From old-school heart
monitors to real-time
fMRI, biofeedback offers a
range of tools of interest to
By Kirsten Weir
In 2016, we have watches that count each step we take, phone applications that ally each calorie swallowed and burned,
“smartshirts” that measure our heart rate
and respiration. We are living in an era of
personal data tracking — yet many experts
say we’re missing a huge opportunity to use
our body’s data to change our physiological
activity for the better.
Biofeedback is hardly new; its therapeutic
use dates back nearly 50 years. Yet the
technique is easier than ever, says Paul Lehrer,
PhD, a psychologist at Rutgers-Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School.
“People used to think biofeedback was this
esoteric procedure that required complicated
equipment and a lot of money,” he says.
“Nowadays, I have a [biofeedback] device on
my phone that cost me five bucks.”