Types of biofeedback

Are you ready to get into tongue twister mode? Certain types of biofeedback have very long names indeed. By the time you have read this page not only will you know about the types of feedback available but you will also have some great words to use in scrabble too!

Page Content
  1. Electromyogram (EMG)
  2. Galvanic skin response (GSR)
  3. Electroencephalography (EEG)
  4. Photoplethysmograph(PPG)
  5. Capnometer
  6. Pneumograph
  7. Hemoencephalography(HEG)

Electromyogram (EMG)


EMG is a biofeedback technique employed to control and relax muscle tension. Muscle tension can cause neck pain, migraine, backaches, cluster headaches and incontinence.

An EMG uses electrodes to measure uses electrodes so that it can draw your attention to muscle tension.

By using the EMG readings, you teach yourself to control muscle tension. An EMG is used in the muscle rehabilitation process, like paralysis, which has resulted from a stroke, incomplete spinal cord lesions, or Cerebral palsy.

Feedback thermometer


This technique can help in treat some circulatory disorders like Raynauds disease.

Furthermore, it can help reduce the severity and frequency of migraines.

Sensors are attached on to your feet and fingers so that it can measure the temperature of the skin. Temperature usually drops when under stress. So upon seeing this reading the next step is to calm down and relax.

Electroencephalography (EEG)


(EEG) records electrical activity along your scalp. This produced by firing neurons in the brain. It records all over your brains electrical activity in a short time period.

This is usually twenty to twenty five minutes. All the activity is recorded by placing multiple electrodes on your scalp. EEG is used to monitor for epileptic activity.

Epileptic activity creates clear irregularities on a typical EEG study. EEG is also used in the analysis of encephalopathies and coma patients.

In the past, it was used for the diagnosis of stroke and tumors as well as additional brain disorders. This has now decreased because of techniques like CT and MRI.

Galvanic skin response (GSR)


GSR is also known as psychogalvanic reflex (PGR), skin conductance response (SCR) and electrodermal response (EDR). GSR is a way of measuring the skin.

GSR is practiced by joining two leads to your skin and getting a base measure. Recordings are done by attaching two leads to the skin, and acquiring a base measure.

As the activity is performed the recordings come from the leads. GSR can be performed in two ways. Active and passive. In active GSR the current goes through your body and the resistance is analyzed. In passive GSR the current is generated by the body and measured.

GSR is becoming commonplace in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy practice.

It is used as a way of detecting hypnotic trance before the suggestion therapy commences. In behavior therapy, it is used to measure your physiological reactions, like fear for example.



PPGs, are employed to gauge peripheral blood flow, heart rate variability(HRV) and heart rate. PPGs measure the HRV by measuring the distances between the heartbeats. Additionally PPGs are helpful for some forms of cardiac arrhythmias.



Capnometer biofeedback is helpful for hyperventilation syndrome treatment. The capnometer measures end tidal carbon dioxide with a infrared detector. When hyperventilation occurs end-tidal lowers to 2.5%. Biofeedback training that uses a capnometer looks to normalize end tidal CO2 at 5%.



A pneumograph is employed together with a PPG for HRV training. A pneumograph measures chest/abdominal movement typically with a strain gauge. It is used to sense breathing rate as well as ineffective patterns like reverse breathing, thoracic breathing and apnea.



HEG feedback is a technique that uses functional infrared imaging which indirectly measures the neural activity in your brain.

The two forms of HEG. Near infrared and passive infrared. Passive infrared assesses the disparities in the color of light, which is mirrored back through your scalp, based on based on the unoxygenated and oxygenated blood in your brain.

Passive infrared assesses the quantity of heat which is radiated by your scalp at different locations of interest.

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