We all regularly exercise a significant amount of control over our bodies. For example, whenever we walk down the hall and up the stairs or talk with friends, we are voluntarily controlling whole groups of muscles. It is also possible to learn to control some of our other bodily functions - like blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature and muscle tension - that are ordinarily involuntarily regulated (also referred to as autonomic regulation) by our nervous system.

Biofeedback refers to the use of technological tools to allow an individual to:

  • observe their own autonomic functioning (such as: blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature and muscle tension), 
  • observe how their own autonomic functioning responds to cues and their environment
  • observe how their autonomic functioning responds to internal cues such as thoughts and feelings
  • develop tools to voluntarily self-regulate their autonomic function. 

Practically speaking, biofeedback allows an individual to develop tools that help treat many chronic conditions such as: migraine headaches, chronic pain (including pelvic pain), gastrointestinal distress and illness (e.g. IBS-irritable bowel syndrome, IBD-inflammatory bowel disease), and high blood pressure.


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