Biofeedback is a non-invasive technique allowing to gain awareness of many physiological functions of one's body with a goal to control them. Connected devices give information on multiple parameters, such as heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin conductance, body temperature or brain waves. These information are then converted into auditory or visual signals to help one indvidual to learn how to modulate its reactions.
Biofeedback has been shown effective in reducing stress reactions. Particularly, the heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback training appeared to be beneficial for people suffering from anxiety and stress. HRV is a measure of the time between each heartbeat, with low HRV being associated with greater susceptibility to stress. The HRV biofeedback training thus consists in deep breathing exercises to help one individual to self-regulate and better cope with stressful situations.
During a biofeedback session, sensors are connected to specific areas of the body and linked to a measurement device that will provide feedback on the physical responses. The therapist will guide the patient through different mental exercises (vizualisation, meditation, breathing or relaxation techniques). The patient will receive feedback on the physical response as performing these activities.