What is Biofeedback Therapy? for Migraine and Chronic Pain etc.

I was never aware of this type of therapy so thought an interesting topic to include for information. It especially received my attention when it mentioned chronic pain such as migraine/headache treatment. 

Biofeedback therapy involves training patients to control physiological processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.

These processes usually occur involuntarily, however, patients who receive help from a biofeedback therapist can learn how to completely manipulate them at will.

Biofeedback is typically used to treat chronic pain, urinary incontinence, high blood pressure, tension headache, and migraine headache.

The three most common types of biofeedback therapy are:

  • Thermal biofeedback – which measures skin temperature
  • Electromyography – measures muscle tension
  • Neurofeedback – measures brain wave activity

Biofeedback is particularly effective at treating conditions brought on by severe stress. When a person is stressed, their internal processes such as blood pressure can become irregular. Biofeedback therapy teaches these patients certain relaxation and mental exercises which can alleviate their symptoms.

Therapists can measure a patient’s performance by attaching electrodes to their skin and displaying the processes on a monitor. Eventually patients learn how to control these processes without the need to be monitored.

During a biofeedback session, electrodes will be attached to the patient’s skin, which sends information to a monitoring box. The biofeedback therapist reads the measurements and through trial and error singles out mental activities that help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.

Sessions are typically less than an hour long – most people will begin to see positive results after 8 sessions. However, some patients may need a as many as 50 sessions.

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