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Thread: Biofeedback - Is it effective?

  1. #1

    Default Biofeedback - Is it effective?


    I am considering starting my 7 year old son on biofeedback. After reading about BFB and talking to one parent who swears by it, I am hopeful that it might help.
    Does any of you have any experience with BFB or self hypnosis (which I think is somewhat similar and related).
    I'm thinking that even if it is not effective in reducing tics directly, it might do it through helping to controll my son's mild anxieties which I think might in turn cause or exacberate (I'm not even hoping to have spelled that word right his tics.

    There is a place practicing BFB in central Mississauga (Ontario), close to Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe. Has anybody got any experience with that particular place? Could you recommend somewhere else in GTA?

    My son has mostly motor tics, facial grimasing, head tilting etc. and some throat clearing and sniffing. He has no behavioural issues. I would actually say, that he is a perfect and loveable kid, liked by everybody around him. The only thing in addtion to his tics are some irrational fears such as storms or bathtub overflowing... The strange thing is, that he is extremely brave when it comes to things that actually can be somewhat dangerous. He loves to swim, ski, horseback ride, etc.... If you gave him a parachute and tell him to jump out of a plane, he would do it. Yet, when we are filling the bathtub, he has to watch it to make sure it won't overflow. I was thinking if it would be a good idea to actually, one day, let the thing overflow just to show him it was no big deal. .... I got of topic a bit ... sorry.

    Finally, I wanted to thank you guys for being here. I have not posted much but read lots of your posts. That has helped me quite a bit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Biofeedback - Is it effective?

    Hello Astro,

    Glad you have jumped in and posted your query.

    Though I don't know much about biofeedback in connection with Tourette, I have had experience with the technique albeit many years ago.

    There was a study taking place at a regional hospital that needed some subjects, and at the time it was convenient for me to be there at the times they needed, so I participated in the study.

    I was taught to place myself in a state of relaxation that was directed by EEG electrodes and an audible feedback tone that indicated to me when the desired state was achieved.

    After a period of time, I was able to duplicate this state of relaxation at will and without the audible feedback tone.

    I discovered the benefit when we were driving a very long distance and I needed some rest; so I used my biofeedback skill and after twenty minutes I felt as though I had a good night's sleep.

    That being said, I don't know what scientific work has been done to show biofeedback has a role in Tourette, except that lowering the anxiety level of a person with Tourette might be of benefit.

    Might I suggest additional research into the scientific basis of any claims before committing your money and your son's hopes. Often unconventional or alternative treatments can lead to unattainable expectations.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Biofeedback - Is it effective?

    Interesting - I mean your experience with biofeedback. To me, it seems a little bit like meditation, only achieved in a more scientific way. Would you agree with that?
    When it comes to my son's hopes and expectations, there is no such thing. He is aware of his tics because we have talked about them, but he says that he is not bothered by them at all, he doesn't care.
    What I don't want to do, is put him through something that will bring his condition to the forground and attention without some resonable expectation or chance of being effective or bring some good.

    If I read you correctly though, it sounds like it wasn't a waste of time for you(?)

    I'm hoping for more comments from others - and thank you Steve for yours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Biofeedback - Is it effective?

    If I read you correctly though, it sounds like it wasn't a waste of time for you(?)
    You're right, I 've always considered the experience as helpful. Though I wish I would have kept up the actual technique I learned back then, there are some aspects, mainly the imagery I used to achieve that state of relaxation, that I still use today when I am trying to relax.

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