– James M. Cahill, BCBIt is good to question. It is even better to seek answers based on sound reasoning, evidence, and direct experience. This holds true whether you are drawn to Western or to Eastern medicine and philosophy.
IBMCS reduces stress and anxiety, and much more, evidence shows
Biofeedback treatments require active, intelligent participation in the process, and this is supported by a clear understanding of the theory behind it and the evidence for it working. Recognizing this need, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) has compiled statistics from hundreds of studies that tested the effectiveness of biofeedback for a wide range of disorders. They applied meta-analysis review techniques in line with the best principles of evidence-based medical practices. These are the standards that are adopted by the National Institutes of Health and that are the gold standard for determining efficacy. Further, the beneficial effects of mindfulness training have been shown in hundreds of studies. IBMCS combines these two powerful modalities into a single, comprehensive training program.
- Biofeedback: scientifically proven over 50 years
- Mindfulness: experientially validated over 2,500 years
- IBMCS: designed and driven by evidence-based methods
- Developed by a brain researcher and editor of over 1,000 science papers
- Featured by Johns Hopkin’s chief of pain clinic
- Featured by Oxford University Press’ medical textbook
- Used by physicians and psychologists for their own self-care
- Based on methods taught at Harvard and the Mayo Clinic
Exponential Rise in Mindfulness Research Since 1990
Mindfulness matches CBT, psychology’s Gold Standard
Davis, M. C., Zautra, A. J., Wolf, L. D., Tennen, H., & Yeung, E. W. (2014). Mindfulness and cognitive–behavioral interventions for chronic pain: Differential effects on daily pain reactivity and stress reactivity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Stress and anxiety have been treated with mindfulness training. “There were no significant differences between the [mindfulness] and standard care…” in a study of patients with “mild to moderate depressive, anxiety, and adjustment disorders.” The more mindfulness practice, the better the results: “The [mindfulness] treatment response was dose dependent… The equivalence between the [mindfulness] and standard [CBT] persisted.” (https://goamra.org)
Sundquist, J., Lilja, Palmér, K., Memon, A. A., Wang, X., Johansson, L. M., & Sundquist, K. (2014). Mindfulness group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders: Randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry.
"- Robert Fox, MD, PhD , Harvard-trained physician, research scientist
Using objective real-time monitoring of individual stress responsivity of the autonomic nervous system, including EMG, EEG, GSR (skin conductance), HR and HR variability, peripheral blood flow, and respiration, Jim trains patients to first detect and then voluntarily control the habitual stress responses that worsen so many of the disorders we see in our patients."
"- Edit Hegyi, MD, PhD , UCSF-trained physician, research scientist
I have seen Jim’s work as both a colleague and a patient. It is of the highest order, and is the missing link between self-care and medical care. He empowers patients to heal themselves."
"- Blossom Sanger, MD , Physician, former patient
Jim’s method of integrating Western neurophysiology and the baroreceptor studies of resonant frequency breathing and muscle tension monitoring, combined with the highest proven effects and deep understanding of Eastern Meditation, is a huge leap forward in clinical therapy."
"- Carolle Jean-Murat, MD , Physician, healthcare author
I was so impressed to find a practitioner who, like me, understands the whole three-dimensions of a patient. He takes so much time, creates rapport, and there’s no rush. Patients feel the connection and are often coming to him because things haven’t worked for them in other clinics."
"- Jack Douglas, PhD , Harvard-, Princeton-trained sociologist & author
Jim is among the very best intellectually and in his honesty and reliability. We have a great many shared interests, including the cross-cultural study of health and medicine, and mind-brain-body-health in particular. He has taken the lead in much of this and I have learned immensely from his studies and his own work. He has been constantly moving ahead into the frontiers of these exciting studies."
"- PhD Clinical Psychology , University Professor & Clinician
Jim continually guides and encourages the learner to more skillfully attune their daily practice so they may achieve their health goals. The skills help you in multiple facets of your life and the changes are quickly noticeable. I now have greater self-awareness of body tension, ability to induce feelings of relaxation as needed, a calmer and clearer mind, and easier time with decision making. Jim’s program is well laid out and easy to follow. I also find it to be thoroughly enjoyable."
"- Client , for nerve damage and chemo-induced pain
IBMCS absolutely worked for me. The pain in my hands and feet has been reduced by 50%. Most nights I can sleep completely through the night, something I haven’t done in 5 years."
"- Client , for chronic pain & insomnia
You will learn techniques that will help you the rest of your life. I have learned to worry less and when I am faced with a stressful situation I spend half as much time ruminating over it that I did before IBMCS."
"- Client , for anxiety & rumination
This will work but you have to be committed. It takes effort and motivation but the results are there if you apply yourself."
"- Client , to reduce drug use
I did not want any treatments that involved drugs and my Pain Doctor recommended biofeedback."
