Patients learn to control their physiological processes during the Biofeedback treatment: these processes are normally unconscious but become observable and thus open to the individual’s willing influence through the feedback (e.g. using a computer).

Stress, anxieties, strains and pains – to name but a few - are living conditions that have an effect on physiological processes. Usually, the patient is unaware of the physiological consequences of stress (e.g. muscle tensions, heart complaints, changes in blood flow). Technical devices are used to measure these changes and provide an acoustic feedback and/or a visual feedback on the computer screen indicating the intensity of these signals.

The Biofeedback treatment aims at observing and influencing physiological processes which may sustain psychic, psycho-somatic and physiological diseases. For example barley anyone is consciously aware or able to estimate the level of his or her blood pressure. For persons suffering from hypertension it is essential they lower their blood pressure and avoid blood pressure peaks. During Biofeedback training the blood pressure level is measured and continuously presented on the screen. This enables the patient to recognize whether the blood pressure is increasing or decreasing and when. It helps the patient to learn – for example by using relaxation techniques – to lower the blood pressure. The direct feedback on the screen makes the effects of the employed psychological strategy observable and additionally indicates which one is the most successful for lowering blood pressure level.

One of the most striking findings in Biofeedback research was that autonomously innervated physiological processes aren’t that autonomous but rather modifiable through learning processes. Heart rate, activity of sweat glands, constriction/dilatation of arteries, autonomously innervated muscles and even brain waves – to name but a few examples - can be influenced by using Biofeedback. This was proved in numerous scientific studies. Following this line of thought fascinating opportunities present themselves: Biofeedback potentially facilitates a modification of precisely those physiological processes that are responsible for certain diseases leaving the rest of the body unaffected. On the contrary, medication generally has effects on the whole body, not only on the disorder to be treated. The advantage of Biofeedback can be seen in its goal-directedness without causing adverse effects.