Several different relaxation exercises are used in biofeedback therapy, including:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation – alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups
- Guided imagery – concentrating on a specific image (such as the color and texture of an orange) to focus your mind and make you feel more relaxed
- Mindfulness meditation — focusing your thoughts and letting go of negative
What is Biofeedback?
With biofeedback you learn to control bodily functions, such as your heart rate, using your mind. With biofeedback, you’re connected to electrical sensors that help you measure and receive information (feedback) about your body (bio). The biofeedback sensors teach you how to make subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want, such as reducing pain and/or improving sleep.
In essence, biofeedback gives you the power to use your thoughts to control your body, often to help with a health condition or physical performance. Biofeedback is often used as a relaxation technique.
Types of Biofeedback
There are many types of biofeedback that have been developed. They include EMG (muscle) which is useful for pain and neurofeedback (EEG) which has been applied especially to ADHD. For insomnia there are a number of biofeedback approaches, including HRV.
Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback, or HRV biofeedback, is a new technique for training a person to change the variability and frequency rhythms in their heart activity. The emWave2 system measures heart rate variability and this reflects an interaction of brain, breathing, and heart rate. A person can learn to coordinate the process and this causes a reduction in stress and an increase in mental clarity.