Biofeedback Therapy: Meaning & Significance

Thousands of people receive the assistance of physical therapists so they can move and function without discomfort. They most frequently work on a voluntary movement. When you desire to get up from a chair, your brain generates the impulse, which goes via a nerve to the muscles involved. Your body spontaneously rises from the chair as they contract.

However, your body also performs a number of additional tasks that appear to occur automatically. Your nervous system continually regulates your heart rate, blood pressure, degree of anxiety, and how you react to pain. Gaining control over some of these automatic processes might aid in the treatment of problems including chronic pain, anxiety, and constipation. One can learn to manage your body's uncontrollable urges with the use of biofeedback treatment.

What is Biofeedback Therapy?

"Any approach that involves instruments to provide a person [or organism] with immediate and ongoing indications on changes in a biological function that he is not typically cognizant of is referred to as biofeedback" (Sullivan, 1975, p. 38).

The individual (or organism) learns to use the biological information supplied back to first detect various body functions and then take control of them through biofeedback training (Karlins and Andrews, 1972).

One can utilize biofeedback treatment as a technique to take control of your body's uncontrollable functions. Although it is frequently used for pain management or relaxation, biofeedback may be utilized to treat a wide range of diseases. During a biofeedback treatment session, you will employ a variety of approaches to strengthen your mind-body connection and take control of those processes. Biofeedback frequently employs sensors to assess the function of your body.

The autonomic nervous system activates when anything risky or anxiety-inducing occurs, boosting your heart rate and blood pressure as well as your breathing rate and releasing chemicals that make you feel stressed. Despite the fact that these items are crucial for our safety, they can distract us from the work at hand.

Types of Biofeedback Therapy

There are several variations of biofeedback. Some call needs specialized tools that track your body's activities and inform you of what's happening. Some biofeedback techniques only call for awareness of your body's processes.

Electroencephalography (EEG):

In electroencephalography biofeedback, also known as neurofeedback or brain wave biofeedback, specialized sensors are used to detect brain activity. By modifying the feedback from the brain sensors and undergoing therapy, you can try to regulate these mechanisms. The sensors track the adjustments your neurological system undergoes throughout therapy, and as a result, you gradually regain control over your brain activity.

Respiratory Biofeedback

The breathing rate is observed as you get respiratory biofeedback. You receive feedback regarding how your breathing alters under various conditions after monitoring. You may learn to manage your breathing during situations that can elevate stress or anxiety with the use of this type of therapy. This kind of procedure may also be beneficial for those who have respiratory problems and hypertension.

Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback

Biofeedback for heart rate variability measures your heart rate using specialized sensors. You can try to manage your heart rate in certain conditions thanks to this feedback. For instance, if you experience anxiety when you speak in front of an audience and your heart begins to beat, you can practice public speaking using heart rate biofeedback in an effort to maintain a normal heart rate during the activity.

Electromyography (EMG) or Muscle Contraction Biofeedback:

Electrodes, or electrical conductors, are used in electromyography biofeedback, also known as muscular contraction feedback, to assess muscle activity. The electrodes are attached to a device that sends a visual or aural signal to the user as feedback, allowing them to try to change or improve muscle activation. It is frequently employed to manage unwelcome muscular spasms.

Galvanic Skin Response Training or Sweat Gland Activity Biofeedback

Galvanic skin response (GSR) training is used to regulate the body's level of sweat gland activity. During GSR training, tiny sensors are utilized to gauge the electrical activity of your skin. These sensors provide you feedback so you may take control of the electrical activity in your skin, therefore reducing hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or other neurological activity.

Thermal or Temperature Biofeedback

The body is equipped with temperature sensors for thermal biofeedback. These provide you with information about your body's temperature, and you may use them to try to regulate the temperatures of both your skin and body. It could be beneficial for reducing tension and anxiety.

Biofeedback Techniques

During biofeedback training, you can employ a variety of approaches, some of which you can carry out on your own. Before beginning any biofeedback training, be careful to consult with your healthcare professional

Deep Breathing

Many different ailments, including stress and anxiety, high blood pressure, and an accelerated heart rate, can be improved with deep breathing exercises. Utilizing breathing methods can cause your breathing to slow down, which will make you feel calmer physically.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Spasms in the muscles, tension, and sleeplessness are just a few of the issues that can be alleviated with progressive muscle relaxation. During this type of biofeedback, you could employ an electric myographical instrument connected to your muscles.

Guided Imagery

In order to facilitate stress release and build a connection between your mind and body, guided imagery is frequently employed during biofeedback sessions. It is often carried out in the presence of a second person who serves as a "guide" while you are in a focused and intensified state of imagination.

Mindfulness Medication

A practice called mindful meditation can assist you in slowing down your thoughts, being present in your mind, and letting go of unfavorable ideas. It is frequently applied during biofeedback to promote relaxation, alleviate tension or anxiety, lower heart rate, and enhance sleep.

Benefits of Biofeedback Therapy

We frequently use medications to regulate the functions of our body, however occasionally these drugs might have undesirable side effects. You might be able to take control of some of these processes—such as breathing or heart rate—with biofeedback instead of medication and without having to cope with its adverse effects.

You may gain control over your body with the use of biofeedback. You could start to feel powerless if you're stressed, depressed, or having difficulties sleeping. Your overall well-being may be enhanced by doing actions that give you more control over your body


One can utilize biofeedback treatment as a technique to take control of your body's uncontrollable functions. Many different medical ailments can be treated with it without the usage of medicines. Your heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other uncontrollable bodily functions may be under your control with the use of biofeedback treatment, which may help you establish a mind-body connection.

Updated on: 10-Jan-2023


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