What Are Biofeedback Devices? Everything You Need to Know

Stress affects us all at one point or the other. And the normal response of our bodies to a stressor is stress. Our bodies can react physically and emotionally when we’re under stress.

But we can learn to control our body’s stress response with the help of biofeedback devices which helps one unwind and lessen stress’s negative impacts.

This blog post will unravel everything you need about biofeedback devices, types, uses, etc.

Biofeedback Devices

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A brief background on biofeedback technology

Biofeedback originated from psychophysiology, which studies the interaction between the mind and body.

The concept behind this idea is that you learn to control your body systems and enhance your health and well-being by receiving immediate feedback on your heart rate, breathing rate, and muscular tension.

The field of biofeedback has grown to include a variety of applications and tools. This includes wearing sensors, smartphone apps, and sophisticated clinical EEG devices that detect brainwave activity.

With each new advancement in technology, it is becoming easier and more effective at helping average people manage a range of medical illnesses, from chronic pain to anxiety disorders.

As the discipline continues to evolve, researchers are exploring new uses for this great tool, from boosting athlete performance to raising workplace productivity.

What are biofeedback devices?

Biofeedback devices are used in therapy to monitor and show the outcomes of muscle activity graphically and visually.

These devices give the user information on muscle activity that is accurate and timely. An individual can learn how to train, re-train, or alter physiological activity through this process to improve their health and performance.

By boosting muscle activity, biofeedback therapy can be used in athletic training to improve performance in injured muscles.

Forms of biofeedback therapy?

Anyone can receive biofeedback training in physical therapy clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. There are also several biofeedback products and services available for home usage, such as:

i. Interactive mobile devices or computer programs

Some biofeedback devices use one or more sensors attached to the fingers or ear to determine physiological changes in the body, such as skin changes and heart rate activity. Then the sensor is plugged into the computer.

Then, with the aid of computer cues and images, the devices assist you in managing your anxiety by:

  • Controlling your breathing
  • Helping your muscle relax
  • Having a positive mindset about your ability to handle stress.

According to studies, these gadgets may aid in reducing tension and promoting calmness.

ii. Wearing a headband

Biofeedback Devices headband

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Wearing a headband that records your brain activity while you meditate is another form of biofeedback therapy.

It uses sounds to tell you when your mind is active or calm. Thereby teaching you how to control stress. The data is saved on your mobile device or computer each time you do this, allowing you to monitor your progress over time.

iii. Wearable devices

This includes strapping a measuring pad around your waist and using an app to monitor your breathing patterns. The app can alert you when you’re nervous and provide breathing exercises to help you relax.

The Resperate biofeedback device, a portable electronic gadget that encourages slow, deep breathing to help manage stress and blood pressure, has received approval from Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However, there are many biofeedback devices in the market with FDA approval. So before performing biofeedback therapy at home, discuss the different device options with a medical professional who can assist you in determining the best product.

You should also know that not all practitioners of biofeedback are reputable. Hence, one can falsely advertise certain products as biofeedback equipment.

Types of biofeedback

There are varieties of biofeedback. You may choose a particular approach depending on your goals and your therapist or doctor’s advice.

a. Respiratory biofeedback

Wearing sensor bands across the chest and stomach allows for monitoring breathing patterns and rates during respiratory biofeedback.

With practice, people can learn to exert more control over their breathing, which can be beneficial in a number of circumstances, including when feeling anxious.

b. Heart rate viability biofeedback

Patients who use heart rate variability biofeedback use a device that is attached to sensors in their ears, fingers, wrists, chest, or torso. According to research, biofeedback for heart rate variability may be beneficial for a variety of illnesses, including asthma and depression.

c. Galvanic skin response

A biofeedback device that gauges the quantity of perspiration on the skin’s surface is a galvanic skin response, also referred to as skin conductance. This kind of biofeedback device is a helpful indicator for determining emotional arousal levels.

Emotional stimulation triggers sweat in addition to its obvious thermoregulatory function. The more a person is excited, the higher the conductance in their skin.

d. Blood pressure biofeedback

Blood pressure biofeedback is a device worn on the body that records the patient’s blood pressure. These devices normally lead the user through various forms of relaxation via visual clues, musical accompaniment, or breathing exercises.

e. Thermal biofeedback (Temperature feedback)

Patients who use thermal biofeedback wear sensors that monitor blood flow to the skin. Such devices help people recognize when they are beginning to feel distressed. This is because people usually experience a drop in body temperature during stress.

