How Biofeedback Treats Addiction

In March 28, 2019

Biofeedback Therapy

There are lots of physical symptoms that a person goes through when they are struggling with an addiction and especially during alcohol recovery programs. Certain types of therapy can help address those physical changes that occur in the body when an addict is feeling stressed or going through cravings. Biofeedback therapy can be used to gather information about a person’s physical state so that medical and psychological treatment can be used to help resolve stress.

How Biofeedback Works?

During biofeedback therapy, a patient has electronic sensors placed on their skin that are wired to a special medical device providing feedback to a medical professional about the person’s vital signs. It mainly measures involuntary functions that may indicate the person’s stress level or state of mind. It usually tracks things like a person’s breathing rate, heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure, sweating and muscle contractions.

The biofeedback machine will measure these physical changes and display them back to the recovering addict so that they are aware of their stress response. The patient can then practice using stress-relieving techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation or other tools to see how their body responds. It helps them not only master these techniques but also see a visual representation of how they effectively relieve their stress.

Biofeedback therapy sessions help recovering addicts become more aware of physical sensations in their body and they can learn to control them as they see visually that their heart, breathing rate or blood pressure is going down. Biofeedback exercises like mindful meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery all work to soothe physical stress and cause noticeable changes in vital signs. Over time, patients will become more skilled at responding to their stress level and will be able to maintain a feeling of calm that helps them get through recovery.

By Dr. Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor

Primary Therapist