Learning to coordinate body and mind for greater balance in your life
In a complex culture that encourages individual action and indulgence in over-stimulation, a state of body/brain imbalance can be the outcome — If reactions to challenging situations are handled in the same manner; if we persist with old ways of coping, the imbalance may progress to illness or disease. At some point, we must learn a new way of responding.
Somewhere between deep relaxation, focused attention and peak performance training, Body-Brain Balance is a unique way to guide the seemingly complex systems of the body and brain into efficient functioning by means of individual sessions with an experienced provider. This all begins with fully acquainting, exploring and experiencing body/brain/mind patterns as they are brought into balance while increasing awareness of basic habit patterns, to guide them into alignment — more importantly, learning how to consistently control them.
The Body-Brain Balance is an educational and informational process designed to give a non-clinical but specific overview, involving the balance between body, brain and mind. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s ability to increase awareness, gain control of their body/brain balance and experience an expansion of consciousness.
Balance the Body and Brain – Manage the Mind
Experiencing the body and brain imbalance, then to guide them back to alignment is only the first step. The unique aspect of the Body-Brain Balance is recognition of the mental processes that contribute to the system imbalance and how this may be different for each individual. Knowledge of these differences is an important component in managing the mind and key to body-brain balance. What this means is that the Body-Brain Balance experience may be varied for different people because of individualized styles of learning. Some may have bursts of inspiration or insight-fullness while others a greater sense of personal control and competence in their abilities. Some may experience increased stability and security; others more spontaneity and interpersonal freedom. The overall process, however, can be gentle and uncomplicated but needs to be experienced while presented in an individualized format to facilitate learning.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the Body-Brain Balance method?
Drawing on a unique combination of Biofeedback and Neurofeedback training, Body-Brain Balance seeks to help an individual gain a deeper awareness of the body and mind working together.
How does Body-Brain Balance work?
Very simply, Body-Brain Balance is an advanced application of the biofeedback process, employing special instruments attached to the body in order to ‘feed back’ information that allows an individual to correct given conditions. Likewise, Neurofeedback uses the same process to help ‘self-regulate’ the brain. Together, they can be employed simultaneously to facilitate an experience of heart and brain synchronization through muscular relaxation, breathing and guided visual focus.
The overall experience can range from deep relaxation to a sense of heightened cognitive awareness. Body-Brain Balance can work in perfect harmony with a regimen of breathing exercises, meditation, contemplation or daily prayer.
A specific example of the Body-Brain Balance would be:
1) Painless sensors are attached to sites on the body and head, used to measure muscle tension, skin temperature, heart, breathing rate and minute electrical signals from the brain. Brain training may occur at one to six sites on the head at one time, although one or two sites are most common.
2) The individual is guided to experience all of these body/mind factors, which are being displayed by the feedback instruments with the goal of synchronizing the body (heart, breathing, etc.) and mind (brain wave patterns). Body responses may be displayed as relevant measures (muscle tension, temperature, heart rate, etc.) while activity of the mind is presented on a monitor as changes in brain wave frequencies.
3) Instruction occurs with verbal guidance from the Body-Brain Balance provider or (visual/auditory/sensory) feedback from a specialized program or game. Session goals may be given or in written form to assist with understanding the procedure, setting of learning goals, skill practice and review of results.
4) A variety of training methods may be employed to facilitate the body/mind synchronization and self-regulation experience. These may include, relaxation training, breathing exercises, meditative practices, guided imagery, visualization, auditory-environmental programs, computer games etc. Having the experience of learning how to adjust to a more comfortable condition and understanding how to maintain that state can become a unique insight.
5) After a period of practice, and developing the ability toward body and brain self-regulation, desired results can be mastered and integrated into daily life.
Are there health benefits to Body-Brain Balance Training?
Body-Brain Balance can certainly help improve your health by giving you specific experiences, insights and skills to improve your health and well-being. Although not designed to address or resolve immediate symptoms, Body-Brain Balance training can be of great value as a means of building better habits that contribute to improved health decisions.
Much like learning about good nutrition and diet, the Body-Brain Balance process can increase your awareness of good and bad habits, which puts you in control of coordinating somatic (body), as well as cognitive (brain) functioning.
Has the Body-Brain Balance method of treatment been tested or researched?
There is a long history (over 50 years) of combining biofeedback treatment instruments to gain a positive effect. This is known in research studies as Multimodal treatment. An example of this may be a dual treatment for stress reduction by decreasing muscle tension (EMG or electromyography) and hand temperature training (to increase circulation, blood flow and warmth to the hands). Similar treatment may be used for tension headaches and migraine.
The Body-Brain Balance method is not new in combining Biofeedback (body awareness) with Neurofeedback (changes in brain activity) but is unique in its focus on guiding the individual to improved coordination of heart, breath, muscle relaxation, calmed nervous system and decreased, overactive brain activity.
Is it difficult to do? Do you have to have special knowledge or skills for this training?
Learning the Body-Brain Balance method is easy and comfortable. Standard biofeedback training is applied and easily learned. Use of alternating breathing patterns and decrease muscle tension in selected areas of the body generally has the overall effect of decreasing the heart rate, increasing blow flow throughout the body, settling the nerves and slowing brain function. All, generally pleasurable outcomes. Treatment sessions are conducted in comfortable office settings.
Is Body-Brain Balance like watching video games?
Generally no, however well-designed video games can partially assist an individual to learn new things – but there is more to it.
Games and special programs may be employed if they facilitate awareness of what is going on in the body (and brain); help build new skills, provide learning challenges and most importantly, produce the sensation of feeling differently or better when the session is complete.
The Body-Brain Balance method is ultimately designed for individuals to rely on their own inner resources and bring mind/body awareness into everyday reality. That is not to say that computer- type games will not be employed to achieve this goal but it is not the primary focus of the process.
Does Body-Brain Balance work right away or does it take a long time? How long does the training take?
Since the training is not focused on relief of symptoms, sessions can be relaxed and comfortable, focusing on increasing immediate comfort. Training sessions last 1 hour. Individuals may expect beginning to intermediate instruction to be 8 to 12 sessions.
Why isn’t this training offered more frequently?
This is up to different providers but given the positive mental and emotional health benefits of the Body-Brain Balance method the question becomes: ‘we don’t know why it isn’t offered?
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