Biofeedback is a mind-body method.
It uses monitoring devices to help a person control certain body functions. These
functions normally can't be controlled voluntarily. They include:
Heart rate variability
Feelings linked to stress,
anxiety, and pain
Some symptoms linked to
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The idea of controlling body
functions with the mind is not new. Many Eastern philosophies are based on the belief
that meditation and visualization can help to do this. Yoga is one example.
Today many types of biofeedback
tools are available. They show how well the therapy is working as it is being done. They
can also be used to watch the progress of the activity.
Biofeedback is most often used with
tools that measure:
First a person is hooked up with
electrodes to electronic equipment. Then their breathing rate, perspiration, skin
temperature, blood pressure, and heartbeat are measured. The results are shown on a
computer screen. Certain devices are used to measure each body change, including:
Electromyogram (EMG). This is used to measure muscle tension.
Electrodermal activity (EDA). This measures changes in perspiration
Finger pulse measurements. These measure blood pressure and heartbeat.
Electroencephalogram (EEG). This is used to measure electrical activity in
In addition, both the rhythm and
volume of breathing are measured.
After the body signals are
recorded, a biofeedback technician or computer feedback may advise physical and mental
exercises to gain control. Biofeedback technicians are trained and nationally
Biofeedback works best with
reducing stress and helping with relaxation. Experts are also studying if it may help
with certain conditions. These include urinary incontinence, migraines, and other
Tell all of your healthcare providers (conventional or complementary)
about the health approaches, supplements, and medicines you use. This will give them a
full picture of your health. It will help ensure safe, effective, and coordinated