What is biofeedback therapy and how does it work? (2023)

What is biofeedback therapy (BT)?

Biofeedback Therapy (BT) is a non-pharmaceutical technique that helps people control their normally involuntary bodily functions. For example, it might help someone to slow their heart rate or relax their muscles.

Hetherapyuses biofeedback devices to read and interpret information from the body. Based on this information, a person can adjust aspects of themselves and ultimately control their bodies.

Doctors aren't exactly sure how biofeedback therapy works, but according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM), it is most effective in treating stress-related disorders.

As stress levels rise, a person's internal processes become erratic. BT helps manage this and provides a tool for symptom relief and stress response.

Biofeedback therapy helps people change unhealthy habits by interpreting brain activity and helping them become familiar with their bodies' reactions. Practice helps improve patient mindfulness and well-being.


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What is biofeedback therapy and how does it work? (1)

Types of Biofeedback Therapy

There are three types of biofeedback therapy, including:

  • Termisches biofeedback(a measurement of skin temperature)
  • electromyography(a measure of muscle tension)
  • neurofeedback(measures the electrical activity of the brain)

What diseases are treated with biofeedback therapy?

Biofeedback therapy is used to remedy this.substance use disorders. It enables people struggling with addiction and their therapists to recognize the involuntary body functions that trigger substance use. BT tracks how the body responds and tracks alcohol or drug withdrawal symptoms that cause stress and increase involuntary responses.

(Video) What to Expect at Your Biofeedback Therapy Sessions

Most people who attend biofeedback training sessions see improvements in just a dozen sessions.These sessions last about an hour..

Biofeedback therapy is a powerful tool for treating addiction because it enriches other therapies and makes people feel more in control of their health and overall situation.

BT helps treat many different conditions, including:

  • Suffering
  • asma
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Evacuation problems such as fecal incontinence and constipation.
  • chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • fibromyalgia
  • hypertension
  • Reizdarm syndrome (SII)
  • migraines and tension headaches
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • seizures
  • side effect of chemotherapy
  • To emphasize
  • attack
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • urinary incontinence

It is also effective in treating addiction and substance use disorders, especially during withdrawal. BT treats common drug withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, chronic muscle pain and restlessness.


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What is biofeedback therapy and how does it work? (2)

(Video) Biofeedback for Anxiety

What are the benefits of biofeedback therapy?

Biofeedback therapy offers the practitioner several benefits that appeal to many people because:

  • It is a safe and non-invasive procedure.
  • It allows people to take control of their health.
  • It can help eliminate or reduce the need for medication.
  • It may help to enhance the effects of certain medications.
  • It is beneficial for people who cannot take medication (such as pregnant women).

Are there risks associated with biofeedback therapy?

Most medical experts believe that the risk associated with biofeedback therapy is low. It's generally safe, according to the Mayo Clinic, and there areThere are no reports of negative side effects.. However, this does not mean that the treatment is suitable for everyone.

The effectiveness of a treatment like Biotherapy Feedback depends on how comfortable someone is using it.


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What is biofeedback therapy and how does it work? (3)

How does biofeedback therapy work?

Biofeedback therapy tracks the body's involuntary functions. These include:

  • respiratory frequency
  • heartbeat
  • blood flow and pressure
  • skin temperature
  • Muscular contraction
  • Sweat

BT devices monitor and report these functions. This allows the monitored person and their therapist to interpret the body's responses provided by the machines. This information will help you plan an approach to retirement and recovery.

In biofeedback therapy, information about the person is recorded and transmitted to a monitoring box as the person is subjected to various influences.visual and auditory stimuli. This allows a therapist and/or the person observed to identify mental activities and relaxation techniques to regulate bodily functions that normally go unnoticed and uncontrolled.

During the sessions, the person exercises control and eventually learns to control their reactions without supervision.

(Video) How Biofeedback for anxiety works

How many sessions of biofeedback therapy do you need?

Biofeedback therapy sessions usually last between 30 minutes and an hour. With some ailments, those affected already feel relief after eight to ten sessions. For other conditions, such as high blood pressure, patients may need 20 sessions to see improvement.

