Biofeedback and Anxiety
Biofeedback can sometimes be useful in treating and controlling some of the symptoms of anxiety and stress. (Biofeedback may be harmful for those with depression or other severe mental illnesses, be sure to talk with your doctor about biofeedback to decide if it is right for you.)
Biofeedback measures a number of bodily functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and skin temperature. A screen allows the person receiving biofeedback to watch these measurements. By learning how your body reacts to different stressors, you can learn how to control these symptoms. For example, by using imagery or by thinking of a pleasant experience, your blood pressure can decrease. Watching these readings can show what types of strategies can help you to reduce symptoms of stress.
A trained practitioner completes biofeedback. The practitioner will guide you through relaxation techniques. Together, you can watch the monitor to determine which strategies have the most impact on your heart rate or blood pressure. These sessions are meant to teach you how to integrate these strategies into every day life and every day situations.
Biofeedback is based on the idea that you are able to control and influence bodily functions and improve your health and well being. Some people using biofeedback have found they were able to decrease medication. For those that are not able to tolerate medication, biofeedback can provide an alternative treatment.