A low reading on these monitors suggests that stress management strategies are needed.

f. Neurofeedback (EEG Feedback)

This is a tool in neurofeedback devices to monitor brain wave activity. An EEG device is attached to scalp sensors. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive treatment for hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pain, addiction, anxiety, depression, etc.

g. Electromyography (EMG)

When doing electromyography, sensors are positioned throughout the body and connected to an EMG machine. By tracking the electrical activity that causes muscle contractions, this device detects variations in muscle tension over time.

Uses of biofeedback devices

You can learn how to control your body’s instinctive reaction to stress and feel more relaxed with the help of biofeedback devices. This shows that biofeedback therapy is beneficial for problems that stress induces. These include:

1. Emotional and psychological disorder

a. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Heart rate variability, emotional anxiety, and altered sleep patterns are all possible effects of PTSD. But you can be able to control PTSD-related emotional and physical symptoms by using biofeedback devices.

b. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD)

It is possible to see disruptive and impulsive behavior in kids with ADHD. Your kid will be able to manage their emotions and become less impulsive by using neurofeedback.

c. Eating disorders

Biofeedback training effectively treats eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. According to a new meta-analysis, biofeedback may help patients with eating disorders develop better-coping mechanisms and improve their eating habits.

d. Anxiety and depression

Biofeedback will help you learn and manage your automatic reactions better and enhance your general wellness. If you experience anxiety or depression, biofeedback training can work as a component of your therapy.

2. Musculoskeletal Conditions

a. Chronic pain

So many conditions can result in chronic pain. Through the use of biofeedback, you may be able to control how your body responds to painful stimuli.

b. Headache

Biofeedback devices can lessen chronic headaches and migraines. They can also reduce other headache-related impairments, such as neck pain, fluctuations in blood pressure, or heart rate increase.

c. Muscles spasm

Overstimulation of the nervous system and muscle fatigue may both contribute to muscle spasms. Working with a biofeedback therapist may promote relaxation and reduce muscle spasms.

d. Nocturnal bruxism

Also known as teeth grinding, this situation can be an indication of tension or anxiety. In order to manage stress, biofeedback training may reduce bruxism.

3. Chronic Health Conditions

a. Asthma

Research reveals that using biofeedback devices helps people with asthma use fewer medications, experience reduced symptoms, and have lower airway resistance.

b. Epilepsy

In epilepsy, some brain regions experience abnormal brain activity, resulting in seizures. With neurofeedback training, you can reduce the frequency of seizures.

c. High blood pressure

Taking control of breathing reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. A successful non-medication treatment for moderate hypertension may involve breathing regulation using biofeedback.

d. Motion sickness

Controlling diaphragmatic breathing with a virtual reality headset can lessen the effects of motion sickness.

e. The side effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy occasionally results in heart rate and blood pressure fluctuations, decreased muscle endurance, and nerve pain. Biofeedback may help chemotherapy patients control some of these symptoms.

4. Genitourinary System Disorder

Using biofeedback can help lessen symptoms associated with bladder or bowel control issues. The use of biofeedback devices may improve the following conditions:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence
  • Chronic constipation

Benefits of biofeedback

Biofeedback is a highly effective tool for managing stress and consequently improving a variety of physical, emotional, or mental problems. Compared to other forms of therapy, it offers many advantages. They include the following:

i. Biofeedback does not depend on medication

You do not need to take any medicine in order to receive biofeedback therapy. This implies that it can be used safely together with other conventional or alternative therapies. It might be a good alternative for those who cannot or do not want to take medication.

ii. Biofeedback does not have side effects

Biofeedback is safe and devoid of any negative side effects. This makes it a fantastic option with no risk for people of all ages.

iii. It is non-invasive

Biofeedback may be the solution when alternative therapies fail, or patients cannot take a certain medication. Patients may choose biofeedback because it is non-invasive than other therapies, which could be intrusive or disruptive.

You can go on with the application of external sensors on various parts of the body, which is safe and painless.

iv. Biofeedback can be used for many health and well-being issues

Since biofeedback offers a variety of approaches and procedures, it can be used to meet your unique goals and requirements.

For instance, it is an effective technique for treating ADHD, enhancing athletic performance, easing chronic pain, and many other conditions.

v. It helps you to control your emotions

With biofeedback, people have this feeling of being in control, and they are able to manage any stress they encounter in their daily lives. It shows people how to control their own responses in stressful situations.


This blog post makes us understand the various biofeedback devices, their types, uses, etc. With these devices, people can manage their emotions and learn new coping mechanisms for anxiety.

Asking your primary care physician for a recommendation to a reputable practitioner is a good place to start if you think you need biofeedback therapy. The technique can give you increases control over your bodily reactions and behaviors.

Uchechukwu Ufoh Kyrian

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