Academy 4 Coaching

Training Professionals to Practice Legally


Module 2: Types of Biofeedback Training

Brain Wave Training

Brain Wave Training (BWT) devices are intended to help people relax and re-educate their muscles so them may reduce their stress, manage their pain and improve the quality of their lives. Licensed practitioners may use these devices to reducing the amount of high Beta. Reducing high amplitude Beta reduces hyperactivity and hypertension as well as anxiety.

BWT is also called Neurofeedback (NFB), Neurotherapy (NT), EEG Biofeedback, EEG Neurofeedback, EEG Neurotherapy, EEG Neuro-biofeedback, Quantitative EEG (QEEG or qEEG), QEEG Biofeedback, QEEG Neurofeedback, QEEG Neurotherapy and QEEG Neuro-biofeedback. Some psychologists maintain that neurotherapy is a combination of psychotherapy and neurofeedback. That group opposes the use of the word neurotherapy by any practitioner who is not also a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist. It appears most neurotherapists are not also psychotherapists.

Most neurofeedback devices are computerized electroencephalographs (QEEG). These devices measure the amplitude and frequency of brain waves and break them down into bands defined by the operator. Feedback from the auditory or visual presentation of this information is used by the client to learn how to relax and re-educate their muscles. The result of this training is the ability of clients to reduce their stress, manage their pain and improve the quality of their lives.

Licensed practitioners can intentionally use these devices to improve mental clarity, memory, concentration, focus and build new neuronal pathways in the brain. Non-licensed neurofeedback practitioners may discover these same results as beneficial side effects of neurofeedback. Licensed psychologists and counselors can use these devices to assist clients with psychological problems and emotional issues including addictions of all kinds.

Other neurofeedback devices are computerized hemoencephalographs. These devices are of two types: Near Infrared (nIR HEG) and Passive Infrared ( pIR HEG).

The pIR or passive infrared headband measures the infrared temperature at the skull under the headband sensor with an infrared thermometer. They measure the temperature of the forehead but send no energy or signals into the brain. For this reason, some pIR devices are also called Cold HEG.

The nIR or near infrared headband sends pulses of red and infrared light through the skull to the brain. They measure the amount of red light compared to infrared light that is reflected back by the brain to the headband sensor. This indicates how much oxygen is in an individual's blood. Since the skin near the infrared diode does get warmer, some nIR devices are also called Hot HEG.

Licensed practitioners use pIR HEG for migraines and nIR for attention, focus, concentration and focus issues. A few licensed practitioners are having good success with HEG for a variety of functional problems including Asbergers, autism, dementia, fibromyalgia, palsy, Parkinson's and personality disorders. These are all experimental interventions at this time and more research is necessary before any conclusions can be made.

Brain Wave Training (BWT) - Brainwave training is accomplished with an electroencephalograph (EEG) or hemoencephalograph (HEG) and related technologies. Reducing the amount of slow waves, such as Delta and Theta, reduces stress. Increasing Alpha waves has been shown to reduce pain. See also brainwave training are eeg biofeedback, eeg neurofeedback, neurofeedback, neuro-biofeedback and neurotherapy.

EEG Biofeedback (EEG) - A form of biofeedback using an electroencephalograph often called neurofeedback or neurotherapy. An EEG is a passive biofeedback device that measures the frequency and amplitude of brain waves. The frequencies normally used are in the range of near-zero to 40 Hz (cycles per second). The amplitudes range from near-zero to a few hundred micovolts (1 microvolt is one-millionth of a volt).

EEG Neurofeedback (EEG) - Another name for EEG Biofeedback. So is EEG Neurobiofeedback, See also Neurofeedback and Neurotherapy.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) - a tracing of the electrical activity of the brain made by an EEG device. A normal or regular EEG tracing is accomplished with a small pen and ink recorder. There is one pen assigned to each electrode on the scalp.

