Biofeedback, a type of mind-body medicine, is a method of bringing unconscious biologic processes under conscious control. In biofeedback, electronic devices are used to measure and report information about unconscious processes (such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension) to the conscious mind. With the help of a therapist or with training, people then can understand why these functions change and can learn how to regulate them, thereby lessening the effects of conditions such as pain, stress, insomnia, and headaches. (See also Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine.)
Typically, biofeedback is used to treat pain, including headache and chronic abdominal pain, as well as stress, insomnia, fecal or urinary incontinence, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, traumatic brain injury, tinnitus, and Raynaud syndrome.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): Relaxation Techniques for Health