I posted last week about biofeedback and thought I’d do a bit more.
First, let me say, I do think biofeedback would be best done under supervision by a professional; someone with POTS may benefit from going to one locally or by going to the POTS Treatment Center in Dallas, for example. Here are three searches that may help you find a practitioner near you.
Last fall, I called the one (only one) near me and told her what I was looking to do through biofeedback, that is, stabilize my autonomic nervous system by training it to stay in parasympathetic mode. She told me she wasn’t comfortable taking on someone “with my condition” (POTS) and suggested I call a medical hypnotist in a completely different state. Hmm…. I haven’t taken her up on that yet and am still disappointed she wouldn’t see me. Maybe I’ll try again!
Still, if you can’t find anyone near you, there are some decent resources to help you. I gleaned from the breathing techniques taught by Dr. Andrew Weil and have used his CD a number of times to help train my breathing; here’s an article he wrote about biofeedback. I also learned some helpful practices from a book, The Healing Code. Also, emWave offers online seminars that can help one practice biofeedback better. Glean what you will and ignore what you should; each of the previous espouses some philosophies with which I don’t agree.
For those interested in emWave, you may like to know a bit more about your choices. I first bought emWave Pro. You install emWave Pro on your computer, then connect your ear sensor through a USB port to see real time feedback on your heart rate variability (HRV). I ended up returning it, because I didn’t like being tied to sitting at my computer; if you have a laptop, that may eliminate that issue. I then bought emWave2, which I have loved. It’s a small device that I can take with me anywhere (lying on the couch, in the car on a road trip, at a Bible study), and it shows my current level of coherence with a colored light. I can then sync my sessions back to my computer to see how I did, or I can hook it up to my computer while I use it and see real time feedback. (Note: Prices are much lower on Amazon.)
Since one of my goals is to help my body stay in parasympathetic mode while I am standing or walking, I like the emWave2 for its portability. Here is what my heart rate variability currently does while I am upright (right half of the screen):
As you see, although I was in coherence/parasympathetic mode for much of my biofeedback session, as soon as I stood up and walked into the kitchen, my heart rate went up and my heart rate variability showed a lot of struggle. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see my first post on biofeedback to help treat POTS.
Keep in mind, biofeedback may or may not be appropriate for you, and I am not qualified to give medical advice. If biofeedback does help you, though, let us know!