Electroencephalograph (EEG) - EEG devices measure the frequency and amplitude of brain waves. Brain waves are generally classified as Delta 0-4 Hz, Theta 4-8 Hz, Alpha 8-12 Hz, Beta 12-30 Hz and Gamma 30-100 Hz. Some research is being done with Hi-Gamma (100-300 Hz). Delta and Theta are slow waves and Beta and Gamma are fast waves. Each recording requires a ground connection to an ear, a reference electrode connected to the head and any number of data-collecting electrodes the device will handle. Generally lowering the amplitude of slow waves while increasing the amplitude of fast waves increases relaxation. (See also QEEG.)

Hemoencephalogram (HEG) - a computerized tracing made by an HEG device. Since this technology is computerized, there are no pen and ink tracing recorders for HEG. Whereas the first EEG tracing devices became available prior to World War Two, the HEG is an invention of Hershel Tooman in the 1990s.

Hemoencephalograph - HEG devices measure the blood flow in the brain. Changing the blood flow improves brain functioning and reduces stress levels. HEG is a neurotherapy technique similar in practice to an electroencephalograph (EEG). There are two types of HEG devices currently available: 1) The nIR or near infrared headband, sends pulses of red and infrared light through the skull to the cortex beneath, and 2) The pIR or passive infrared headband measures the infrared temperature at the skull under the headband sensor with an infrared thermometer. Both measure the blood flow in the brain.

Low Energy Neurotherapy (LENS) - LENS devices uses a very low power electromagnetic field as a feedback loop to produce a measurable change in the brainwaves without conscious effort from the individual receiving the feedback. The brainwave changes accomplished by the system enhances relaxation to reduce stress.

Neuro-Biofeedback (NBF) - Neuro-biofeedback is another name for neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback (NBF) - Neurofeedback is the use of electroencephalographs (EEG) to help clients relax and re-educate their muscles so they can reduce their stress, manage their pain and improve the quality of their lives. Typically one ground electrode, one reference electrode and one to four data-collecting electrodes are used during a neurofeedback session. See also EEG and QEEG.

Neurotherapy (NT) - Neurotherapy is another name for neurofeedback, EEG biofeedback, neurobiofeedback and neuro-biofeedback. It is also called brain wave training. Some licensed psychologists claim neurotherapy is a combination of psychotherapy and neurofeedback, but this is not widely accepted outside that profession.

Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) - A computer tracing of the electrical activity of the brain displayed by raw EEG, filtered EEG, frequency bands or graphs. The computer connected to the QEEG amplifiers is able to sort the tracings by frequency, amplitude and a variety of other parameters such as coherence, phase, symmetry and peak frequency for diagnostic purposes. The QEEG device typically collects data from 16, 21, 32 or 64 scalp locations. In addition one electrode is used for a ground and one or more for references. Printouts of the compiled or raw data are possible.

Quantitative Electroencephalograph (QEEG) - QEEG devices are use to diagnose physical, mental, emotional and psychological diseases, disorders and conditions. Only properly licensed and trained health care professionals may use QEEG devices.


Evoked potentials (EVP) may only be done by licensed professionals. This is because EVP are normally used for diagnostic purposes. Evoked potentials may only be done by neurologists, eeg technicians under the supervision of neurologists, other medical doctors and licensed psychologists in the USA, most of Europe and Canada.

Entrainment devices such as Auditory Entrainment (AE), Auditory-Visual Entrainment (AVE), and Visual Entrainment (VE) devices may be used by licensed health care and certified biofeedback or neurofeedback professionals. The purpose of these devices is relaxation to change the brain waves in order to increase focus, attention, concentration and peak mental performance. Licensed practitioners may also use these devices to change behaviors and resolve emotional issues.

Malpractice insurance companies that insure biofeedback and neurofeedback professionals for entrainment also exclude any coverage for evoked potentials. Legitimate certification boards that certify biofeedback or neurofeedback professionals to do entrainment will not certify anybody to do evoked potentials. If you plan to use evoked potentials you need to obtain the proper license for your jurisdiction and check your malpractice insurance package.

Auditory Entrainment Device (AE) - AE devices deliver two different audio or subliminal audio frequencies to the left and right ear or mastoid. The brain creates two new frequencies, the sum and difference of the original frequencies. These frequencies train the brain to change the way the brain functions. Entrainment devices are neurotherapy devices intended to change brain waves and brain functioning.

