What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is an evidence-based intervention used in the treatment of numerous physical and psychological disorders. Individuals are taught ways to change their thinking and relax their body which results in changes in their body’s functioning. Biofeedback uses computer technology to provide individuals with real-time information about how their body is responding to what they are doing. Functions such as heart rate, breathing rate, finger temperature, galvanic skin response, and muscle tension are typically measured and displayed for the individual. This information allows these functions to be brought under greater conscious control, clearly demonstrating the “mind-body link” and offering the individual a powerful means of self-regulation and health promotion.
How is Biofeedback Used?
Clinically, biofeedback is an integral tool for stress-management and relaxation training. It is also used for physical rehabilitation (e.g., regaining muscle function post-stroke), pelvic floor disorders (e.g., incontinence), and changing brainwave patterns (i.e., neurofeedback). Research has shown biofeedback to be effective in treating the following disorders, among others:
- Chronic Pain
- Headaches (adult and pediatric)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Temporomandibular (TMJ) Disorder
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