Schedule of Events - Saturday Continued




BOS25: Successfully Integrating Applied Psychophysiology Procedures into a Medical Care Environment

Presented By: ‎

  • David Arroyo, Psic.Npf, BCB

SESSION SYNOPSIS: Applied psychophisiology´s potential to modify many physiological functions in a ‎stable and permanent manner towards an adequate state of self-regulation opens enormous ‎possibilities within medical practice to offer - either as primary or adjuvant therapy - more effective ‎therapeutical options, of minimally invasive nature, with fewer side effects and more economical, in ‎the medium and long term, compared to the usual treatments.    However, for years, the struggle to ‎integrate interventions based on applied psychophysiology to medical care schemes has not been as ‎successful as it should have been, erroneously relegating them to a category of alternative or ‎complementary medicine (according to the definition accepted by the National Institutes of Health -‎NIH-) ignoring its evidence-based nature and making it difficult for medical specialists, hospitals and ‎even insurance institutions to use and accept them. This work proposes possible solutions to the ‎above from the viewpoint of: a) the professional who provides the services of applied ‎psychophysiology, b) the medical specialist who is responsible for offering the patient the possibility of ‎these services forwarding him to the right specialist, c) healthcare institutions (hospitals) and even ‎considers the role played by distributors of equipment in this functional chain, all this from the ‎experience of the author as founder and head for 10 years of the first in-hospital service of applied ‎psychophysiology in Mexico, as well as president of the Medical Bioethics Committee of that ‎institution.‎

  • Clinical Interventions and Optimal Performance
  • Intermediate
  • ‎90% Clinical/10% Research‎


  • Recognize the general situation of Applied Psychophysiology regarding medical care schemes.‎
  • Analyze the variables that affect the situation of Applied Psychophysiology in medical attention and ‎care schemes.‎
  • Reflect on the possible solutions that allow these interventions to be considered as viable to be ‎integrated into comprehensive health care schemes.‎
  • To identify strategies and types of applied psychophysiological intervention - whether evidence-based ‎or potentially effective - that can be integrated into the medical management of a specific condition or ‎set of conditions either as primary or adjuvant therapy, always following the bioethical principles of ‎good practice in health sciences.‎

TARGET AUDIENCE: Aimed at students and health science professionals interested in the functional ‎integration of interventions based on applied psychophysiology into medical-hospital environments ‎and in multidisciplinary applications of health and medical sciences, either as primary or adjuvant ‎therapy, and always with the goal of improving the quality of life of the patient.‎

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: The ultimate goal of a procedure based on the paradigm of Applied ‎Psychophysiology is to improve the subject's quality of life, either by correcting an adverse condition ‎and/or by improving performance. The simple definition of quality of life implies factors beyond a ‎purely organic functional state since by obligation it has to consider in equal way a level of dynamic ‎satisfaction before the demands of the life by age, culture and personal responsibility. The practice of ‎clinical psychology, medicine and applied psychophysiology must go hand in hand ensuring that ‎objective, measurable and quantifiable goals are maintained while respecting the individual ‎differences of each case in order to provide the best possible care, when possible.‎

ORAL05: Oral Presentations Session 5

The following 15-minute and/or 30-minute abstract presentations will be featured.

Effect of Nature-based Physical Activity on Post-traumatic Growth among Healthcare Providers ‎with ‎Post-traumatic Stress

Presented By: ‎

  • Shamoon Noushad, M.Phil.‎
  • Sadaf Ahmed, PhD

SESSION SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of trauma, post-traumatic growth is demarcated as a positive ‎change and traumatic stress as a negative change, which further leads to PTSD. Previous studies have ‎also indicated that both constructs can co-exist. Detailed descriptions of post-traumatic stress ‎reactions are available in the literature, but the psychophysiological phenomenon of post-traumatic ‎growth is still unclear. Studies have shown that the restorative effects of nature-based therapy have ‎been accounted for a reduction in stress and increase positive affect. The purpose of designing this ‎randomized control trial was to observe nature-based walk on post-traumatic growth and ‎Psychophysiological alterations associated with it. This study was designed to examine recreational ‎exposure to the natural environment for the promotion of post-traumatic growth among health care ‎providers with traumatic stress. In addition, to assess whether post-traumatic growth is associated ‎with psychophysiological alterations, i.e. Cortisol, C-Reactive Protein, Interleukin-6, Brain-Derived ‎Neurotropic Factor, and Heart Rate Variability. At baseline, the participant was assessed with Trauma ‎Symptom Checklist 40 to evaluate trauma intensity. Moreover, subjects who had developed PTG or did ‎not have any trauma intensity were excluded from the study. Blinded treatment was provided to ‎subjects meeting eligibility criteria and were randomized into two groups sequentially as they agree to ‎participate. The nature-based walk was used as an intervention or experimental group vs the control ‎‎(sit in nature). The study outcomes were observed at baseline and 3-month follow-up.There was a ‎significant effect of each of the two conditions (walk or sit) on traumatic stress and post-traumatic ‎growth. Those who were on walking protocol experienced more significant post-traumatic growth ‎‎36.38 ± 7.22 (T1) to 64.05 ± 14.19 (T2) than those on the sitting protocol 36.18 ± 6.96 (T1) to 59.21 ± ‎‎18.41 (T2). There were no significant biochemical predictors of PTG as per the post-intervention ‎regression model among the experimental group except for cortisol. An inverse relation was observed ‎between the two (β = -3.956, p=0.010). While none of them were found significant in the control ‎group. No significant difference in the HRV, BMI and blood pressure were observed between subjects ‎of the experimental group and control group after 3 months of intervention.‎