Auditory-Visual Entrainment Device (AVE) - AVE devices are combination devices including both Auditory Entrainment (AE) and Visual Entrainment (VE). AVE is suitable for clients who have difficulty relaxing and re-educating their muscles with either AE or VE alone.

Entrainment Devices (ED) - Entrainment devices include Auditory (AE), Visual (VE) and Audio-visual entrainment (AVE) devices and other Evoked Potentials (EVP) devices. A few new devices are now offering kinesthetic entrainment (KE) using a vibrator mat in a chair.

Evoked Potentials (EVP) - EVP is the process of using light, sound or other stimulus to obtain an automatic response from the client. Only properly licensed and trained health care professionals are allowed to do EVPs because of the possibility of inducing a seizure. EVPs are considered dangerous by the medical community and regulatory agencies.

Kinesthetic Entrainment (KE) - KE devices are relatively new to the market. There are both KE mats and KE chairs coming on the market. The mats are placed in a chair. Both are used to relax muscles and there by reduce stress and pain. Other claims are being made but these have not been scientifically validated yet.

Visual Entrainment Device (VE) - Some VE devices intermittently flash one or more lights. These lights may be white light or colored light. The colors generally chosen are red or blue though both visible and invisible light can be used. The frequency of the flashes entrains the brain to match those frequencies. Other VE devices change the color of the object being watched from a dark to light color and from a light to dark color at regular intervals. The intent is to achieve mental, emotional or behavioral changes.

Soft Tissue Biofeedback

Soft tissue biofeedback devices are either active or passive. Active soft tissue biofeedback devices emit a mild to strong electrical impulses through selected muscles. The amount of energy used starts out low and is increased in small steps until the muscles involuntarily contract. After a selected period of time the current switches off and the muscles relax. After a short pause the process is repeated. The client is passively involved in active soft tissue biofeedback

Passive soft tissue biofeedback devices measure the electrical activity of the muscles. Tight and tense muscles emit higher amplitude electrical impulses than relaxed muscles. Tight and tense muscles are a sign of stress and pain. The device feeds back this information to the client. The client finds the inner strength to release the tension of these muscles, to relax these muscles and reduce the pain in these muscles. The client is actively involved in soft tissue muscle biofeedback.

Electromyogram (EMG) - a tracing made by an EMG device.

Electromyograph (EMG) - EMG devices passively measure the electrical activity of muscles to determine the amount of tension in that muscle. Reducing muscle tension is one method of re-educating muscles and reducing stress. Reducing muscle tension also increases blood flow and decreases blood pressure. Typically EMG devices measure the electrical activity or muscles ranges from 100 - 2000 millivolts (one thousandth of a volt) though some measure above or below this range. The higher the voltage the more tense, traumatized and stressed the muscle.

Surface EMG (SEMG) - SEMG devices are diagnostic devices used to identify inner stress based on surface muscle activity. Sensors are connected at several locations and often moved to other locations during the analysis. A ground connection is also required. SEMG devices can also be used for biofeedback.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - Tens devices send a strong voltage into muscles to alternately tighten and relax them. Only licensed chiropractors, medical doctors and physical therapists may legally use TENS units except for patients with a prescription from a physician. Two connections are required to establish a flow of electricity through a muscle. This is usually accomplished with a pad or paddle containing the electrodes placed on the body. Some over the counter TENS devices are used to strengthen abdominal muscles.

Physiological Parameters

Physiological parameters include the measurements normally made by doctors and nurses such as heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), temperature (Temp). Electrocardiographs (EKG) are normally required for older patients and patients with a history or suspicion of heart problems. Capnometers are used with patients who smoke or are at risk for pulmonary problems.

Blood Pressure (BP) - Lowering the blood pressure lowers the amount of stress. But there are other factors to consider such as heart rate, oxygenation and heart rate variability. BP is seldom used for biofeedback. But when it is, the goal is to attain a diastolic blood pressure of 60 - 80 and a systolic pressure of 100-120. Systolic pressure above 140 is defined as hypertension. Diastolic pressure above 80 is a symptom of heart or blood vessel problems.