In general, the duration and number of sessions required depend on your condition and how quickly you learn to control your physical reactions.

Sessions are held to accompany biofeedback therapy.mental and recreational activitiesthat the patient has to do at home for five to ten minutes a day.

How do you prepare for biofeedback therapy?

No special preparation is needed for biofeedback therapy. To find a suitable biofeedback therapist, talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional. You should recommend someone with experience treating your condition.

Many therapists and biofeedback practitioners hold degrees in other health fields, such as psychology, nursing, or physical therapy. State laws regulating biofeedback therapists vary. Some biofeedback practitioners choose certification to demonstrate their additional training and experience in their practice.

Ask Any Biofeedback Therapist You Are Consideringquestions before treatment, As:

  • Is it authorized, certified or registered?
  • What is your experience level?
  • Do you have experience treating my condition with biofeedback?
  • How many biofeedback sessions do you think I will need?
  • How much does biofeedback therapy cost? Is it covered by health insurance?
  • Do you have a list of references?

What can you expect from biofeedback therapy?

During a biofeedback session, a therapist attaches electrical sensors to different parts of the body. With these electrodes, you can monitor your brain waves, muscle tension, breathing, heart rate and skin temperature.

This information is transmitted to you by means of notices, e.g. B. through the setting of a monitor, a beep or a flashing light. Feedback teaches you to change or control your body's responses by altering your thoughts, behavior or feelings. This may bring relief for the condition you sought treatment for.

The goal of biofeedback is to learn how to use these methods at home without professional help.Improve your mindfulness and well-being.

When biofeedback works effectively for you, it can help you manage the symptoms of your condition or reduce the amount of medication you take.

With enough practice, you can also try out the biofeedback techniques you learned on your own. However, do not discontinue medical treatment for your condition without consulting your healthcare team.

Biofeedback therapy methods, techniques and exercises

Several factors can be recorded using biofeedback. These include:

  • measure brain waves
  • Monitoring respiratory rate and breathing patterns
  • Detect heart rate fluctuations
  • Assessment of muscle contractions
  • Measurement of sweat gland activity
  • Temperature rise and fall monitoring

Biofeedback therapy is available at physical therapy clinics, medical centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other locations. Devices can also be carried around and used at home. However, BT is usually done by a doctor with special equipment.

Home devices serve as a complement and alert the user to changes in their body so that they can adapt to these changes accordingly. Medical professionals often monitor biofeedback therapy devices used to treat substance use disorders.

If you are looking for a qualified biofeedback provider,Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedbackit's a great starting point.

(Video) What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Biofeedback therapy combinations

Biofeedback therapy is most commonly used in combination with other drug and alcohol treatment options. It is also a substitute for more invasive treatments or treatment options that produce negative side effects.

BT gives people with substance use disorders and mental illness a head start in the fight against addiction. It provides additional information to help them manage their disorder and understand how their addiction is affecting their mind and body.

Knowing how addiction affects the body and finding ways to deal with these effects will help with recovery. Biofeedback is a management tool.

It also helps people with drug or alcohol addiction deal with co-occurring disorders such as PTSD, ADHD, and more.

That follow?

  • How does rehabilitation work?
  • Why call a dependency hotline?
  • how to sober up
  • Eliminate alcohol consumption
  • What is considered alcoholic?


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What is biofeedback therapy and how does it work? (4)


What is biofeedback and how does it work? ›

Biofeedback is a type of mind-body technique you use to control some of your body's functions, such as your heart rate, breathing patterns and muscle responses. During biofeedback, you're connected to electrical pads that help you get information about your body.

How does a biofeedback therapy session work? ›

During a biofeedback session, a practitioner uses monitoring equipment and instruments to measure your body's functions. Based on feedback from the instruments, the practitioner suggests how you can create physiologic changes. With education and practice, you can learn to make those bodily changes without equipment.

What are 3 examples of biofeedback? ›

Types of Biofeedback

The three most common methods of biofeedback include: electromyography (EMG) biofeedback: measures muscle tension as it changes over time. thermal or temperature biofeedback: measures body temperature changes over time. electroencephalography: measures brain wave activity over time.

