Not quite sure what to expect from a biofeedback session? Andreea Taflan asks neurologist Dr. Márta Simon and her client Éva Czakó about the different steps involved.
1. Questions, questions, questions
The first step of any biofeedback session, Andreea knows, is creating a lifestyle inventory, based on simple questions about lifestyle.
Andreea: Dr. Simon, what kind of questions do you ask? Can you give some expamples?
Dr. Simon: I ask the client a set list of questions, including for example: Do you drink enough water? Do you exercise? How much alcohol do you drink? Do you smoke? Have you had surgery? And so forth.
Andreea: Why do you ask these questions?
Dr. Simon: I ask these questions for two reasons. On the one hand, I believe that biofeedback works best if it is part of a holistic approach. On the other hand, the answers to these questions are important for accurate use of the biofeedback device. Different indicators call for different programs.
2. Calibration of the device
Next, the healthcare practitioner places electrodes on the client’s skin.
Andreea: What’s the purpose of these electrodes?
Dr. Simon: I place electrodes on the skin to hook the client to the biofeedback device. I then have the device send a very subtle electrical signal through the body, so gentle that most people don’t even feel it, to measure the body electric and to make sure the device has the correct settings for the particular client.
Andreea: How does it feel, being hooked to a biofeedback device?
Éva Czakó: It feels great. It does look kind of scary, I must admit, all these wires and electrodes attached to your head. But I still have all my hair (laughs). And it even relaxes me. Like taking a bath that’s just the right temperature.
3. Symptom inventory
Once the device is tuned to the client’s body electric, the same gentle electrical current is sent through their body for three to five minutes.
Andreea: What happens in those moments?
Dr. Simon: I create an inventory of the client’s symptoms. The biofeedback device sends electric pulses through the body, and interprets the body’s response to those pulses. This ‘feedback loop’ can indicate imbalances, creating a stress reactivity profile related to vitamin deficiencies, inadequate nutrient intake, brain waves that point to stress, inflammatory stress, hyper reactivity, stress related to addictions, …
4. Biofeedback session
The fourth step is when the actual session starts. While the client remains hooked to the biofeedback device, Dr. Simon runs a specific software program based on the client’s issues.
Andreea: What is the device doing in this phase?
Dr. Simon: It monitors the client’s brain waves, heart rate, breathing, skin temperature and muscle tension. The information gathered appears on the monitor right here. Next, I will teach the client to make deliberate changes in their body.
Andreea: That sounds very challenging for clients to do. Is it?
Éva Czakó: I thought it would be hard, but you get to watch your brain’s reactions on a monitor the whole time. So, you can immediately see if it works what you are doing.
Dr. Simon: Biofeedback training may sound and look complex but rest assured: anyone can do it. Even small children can successfully complete the program as long as they are willing to cooperate and follow the five main steps.
5. Lifestyle tips
At the end of the session, the client receives a personal report telling them what lifestyle changes are in order to improve her health.
Andreea: Éva, what do you hope to achieve with these sessions in the long run?
Éva Czakó: Eventually, I hope to master these biofeedback techniques all on my own. I want to follow Dr. Márta’s lifestyle tips too, to help my body realize its maximum health potential.
About Dr. Márta Simon
Dr. Marta Simon is a Neurologist, Somnology Expert and Health Coach. She lives in Budapest, Hungary, where she runs her own Biofeedback and Natural Beauty Clinic.
About Éva Czakó
Éva Czakó (50) is a businesswoman from Budapest. She was seeking alternative treatment for lower back pain and exhaustion, which led her to discover biofeedback therapy.
About Andreea Taflan
Andreea Taflan is the CEO and a co-founder of QX World. She studied Business Management and Marketing and has a master’s degree in Public Relations and Communications. In 2005, Andreea was appointed the right hand of the original developer of biofeedback technology and since 2012 she has taken the lead in further developing the technology. Currently, she leads both the software and hardware department at QX World and is considered one of the top experts in the field of biofeedback.