Biofeedback and Stress Reduction
What is Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a research-based technique that encompasses a wide variety of instruments providing information about physiological functions. With training, biofeedback allows you to control some of these functions to help reduce stress and improve quality of life. HeartMath®, used with the Inner Balance Application, is a way of teaching students and residents to engage in mindfulness and meditation. Other benefits of biofeedback include
- Positive outcomes in as little as 10 minutes of daily practice over three consecutive weeks
- Improved test scores and better short- and long-term memory, when used alone or as a supplement to current engagement with Counseling and Educational Support
- Lasting effects, beyond the initial training, with consistent practice
- Mindfulness, which enables more control in life situations, allowing you to "act and not react"
Based in Scientific Research
- Meditation, over the long-term, can change brain wave patterns but also structurally change the brain, improving areas associated with attention and sensory processing (Lazar et al., 2005).
- Meditation can change blood flow in areas of the brain related to empathy, impulse control, decision making. working memory, cognitive flexibility and abstract reasoning (Cahn & Polich, 2006).
- After just eight weeks of meditation practice, physicians in this study practicing mindfulness improved their personal well-being, reduced burnout, and improved their mood. They also observed positive changes in empathy and other patient-centered orientation indicators. The positive results continued up to three months after the initial training (Krasner et al., 2009).
- Patients reported higher satisfaction and better recovery when treated by providers practicing mindfulness, even when they were unaware their providers were engaged in regular meditation (Grepmair et al., 2007).
Biofeedback at KUMC
How can you get involved in practicing biofeedback if you are a student or resident at the University of Kansas Medical Center?
- Make an appointment with a psychologist
- Bring with you an iOS device that is app compatible (several are available to lend)
- Download the Inner Balance App from the App Store on your iOS device
- Borrow the HeartMath sensor and practice guided meditation for 10 minutes each day!