Definition of Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a process that allows an individual to learn how to change physiological activity to improve health and performance. Sensitive instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The ability to see or hear this information often accompanies changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior, which supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes will persist without continued use of the biofeedback machine. Definition adopted by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA), the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback (AAPB), and the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR, May 18, 2008)
Have You Used Biofeedback?
A thermometer is an example of a biofeedback instrument. You may use one to check to see if you have a fever. Clinicians rely on biofeedback machines in the same way you use a thermometer or a scale. These instruments show what is going on inside your body with precision and sensitivity, permitting you to be aware of subtle unconscious processes. Over time, you learn to control many body functions such as warming your fingertips, which means you are starting to relax.
Uses for Biofeedback in Psychotherapy and Physical MedicineResearch shows biofeedback is effective for treating:
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Optimal Performance
- Other Substance Abuse (Heroin, Cocaine, Opiates)
- Other sleep disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sports Training
Tenley Fukui interviewed Dr. Harold Russell for the Biofeedback Society of Texas. He discussed his research on raising children’s I.Q.’s with neurofeedback and Audio Visual Stimulation (AVS). He also discussed stroke rehabilitation using neurofeedback and AVS. Click link to interview here.
Readers wishing to review a comprehensive bibliography of published outcome studies may find it at
Biofeedback is recommended by:
The National Institute of Health (NIH) recognizes Biofeedback as an evidence-based Behavioral Intervention. The following institutions find sufficient research to show Biofeedback Training is effective:
- American Academy of Cardiology
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Neurology
Heartmath's emWave PSR
An emWave Personal Stress Reliever (PSR) is a portable HRV (Heart Rate Variability) biofeedback machine which can help you reduce stress. It is based on learning to change the heart rhythm pattern and create physical calmness in your body. It can help you take an active role in preventing stress, managing the emotions associated with stress, creating better health, and improving performance.
The emWave PSR can help with:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Chronic pain
- Digestive disorders
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Respiratory problems
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Audio Visual Stimulation (AVS)
What is AVS? Our bodies respond to electrical rhythms such as those in music and light in our environment. The Audio Visual Stimulation (AVS) system uses binaural beats and is able to train your brain rhythms to be more efficient. With AVS you can more easily alter your brainwave activity to suit the current task. For example, you want slower brainwave activity when you sleep, and faster brainwave activity to concentrate attention.
- Chronic Pain
- Substance Abuse