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Health Tip: Biofeedback

An example of how it's used

(HealthDayNews) -- The word "biofeedback" was coined in the late 1960s to describe training people to alter brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and other bodily functions that normally are not controlled voluntarily.

Modern biofeedback techniques can help some people control an ever-growing list of conditions including migraine and tension headaches, chronic pain, and high blood pressure, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback says.

One commonly used device, for example, picks up electrical signals from the muscles and translates the signals into flashes of light when muscles become tense. In time, the group says, this device can help relax tense muscles by focusing the mind on slowing the flashes of light.

After a while, the group says, biofeedback users should be able to control tense muscles this way without being attached to the sensor.

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