Capnometer (CAP) - A capnometer measures the amount of carbon dioxide being discharged from the lungs during breathing to help clients achieve the proper balance of cellular oxygen and carbon dioxide. The device is also used to teach deep breathing techniques. Medical doctors often use capnometers as a diagnostic device with patients who smoke or people whom they suspect may have a breathing problem of some kind. Biofeedback professionals use the device to help their clients normalize their cell

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - a tracing made by an electrocardiograph. The EKG is accomplished by placing electrodes over the heart and chest. The tracing shows the changes in the electric potential produced by the contractions of the heart. Very small changes in the voltage of the tracing may be used for diagnostic purposes.

Electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) - EKG devices measure the electrical activity of the heart and are used by licensed medical doctors to diagnose problems with the heart. EKGs are very rarely used for biofeedback. The operation of EKG devices must be supervised by medical doctors.

Heart Rate or Pulse (HR) - Lowering the heart rate reduces stress but there are other factors to consider such as blood pressure and oxygenation. HR is not commonly used for biofeedback. But when it is, the goal is to reduce the heart rate to 62 to 65 beats per minute during training. The higher the pulse the higher the amount of unmanaged stress. The lower the heart rate the more managed stress is. Any pulse below 60 is considered sub-normal and may lead to dizziness and a lack of nutrients to the brain.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) - HRV devices measure the differences between heart beats and the pauses between heart beats. The greater the differences, the higher the individual stress levels. The less the differences, the less the heart rate variability and relaxation is increased. HRV devices are often used for economical home trainers. Some of the newest devices may be used by two people simultaneously to bring their heart rhythms together.

Temperature Training (Temp) - Temperature training can be done with a digital thermometer attached to a finger or toe. Stress dots and other temperature sensitive adhesive sensor can also be used. The object of temperature training is to increase blood flow to the extremities by raising their temperature through relaxation.

Quantum Physics

Quantum physics is changing the way we do a lot of things in this world. The theories of quantum physics are being proven all of the time. What we already know is that matter is an illusion caused by energy spinning so fast it appears to be solid. But matter is basically empty space surrounded by spinning energy. This spinning energy appears to be under the direct control of consciousness. Whatever the mind intends and believe to be true is what happens.

Several experiments prove this. One of the most famous is the one to determine if a photon is energy or matter. It turns out that the intention and belief of the person running the experiment determines whether the photon acts like energy or matter.

Another thing we know is that space is infinite but it acts like it's confined because it folds back on itself. Because space is filled with energy the mind can with intention and belief fold space at will. This means that way out there can also be right here. It also means the mind can control where "way out there" is.

Quantum physics has defined subtle energy fields permeating the universe and surrounding human beings. These subtle energy fields are not physical in nature. Quantum research is proving them to be more mental in nature. These subtle energy fields appear to have a deep and abiding affect on our emotions and psychological make-up. Additionally this subtle energy field appears to be under the control of our mind and in control of our physical body.

We're only beginning to comprehend the ramifications of this knowledge for healing. The science of quantum physicals has given rise to several different types of healing devices. These healing devices act like biofeedback devices but the biofeedback is based on subtle energies that are hard to quantify and measure. The connection of these devices to clients is through the subtle energy field and not the body. More than that, distance does not appear to be a factor in making a connection between the device and the client.

These devices can generally be classified as quantum biofeedback devices though there are several other names in use at this time.

Bioenergetics (BEG) - Bioenergetics appears to be the generic name that is emerging to explain and describe this quantum technology. Bioenergetics devices can be based on biofrequency, bioresonance or other technologies that sense and attempt to change the subtle energy field. Some bioenergetics devices tune into specific parts of the subtle energy field. Others tune into the aura and etheric field.

Biofrequency (BFQ) - Biofrequency devices measure the frequency of the subtle energy fields similar to the way in which EEG devices measure the frequency of brain waves. By feeding back the inverse of this ever-changing frequency the device affects changes that tend to normalize the subtle energy field. Other BFQ devices use a different approach for the same results. Normalizing the subtle energy field tends to relax the body.

