What is biofeedback?
The role of biofeedback is to bring out changes in biological parameters using voluntary measures. During the process, biological functions like heart rate are monitored and the information thus received is fed back to you using visual/other sensory cues. This feedback helps you use specific techniques like relaxation to control these biological functions
What are the different types of biofeedback?
Multiple biological parameters can be measured using the existing medical technology. Depending upon the parameter being measured different types of biofeedback are in use. Some of the most common ones are:
- Heart rate Using an oximeter/electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring
- Muscle contraction: Using an electromyograph (EMG) to monitor muscle contractions
- Brain waves: Using electroencephalograph (EEG) to monitor different brain waves.
- Sweat gland activity: Electrodermograph (EDG) measuring amount of sweating and sweat gland activity
- Breathing: During respiratory biofeedback, the breathing pattern is monitored
- Temperature: Temperature is monitored using sensors attached to extremities
What all mental illnesses can be treated using biofeedback?
Biofeedback is used in the treatment of multiple disorders.
- Anxiety: Biofeedback from various parameters is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. There is an increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, sweat gland activity, and muscle tension during episodes of anxiety. Any one or combination of these parameters along with relaxation techniques is used in the treatment
- Chronic pain: EMG biofeedback is used in chronic pain disorders like chronic low backache, headache, etc
- Other psychiatric indications include
- Chronic insomnia
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Other medical indications:
- Motion sickness
- Raynaud phenomenon