Biofeedback is the process of receiving feedback about the condition of your body, often through the use of machines.
Often, heart rate monitors or blood pressure monitors are hooked to computers so that live readouts can show what is happening with a person’s body.
For example, a person can be seated and hooked up to a biofeedback machine and asked to keep his or her heart rate under 70. If the rate goes above 70, a light may go on, and the person would have to try to relax enough to get the rate back below 70. Some therapists may then have patients think of their obsessions while trying to keep their heart rate down, showing them that they can remain calm even in the face of their obsessions.
Biofeedback has been shown to be excellent for pain management, especially headaches. Individuals can be trained to raise the temperature in their hands just by thinking about their hands getting warm, therefore drawing blood out of their head and into their hands, which leads to a decrease in pressure in the head.
Although biofeedback is a good therapy for pain and general stress management, this treatment modality is not recommended for OCD because OCD is more cognitively based (obsessions) than physically based. Plus, research shows that ERP is a far more effective treatment for OCD than biofeedback.