Biofeedback is a technique that measures bodily functions such as heart rate, respiration,skin temperature, sweat gland activity and muscle contractions then feeds this information back to the client to help increase awareness of involuntary body responses and learn to consciously self-regulate. This can help you gain a level of relaxed awareness amidst chronic or acute stress.
This information is displayed to the client so that the client may learn to manage and control the physiological systems responsible for changes in these measures. Learning to voluntarily warm the hands and fingers as well as the feet and toes can be with peripheral skin temperature training. General muscle relaxation can be accomplished using training. The coordination and regulation of the heart rate variability pattern can be accomplished through the simultaneous training of heart rate and respiration (HRV-Training). Reductions in stress responsiveness can be accomplished through GSR training. Finally brain regulation has been shown to be accessible through the use of EEG feedback techniques.
All of these approaches are members of the biofeedback family of interventions. The specific type of biofeedback intervention is chosen specifically for the client based upon a thorough and in-depth analysis, called Stress-Profile helping the client to identify his own unique stress-response. By being aware of what happens internally the client will learn new skills to shift unhealthy patterns and break old habits. Clients with dysregulated respiration and heart rate variability patterns may benefit from heart rate variability training sessions. An individual with consistently cold extremities may benefit from peripheral temperature training, which is directly associated with the activity of the autonomic nervous system as is the galvanic skin response. Both of these measures can be trained either together or separately to facilitate better control over stress responsiveness.
Finally improvements in memory, concentration, focus, general calming and sleep can be facilitated through the use of neurofeedback (EEG-Biofedback training).