Biofeedback is a form of mind-body treatment. It involves using instruments to measure your brain activity, heart rate, muscle tension, skin temperature and more. The information these measurements provide can then be used to make you more aware of how your body reacts to stress, either physical or psychological. Awareness of these reactions is the first step to modifying them.
Biofeedback is often used to treat conditions that are related to stress, such as anxiety, headaches and high blood pressure. It may also be used for general relaxation training, and is typically performed by physicians, psychologists, physiologists and kinesiologists.
Some studies show that biofeedback may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. Research shows that it can lead to a significant improvement in multiple symptoms, including:
- Morning stiffness
- Tender points
- Visual attention (a component of cognitive function, which can be impaired in fibromyalgia)
Biofeedback has no known side effects.
Learn more about mind-body treatments for fibromyalgia: Biofeedback, Hypnosis & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Caro XJ, Winter EF. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback. 2011 Sep;36(3):193-200. EEG biofeedback treatment improves certain attention and somatic symptoms in fibromyalgia: a pilot study.
Goldenberg, Don L. "Treatment of Fibromyalgia in Adults". UpToDate. Accessed: January 2009.
Kayiran S, et al. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback. 2010 Dec;35(4):293-302. Neurgeedback intervention in fibromyalgia syndrome; a randomized, controlled, rater blind clinical trial.