What is biofeedback? Biofeedback uses sensitive electronic equipment to painlessly measure internal activities that we normally don't notice, such as heart rate, skin temperature or breathing patterns. By observing changes in these activities while they are displayed on a computer screen and noticing ongoing physical sensations and thoughts, you can learn to control your body's reactions. Anxiety can be reduced and panic prevented by learning how to maintain a relaxed breathing pattern. Migraines can be reduced in frequency and intensity by learning to warm the hands.
You can learn to use that control as a natural part of daily life to reduce your sensitivity to stress. Biofeedback sessions are usually integrated with psychotherapy or physical therapy to help with other aspects of your particular problem. This allows you to explore your own mind/body connection.
Your physician might refer you for help with chronic pain, panic attacks, anxiety, or a host of physical problems that are influenced by stress, aging or injury. See our practitioner directory for a certified practitioner near you.
Conditions treated. Current research and clinical experience shows that many conditions are responsive to biofeedback as part of a comprehensive treatment program, such as:
- anxiety and panic disorders
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- chronic anxiety
- cold hands/feet
- diabetes mellitus
- excessive sweating
- high blood pressure
- irritable bowel syndrome
- jaw pain
- migraine and tension type headaches
- myofascial pain
- neurodermatitis (hives or other nervous skin conditions)
- panic attacks
- phantom limb pain
- reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- ringing in the ears
- tension headache
- tooth grinding/clenching
- urinary and fecal incontinence
- and more...
Remember that biofeedback is not a substitute for recommended medical treatments such as medication, physical therapy or surgery. Coordination of care is essential. See our practitioner directory for a professional biofeedback practitioner near you.