What is biofeedback and how does it help deal with stress? ›

Biofeedback uses instruments and software to measure physiological signals from your body associated with stress such as heart rate, breathing, muscle activity, sweat, and temperature to assist you in learning important skills such as breathing, mindful relaxation, or tension reduction.

Can you do biofeedback without equipment? ›

Can I do Respiration Biofeedback without a screen or Software? Yes! Use diaphragmatic breathing techniques to begin to move your breathing closer to a normal range. Diaphragmatic breathing means breathing in and out of your nose, which slows down the rate of your breath.

How successful is biofeedback therapy? ›

There is good evidence that biofeedback therapy can relax muscles and ease stress to reduce both the frequency and severity of headaches. Biofeedback seems to be especially beneficial for headaches when it's combined with medications.

Can you do biofeedback at home? ›

At-home biofeedback devices can be used as a therapy option for treating a range of medical issues. Because biofeedback is safe and has no side effects, it can be used in addition to prescription medications or other medical treatments. Some of the medical uses of at-home biofeedback devices include: Blood pressure.

How often should I do biofeedback? ›

When starting neurofeedback training, it is optimal that sessions be regular and frequent at two or three (or more) sessions per week. It is possible to do more than one sessions in a day or to have sessions on two or three consecutive days.

How does biofeedback physically and psychologically work? ›

Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that involves using visual or auditory feedback to teach people to recognize the physical signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as increased heart rate, body temperature, and muscle tension.

What is the most common biofeedback? ›

The three most commonly used forms of biofeedback therapy are:
  • Electromyography (EMG), which measures muscle tension.
  • Thermal biofeedback, which measures skin temperature.
  • Neurofeedback or electroencephalography (EEG), which measures brain wave activity.

What are the disadvantages of biofeedback? ›

Disadvantages of biofeedback may include: scientific research is limited on its effectiveness. readings might be inaccurate for those who have health conditions such as a heart arrhythmia or certain skin conditions. sessions can be time-consuming.

What is the basic principle of biofeedback? ›

Biofeedback is based on a principle known as “operant conditioning,” specifically positive reinforcement. Research has shown positive reinforcement increases the likelihood of a behavior and when a behavior is reinforced repeatedly and consistently over time, the behavior can be learned and retained.

Who would benefit from biofeedback? ›

Biofeedback has been proven to:

Lower the experience of chronic pain, common to many mental health issues like drug and alcohol addiction, depression and eating disorders. Improve sleep quality by reducing hyperarousal and insomnia. Help those with ADHD find a greater ability to focus.

Can biofeedback cure anxiety? ›

A study by Dr. Majid Fotuhi and his colleagues showed that neurofeedback therapy, especially when combined with another form of biofeedback that involved breathing slowly (called Heart Rate Variability training) can be quite effective for reducing symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Is biofeedback evidence based? ›

Levels of evidence range from case reports and observational studies to randomized clinical trials. From the beginning, biofeedback developed as a research-based approach, emerging directly from laboratory research on psychophysiology and behavior therapy.

How much does biofeedback equipment cost? ›

There are a number of biofeedback machines on the market for home use in between or in place of sessions with a trained therapist. These can range from $20-$2,000 or more, depending on how sophisticated the instrument is, special features included, and the make and model.

What are the three stages of biofeedback training? ›

Biofeedback training is conceptualized as including three phases: initial conceptualization, skills-acquisition and -rehearsal, and transfer of treatment.

What is an alternative to biofeedback? ›

Conclusions: Alpha-blocker therapy seems to be a viable alternative to biofeedback in dysfunctional voiding in children with urinary retention to improve bladder emptying. Combination treatment (biofeedback and alpha-blockers) can be used as additional therapy in refractory cases.

Is biofeedback Painful? ›

This is completely painless. Usually the sensors are just sticky patches which the therapist will put on specific points on your skin. The type of monitor and sensors used will depend upon your specific needs and the goals of the therapy. Biofeedback is an active rather than passive treatment.

What is the duration of biofeedback? ›

The number of neuromuscular training sessions and the length of each training session should be customized for each patient depending on their individual needs. Typically, each training session takes one hour.

