August 19, 2016

Behavioral Medicine


Biofeedback is an evidence-based practice that uses non-invasive sensors to measure physiological functions of the body and provide real time feedback on a computer screen.  It is considered a form of complementary medicine, which means that it can be used in addition to your usual care with your doctor/therapist.

Learning how our bodies function and how we can control those functions can lead to improved health, wellbeing, and quality of life, as well as prevention of chronic medical conditions.  A typical course of biofeedback includes 8-12 sessions, after which you will have acquired the skills to continue the practice on your own.

Hanover Psychiatry offers the following types of biofeedback:

  • Heart Rate Variability (HRV).
  • Respiration.
  • Muscle Tension.
  • Thermotemperature.

These biofeedback modalities have been shown to be effective for a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Working memory.
  • Attention.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Raynaud’s Disease.
  • Temporomandibular Disorder.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Stress and stress related effects on the body.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Asthma.
  • Tension headaches.
  • Migraines.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i):

This is a highly effective form of short term therapy that has been shown to be as effective or more effective than sleeping pills in improving sleep for individuals suffering from insomnia.  This treatment helps individuals identify their personal optimal amount of sleep, called sleep efficiency, and learn the tools needed to reach this optimal sleep.   Individuals learn to identify their thoughts and behavioral patterns that may be having a negative effect on sleep and to learn new ways of promoting healthy sleep patterns, such as relaxation techniques, structuring the sleep environment, and removing those things that interfere with sleep.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain & Headaches:

Chronic pain and other chronic medical conditions can take a significant toll on a person’s quality of life and functioning.  Our behavioral medicine psychologists can partner with you and your medical team to lessen the harmful impact of chronic pain on your life.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help by teaching individuals to identify the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that may be amplifying suffering, learn new ways of relating to the pain, and teach stress reduction strategies to lessen stress that may be exacerbating medical conditions.

Mindfulness Based Approaches