Biofeedback, a type of mind-body medicine Mind-Body Medicine Complementary or alternative medicine can be classified into five major categories of practice: Whole medical systems Mind-body techniques Biologically based practices Manipulative and body-based... read more , is a method of bringing unconscious biologic processes under conscious control. In biofeedback, electronic devices are used to measure and report information about unconscious processes (such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension) to the conscious mind. With the help of a therapist or with training, people then can understand why these functions change and can learn how to regulate them, thereby lessening the effects of conditions such as pain, stress, insomnia, and headaches. There are many different types of biofeedback, including heart rate variability biofeeedback and neurofeedback, which specifically monitors brain activity. (See also Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Integrative medicine and health (IMH) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include a variety of healing approaches and therapies that historically have not been included in conventional... read more .)
Medicinal Uses of Biofeedback
Typically, biofeedback is used to treat pain (including headache), stress, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as pelvic floor disorders Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Pelvic organ prolapse involves relaxation or weakening of the ligaments, connective tissue, and muscles of the pelvis, causing the bladder, urethra, small intestine, rectum, or uterus to bulge... read more (for example, that contribute to urinary incontinence). Heart rate variability biofeeedback has also been used to improve sports performance and for a variety of mental health or neurologic disorders (for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and traumatic brain injury). Neurofeedback appears to be effective in cognitive performance and the treatment of ADHD.
The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): Relaxation Techniques for Health