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Biofeedback

By Steven Novella, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine

Biofeedback 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.

Medicinal claims

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.

Biofeedback has been shown to be clinically effective in treating certain problems (for example, headaches, incontinence, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).