How does stress affect your nervous system – Biofeedback and stress

If we take a deeper look into how stress affects the nervous system and how biofeedback therapy works, it becomes clear why biofeedback can be successful in stress (too)! Prolonged, persistent stress has a negative impact on the nervous system and over time the consequences of stress can be expected. Biofeedback therapy is an excellent alternative to using the power of our minds to reduce stress that can test our mental and physical strength.

How does stress affect your nervous system?

Let’s take a closer look at how stress affects the nervous system! In our daily lives, we are confronted with many stressful situations that can temporarily help the body to cope, survive and cope.

When we are under stress, the body prepares itself to react quickly. That’s why the heart rate increases, breathing quickens, blood pressure rises, muscles tense, ready to act. This is good stress, because in an emergency the body can „survive”.

But when stress becomes permanent, when stress levels remain in the body, we are dealing with chronic stress, negative stress. This can manifest itself in anxiety, insomnia, headaches, elevated blood pressure, loss of appetite, or even upset our hormonal balance.

In a stressful situation, the central nervous system sends a message to the adrenal glands to release stress hormones, adrenaline, cortisol.
These cause an increase in heart rate, increased blood flow to the muscles. When a person is under chronic, prolonged stress, the production of these hormones and the body’s preparation for an emergency does not stop, it continues.

This is why there can be a persistent rise in blood pressure, and the heart is subjected to constant, more intense stress. Muscle tension may also become persistent and muscle aches and pains may occur. The body reacts to the negative effects of stress with obvious complaints and symptoms at several points.

Biofeedback device for stress management

We already see what happens in the body when it is stressed, but how does biofeedback help people reduce stress?

Biofeedback therapy is essentially a self-regulation and self-development training supported by modern IT. It can be a tool for maintaining and regaining physical and mental health.

During biofeedback training, various methods are used, all of which are aimed at making physiological functioning more conscious, thus enabling people to regulate their internal physiological activity. The therapeutic method is based on the assumption that we are able to influence all perceptible, measurable bodily functions at will, and to control automatic life processes with the help of sensory signals. Biofeedback devices provide continuous feedback on bodily processes, making it possible to see where adjustments and corrections need to be made.

In essence, biofeedback therapy gives us the opportunity to optimise the physiological functioning of the body. The biofeedback devices provide continuous feedback, displayed on a screen, and the biofeedback therapist gives instructions on how to correct processes that are not working properly. For example, change your posture, your breathing, while the sensors are on your body and the results are constantly displayed.

Biofeedback devices use sensors to detect the bioelectric phenomena associated with the functioning of the body and make them perceptible and visible with the help of a computer. Once the signal pattern of ideal body function is visible, the individual must achieve this optimal functional pattern through exercises.

By repeating the learned pattern exercises, the subject of the therapy will master them and will later be able to apply them in any situation.

Biofeedback therapy for stress

Biofeedback therapy consists of 5 steps, is free of side effects and can be performed on anyone.

  1. At the beginning of the therapy, the biofeedback therapist asks questions about lifestyle, which gives a complex picture of possible barriers to recovery, causes of imbalance
  2. The biofeedback device is calibrated by the therapist and there is no pain involved.
  3. The biofeedback device performs a symptom inventory, testing the body for 15,000 indicators. For example inflammatory factors, nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies and so on.
  4. The actual biofeedback therapy begins. Sensors placed on the body show brain waves, pulse, breathing patterns, skin temperature, muscle tension and the therapist gives us instructions on what to change and how!
  5. Finally, we are given lifestyle advice to help us make the most of our own bodies and the effectiveness of biofeedback therapy.

Biofeedback therapy against stress helps the body to balance its functions at several points. For example, in the case of stress, it is crucial to learn correct, relaxing breathing, which can be learned during biofeedback therapy, thereby reducing stress levels.

The same is true for sweating. We sweat more when we are under stress, but if we take control of this physiological regulation, we will also experience a stress-reducing effect.

Biofeedback exercises against spasmodic muscle contractions can prevent the development of painful muscle knots, incorrect posture and are also important in preventing stress-related pain, headaches and backaches.

Biofeedback can also be used for many other complaints in addition to stress management.

A much better quality of life can be achieved by achieving balance both physically and mentally. And all this without external intervention, without drugs, just through awareness.