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Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback trains individuals to control automatic body functions, such as heart rate, muscle tension, breathing, perspiration, skin temperature, blood pressure and even brain waves. Learning to control these functions can often improve mental and physical conditions, including relieving chronic pain, reducing stress or improving physical or mental performance (sometimes called peak performance training). 

During biofeedback training, sensors attached to the body detect changes in pulse, skin temperature, muscle tone, brain-wave pattern or other physiological function. These changes trigger a signal—a sound, a flashing light, and a change in pattern on a video screen—indicating a physiological change has occurred. With the therapist’s help, individuals can learn to alter the signal by taking conscious control of their body’s automatic body functions. 

Biofeedback uses sensitive instruments to measure the body’s physical responses—heart rate, galvanic skin response (changes in sweat gland activity) and breathing pattern—and feed them back to clients. 

Working with a trained psychologist, clients can observe the feedback on a computer screen or listen to sound feedback. By promoting awareness of these processes, they can gain more voluntary control over body and mind—and increase their coping skills for the situation they are seeking to address. 

Benefits of biofeedback depend on the skills clients want to learn, for example:

    • Warming one’s hands to lower blood pressure or decrease migraine headaches
    • Relaxing face, neck and back muscles to eliminate or decrease tension headaches, shoulder or back pain, or jaw clenching and teeth grinding
    • Going into a relaxation response rather than a stress response to decrease anxiety

Specific types of biofeedback can treat various physical and emotional problems, for example, applied relaxation (AR) training and heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback.


Learn more about Mind-Body Therapies offered at CFI…



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