"- Client , for stress and muscle tension
I learned that being stressed causes tension that increases my discomfort. I can immediately reduce the tension in my body by simple breathing techniques I learned with IBMCS."
"- Client , for pain and fear of spinal surgery
I couldn’t feel better – I TRULY mean that. Between the work I’m doing with you and my doctors I am being honest when I say I haven’t felt relief like this since before my accident. Just being PAIN FREE is unbelievable and a welcome change. I hope and pray it continues. I’m optimistic 🙂 I plan to share my experiences with others suffering with chronic pain so they too can benefit from my experiences. I know I still have work to do will stay committed."
"- Client , for fear of dentists
Do you know how many times one can ‘inspect, correct, relax’ while one’s tooth is being urged to leave one’s mouth, and the tooth is quite fond of the mouth? Alot!!! My dentist actually asked, “How do you stay so relaxed and tranquil? Do you meditate?” I am typically petrified at the dentist. I was so grateful for the time I spent with you and what I learned. I am encouraged to be more diligent in practice as I could tell the difference because my shoulders weren’t in my ears!"
"- Client , for anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain
I felt so much more positive when I left your office. You have a way of making me feel lighter, yet supported. My husband had the same reaction. I think you really are a surfer, not only on water, but through life. You kind of ride the wave instead of letting it swamp you. What a gift! Maybe you can teach us how to do that :-)!"
"- Client , for stress
My son was really engaged in his work with you—even after just the two sessions. After the first one, he walked toward the car and said, “Wow, maybe I should become a doctor so I can help people like he just helped me!” That was quite a statement from someone who has been so quiet, and depressed for so many months now. We talked about the session all the way home; he even started to quiz me about my faith in a way that he had never done before. It was so revealing and a truly wonderful discussion. He really seems to be searching for a way he can learn to meditate, center, and be mindful!"
3 Levels of Evidence
Science is conservative by nature. Good science makes only the most careful and qualified claims. Non-scientists are often disappointed by their overly careful wording and hesitance to present things in black-and-white certainties. While the following levels of evidence (including probably and possibly) reflect this conservativeness, these rankings actually represent some of the strongest scientific proofs in modern integrative and mind-body medicine today.
This is highest level of proof, called efficacious and specific:
- Urinary Incontinence in Females
- Stress and Anxiety
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Headache- Adult
- Temporomandibular Disorders
- Urinary Incontinence in Males
The AABP research guidelines define this specifically:
“The investigational treatment has been shown to be statistically superior to credible sham therapy, pill, or alternative bona fide treatment in at least two independent research settings.
a.) In a comparison with a no-treatment control group, alternative treatment group, or sham (placebo) control utilizing randomized assignment, the investigational treatment is shown to be statistically significantly superior to the control condition or the investigational treatment is equivalent to a treatment of established efficacy in a study with sufficient power to detect moderate differences, and
b.) The studies have been conducted with a population treated for a specific problem, for whom inclusion criteria are delineated in a reliable, operationally defined manner, and
c.) The study used valid and clearly specified outcome measures related to the problem being treated and
d.) The data are subjected to appropriate data analysis, and
e.) The diagnostic and treatment variables and procedures are clearly defined in a manner that permits replication of the study by independent researchers, and
f.) The superiority or equivalence of the investigational treatment have been shown in at least two independent research settings.” (aapb.org)
This is another level of proof, called probably efficacious.
- Alcoholism/Substance Abuse
- Chronic Pain
- Fecal Elimination Disorders
- Headache- Pediatric Migraines
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Vulvar Vestibulitis
“Probably Efficacious: Multiple observational studies, clinical studies, wait list controlled studies, and within subject and intrasubject replication studies that demonstrate efficacy.” (aapb.org)
This is another level of proof, called possibly efficacious.
- Cancer and HIV, Effect on Immune Function
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Depressive Disorders
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Foot Ulcers
- Hand Dystonia
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Mechanical Ventilation
- Motion Sickness
- Myocardial Infarction
- Post Traumatic Stress disorder
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Urinary Incontinence in Children
“Possibly Efficacious: At least one study of sufficient statistical power with well identified outcome measures, but lacking randomized assignment to a control condition internal to the study.” (aapb.org)
The Source of Evidence
The above-listed levels of evidence are derived from Yucha and Gilbert’s 2004 review of efficacy ratings for most of the disorders biofeedback is used to treat.
To learn more, see:
Yucha, C. & Gilbert, C. (2004) Evidence-Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Colorado Springs, CO.
The strict criteria for each rating level are further explained in the Journal of Neurotherapy, 6, 11-23. Also see:
Moss, D. & Gunkelman, J. (2002). Task force report on methodology and empirically supported treatments: Introduction. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 27, 261-262.