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Biofeedback

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Biofeedback

The Counseling Center has two ways for you to practice biofeedback in our relaxation room, The Oasis.

Biofeedback uses hardware and software to measure physiological processes, such as heart rate. You can use the biofeedback software to become better at self-regulating which allows you to become more relaxed. Biofeedback is often more effective than relaxation because you are training your body to self-regulate more efficiently, so the benefits persist after you stop the exercise.

Benefits of Biofeedback:

  • Overall health
  • Sleep quality
  • Concentration
  • Time management
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Improve mood & emotional regulation
  • Cognitive performance and attention regulation
  • Chronic pain
  • Cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues

How You Can Use Biofeedback

What is available at the CC:

  • Inner Balance is an iPad app. It uses an ear sensor to measure heart rate and provide guidance about how to improve heart rate coherence and breathing. You can check out the iPad and ear sensor from the front desk. You can also plug in headphones to hear the auditory prompts. There are instructions and an introductory video available. This is great for a quick, accessible way to practice optimizing your heart rate and increasing relaxation.
  • Alive is computer software installed on the desktop cart in The Oasis. You need the Iom finger sensors to use this software. This program provide numerous opportunities to practice skills in visually engaging and dynamic environments. You can practice skills like diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery or pick an environment where you race cars, build a house, or cause to flowers bloom all controlled by your heart rate. Make sure to complete the Orientation in the program to familiarize yourself with the software.

How to access it:

  • If you are a current client at the Counseling Center, you can ask your counselor for more information and a demonstration of the software. It may be possible to integrate biofeedback into your treatment, or practice it between sessions.
  • However, you do not have to be a client of the CC to use biofeedback. Sign-in at the front desk with your JAC card and they will give you the appropriate equipment. You can access our biofeedback equipment whenever The Oasis is open. There are instructions and introductory videos available for the software.

Preparing for biofeedback:

  • Make sure to dress comfortably and that you are not hungry or thirsty and don't have to go to the bathroom. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn't restrict your breathing.
  • Remove distractions from your environment: Silence your phone.
  • Coffee, tea and other stimulants should be avoided before practicing because they make relaxing difficult.
  • The complete orientation for Alive takes about 20 minutes. Inner Balance does not have an orientation, but there is an introductory video link on the home screen of the iPad.
  • Alive allows you to create a profile to record your progress. There is a "Test" profile in Alive if you do not want to create a new profile. If they are having trouble relaxing or achieving maximum benefit, practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation before trying other activities.
  • For best results, try to practice three times a week for at least 5 minutes.

Biofeedback Resources

Related links