September 27, 2023

Harvest your power

Use biofeedback to help manage stress.

Destigmatizing mental health and providing tools helps young people cope with depression, anxiety, and stress.

Stress is a part of modern life. While some level of stress is acceptable and may even be necessary for motivation and survival, the demands of work and the challenges of everyday life can take a toll on a person’s mental and physical well-being. This can potentially lead to anxiety, depression, and other ailments. Fortunately, biofeedback, a noninvasive therapeutic technique, has been found to be an effective approach for managing and reducing stress to improve a person’s overall well-being.

Understanding biofeedback

Kaiser Permanente is helping patients understand how to manage stress through biofeedback — a mind-body technique that empowers individuals to gain greater awareness and control over physical functions, such as heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature. Through specialized sensors and monitoring equipment, individuals receive real-time feedback about bodily responses.

“Most of us experience stress at a certain point,” said Sofie Blicher, supervising health educator at Kaiser Permanente’s Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center in San Diego. “Biofeedback gives you a direct evaluation on how you can breathe to manage your physical responses to stress,” she added. “Information is displayed on a computer screen to help patients understand how their body reacts to stressors and help them learn how to manage these responses to reduce stress levels.”

Reducing stress through biofeedback

One of the ways biofeedback helps reduce stress is by enhancing self-awareness. By providing individuals with real-time data on their physical responses, biofeedback helps them recognize signs of stress in the body, even before they consciously perceive it. This heightened awareness helps them start self-regulation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which are effective in reducing stress.

This holistic approach to stress reduction — addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of stress — makes it suitable for a wide range of people. Understanding the mind-body connection and the impact of stress on bodily functions, allows individuals to develop comprehensive strategies for stress management beyond temporary relief. By consistently practicing biofeedback techniques, individuals can retrain their bodies' responses to stressors, leading to lasting improvements in their ability to manage stress and maintain a sense of calm in their daily lives.

Take control of your stress levels

Biofeedback can be a powerful ally in stress reduction. By providing individuals with valuable insights into their physical responses and teaching them effective self-regulation techniques, biofeedback empowers people to take control of their stress levels to promote overall well-being. To learn more about biofeedback and request a biofeedback appointment, visit the Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center’s website.