Biofeedback is a technique that helps improve health by training you to control certain bodily functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, or muscle tension. In a biofeedback session, a therapist will teach you mental exercises, which you also have to practice at home. You will either hold sensors or have patches with sensors, called electrodes, attached to your skin. The sensors are connected to a computer that monitors your body’s performance. Whenever a favorable result is achieved, the computer feeds this information back to you in the form of beeping noises or flashing lights.
Biofeedback can treat a variety of conditions, including stress, high blood pressure, chronic pain, headaches, insomnia, and urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control). Each session lasts about 30 to 90 minutes, and the total number of sessions you need will be determined by the type and severity of your condition. For example, to treat high blood pressure, you will likely need 20 sessions to see any improvement, whereas for urinary incontinence, you may start seeing results after 10 sessions.
Biofeedback has been used by health professionals for over four decades and is considered safe. Its downsides are that it takes time and patience to see results, and it can be expensive. However, biofeedback may be right for you if you are looking for a treatment option that can help you reduce the amount of medicines you take or manage your symptoms without medication.