Biofeedback is a therapeutic technique intended to help a client to control and manipulate their bodily functions (like heart rate and blood pressure). Biofeedback is based on the belief that a person can utilise the power of the mind to become more aware of what is happening inside the body and can use that awareness to achieve a greater control over their health. During a biofeedback session, the client is connected to sensors that send information about what is happening in the body.
This information helps the client to concentrate on trying to make changes in the body, like slowing breathing or relaxing a muscle. Biofeedback is used for relaxation, to alleviate stress and anxiety and for a number of physical conditions (like migraines, high blood pressure, asthma, and chronic pain).
It has been seen in studies that this form of therapy may provide positive outcomes in relation to relief of stress-related symptoms. Mental health professionals may use biofeedback techniques in conjunction with other forms of treatment to assist individuals suffering nervousness or tension during the therapeutic process. This form of therapy assist the therapist as well as the client with identification of stress-related behaviour as well as investigating alternative, positive reactions to stress-inducing stimuli. Biofeedback has been used to assist with a variety of mental health issues including increasing impulse control and treating anxiety.
Biofeedback therapy may include use of specialised equipment depending on the body function being monitored. These may include Electromyographs (EMG) which read and give data on muscle tension, feedback thermometers to guage data on skin temperature or electrodermographs (EDG) formeasuring the electrical properties of the skin and the activity of the sweat glands.