Mind-body interaction (“psychophysiology”) is spectacular. We think something, whether in conscious awareness or not, and our body has physiological reactions… this happens repeatedly every second of the day. Thoughts contribute to being regulated (e.g., mentally calm, with appropriate levels of physical alertness) or dysregulated (e.g., rapid thoughts or going blank, with inappropriate levels of physical alertness). In working with Tim, clients often become more aware of those initial thoughts and develop strategies to influence them.
To become more resilient (preventing dysregulation) or to regain self-regulation, it can be useful to influence one’s physiology more directly, especially when thought patterns either remain out of awareness or when they feel un-influenceable.
Biofeedback can be key to influencing your physiology (nervous system). Tim often uses the word “influence” rather than “control,” because attempts at full control often backfire (as you use a technique you either experience only temporary escape or you feel even more anxious!). Biofeedback allows you to see what’s happening, moment to moment, with your body’s stress response (incremental changes in heart rate, respiration, heart rate variability, sweat, muscle tension, skin temperature, and even brain wave activity!).
Nervous system activity happens via Central Nervous System (CNS: Brain to Body) and Autonomic Nervous System (ANS: Body to Brain). Before biofeedback, it was thought that much of nervous system functioning was 100% automatic or un-influenceable. You can think of biofeedback as “training wheels” as you learn to better self-regulate and optimize brain/body functioning.