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Answers About Biofeedback and Behavioral Medicine

Question: How does biofeedback work?

Answer: Treatment of physical symptoms with biofeedback involves a series of sessions where you will learn to control your physiological responses such as heart rate, muscle tension and skin temperature by observing visual representation of those responses on a computer screen. Electrodes are attached to various parts of your body such as your wrists and fingertips to record skin temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and muscle tension. By observing the information from your body, you can learn what causes changes in those measures and increase your ability to control your physiological response to stress.
Biofeedback does not “cure” disease. It is a skill that you will learn through practice that will enable you to reduce physical symptoms related to stress. It is a powerful and effective treatment because it gives you the ability to exert control over the reactions of the body that are typically thought to be automatic. With practice, you can use the skill of self-regulation to reduce or even eliminate your symptoms.