Biofeedback is the process of learning to control physiological functions through the use of instruments.
During Biofeedback training, sensors are attached to the body to obtain biological signals produced by the muscles and sweat glands. In addition, the individual’s body temperature, heart rhythm and respiration are measured. These biological signals are fed back to the individual with the goal of helping him or her gain mental control over the subconscious biological processes. The individual receives moment-by-moment information about the changes identified by the sensors. These signals can be in the form of auditory tones, digital or analog displays, or computer graphics.1
Biofeedback is a self-regulation skill that helps individuals learn to regulate different aspects of their Autonomic Nervous System. This is achieved through Operant Conditioning which is the process of learning positive behaviors through rewards and negative behaviors through punishments.
With the help of Operant Conditioning, the individual learns to make a connection between a specific behavior and a consequence; however, Biofeedback is different in that it is designed to always be rewarding. In other words, the successful regulation of specific psycho-physiological process is linked to pleasant experiences.1,2
People with a variety of medical conditions can benefit greatly from Biofeedback. Needless to say, training the brain (Neurofeedback) is recommended along with training the body (Biofeedback) for the best outcomes. Some of the conditions that can benefit from Biofeedback and Neurofeedback include: 3
– Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity)
– Headache (in adults and children)
– Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)(Pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles)