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How does biofeedback work?

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Researchers aren't exactly sure how or why biofeedback works. They do know that biofeedback promotes relaxation, which can help relieve a number of stress-related conditions.

During a biofeedback session, electrodes or finger sensors are attached to your skin. They send signals to a monitor, which displays a sound, flash of light, or image that represents your heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, sweating, or muscle activity.

When you're under stress, these functions change. Your heart rate speeds up, your muscles tighten, your blood pressure rises, you start to sweat, and your breathing quickens. You can see these stress responses as they happen on the monitor, and then get immediate feedback as you try to stop them.

From: Overview of Biofeedback WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Biofeedback."

American Headache Society: "Biofeedback and Relaxation Training for Headaches."

UCSF Medical Center: "Biofeedback for Incontinence."

Glick, R.M. , March 2010. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice

Palermo, T.M. , March 2010. Pain

Morone, N.E. , May-June 2007. Pain Medicine

Nicholson, R.A. , November 2010. Current Treatment Options in Neurology

“NIH Consensus and State-of-the-Art Science Statements,” December 2007.

Wang, S.Z. , October 2010. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Greenhalgh J. , April 2010. Journal of Hypertension

Moravec, C.S. , March 2008. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 2, 2018

SOURCES:

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Biofeedback."

American Headache Society: "Biofeedback and Relaxation Training for Headaches."

UCSF Medical Center: "Biofeedback for Incontinence."

Glick, R.M. , March 2010. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice

Palermo, T.M. , March 2010. Pain

Morone, N.E. , May-June 2007. Pain Medicine

Nicholson, R.A. , November 2010. Current Treatment Options in Neurology

“NIH Consensus and State-of-the-Art Science Statements,” December 2007.

Wang, S.Z. , October 2010. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Greenhalgh J. , April 2010. Journal of Hypertension

Moravec, C.S. , March 2008. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 2, 2018

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Where do biofeedback sessions take place?

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