Clinical Biofeedback: An Introduction,
ARMY HOSPITAL FORT POLK LA
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Biofeedback is a technique for presenting immediate and continuous feedback about some bodily activity, thereby allowing an individual to control certain aspects of psychological functioning. Biofeedback therapy falls into two broad categories. The first can be referred to as direct feedback, where the function to be controlled is fed back as in the presentation of blood pressure to the hypertensive. This approach has also been used successfully in neuro-muscular re-education. In the second approach, indirect feedback, the function fed back is an index of skeletomuscular or autonomic activity as in the presentation of peripheral skin temperature to the migraine headache patient. The latter approach appears to effect change as a result of a decrease in skeleto-muscular or autonomic activity and by re-training lower brain mechanisms to return to non-stress levels of physiological activity. The latter is necessary since these cerebral mechanisms appear to have habituated to stress levels of activity. This approach appears to be applicable to a wide variety of stress related disorders.