Biofeedback is a process by which, through electronic monitoring, you can learn to voluntarily control certain bodily functions, such as your heart rate to reduce the impact of stress. More importantly, it increases your self-awareness and helps you to develop the ability to self-regulate, both core elements of what it means to become an authentic leader.
The original research pilot with Essex headteachers was co-designed with Dr. Carla Stanton, a GP and certified Functional Medicine Doctor with over 20 years of clinical experience. Dr. Stanton practices medicine in the UK, delivers performance and wellbeing programmes to doctors and frontline professionals, and facilitates internationally with biofeedback research. She is the Medical Director of HeartMath UK, the company that created the biofeedback technology and scientifically validated techniques for increasing resilience and reducing stress.
Through the application of the techniques taught on this course, participants can use the technology to guide themselves back to a state of physiological order, calm, and wellbeing, and objectively measure their ability to do this.
The overall effect is a headteacher with a calmer, more well-regulated nervous system, and a much healthier heart. In turn, this makes them a more effective and balanced leader at work, especially in those schools where stress levels are unhealthily high due to the challenging nature of the school culture.
Biofeedback has been shown to improve outcomes when undertaking wellbeing interventions. (Lemaire, 2011)