This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
During biofeedback, the therapist uses electronic equipment to help you understand how your body responds physiologically to various situations--to stress, pain, or other conditions. The therapist will also teach you relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation, to provide a way to actively control these bodily responses.
While biofeedback is known to be quite effective for stress, it differs from other stress-reduction techniques in that it focuses on a particular stress response--tension in the neck and shoulders, for example, or variations in breathing patterns--rather than on relaxing the whole body. With help from the therapist, you learn to control the actions of your nervous system during and after times of stress.
The therapy has also shown promise for ailments such as diabetes and incontinence that may not be stress related. For such conditions you might be taught to increase blood circulation to a specific part of your body or to control a very particular muscle group.