At AToN Center, we acknowledge the importance of taking care of the mind and as well as the body in an effort to maximize our resident’s quality of life. Research suggests that stress is an important risk factor for the development of substance use disorders as well as relapse. This is because many of the systems of our bodies are activated by stress. We believe it is paramount to help our residents learn how to manage stress as an important part of their relapse prevention plans.
Part of my role at the AToN center is to offer Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback as a means to this end. This type of biofeedback monitors the heart rhythms and signals the user (with visual and auditory cues) when their heart rhythms are ordered and rhythmic (called coherence). This coherence is present when the heart is operating in a healthy and efficient manner. During these individual biofeedback sessions, different stress management skills are taught to our residents – such as breathing retraining, guided imagery, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation – while connected to the biofeedback device. This allows our residents to learn which skills produce the most positive effects so they can incorporate them into their daily lives. This is one of many services offered at AToN Center.
Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D.
AToN Center 888-535-1516