If you are interested to learn if you could benefit from Biofeedback, you can contact the Mind-Body Program coordinator. The Mind-Body Program coordinator will talk with you about your interest and together you can decide if you meet the eligibility criteria for biofeedback training. If you do meet the criteria, he/she will refer you to a member of the biofeedback team for a demonstration and personal coaching sessions.
When you are comfortable using the equipment on your own, you may begin using the Biofeedback equipment in the Relaxation Room as desired. The Relaxation Room can be used for 45 minutes at a time and is available during the CTC’s regular business hours. Please bring your GSU student ID card. Appointments not required, but recommended.
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is simply a tool in which you can receive immediate visual feedback about what your biological systems are doing. For example, our software can show you what your heart is doing and how basic changes in your breathing can influence your heart beat
Studies show that a specific heart rate pattern correlates highly with a relaxed state. At the Student Counseling Center, we can teach you how to physically ‘put the breaks’ on your stress and achieve this desired sense of calm.
How does Biofeedback work?
- Biofeedback uses equipment to monitor physical states. It provides visual information to help you learn about the mind/body connection
- All systems in the body (thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical body) are connected, almost like on a rubber band. If we can make a change in any one system, we can influence the other systems. With increased balance among the systems, performance levels and positive emotions increase.
- In the Mind/Body Clinic, you can experiment with different coping strategies and develop an individualized approach for managing stress based on the visual feedback provided by the biofeedback programs. The programs use finger sensors to assess stress levels in your body by measuring your heart rate and small electrical changes in your fingertips.
- As you improve your ability to control your physical state, you can test out your skills in various video games.
In the Counseling & Testing Center we use the EmWave© system, which is an easy to use computer program that teaches you to self-regulate your arousal and attention by focusing on heart rate variability. For more information on this specific system, please visit heartmath.
What can Biofeedback help with?
Biofeedback can be used to help with a variety of conditions, including (but not limited to):
- General Stress & Worry
- Test & Performance Anxiety
- Sleep Problems due to Stress
Note: Biofeedback as a method for self-regulation can be a very effective tool for dealing with stress, but it is seldom adequate by itself for treating various forms of anxiety. Typically, working with a counselor to modify patterns of thought and behavior is needed, and sometimes medication as well.
While the programs available and skills learned in the lab are believed to be safe and to have low-risk for harm, you may want to check with your doctor or mental health professional before using the lab if you have:
- Severe or unstable medical illness, including heart conditions and asthma
- Disorders involving severe, unstable autonomic nervous system or endocrine/metabolic functions (e.g., diabetes)
- Significant psychological disorder (e.g., schizophrenia, mania, major depression, paranoia, severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder)
- Severe memory, attention or neurological conditions (e.g., seizures)
Persons with heart irregularities may be unable to successfully use the programs. Additionally, you are encouraged to seek medical and/or psychological treatment if your symptoms have not been evaluated.