15 October 2012

Biofeedback for Extreme Situations

Do you think your job is stressful?
Most of us would probably answer yes, but imagine if this was your job...

(Though this daring rescue at sea was reported in the news, what most people don’t know is that on their way to the rescue, the Dutch Special Forces were staying calm thanks in part to tactical breathing skills they learned from a Dutch biofeedback expert.)

Stress has a great impact on the quality of lives of the men and women in uniform that serve and protect communities. Biofeedback offers ways to measure stress and guide professionals that work with people in extreme situations. The BFE Military and Security team has recently released software to train professionals working with military, security and law enforcement agencies. The suite, compatible with the BioGraph Infiniti system, was designed by an international team led Dr. Henk Kraaijenhof and based on his experience training military and law enforcement personnel.

Dr. Henk Kraaijenhof
Dr. Kraajienhof is a biofeedback expert based in the Netherlands. Henk has trained Olympic gold medalists and top professionals and now also trains special forces in tactical breathing for performance under pressure. The software is just one piece of an education and training program for professionals interested in learning more about biofeedback.

Starting in January of 2013, Dr. Kraaijenhof will be hosting a series of three online grand rounds sessions along with BFE Military and Security team member Yuval Oded who lends his expertise based on his biofeedback assisted MentalGym™ project. During these sessions, participants will be able to present specific cases or pose questions to the group for discussion.

If you would like to know a little bit more about the suite and how it works, we have made available a recent webinar presented by the BFE Research Manager, Jon Bale. In the recording, Jon reviews the software and documents included in the suite. He will also demonstrate the assessment and training protocols. At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to identify one measure of biofeedback and neurofeedback, recognize the use and benefit of different types of assessment, learn the benefit of using different stressors to elicit a physiological change.

If you are interested in learning more about this interesting use of biofeedback, feel free to contact the BFE Military and Security team at www. redmilitarysecurity@gmail.com.

Visit the BFE Online Shop for full descriptions of the products listed above:
Military and Security Software Suite
Military and Law Enforcement - Grand Rounds
Intro to the Military and Law Enforcement Suite - Webinar Recording

10 October 2012

Biofeedback for Mental Health

I blog for World Mental Health Day

First, I would like to commend the folks at the Carter Center for their ongoing efforts to draw attention to mental health concerns while reducing the stigma that is associated with them and to PsychCentral for the great work they do. Thanks also to everyone who has taken the time to share their own insights by joining the “blog party”. What a great concept!

In my role as Education Manager at the BFE, I have had the opportunity to learn about the work of many mental health professionals around the world who have incorporated biofeedback and neurofeedback into their practices. Our field has such great potential but remains virtually unknown to so many. 

So what is biofeedback?
The AAPB (Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback) website sums it up nicely:

“Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.”

Approved May 18, 2008 by:
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB)
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA)
International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR)

Quite simply, biofeedback is like a window into the self. A good example to illustrate this is stress. In today’s fast paced world we are all familiar with stress and the negative impact it can have on our health. Most people can identify when they are feeling stressed, but may not be aware that during stressful periods their heart rate speeds up, their respiration rate increases and their muscles may be tense. With knowledge of these physiological changes comes the power to regulate them.  

Biofeedback has been widely used by a variety of health professionals in the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma and PTSD to name a few.  In fact the focus of the upcoming North Carolina Biofeedback Society’s annual meeting (for which we are a sponsor) is “Trauma and the Mind-Body Connection”.  The conference, taking place November 2-4, 2012, provides a great opportunity for mental health providers to learn how they can incorporate biofeedback into their practice.

Other good resources are the AAPB (Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback), the ISNR (International Society for Neurofeedback and Research) and the BCIA (Biofeedback Certification International Alliance). All three websites provide a wealth of information for professionals as well as anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating field.  Also, check out this link for a crash course on biofeedback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u1v3xRCqu8 

A Bit About Us...
The BFE Learn From the Best program provides continuing education via conferences, seminars, workshops, internet courses, and software for professionals around the world. Content is developed independently by International Research & Education Project teams. Financial support comes from the Biofeedback Federation CIC, a non-profit Community Interest Corporation located in the UK. For more information, visit the BFE Online Shop. The next BFE Annual Conference is scheduled to take place February 11-15, 2014 in Venice, Italy.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information.
Carol Meyers
Education Manager
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...