Biofeedback is a training and treatment approach in which you can learn awareness and control over body functions such as muscle tension, blood pressure breathing, brain waves and heart rate. Biofeedback sensors attached to your skin measure the biological signals produced by your body. This information is shown back to you (feedback) so that you have the information to learn how to make changes in your body such as warming your hands, breathing slower and relaxing or tensing certain muscles so that your health and performance improves. Biofeedback is a mind-body approach that uses your thought and passive attention to improve your health. A popular culture example of the biofeedback concept would be Nintendo’s Wii Fit® device that monitors body position and balance.
Biofeedback procedures have been used to effectively treat a wide variety of illnesses such as tension headaches, hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, attention deficit and hyperactivity. Most biofeedback procedures are highly effective in teaching awareness and reducing symptoms.
Major Uses of Biofeedback include:
- Diagnosing, assessing, and documenting objective data for research purposes or for charting a patient’s clinical progress
- Demonstrating the mind-body relationship for the client (e.g. that every thought has a corresponding physiological reaction and vice versa)
- Training of psychophysiological self-control
- Improving therapists’ understanding of a client or patient’s experiences
- Reducing symptoms and improving health and performance