How long has biofeedback therapy been around? ›

The term biofeedback, 'a real-time physiological mirror' was first coined in 1969 borrowing the feedback concept formalised by cybernetics during World War II.

What equipment is needed for biofeedback? ›

Equipment Used for Biofeedback
  • Electromyographs (EMG): provides data on muscle tension.
  • Feedback thermometers: offers data on skin temperature.
  • Electrodermographs (EDG): measures the electrical properties of the skin, which are often linked to the activity of the sweat glands.
Apr 20, 2016

Is biofeedback a form of hypnosis? ›

However, while hypnosis relies on teaching patients to calm themselves by focusing on words, images, or thoughts, biofeedback involves training patients to regulate themselves by showing them the results of electronic monitoring of their body's reactions.

Is biofeedback a holistic therapy? ›

Biofeedback therapy is a holistic method that utilizes monitoring equipment to measure the body's functions and can help create physiologic changes. The biofeedback therapy approach recognizes that the mind and body are interconnected and that they both play a role in our overall health and well-being.

Is biofeedback a form of meditation? ›

Both meditation and biofeedback involve paying attention to the body: Meditators often focus on the breath or another physical sensation, while biofeedback measures your breath, heart rate or brain waves and presents you with some signal based on that data.

Is biofeedback good for stress? ›

Research has found a number of success stories associated with biofeedback treatments. A study on Thai graduate nursing students found that using biofeedback techniques positively correlated with reducing stress and depression.

What types of pain can biofeedback relieve? ›

Biofeedback has been well studied and found to be effective for those with chronic back pain. It has also been shown to help those with complex regional pain syndrome, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ), headaches, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, phantom limb pain, cancer, lupus, knee pain, whiplash, and vulvar pain.

What are some health problems that biofeedback can potentially help? ›

There is specific evidence that exists to support the use of biofeedback for specific ailments, including the following[7]:
  • Constipation.
  • Fecal incontinence.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Chronic pain - includes chronic low back pain, chronic pelvic pain, and other pain syndromes.
  • Chronic insomnia.
  • Migraine headaches.
  • Chronic fatigue.
Dec 2, 2022

Is biofeedback physiological or psychological? ›

Biofeedback is a mind–body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology for the purpose of improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

What is the difference between biofeedback and neurofeedback? ›

Where biofeedback therapy uses sensors placed on the body to monitor things such as heart rate and hand temperature, neurofeedback therapy uses sensors placed on the head to monitor brain activity.

How do psychologists use biofeedback? ›

Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity and skin temperature.

What is the most successful therapy for anxiety? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.

Can biofeedback change personality? ›

Because neurofeedback is non-invasive, we have no way of altering your personality. You might feel like you're an uptight, nervous, worrywart, but that could be more related to your anxiety and depression than your personality.

What are the side effects of biofeedback therapy? ›

Rare reactions may include:
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Headaches or dizziness.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Internal vibrations.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Social anxiety.
  • Low energy or fatigue.
Mar 1, 2021

How often can you do biofeedback? ›

When starting neurofeedback training, it is optimal that sessions be regular and frequent at two or three (or more) sessions per week. It is possible to do more than one sessions in a day or to have sessions on two or three consecutive days.

How much does biofeedback cost? ›

Costs for biofeedback can vary considerably, often ranging from $35 to $85 per biofeedback session. Fees can vary depending upon the training, qualification, and experience of the biofeedback therapist. There are also a number of in-home biofeedback devices and wearables available on the market.

Is biofeedback legitimate? ›

Although biofeedback has been used to treat a variety of health problems, there is little scientific evidence that it works for most of them.

How long does it take for biofeedback to work? ›

Many people see results within 8 to 10 sessions. Treatment of headache, incontinence, and Raynaud disease requires at least 10 weekly sessions and some follow up sessions as health improves. However, conditions like high blood pressure usually require 20 weekly biofeedback sessions before you see improvement.


1. What is Biofeedback?
2. Understanding Biofeedback
3. How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work
(The Human Condition)
4. Heather and Sara: Benefits of PEMF Therapy
(Talk 4 TV)
5. Neurofeedback Therapy Explained
(The Brain Centre)
6. What is Biofeedback
(Jim Cahill)


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