A thermometer. A mirror. A blood-pressure monitor. All these devices are tools that could be considered biofeedback, instruments that provide information about your health that inspire you to improve your well-being. Biofeedback in the more traditional sense involves the use of special equipment to first measure physiological function and then train the patient's mind to respond in a way that promotes healing and better health.
Biofeedback has been used for numerous health problems, such as TMJ, stress, and chronic headaches. In people who have fibromyalgia, biofeedback can turn down a stress system that is turned up way too high. It can also help relax tight muscles, which in turn can lessen your pain and fatigue.
Some companies sell biofeedback equipment for home use. They may also be called neurofeedback. But not all of them work properly or are worth the money. Talk to your doctor before making a purchase.
During biofeedback, you are attached to an electronic monitor that measures bodily functions, such as your brain waves, skin temperature, and blood pressure. While you're hooked up, you will practice relaxation techniques that alter these body functions so that you can increase body temperature, reduce blood pressure, and calm excited brain waves.
You will see these changes on the monitor and come to understand which states of mind have what effect on the body. You will also learn how you feel when your blood pressure slows, your body temperature goes up, and brain waves calm down.
With practice, biofeedback will empower you to control bodily functions and lessen your symptoms. The number of sessions you require will vary, depending on the severity of your symptoms and how quickly you learn to train your body. For more information, and to find a qualified biofeedback counselor in your area, check out the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.