  • Clinical Interventions and Optimal Performance
  • Intermediate
  • ‎30% Clinical/70% Research‎


  • effect of nature-based therapy on post-traumatic growth
  • the biochemical and physiological correlates in achieving post-traumatic growth
  • effect of exercise and nature on post-traumatic growth

TARGET AUDIENCE: Psychophysiologist, psychologist, physical health therapist.‎

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: This study was conducted keeping in view the  blend of racial, ‎ethnic, cultural and personal characterstics of study participants selected from metropolitan city of ‎Karachi, Pakistan.‎


Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback with Mindfulness for Military Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Pilot ‎Study

Presented By:

  • Donna Schuman, PhD, BCB, BCN
  • Karen A. Lawrence, PhD
  • Ian Boggero, PhD
  • J. P. Ginsberg, PhD
  • Debra Moser, PhD

SESSION SYNOPSIS: Although empirically supported psychotherapeutic interventions have demonstrated efficacy in reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, clinical-level residual symptoms persist in 31% and subthreshold-level symptoms in 59% of individuals who complete a full course of empirically supported treatment, with hyperarousal and physiological symptoms being particularly persistent (Larsen et al., 2019 Previous research supports the efficacy of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback, a non-invasive, non-pharmacological, breathing-based cardiorespiratory training technique, as an adjunctive intervention that reduces PTSD and depressive symptoms in veterans (Lehrer et al, 2000). However, the optimal number of clinical sessions and amount and type of home practice are unclear. The purpose of the study was to pilot a 3-session mindfulness- and mobile app-adapted version of a heart rate variability protocol to determine effects on veteran’s military-related PTSD symptoms, depression, HRV time and frequency domain measures, as well as adherence. Thirty-five U.S. Veterans with PTSD arising from military service were recruited from a Veterans Affairs Health Care Center and randomized into an intervention (n=18) or a waitlist control group (n=17). Symptom change was measured using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-5 (PCL-5; Blevins et al., 2015). Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II, Beck et al., 1996). For the primary outcome measure of PTSD severity, mixed ANOVA results showed only a significant main effect of time. However, there was a significant group x time interaction for depression in the intervention group. Controlling for age, the intervention group saw significant increases in SDNN (Standard Deviation of Normal-to-Normal interbeat intervals) compared to control. Findings indicate that a brief 3-session mindfulness-based protocol significantly reduced depression symptoms and improved cardiac autonomic functioning in veterans with military-related PTSD compared to waitlist control. SDNN was positively correlated with amount of home practice. Autonomic improvements may occur independently of self-reported change in PTSD severity. Findings underscore the importance of including objective psychophysiological measures to assess response to adjunctive PTSD interventions. 

  • Clinical Interventions and Optimal Performance
  • Intermediate
  • ‎100% Research‎


  • Summarize literature on the effects of military posttraumatic stress disorder on cardiac autonomic ‎functioning.‎
  • Identify at least two ways mindfulness techniques can be easily integrated into a clinical heart rate ‎variability biofeedback training protocol.‎
  • Recognize how clinical biofeedback training can be combined with the use of a mobile app and sensor ‎to reinforce effects and validate adherence.‎

TARGET AUDIENCE: Researchers and clinicians interested in the use of adjunctive psychophysiological ‎interventions to treat traumatic stressor disorders.‎

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: In our study, we sought to include a diverse sample in terms of culture, ‎sex, age, veteran status, military service, and military trauma type. Our enrollment was consistent with ‎the number of these groups enrolled in VA PTSD treatment in Western Kentucky. Our research team ‎was trained in culturally competent research practices. In our presentation, we will include ‎information on multicultural issues related to our research.‎