Bioresonance (BRS) - Bioresonance is another name for biofeedback according to most national health care regulatory agencies. Some scientists claim it is a subtle energy intervention similar to biofrequency training. Others claim it is quantum biofeedback. Still others believe it is a combination of several different approaches. BRS devices work on the same principle as a biofrequency and quantum devices by normalizing the subtle energy field.

Quantum Biofeedback (QBF) - Quantum biofeedback is classified as a combination of several biofeedback modalities such as GSR or EDR, EEG, EMG and HRV. In the strictest sense quantum biofeedback is none of these things. It is based on subtle energies and the science of quantum physics. Instead of the electrical pulse used in GSR and EDR, it uses a subtle energy pulse. Instead of measuring the amplitude of brainwaves as in EEG or the electrical activity of muscles as in EMG, it measures the subtle energy of the brain and muscle activity. Quantum biofeedback does not measure the HRV directly, it measures the subtle energy associated with heart rate variability. The same can be said of all bioenergetics devices.

Skin Resistance and Conductance

Basil Skin Response (BSR) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) both measure the resistance of the skin. Moisture reduces skin resistance. Stress increases the amount of moisture on the skin. As stress increases the readings on the GSR decrease because the resistance of the skin is decreasing due to increased moisture.

Electrodermal Response (EDR) devices measure skin conductance. Since conductance is the reciprocal of resistance, the readings on the EDR increase as stress increases. The conductance of the skin increases as stress increases. In practice it makes no difference if the device measures conductance or resistance as long as the practitioner understands how to use the device to reduce stress.

BSR, GRS and EDR devices all send a very low power electrical current into the skin to measure either resistance or conductance. Resistance is a measurement of how much a substance resists the flow of this very low power electricity. Conductance is a measurement of how much a substance supports the electrical flow. Water is a poor resister but a good conductor. Clammy sweat that often accompanies stress is a poor resister and a good conductor of electricity.

Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) and Physical Electrical Stimulation (PES) devices also use a very low power electrical current into the brain (CES) and body (PES). Research indicates these devices increase the production of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are an important part of the healing process. Both CES and PES devices can be used to help clients relax and reduce their stress or pain. These devices can be used by licensed practitioners to relieve anxiety, emotional issues and increase the ability of the boy to heal itself.

Basil Skin Response (BSR) - BSR is a measure of sweat gland activity. Cold, clammy hands are a symptom of stress. The more active the sweat glands the lower the skin resistance and the higher the skin conductance. The higher the resistance, the dryer the skin and the lower the conductance.

Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) - CES devices send very small electrical impulses (a few microvolts or less) into and through the scalp to induce relaxation in the part of the body controlled by that part of the brain. Inducing relaxation with a CES device has proven effective in managing both pain and stress. Some CES devices are recognized by regulatory agencies for reducing anxiety and managing addictions.

Electrodermal Response (EDR) - EDR devices send an extremely small voltage through the skin to measure the skin conductance. Stress causes muscles to become tense. Tight muscles capture heat and do not easily release it. The skin becomes moist to cool these tense and stressed muscles. The more moisture on the skin due to stress, the higher the skin conductance. By reducing the muscle tension through relaxation, the skin conductance also reduces.

Electrodermal Screening (EDS) - EDS is an EDR device used for diagnostic purposes. Only properly licensed health care practitioners are trained to diagnose anything based on an EDS report. Tense muscles are indicative of stress and this stress is caused by something. The EDS is designed to discover the cause of the client's stress.

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) - GSR devices measure the amount of skin resistance. Resistance is the opposite of conductance. If a GSR measures higher resistance, and EDR will measure the same amount of lower conductance. Both devices use different technology to measure the relative stress of the individual.

Physical Electrical Stimulation (PES) - PES devices were first developed for the Russian space program to overcome the unique problems of space travel. These devices use a micro current electrical impulse to stimulate the nervous system. There are several devices available to the public and clinicians using this technology. However the Russian name SCENAR is often used with these devices.

Module 1 - Biofeedback Definitions and Important Concepts


Module 2 - Types of Biofeedback Equipment


Module 3 - Biofeedback Training Sessions

Module 4 - Complimentary Therapies Practice Examination Basic Skills Home Page