Neurofeedback: Breathing can help keep you calm

Like many other small businesses, we have had to temporarily close our doors due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It is a very difficult decision; weighing the safety of one’s clients, the ethics of helping to “flatten the curve” and slow the pandemic, and at the same time not be able to provide therapeutic services to those in need. Many other business owners face similar difficult choices.

Our neurofeedback work helps measure, balance, and optimize the brain and nervous system, which can help a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms. However, we can’t do it remotely.

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So, while sheltering in place, we’re enhancing our skills through online workshops and case studies. We are also in contact with our clients, asking how they are doing, and sending weekly updates that include resources for mental health, diet, and even some humor thrown in. 

We encourage people to move, as feelings need to be metabolized, just like food. Getting outside can help things feel a little less oppressive, as well. We remind our clients to practice breathing techniques, to help balance the nervous system. Our favorite is “Ratio Breathing,” which helps enhance the part of the nervous system that calms us.

You see, when we breathe in, our sympathetic (activating) nervous system kicks up a bit. Every time we breathe out, our parasympathetic (relaxing) system is more present. By simply elongating our out-breaths, we can emphasize the calming part of our nervous system. So, you might try breathing in for four counts, and out for seven. Do this two times a day for five minutes. The exercise is particularly helpful when you start to feel your anxiousness amp up, as it can often prevent it from spiraling into something more.

We look forward to a time when we – and the rest of the world – can move about again without fear of Covid-19. When we re-open, we will have extra safety measures and procedures in place, including extra screening of clients and staff, enhanced sterilization, and everyone will be asked to wash hands and wear masks. We are looking at special air cleaning systems, as well. 

We look forward to seeing our current and any new clients, helping them to settle their original symptoms, and any new ones as a result of the pandemic. Neurofeedback is well-used for trauma and stress, and we anticipate it being instrumental in helping in the aftermath of this pandemic. In the meantime, we send a heartfelt wish for good health and resilience to all. 

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 Gretchen Morse, DMA, is Board Certified in Neurofeedback and serves on the Board of the Midwest Society for Behavioral Medicine and Biofeedback. For information, call her at 517/290-4965, visit her website at www.mmneuro.com or “Like” Mid-Michigan Neurofeedback on Facebook.

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