BOS27: Using Heart Rate Variability to Structure Client Interactions

Presented By: ‎

  • Matthew Bennett, MA, MBA
  • Inna Khazan, PhD, BCB

SESSION SYNOPSIS: Biofeedback practitioners help to heal and optimize the psychophysiology of those ‎seeking our help. Successfully providing support and help depends on matching our communication ‎style and intervention to the current state of those we are trying to help. One of the most practical ‎utilizations of the mobile phone HRV apps is to access the person’s state before a session. A quick ‎review of a person’s daily and pre-session reading scores against longer-established baselines ‎provides the practitioner insight into the current emotional state of the person.  A person whose pre-‎sessions reading is at or above their baseline average is likely in their window of tolerance and ready ‎to work. In this state, the professional can challenge them to work hard on tasks. A person with a ‎score lower than these averages will need some support or easier interventions to bring them back ‎into their ventral vagus and prefrontal cortex and gain the social, cognitive, and emotional energy to ‎maximize their time with you.   In this symposium, we will explore how to use pre-session HRV ‎readings to help professionals structure sessions in a way that matches the person’s current state. Pre-‎meeting HRV readings assist the professional by making the time more productive, avoiding pushing ‎the person beyond their window of tolerance, and minimizing the chances for allostatic overload. If a ‎person with a low HRV expresses feeling anxious, nervous, or frustrated, a few minutes of mindful low ‎and slow breathing at Resonance Frequency rate helps apply the vagal brake to calm the sympathetic ‎nervous system. While time is always precious, just a few minutes helps shift states from one that ‎could quickly grow into anger and withdrawal to a state supporting the goals of the meeting.‎

  • Clinical Interventions and Optimal Performance
  • Introductory
  • ‎50% Clinical/50% Research‎


  • Implement pre-session HRV readings into their practice.‎
  • Identify how pre-session HRV readings can promote co-regulation and psychological safety.‎
  • Position inexpensive technology to improve outcomes and the client experience

TARGET AUDIENCE: Biofeedback practitioners working with clients

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: The presentation will incorporate our understanding of running a ‎culturally competent biofeedback practice.‎

BOS29: Applications in Chronic Pain Management

Presented By: ‎

  • Peter Behel, MA
  • JP (Jack) Ginsberg, PhD
  • Christopher Gilbert, PhD

SESSION SYNOPSIS: Comprehensive pain management has emerged as its own stand-alone application ‎area based upon the circumstances leading to the development of the chronic pain syndrome. Recent ‎history suggests that the indefinite use of opioids to manage this condition may not be without its own ‎set of complications. The purpose of this panel is to provide a basis for managing chronic pain from a ‎functionally-based perspective, apart from the use of medications.‎

  • Clinical Interventions and Optimal Performance
  • Intermediate
  • ‎100% Clinical‎


  • Account for autonomic influences on pain signal processing.‎
  • Distinguish physiological mechanisms that contribute to the development of the chronic pain ‎syndrome.‎
  • Recognize the relationship between HRV and chronic pain.‎
  • Review how cognitive therapy and hypnosis interact with the neurophysiology and biochemistry ‎underlying chronic pain.‎

TARGET AUDIENCE: Practitioners who are interested in chronic pain.‎

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: Many diverse cultures are adversely impacted by opioid overuse ‎administered under the auspices of treating chronic pain. The purpose of this proposed panel is to ‎offer an approach in chronic pain management that is functionally-based.‎




