From the Main Matrix screen:
Program (top menu bar)
Universal Biofeedback Therapy (drop-down list)
Autonomic Nerval System tab (top menu bar)
The Autonomic Nerval System screen appears.
Start (will test for one minute)
Train Vagus Nerve Parasympathetic, or Sympathetic Stabilization
Depending on which is indicated in the grey report panel. Consider balancing each nervous system (for a complete relaxation experience). If the client is in good health and has no history of Vasovagal episodes
Vagus Nerve Stabilization (rectify to 85 or above)
Parasympathetic Stabilization (rectify to 85 or above)
Sympathetic Stabilization (rectify to 85 or above)
***CAUTION*** Possible Undesirable Side Effects:
Before training on the Autonomic Nerval System it is advised to ask your client: Do you have a history of Vasovagal Episodes, fainting, syncope, and/or generalized heart weakness? If the answer is yes, you need to proceed with caution, and be aware of the symptom of Vasovagal Episodes:
- A slight feeling of light-headedness after a session. Please note that this may be due to the client’s own health such as low blood pressure, or suddenly standing up after being in a relaxed, reclined position during the session. If this feeling seems abnormal in any way, or of concern, then the client should see their primary healthcare practitioner.
- Through biofeedback electrical nerve stimulation; interaction with the CNS the ED.X and NUCLEUS may induce an autonomic nervous system cascade that can lead to a Vasovagal crisis. The client might sweat excessively or report nausea and dizziness. If this occurs, place a cool wet rag over their eyes gently with light pressure, tell the client to relax and breathe deeply, and wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the Vasovagal Storm to pass. In extreme cases, there might be syncope (fainting).
Biofeedback systems using skin resistance all use the stimulation of electricity.
Some clients may have a Vasovagal reaction when their system tries to shift from sympathetic nervous dominance to a more relaxing para-sympathetic dominance. If this happens too fast there can be a Vasovagal episode.
A Vasovagal episode. A vasovagal response or Vasovagal attack (also called Neurocardiogenic Syncope) is mediated by the Vagus nerve. When it leads to syncope (fainting) it is called Vasovagal Syncope, which is the most common form of fainting.
In clients with Vasovagal episodes, the episodes are typically recurrent, usually happening when the client is exposed to a specific trigger. The initial episode often occurs when the person is a teenager, and then recurs in clusters throughout their life. Prior to losing consciousness, the individual frequently experiences warning symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea, sweating, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), uncomfortable feeling in the heart, weakness, and visual disturbances such as lights seeming too bright, fuzzy, or tunnel vision. These last for at least a few seconds before consciousness is lost (if it is lost), which typically happens when the person is sitting up or standing. When sufferers pass out, they fall down (unless this is impeded); allowing the person to wake up.
The autonomic nervous system’s physiologic state leading to loss of consciousness may persist for several minutes, so:
- If sufferers try to sit or stand when they wake up, they may pass out again;
- The client may be nauseated, pale, and sweaty for several minutes.
Vasovagal syncope is rarely life-threatening in and of itself but is mostly associated with injuries from failing while having an episode.
The Autonomic Nervous System has two parts 1) the Sympathetic for stress (fight-or-flight) also known as the Thoracic Lumbar, and 2) the Parasympathetic for immunity and digestion, also known as the Cranial Sacral Nerval system. To stimulate the Parasympathetic system apply cold compresses for five minutes to the upper neck and sacrum, and then alternate with warm compresses for five minutes.
What to Do
The method of dealing with Vasovagal syncope focuses on avoidance of triggers, restoring blood flow to the brain, and measures that interrupt the process; such as cold and hot compresses. Also to avoid physical injury due to fainting.
Because Vasovagal syncope causes a decrease in blood pressure, relaxing the entire body as a mode of avoidance isn’t favorable. The client can cross their legs and tighten leg muscles to keep blood pressure from dropping.
Before known triggering events, the client may increase the consumption of salt and fluids to increase blood volume. Sports and energy drinks may be particularly helpful.
Clients should be educated on how to respond to further episodes of syncope, especially if they experience pre-warning signs: they should lie down and raise their legs, or at least lower their head to increase blood flow to the brain.
If the client has lost consciousness, they should be laid down with their head turned to the side. Tight clothing should be loosened. If the inciting factor is known, it should be removed if possible (for instance, the cause of the pain).
Wearing graded compression stockings may be helpful.
There are certain orthostatic training exercises that have been proven to improve symptoms in people with recurrent Vasovagal syncope.
How do I use my Biofeedback device with a client who has a history of Vasovagal episodes?
Do NOT use maximum settings for too long and stay at the safe calibrated levels. This will reduce the possibility of a Vasovagal episode. Always ask if there is a history of Vasovagal episodes, most often fainting or cold sweats with heart palpitations. If so always use low-calibrated settings. Do not try to push therapy after therapy on the client with a Vasovagal episode history. Please always keep a watchful eye on the client who is getting therapy on electrical stimulation. Be prepared to respond. Respond by cold water on the face gently and/or gentle pressure over the eyes with a cold rag. Push with your knuckle on the acupuncture emergency spot above their upper lip in the cleft under their nose (note, the point is on the bone so, therefore, push hard to apply pressure to the bone). Lie the client down, and be cautious that they do not stand up too fast. Reduce stress and wait for ten minutes. It will most likely pass. Do not let them leave until they are better.
Call 911 if they pass out for more than a minute, have pain or vomiting, or anytime your better judgment tells you to call 911. Report the fainting spell to the 911 crew.