Quantum Biofeedback, Is It Really Biofeedback?

Posted in NetCasts by biofeedbackresources on September 2nd, 2009

Quantum Biofeedback - Is it really biofeedback? - by Harry Campbell

I have been approached by a few people recently who had an interest in biofeedback. What they had heard about biofeedback involved what is called "Quantum Biofeedback". I am sure that for the few people who have approached me there are probably at least hundreds more who have been made to think that this is what biofeedback is. That is dead wrong. I hope to shed some light on the confusion caused by this mislabeling.

With real biofeedback clients learn to regulate their own physiology based on the feedback from the instruments that are measuring them. The physiological measures involved in true biofeedback include EMG (electromyography) for measurement of muscle activity, Skin Temperature, Skin Conductance, Heart Rate, EEG (Electroencephalograph) for the measurement of brainwave activity, and Respiration. True biofeedback instruments are not directly diagnosing disease or specific problems with internal body organs like the liver and kidneys. The labeling of instruments that claim to do these things as biofeedback is causing confusion especially for people who are just learning about biofeedback for the first time. I am not passing judgment at this time on the effectiveness of such systems although I do question it. Biofeedback does not directly treat internal organs by introducing signals into the body. Biofeedback helps a person learn how to self-regulate their physiology which in turn helps to improve their health, quality of life, and performance.

Microcurrent therapy is a non-biofeedback modality that I do promote as an effective therapy but I do not call it biofeedback. That would be inaccurate and misleading. It is a modality that can be complimentary to biofeedback. It is not biofeedback because it is not measuring the physiology and it is not feeding back information to the client. It is introducing an electrical signal into the body that is therapeutic.

"Quantum Biofeedback" is also a non-biofeedback modality. It should not be called biofeedback. I have not tried one of these devices myself so I am not going to say what they can or cannot do from experience. I have read several articles that were written about them though. Here are several links to articles that describe some of the problems with this type of device. "Fraud", "snake oil", and "banned by the FDA" are all terms that are mentioned in the articles. Please be careful!

http://o.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2004061364_miracle09m.html http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004020583_miracle18m2.html http://wcbstv.com/seenat11/epfx.cancer.systemic.2.655756.html http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/116647 http://www.epfx.blogspot.com

I strongly suggest that you investigate and try to understand how these devices really operate before you use them. Also do not refer to them as biofeedback. They are not biofeedback according to the accepted definitions, including the AAPB (Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback) and BCIA (Biofeedback Certification Institute of America) definitions. Referring to these instruments incorrectly as biofeedback can be confusing and misleading to other professionals like other biofeedback therapists and referring healthcare providers, clients, and insurance companies.

Please visit websites like the following to learn about true biofeedback: http://www.biofeedbackinternational.com 

http://www.aapb.org

http://www.bcia.org

http://www.isnr.org

http://www.nrbs.org

All of these sites offer free information on biofeedback.

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