A therapeutic method or technique used to increase awareness of a person's own physiology. On the basis of feedback from the body, one may be able to control physiological processes such as blood pressure or stress symptoms. Small changes in visual and auditory signals are used to make a person aware of bodily processes of which he or she was previously unaware, and the person eventually learns to control the biological system on the basis of this information (Hermann, Blanchard, & Flor, 1997).
Biofeedback focuses on the biological systems that are beyond conscious control but are acting in a way that impairs the individual's performance, thereby contributing to stress-related diseases. In the biofeedback process, the individual first becomes aware of any faulty response, then is guided by the feedback signal to control the response, and learns to transfer this control to everyday situations.
Biofeedback is used to teach people how to relax in stress management programs and for the control of hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, and other stress-related disorders (Kaplan, Sallis, & Patterson, 1993).
Was this article helpful?