Stress Management FAQS

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FAQS

Some commonly asked questions.

How can Stress Management and Biofeedback Services help me better manage stress?

We as humans do not naturally have the skills and knowledge to manage stress in modern life. Biofeedback Services can help you more effectively handle the stress of life through understanding how stress affects the mind and body and learning skills to release stress and tension. This can be accomplished through biofeedback appointments and/or self-help resources on our website combined with effective application of the knowledge and skills to your daily life.

Types of appointments:

  • One-on-one appointments are for first appointments, severe muscle tension or other stress issues, determining Optimal Breaths-per-Minute, and making individualized recordings (self-hypnosis, performance rehearsal).
  • Self-directed appointments are for many follow-up appointments and class assignments. Students will be at their own computer station with headphones in a room with 3 stations. They will do intensive biofeedback training and/or relaxation training with the help of a biofeedback assistant.

Applies theories of individual, academic, and career development; emphasizes information gathering and self-assessment with the intent of helping students make informed choices regarding major and career selection and subsequent graduation planning.

What is Biofeedback and how does it help relieve stress?

Bio means body; therefore, Biofeedback literally means feedback from the body. Biofeedback can help you become more aware of your internal environment including the sensations and feelings that are signs of stress. For example: muscle tension, heart rate, hand temperature, and sweating are all related to the stress response and can be measured with biofeedback programs. Biofeedback is painless and non-intrusive. See the handout Stress and the Mind Body Connection for more detail about the stress response.

It is also important to pay attention to feedback from the body that indicates stress overload:  fatigue, chronic or excess illness, headaches, stomach problems, anxiety, chronic muscle tension, etc. These may be cues to seek medical help and/or seek help for stress management.  They are also signals from your body to take better care of yourself by slowing down, getting more sleep, taking on fewer responsibilities, prioritizing, eating more regularly, exercising regularly, etc.  

What stress-related issues can be helped by Biofeedback?

Chronic stress, headaches, stomach/intestinal distress, muscular tension, TMJ, insomnia, pain, anxiety, difficulty concentrating or remembering, excessive worrying, feelings of fearfulness, panic, and being overwhelmed can all be helped by biofeedback and relaxation training.

We do not treat medical conditions in Biofeedback Services.

What biofeedback programs are available?

  • J & J EMG/Temp/SR: Measures muscle tension, hand temperature, sweat gland activity, heart rate variability, and respiration rhythm. A biofeedback specialist assists you on this program to help you learn how to better regulate these systems in your own body.
  • Heart Rate Variability biofeedback programs: Our cutting edge interactive heart rate variability biofeedback programs are the most effective intervention we offer for immediate calming, improved concentration and memory, and peak performance.
  • EmWave: Measures heart rate variability (the rhythm of the heart). It shows positive changes in this rhythm as you learn to diaphragmatically breath and focus your mind. This program also allows you to visually see how your thoughts can actually change your physiology.
  • Dual Drive: This biofeedback racing game requires you to keep yourself calm in order for your car to go and keep gas in the tank. Through breathing techniques, you can slow your heart rate and maintain this calmness despite the distracting chaos of the race in front of you.
  • Relaxing Rhythms: Measures heart rate variability (heart rhythm) and sweat gland activity. You can listen to guided meditation by experts or play games that you win through diaphragmatic breathing and calm mental focus.

What other services are available in Counseling and Psychological Services to help with stress and anxiety?

Individual and group counseling are available to full-time BYU students dealing with anxiety, stress, or any other issue. There are groups specific to treating anxiety. Struggling academically or uncertainty about majors, careers, internships or future employment can be stressful. See the Counseling and Career Center website for information and/or to make an appointment for help with these issues.

What happens in a biofeedback session?

First session:

  • You will complete a form that asks about your stress issues to help us respond to your particular needs.
  • The faculty member or graduate assistant will consult with you about your issues with stress and help educate you about stress and stress management.
  • You will be hooked up to a Biofeedback program to see how stress in the present moment is affecting your body and to help you become more aware of the internal cues of stress. 
  • You will do biofeedback training and/or relaxation training appropriate to your needs. 
  • Biofeedback is painless and non-intrusive. But if you wear foundation make-up you may want to bring it with you it to reapply to your forehead after the session. 
  • Discussion of biofeedback data, effectiveness of techniques, awareness and practice goals, rescheduling according to your needs, and referral to relevant information and resources will conclude your session.

