Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Biofeedback
Biofeedback training is done in specialized labs. During the session, the therapist applies electrical sensors on different areas of the patient's body, such as the abdomen, head or other body parts, and will be hooked to the biofeedback machine. These sensors monitors body functions such as heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. The information is fed back to the patient as cues, such as a beeping sound or a flashing light. The therapist gives instruction on different ways, both mental and physical, to help control the body's physiological reactions.
A biofeedback session can last for 30 to 60 minutes. The length and number of sessions will depend on your condition and how quickly you learn to control your body's responses. After weeks of practice, the biofeedback machines are no longer needed, and you can practice the techniques on your own.
Effect of Biofeedback on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Probably the most common use of biofeedback is to treat stress and stress-related conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, migraine headaches, and tension headaches.
Research Evidence on Biofeedback
One study showed that alpha, theta and alpha-theta enhancements are effective treatments of the anxiety disorders.12
Side Effects and Warnings
There are no known safety risks with biofeedback.
- Moore NC. A review of EEG biofeedback treatment of anxiety disorders. Clin Electroencephalogr. 2000;31:1-6.