BOS33: An Integrative Psychophysiological Approach to Balance the Gut-Brain Axis

Presented By: ‎

  • Ashlie Bell, PhD, LCSW, BCN

SESSION SYNOPSIS: Recent research within the fields of medicine, neuroscience, psychiatry, and ‎microbiology has revealed a complex, remarkably interconnected relationship between the brain and ‎gastrointestinal system. The gut-brain axis involves a number of complex feedback loops between the ‎microbiome, intestinal barrier, mucosal immune system, neuroendocrine system, and hypothalamic-‎pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as well as the enteric, autonomic, and central nervous systems (De Palma, ‎Collins, Bercik, & Verdu, 2014 , Mayer, 2011). Through these communication channels, signals from ‎the brain can modulate motor, sensory, and secretory functions of the gut, and signals from the gut ‎can influence various aspects of psychological and cognitive function (De Palma et al., 2014; Grenham, ‎Clarke, Cryan, & Dinan, 2011; Mayer, Knight, Mazmanian, Cryan, & Tillisch, 2014). As such, alterations ‎in one component can trigger a cascade of effects throughout the axis.  Exposure to prolonged or ‎excessive stress—from emotional trauma to pathogenic invasion—can produce especially detrimental ‎effects on this axis, leading to chronic physical and psychological disorders (Bell & Ross, 2014; Mayer et ‎al., 2014).‎
Failure to adequately address imbalances throughout this axis might inhibit clients’ progress in ‎psychophysiological interventions such as neurofeedback and biofeedback.  This presentation will ‎provide an overview of research on the gut-brain axis as it relates to the fields of psychophysiology ‎and mental health, as well as guidance for appropriate intervention using the tools available to us.  We ‎will especially examine the impact of stress on the gut-brain axis, as well as the role of this axis in ‎stress-related disorders. We will then discuss practical recommendations for an integrative ‎psychophysiological approach to help clients effectively balance this axis. We will also cover methods ‎for reducing the brain’s stress reactivity, balancing the neuroendocrine system, optimizing microbiota ‎compositions, repairing the gut lining, restoring tight junctions in the blood-brain barrier, ensuring ‎adequate nourishment, and reducing inflammation.‎

  • Hot Topics
  • Introductory
  • ‎50% Clinical/50% Research‎


  • Describe the role of the gut-brain axis in various cognitive and mental health disorders
  • Explain the effects of stress on both the gut and brain, as well as how each influences our stress ‎reactivity
  • Discuss the feedback loops that exist between the gut and brain, and how each impacts the other
  • Implement integrative psychophysiological interventions to improve health and mental health ‎outcomes

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Practitioners looking to be more effective in their work with clients who are ‎struggling with cognitive and mental health challenges  - Individuals interested in new, innovative ‎solutions for optimizing health and wellness  - Individuals interested in learning more about the ‎integration between the brain, mind, and various body systems

DIVERSITY CONSIDERATIONS: This presentation will promote taking an individualized approach for ‎each unique client, which includes taking into account each individual's cultural background, ‎environment, spirituality, practices, etc.‎

‎6:00pm – 7:15pm ‎   

KEY03: Keynote Address: Biofeedback in Association with Human Health in the Next 20 Years: ‎Revisited ‎

Presented by Ron Swatzyna, PhD

The current state of mental health treatment may have come full circle. “Big Pharma” has used the ‎Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for over 50 years as a diagnostic reference. However, the ‎use of neurochemistry to reregulate brain function has had limited success, at best. When it does ‎work, ongoing positive results require an individual to maintain a consistent regime of the prescribed ‎medication. Permanent change does not occur. Biofeedback is based on returning the cortex ‎‎(neurofeedback) and subcortex (biofeedback) to homeostasis. This concept has long struggled to ‎achieve recognition from the medical field. Now that the National Institute of Mental Health has ‎stated that the DSM is not a valid instrument and will no longer fund research based on its ‎categorization, we have an opportunity to meld science with psychiatry and psychology.  The ‎advancement of new technologies has enabled us to develop working relationships with ‎psychiatrists and neurologists. Effective and sustainable improvement over the next 20 years ‎depends on our disciplined attention to the scientific method and how we accurately and ‎professionally represent our field. We must claim ONLY what the current research can show, work ‎within a framework that traditional medicine can relate to, and mentor and teach the next generation ‎of providers.‎

Ronald J. Swatzyna, PhD received his Masters of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in ‎Social Work from The ‎University of Texas Arlington. Currently, he is the Director/Chief ‎Scientist of Neurophysiology Research at Houston ‎Neuroscience Brain Center and ‎Founder of Clinical NeuroAnalytics, LLC. Dr. Swatzyna is a licensed clinical social ‎worker, ‎and board certified in neurofeedback and biofeedback by the Biofeedback ‎Certification International ‎Alliance (BCIA). For the past 23 years, Dr. Swatzyna has ‎analyzed and treated the most diagnostically challenging ‎and 15 years ago he started ‎using electroencephalography (EEG) and quantitative EEG (qEEG) data to assist ‎‎psychiatrists in medication selection and titration. Dr. Swatzyna is a retired City of ‎Arlington, Texas professional ‎Firefighter-EMT-I and a veteran of Vietnam and the first Gulf ‎War. Finally, his personal battle with a traumatic ‎brain injury and posttraumatic stress ‎disorder has motivated him to become a leading expert in brain dysfunction.‎


7:15pm – 10:30 pm‎    




Wednesday, March 23, 2022‎

Thursday, March 24, 2022‎

Friday, March 25, 2022‎

Friday March 25, 2022 CONTINUED

Saturday, March 26, 2022‎

Saturday, March 26, 2022 CONTINUED


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