Biofeedback studies have shown that Fibromyalgia patients who received treatments had fewer tender points, lower pain intensity and morning stiffness. Biofeedback is a technique in which patients are trained to improve their health by learning to control certain internal bodily processes such as muscle tension causing pain, blood pressure, or anxiety.
It is a basic way of learning self-control tools that will be used throughout life. Recent biofeedback developments now provide a tool for improving functioning of the central nervous system.
Biofeedback is non-invasive and painless. It can expose the sources of physical pain, like headache or back pain, and gives us the information we need to reduce or eliminate the pain. It can help people with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue by eliminating pain and improving energy.
The most frequently used types of biofeedback therapy: Electromyography (EMG) - measures muscle tension, Thermal biofeedback - measures skin temperature, and Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG) - measures brain wave activity.
During a biofeedback session electrodes are attached to the skin. The electrodes feed information into devices that measure ones internal involuntary responses. The patient is then given mental exercises by the practitioner. This allows the mental activities that cause the physiologic responses to be identified, which make it possible to teach the patient how to gain control over them. When a person has learned how to control his/her symptoms, the feedback displays the positive changes.
Biofeedback has been proven to be an effective therapy for many conditions. It is primarily used to treat high blood pressure, chronic pain, tension headache, migraine headache, and urinary incontinence. Studies have shown that most patients who respond best from biofeedback have conditions that are brought on by or made worse by stress. This would imply that relaxation is the most important factor for success.
The FM treatment using electro-encephalogram (EEG) is based on the research of Mary Lee Esty, Ph.D.; Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D.; and Len Ochs, Ph.D. Technology is used to detect and treat brain dysfunction that has been caused by a mild traumatic brain injury such as in an automobile accident. Patients first have a brain mapping performed to identify areas of the brain which have been injured and are functioning abnormally in terms of brain-wave activity. Electrical activity produced by the brain reflects a person's level of functioning and can be monitored by EEG. A condition known as "EEG slowing" is present in people who have suffered damage to the brain and nervous system as a result of trauma and go on to develop Fibromyalgia or other chronic conditions.
The Flexyx Neurotherapy System (FNS) is both a brainwave biofeedback and treatment system, as well as an evaluation system. It is for patients with central nervous system dysfunctions, cognitive dysfunction (memory, etc.), mood disorders, low energy, movement difficulties, trouble with balance, and pain problems. FNS is an advanced form of biofeedback which, returns a feedback signal to the patient connected to the EEG. This form of EEG uses electrodes connected to the skin. Researchers have found that FM patients concentrate better when they close their eyes, which lessens sensory stimulation.
Flexyx Neurofeedback System is also non-invasive and painless. The patient sits in a comfortable chair and wears dark glasses that generate feedback. The patient need only relax. The treatment measures brain waves, and directs the brain waves back to the person as a reflection (mirrored). FNS resets the natural, self-regulation skills we are unaware of in our brain and nervous system so they can function normally. This makes it possible to implement the best treatment plan.
After the treatments are completed, surface Electromyography (sEMG) therapy is usually conducted to help retrain muscles, and Myofascial Release Therapy is used to restore proper muscle balance, obtain optimum posture, and address other neuromuscular problems. There may be other treatment options discussed and utilized depending on the findings and your therapist.
The hope is to help chronic pain sufferers develop greater awareness and deliberate control over the physiological processes that are outside conscious awareness.
Reference: Erica Thompson is a 40-year-old, Stay-at-Home mom with 3 children and a husband in the military. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but suffered from it many years prior to diagnosis and later, diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain, IBS, RLS, migraine & more. She has done extensive research and is an expert based on her own experience, her mother's and her grandmother's. Her goal is to help chronic pain sufferers.