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          Using Biofeedback to Help Improve ADD Symptoms

          September 16, 2004

          In his book, The ADD Answer, Dr. Frank Lawlis offers information on using biofeedback technology to help improve symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder.

          Study after study has shown that the symptoms of attention deficit disorder can be controlled through biofeedback, although this approach is not an absolute cure for every aspect of ADD. However, it has worked well in helping a child learn to control disruptive thoughts and impulsive behaviors that impair the ability to focus and concentrate.

          Biofeedback offers therapies that help ADD children learn to control basic stress reactions, such as heart rate and cardiovascular reactivity. It works best with children willing to take responsibility for their own actions, and it can make a huge difference in a child’s learning ability and self-esteem.

          In biofeedback, computer images and sounds provide images of what is going on inside the patient’s body. There are five major biofeedback technologies used by mental health professionals for ADD:

          • Thermal monitoring — using temperature biofeedback
          • Pulse monitoring — pulse meters or EMG
          • Electroencephalogram — EEG
          • Galvanic skin response — GSR
          • Respiratory patterning

          Thermal and pulse monitoring reflect how your cardiovascular system is responding, and the electroencephalogram shows how your brain is functioning. The galvanic skin response reflects overall emotional responses on the skin. Respiratory patterning has been used to help people alter how they breathe and to monitor destructive patterns.

          Not every child’s symptoms can be relieved through biofeedback treatments.

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