Subsequent Sessions:

  • You will complete paperwork that updates your stress issues and asks about your awareness and practice goals and how effective they have been in helping you manage stress. 
  • You will continue with biofeedback and/or relaxation training to meet your needs either one-on-one or in the self-directed stations, depending on the type of appointment. 
  • You will be referred to appropriate resources and set new or continued awareness and practice goals.

Can I get help managing stress without making a biofeedback appointment?

Yes. There are many resources on our website including the following:

  • Education about stress and stress management 
  • Free downloadable mp3 relaxation recordings 
  • Handouts that teach Relaxation Skills 
  • Relaxation cd’s that can be checked out of the library for 3 days 
  • Tips to help manage stress 
  • Links to other stress management websites and resources

The emWave heart rate variability biofeedback program is available on a walk-in basis in the Career and Academic Success Center, 2590 WSC, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Bring your ID card to check out the equipment. You can also find many relaxation resources by doing an internet search.

How can I make an appointment, cancel an appointment, or reschedule an appointment?

Appointments can be made, rescheduled, or cancelled at the Counseling and Psychological Services reception desk in WSC 1500 or by calling 422-3035. Students may sign up for one 45 minute session per week, depending on availability.

Who can come to biofeedback? Does it cost anything?

Biofeedback is available to all full-time BYU students. University faculty and staff are also permitted one Biofeedback session. This service is free for these individuals.

How long is a biofeedback session?

A session will be no longer than 45-50 minutes so that you will have enough time to get to your next class, work, or other commitments.

How often can I come to biofeedback?

There is often heavy demand for biofeedback services, so it will not be possible to come every week. You can continue to come to biofeedback as long as you find it necessary and helpful to you.

How many times should I come to biofeedback before I can expect to notice a difference?

Results vary. Some students get the help they are looking for after one or two visits as they apply the stress management knowledge and techniques to their daily lives. For others who have persistent stress and anxiety issues it can take much longer. How helpful biofeedback sessions and website resources are depends on how consistently you use the knowledge and techniques on a day-to-day basis.

Can I bring a friend or spouse with me?

We are bound by confidentiality. If you are comfortable talking about your stress issues and practicing relaxation in front of your friend or roommate, it is okay for you to bring them. However, it may be more comfortable for you to come on your own. You may bring your spouse with you if you like. It would be helpful for your spouse to learn about, observe, and even participate in the first session so that he/she can better understand biofeedback and relaxation training. In this way he/she can better support and encourage your efforts to practice the techniques you have learned.

Will anyone know that I have come to biofeedback?

No information about a student receiving services in the Counseling and Career Center (where Biofeedback is located) can be released without written permission by that student.

Who do I contact to request a stress management/relaxation skills presentation?

We present to church groups, classes, clubs, etc. Requests must be made at least 2 weeks in advance, preferably more. Requests can be emailed to maureen_rice@byu.edu. Please state a date, venue, time, and expected number of attendees. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to present on a specific date or fill all of the requests we receive. The farther in advance you contact us the more likely we will be able to present to your group.

Are there other resources I can use to learn how to relax and manage my stress more effectively on my own?

This website includes free downloadable mp3 recordings of eight relaxation techniques for home practice and handouts on stress, stress management, and related topics. Click here to access these files.

The Biofeedback Lab has placed a variety of relaxation cassette tapes and CD's on reserve in the Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) which can be checked out by students and used on a 3-day basis. They can be found in the Learning and Resource Center (LRC) which is located in 4840 of the HBLL. Click here to see a list of those resources available. 

The Career and Academic Success Center (CASC) located in 2590 WSC (Wilkinson Student Center) also offers a variety of helpful coping skills mini-classes on an hourly basis every day. No sign-up is needed to attend. A schedule of workshops for the month can be obtained from the reception desk in room 2590.

How can I go about purchasing relaxation resources for myself or someone else?

Fulfillment Center
www.drmiller.com

Conscious Living Foundation
www.cliving.org

Guilford Publications
www.guilford.com

New Harbinger
www.newharbinger.com

Whole Person Associates
www.wholeperson.com

Solitudes
www.solitudes.com

Where can I learn more about Biofeedback?

Biofeedback Certification Institute of America
www.bcia.org

Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
www.aapb.org

The Mayo Clinic
www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/MY01072

Biofeedbackzone
www.biofeedbackzone.com

Any further queries can be addressed to:
barbara_morrell@byu.edu

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