Biofeedback, a behavioral medicine technique, has been used for a long time in the management of stress, emotions, pain, high blood pressure and several other organic, functional or psychological pathologies.
Biofeedback is an application of psychophysiology, a domain studying the relationships between brain activity and physiological functions.
Precisely, biofeedback focuses on how our emotions and thoughts affect our body and, conversely, how our perception of physiological signals sent by our body – e.g. temperature, breathing, heart rate, muscle tone, sweating– can influence our attitudes and behaviors.
This is a specialized intervention technique, different from other self-regulating methods, using an electronic and computer-based technology as a learning tool.
Your physiological signals are captured and translated into visual or auditory signals on a computer or a smartphone. You are then able to visualize this information directly on the screen (feedback) and thus learn how to modulate your own physiological reactions.
The objective is simple and practical: give you the control over your own body, including certain so-called involuntary functions in order to prevent or treat various stress-related health problems.
The basic concept can be summed up like this: being aware means being in control.
In health psychology, the various types of feedbacks used depend on the objectives set: