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Merck Manual

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Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Feb 2019| Content last modified Feb 2019
Click here for the Professional Version

Biofeedback, a type of mind-body medicine, 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, thereby lessening the effects of conditions such as pain, stress, insomnia, and headaches. (See also Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine.)

Medicinal uses

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.

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