Anxiety is defined by the dual characteristics of physiologic hyperarousal and excessive emotional fear. Biofeedback has demonstrated value for hyperarousal reduction and offers a non-pharmacological approach to direct symptom reduction tailored to the individual’s psycho-physiological profile.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one type of biofeedback. It uses finger or earlobe with sensors to measure the functioning of the heart by diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing activates Vagal nerve, which descends from the brain in the carotid sheath all the way to you diaphragm. The vagal nerve slows your heart rate. A stress response to anything such as a difficult conversation, traffic, or studying changes your heart rate independently of the breathing-related variation to irregular changes. In contrast, when we breathe even, natural, and smooth, you get smooth heart rate waves which are associated with health and peak performance.
Self-regulation is the primary goal of Biofeedback
When a person inhales, heart rate increases. When a person exhales, heart rate decreases. This is referred to as “heart rate variability.” Higher rate variability is associated with favorable holistic health. Clients are taught smooth diaphragmatic breathing, psychological mindfulness, and adaptive responsiveness.
One of the main advantages of using biofeedback for anxiety is managing it without medication or its side effects. It eliminate health problems that are stress- related or that have psychosomatic components. Biofeedback teaches awareness, relaxation skills and ways to manage anxiety & recognize, reduce, and control stress responses by returning the body to a healthier physiological state.