Although researchers are not exactly sure how or why biofeedback works. What they do know is that biofeedback promotes relaxation, which helps alleviate many stress-related conditions.
Biofeedback is a form of alternative therapy for the treatment of mental and physical illnesses. It is based on the theory that influencing your body with self-determination can alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic pain and migraines.
The therapy uses a machine in recording electric impulses that the body emits. During a biofeedback session, electrodes are attached to your skin. Finger sensors can also be used. These electrodes/sensors send signals to a monitor, which displays a sound, flash of light, or image that represents your heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, sweating, or muscle activity. The machine provides “feedback” of these impulses to you through beeps and lights displayed on a monitor. For instance, if your body temperature increases, the number of beeps you will hear also increases.
The main goal of therapy is to find ways to reduce the number of beeps and lights that the machine feeds. This will reduce the electrical impulses in your body as well as your symptoms. They say that with a lot of practice, you should be able to use this technique without a machine.
Biofeedback works by teaching you to better understand your body’s responses to stress. When your body is exposed to stress, whether physical or emotional, it responds in many ways. For example, your heart beats faster and your hands are colder. Through beeps and lights, you can better understand how your body feels. Biofeedback is therefore a type of therapy that can help you better adapt to the needs of your body.
Studies have shown that many fibromyalgia patients who participated in biofeedback sessions experienced a significant reduction in their sensitivity. In addition, they also showed improvement in pain symptoms and muscle stiffness. These benefits last up to six months.
These non-invasive therapies can help you learn to control your own physiology and in many cases can reduce the symptoms of chronic pain and more.
The treatment is usually performed by licensed health professionals with specialized training, including psychologists and social workers such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, chiropractors and naturopaths. Many biofeedback practitioners are certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA).
Biofeedback can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, including medications, physical therapy, psychotherapy and/or nutritional interventions.