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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Therapies & Alternative Treatments > Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback Therapy Cost


How Much Does Biofeedback Therapy Cost?

 
average costBiofeedback Therapist: $35-$85 Per Sessionhigh costBiofeedback Machine: $20-$2,000+

Biofeedback[1] is a type of alternative treatment in which people attempt to improve their health by gaining control over bodily functions, such as respiratory rate and muscle tension. Patients who use the technique are connected to electrical sensors that measure information about the body so that subsequent changes can be made. Biofeedback is most often used to address physical and mental health issues that are triggered or worsened by stress, including chronic pain, migraine headaches and incontinence.

Typical costs:

  • According to the University of California, San Diego Medical Center[2] typical fees for visiting a biofeedback therapist are $35- $85 per session, depending in part on the therapist's experience. For example, at Central Coast Neurotherapy[3] in Santa Maria, CA, individual treatment costs $85 for a session of about 45 minutes. A typical course of therapy lasts for 8-10 sessions.
  • There are a number of biofeedback machines on the market for home use in between or in place of sessions with a trained therapist. These can range from $20-$2,000 or more, depending on how sophisticated the instrument is, special features included, and the make and model. For example, this stress thermometer[4] , which can be taped to the finger and measures how the body's temperature changes during stressful situations, costs $22, while the MyoTrac 3 Portable Muscle Monitor[5] which can monitor two muscle groups and includes a computer interface and software, costs $1,990.
  • Some insurers consider biofeedback experimental and will not cover it. Others may cover it for specific conditions, but only when certain criteria are met. For example, though some Aetna plans[6] may cover biofeedback for constipation or incontinence, they won't cover it for cardiovascular disease or chronic pain.
Related articles: EEG, Physical Therapy, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The three most common types[7] of biofeedback therapy are electromyography (EMG), which measures muscle tension; thermal, which measures skin temperature; and electroencephalography (EEG), or neurofeedback, which measures brain wave activity.
  • After an initial interview to gain an understanding of a patient's symptoms and medical history, a practitioner will connect the patient to monitoring devices. In a normal biofeedback session[8] , electrodes attached to the skin will send information to a small monitoring box that translates the data into a tone varying in pitch, a visual meter varying in brightness, or a computer screen that shows lines moving across a grid. The biofeedback therapist will then lead the patient through mental exercises to help determine the kinds of activities needed to bring about the physical changes desired.
  • Specialists who provide biofeedback therapy include psychiatrists, psychologists, dentists, and physical therapists. In addition to biofeedback, many will also instruct patients on using relaxation exercises or strategies for better coping with stress.
  • Biofeedback sessions generally last from 45 -50 minutes.
Additional costs:
  • Though some patients may find that their problems have been addressed in 10 or less sessions with a therapist, others may require as many as 50 or more sessions.
Discounts:
  • At websites like biomedical.com[9] consumers may be able to find used biofeedback equipment in good condition at slightly lower prices. For example, though the RESPeRATE Ultra[10] , which is designed to assist patients in monitoring and lowering blood pressure, typically retails for about $300, a used version[11] is available for about $200 at biomedical.com.
  • Some biofeedback specialists, like Medical Biofeedback & Pain Control Center[12] in Dallas, TX, use a sliding fee scale based on a patient's income to determine costs.
Shopping for biofeedback therapy:
  • According to the book Biofeedback[13] by Krista West, since there are no laws governing who can perform biofeedback treatments, patients should make sure their practitioner is certified by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America[14] and also has experience treating their particular condition.
  • The Association for Applied Psychology and Biofeedback has a database[15] to help consumers find BCIA-certified practitioners in their area.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/MY01072
  2.  cancer.ucsd.edu/about-us/outreach/Pages/default.aspx
  3.  www.centralcoastneurofeedback.com
  4.  www.amazon.com/Stress-Thermometer-stress-reduction-biofeedback/dp/B000227MP2/
  5.  www.lifematters.com/myotrac3_emg.asp
  6.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/100_199/0132.html
  7.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/MY01072/DSECTION=what-you-can-expect
  8.  www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/biofeedback-000349.htm
  9.  bio-medical.com/products/used-equipment.html
  10.  www.resperate.com/us/shop/ultra_detail.aspx
  11.  bio-medical.com/products/used-resperate-ultra.html
  12.  /www.networktherapy.com/providers/login.asp
  13.  www.amazon.com/Biofeedback-Gray-Matter-Krista-West/dp/0791094367
  14.  www.bcia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
  15.  www.resourcenter.net/Scripts/4Disapi9.dll/4DCGI/resctr/search.html?
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