Biofeedback is a therapy that teaches you how to use your mind to control physical functions such as your heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure. We know—you might be saying, “Wait, what?” But yes—the idea is that your mind can influence your body, at least in some ways! Biofeedback practitioners use a machine (known simply as a biofeedback machine) to measure how well you achieve “mind over matter.” Now, let’s be clear: No one is saying that your symptoms are all in your head (and we know that’s something you may have heard too many times). But, there is truth to the idea that the mind can heal—it’s a really powerful and amazing organ! If you’re looking to take charge of your health—and who isn’t?—biofeedback may be helpful. Here’s how it works: In a biofeedback session, small electrodes are attached to your skin to measure, say, sweating, heart rate, and muscle tension. The electrodes don’t hurt at all (in fact, they feel kind of relaxing)! Wires then send info to the biofeedback machine, which measures and displays the level of the body function it’s tracking. While you’re hooked up to the electrodes, biofeedback therapists teach you some different relaxation strategies, like deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation. The machine provides instant feedback on how effectively each of the therapies works for you and exactly which function it has an effect on. Over time, you learn how to use these strategies to control your symptoms without the help of a machine. It’s like learning to ride a bike with training wheels—eventually you’re ready to ride without them! If you learn via the biofeedback machine that mindful meditation helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure, for example, you’ll know to carve out time for meditation the next time you feel any anxiety building. (Keep in mind that biofeedback differs from neurofeedback, which involves observing your own brain waves, and learning how to change them for improving emotional health and focus.)
Recent posts about Biofeedback
Videos about Biofeedback
TEDx Talks: Using Biofeedback for the Psychological Effects of Concussion - Stephen Dubienski
Biofeedbacknews: What is biofeedback and neurofeedback? A Mind Media video featuring NeXus
Books about Biofeedback
Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance
A mind-body approach to taking control of your physical and emotional health. Biofeedback is the process of training your body to control its involuntary actions, such as breathing and heart rate. Minor changes to these actions can significantly improve physical and emotional well- being. In Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Harvard Medical School faculty member Inna Khazan pairs biofeedback techniques with mindfulness practice to address some of life’s most common ailments― from anxiety and fear to stress and insomnia. She begins with a description of basic physiological information, explaining concepts such as breathing and overbreathing. In Part Two she dives into the practice of mindfulness. And in Part Three she zeroes in on applying this mind-body approach to an array of common problems. Khazan’s approach outlines simple solutions for readers who want to improve the way they respond to challenges. She guides them through increasing their resilience and emotional flexibility while empowering them to take back control of their overall health.
The Clinical Handbook of Biofeedback: A Step-by-Step Guide for Training and Practice with Mindfulness
Biofeedback: An Introduction for Consumers
Thousands of people are using biofeedback as a safe, non-drug treatment for high blood pressure, headaches, chronic pain, stress, ADD/HD, anxiety, depression, and much more. Athletes, musicians, students, and executives use biofeedback to help improve performance. This book explains what biofeedback is and how it works. It is written for anyone who is considering biofeedback and is asking, “Is it right for me?” Topics include: What systems can be improved: breathing, heart rate, muscle tension, brain activity, and so on How these systems are related to physical health, mental health, and peak performance What to expect before, during, and after sessions How to get the best results with biofeedback How to find the biofeedback practitioner who is right for you
Podcasts about Biofeedback
- Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback. Mayo Clinic. Biofeedback.
- Cleveland Clinic. Biofeedback. Cleveland Clinic. Biofeedback.
- Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Neurofeedback and Biofeedback for Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines – An Update [Internet]. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Neurofeedback and Biofeedback for Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines – An Update [Internet].