Biofeedback is a purported technique for helping an individual become conscious of otherwise unconscious body processes. Through conveying information about blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, galvanic skin response (sweating), and muscle tension in real-time, biofeedback aims to raise awareness and conscious control of the related physiological (natural biological processes) activities. In essence, biofeedback attempts to use the mind to control the body.

Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of five studies – providing just a taste of the available research. These Spotlights were not selected because they are the most favorable or the most recent, but to provide you an introduction to the more extensive research you’ll uncover searching the four databases found in the “Research” section of this site.

  • Biofeedback Improves Heart and Lung Function During Sleep
    A small study (2013) indicated that heart rate variability biofeedback before sleep improves cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep.
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  • Biofeedback Effective for Migraines/Headaches
    A systematic review of 94 studies conducted with over 3,500 patients by the National Institute for Health Research found that biofeedback was an effective treatment for both migraines and tension-type headaches (TTHs) – and especially for juvenile headache patients. 
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  • Biofeedback Helps Manage Anxiety & Depression
    A review of the medical evidence by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies for Health concluded that biofeedback therapy was almost as efficacious as pharmacotherapy in the management of anxiety and led to alleviation of depressive symptoms. And evidence from mostly preliminary analyses raised the possibility that biofeedback may have a potential for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. 
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  • Biofeedback Reduced Neck & Shoulder Pain
    A randomized control trial by the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, China, found that six weeks of biofeedback training produced favorable outcomes in reducing pain and improving muscle activation of neck muscles in patients with work-related neck and shoulder pain – and pain was reduced significantly more than a standard daily exercise program. 
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  • Biofeedback Benefits Women with Urinary Incontinence
    A Cochrane meta-review of 24 trials involving 1,583 women concluded that biofeedback may provide benefit in addition to pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in women with urinary incontinence. And women who received biofeedback were significantly more likely to report that their urinary incontinence was cured or improved compared to those who received PFMT alone. 
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