Gwyneth Wesley Rolph

Peak Performance Coach based in North London

About Biofeedback

Biofeedback has been used for the treatment of headaches and other stress-related conditions since the 1970s. Since that time, a solid body of research has been accumulated on numerous different modalities (types) of biofeedback, the various protocols (methods) used, and their effectiveness for treating different types of health conditions. Biofeedback has been repeatedly shown in research and clinical practice to be a most effective tool for reducing overall stress levels.

An initial consultation including a thorough case inventory is taken first to establish the client's current state of health, lifestyle, and what he/she wishes to address with biofeedback. Rather than deliver biofeedback in isolation, I recommend a life stress reduction programme is also followed in order to address the specific stressors in the client's life. Information from the initial consultation would be used to create an individually tailored programme consisting of both biofeedback and the life stress reduction programme. A client's programme may also consist of simple "homeworks" to do between consultation sessions.

What is Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback?

Contrary to popular belief, a person’s heart rate does not beat like a perfect metronome. In a normal individual at rest, there is a surprising amount of beat to beat and moment to moment variation. In periods of extreme stress or heavy physical activity, the heartbeat becomes not only faster but more rhythmically regular. In people who are in poor physical condition, the range of cardiovascular adaptability can be compromised.

HRV training enables the person to train their heart rate oscillations back to a more healthy state. These oscillations reflect the interplay between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system can be thought of as the accelerator, which causes the heartbeat to increase. The parasympathetic nervous system can be thought of as the brake. This pattern is known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Medicine has long known that the heart rate increases with each inhalation and decreases with each exhalation. HRV training therefore uses paced breathing in order to achieve greater heart rate variability.

HeartMath CoachI am a licensed HeartMath coach (one of only a few in the United Kingdom) who will help you to learn to use the emWave system in conjunction with HeartMath's own unique coaching programme to reduce stress, enable clearer thinking, increase productivity, and help you reach your life development goals. You can read more about the science behind the HeartMath coaching programme here.

Seeking Medical Advice

I am not a medical doctor and do not diagnose or treat medical conditions. Biofeedback is not a substitute for necessary medical advice and intervention.

If you are taking any medication, are receiving any other kind of medical treatment, or have had medical problems of a serious nature in the past, you are advised to seek the advice of your doctor first before embarking upon a course of biofeedback training.

There are other techniques that may be more beneficial to a very weak or incapacitated individual, and which are designed specifically for getting ill or injured persons back in communication with their body and environment, and thereby assisting the healing process. Always check with your doctor first.

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