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Before you take pills, try biofeedback

by ROb Kall, M.Ed. and Rhonda Greenberg, Psy.D.

A new client called today about her son, in primary school. He’s been diagnosed with ADHD, and placed on stimulant medications. The medications seem to have set off facial tics, and possibly Tourettes syndrome. His mother wants him off medications. She was referred to us for biofeedback.

In this age of fast food, instant gratification and managed care, a prescription for drugs is often the first answer when it comes to headache, pain, stress, attention deficit disorder, and thousands of problems. But actually, you may not ever really need medications.

Studies have repeatedly shown that well over half of the visits to doctors are caused by stress-related problems. Biofeedback and related self regulation trainging techniques is a powerful fast-acting approach which gets to the root of the reason you expeirence symptoms. Drugs, on the other hand, merely mask or eliminate symptoms.

If you had your choice of an approach which could teach you to permanently eliminate your symptoms or one which would just get rid of themfor the day, which would you choose? It’s like the old saying "It’s better to teach a man to fish so he can feed himself for a lifetime than to feed him a fish so he can eat for a day."

Biofeedback training has been proven effective by thousands of published research studies.

Biofeedback is a training process. Sensitive electronic technology provides you with more information about what your body is doing than your ordinary senses provide. This "feedback" helps you learn to use your mind to develop greater control over your body.

For most stress and pain problems, biofeedback can work in 6-12 or, on the outside, 20 visits, with clear improvement in 3 to six. For brain biofeedback (for ADD, ADHD, tourettes, etc.) more visits are necessary.


Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and many other types of chronic pain, disorders of the digestive system, incontinence, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias (abnormalities in the rhythm of the heartbeat) ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) Raynaud's disease (a circulatory disorder that causes uncomfortably cold hands) Epilepsy Paralysis, spinal cord injury and other movement disorders

Biofeedback is not an innately medical process. It is a training process that teaches people to increase awareness and control of their bodies to result in better health and well-being. Biofeedback is based on teaching one to optimize mind/body functioning that results in optimal health whether you are suffering from a condition or not.

Studies have shown that we have some control over what we once considered exclusively involuntary bodily functions. Consumers have witnessed the tremendous effects biofeedback has had on headaches; attention deficit disorder children who are now able to concentrate and get ahead in school; stressed-out athletes and executives who enhance their performance and cut their health-related work absences; and, incontinent and arthritic seniors who can now control their symptoms.

Conditions once treated with long-term medications (migraine headaches, hypertension, anxiety) or expensive surgeries (thoracic outlet syndrome, incontinence, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic foot wounds) are now being treated with biofeedback. In addition, biofeedback is used to teach non-afflicted individuals how to stay healthy - resulting in less frequent doctors' visits. These success stories have led some insurance companies to reimburse for biofeedback as an

Biofeedback is so effective that our nations' government and the military uses it to train individuals to reduce stress and stay well. Even the Pentagon uses it to train topbrass to perform more effectively under stress. The bottom line is that biofeedback offers benefits that last long after symptoms are gone, providing self control skills you can use for the rest of your life to feel good and live better with fewer illnesses and ailments.