First Time User? Enroll now.
*Vaccine availability and appointments* | Additional COVID-19 resources.
Please be aware that mask-wearing is required at all UNC Health facilities.
Home > Health Library > Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a way to control a body function that you normally don't control in a conscious way, such as skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. It's done to improve a person's health and performance.
When you are first learning biofeedback, you may have sensors attached to your body and to a monitoring device. This provides instant feedback on a body function (for example, your skin temperature). The biofeedback therapist may teach you physical and mental exercises that can help you control the function. The results are displayed on the monitor while you learn how to control that function. The monitor may beep or flash when you achieve the desired change in that body function (such as increasing skin temperature or reducing muscle tension).
With practice, a person can learn to use these techniques without the help of the feedback monitor.
Types of biofeedback include:
Learning biofeedback requires practice in a biofeedback lab or other setting. Home feedback units and devices that can be worn are also available.
Biofeedback may be used for many things, including anxiety, depression, headaches (migraine and tension-type), incontinence, recovery after a stroke, sleep disorders, and stress. Using it may also help control long-term (chronic) pain.
Biofeedback is a safe procedure. It is most effective when taught by someone well trained in biofeedback techniques.
The sensors placed on the skin to measure a body function may irritate your skin.
Current as of:
March 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.