends signals to. The ANS is the system that automatically regulates certain bodily processes, such as heart rate, and is split into two components: sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Your sympathetic nervous system is also known as the fight or flight response, and the parasympathetic nervous system is the relaxation response. Feelings and emotions directly impact your heart rate, which impacts the messages your brain receives, which impacts your ANS. Your body’s fight or flight and relaxation systems may begin to respond inappropriately, impacting your Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which impacts overall wellbeing.
HRV is the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats and is a marker of physiological resilience and behavioral flexibility. One’s feelings and emotions are found to be a significant factor in one’s heart rate. Depleting emotions, such as stress and anger, show a more irregular and erratic rhythm, what scientists call an incoherent pattern. Positive emotions, such as love, compassion, and appreciation, show a coherent pattern. Coherent means the two systems in your ANS are synchronized and working together harmoniously, whereas incoherent means your ANS systems are unbalanced and out-of-sync with each other. Research shows different patterns of heart activity have different effects on cognitive and emotional functioning, and one can work on controlling these patterns through Biofeedback.
So, what is Biofeedback? With the use of electronic monitoring, you learn ways to train and control certain bodily processes that typically happen involuntarily, such as heart rate. Biofeedback has proven to be beneficial in the relief of many issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, stress, addiction, and more. There are different variations of Biofeedback therapy; Minds In Action Counseling provides an opportunity for you to gain increased heart rhythm coherence with the use of HeartMath™.
The HeartMath® Institute has over 25 years of research showing the connection between the heart and brain and how one’s thoughts and behaviors are impacted by different patterns of heart activity. Their non-invasive techniques help you manage stress, revitalize energy, restore mental and emotional balance, help build resiliency, and reach what is called coherent heart rhythm. During your Biofeedback sessions, we display your HRV as you learn effective techniques to adapt to regulating emotions, moving from incoherence to coherence.