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Biofeedback

Definition

Biofeedback is a technique that measures bodily functions and gives you information about them in order to help train you to control them.

Information

Biofeedback is most often based on measurements of:

By watching these measurements, you can learn how to alter these functions by relaxing or by holding pleasant images in your mind.

Electrodes measure your heart rate, blood pressure, or other function. A monitor displays the results for both you and the trained practitioner to see. A tone or other sound may be used to let you know when you've reached a goal or certain state.

While the practitioner describes stressful situations and guides you through relaxation techniques, you can see how your heart rate and blood pressure change in response to being stressed or remaining relaxed.

Biofeedback teaches you how to control and change these bodily functions. By doing so, you feel more relaxed and may be able to help treat such conditions as:

References

Burgio KL, Kraus SR, Menefee S, Borello-France D, Corton M, Johnson HW, et al. Behavioral therapy to enable women with urge incontinence to discontinue drug treatment: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(3):161-9.

Loder E, Rozzoli P. Tension-type headache. BMJ. 2008;336(7635):88-92.

Nestoriuc Y, Martin A. Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: a meta-analysis. Pain. 2007;128(1-2):111-27. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

Rogers RG. Clinical practice. Urinary stress incontinence in women. N Engl J Med.2008;358(10):1029-1036.


Review Date: 12/21/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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