General Biofeedback

General biofeedback can be used as a primary treatment by itself, or as an adjunct to EEG biofeedback, or adjunct to some other medical treatments. The broad treatment strategy is the same as for EEG biofeedback: Sensors/ electrodes are applied to different parts of the body, including the head, if required, to capture aspects of the biological events in various body systems. The following are examples of some of the forms of general biofeedback:

Physiological ProcessExplanatory NoteBiofeedback Device
Heart-rate PulseWe normally feel we have no control over what our heart does. For example, when we are afraid or stressed for any reason, it beats faster. The electrical activities of our hearts normally proceed without our awareness or control.ECG sensor
Blood Volume PulseOur blood vessels dilate and constrict in response to changes in the environment such as heat or physical exertion. The same dilation and constriction of blood vessels also takes in response to emotional states like fear, anger, and excitement. Biofeedback devices can detect in real-time blood volume changes.Plethysmograph
Temperature (Thermal Biofeedback),This is related to blood volume just described above. Blood is warm. Fear or panic for example, reduces blood volume in the vessels of the skin. Reduced blood = reduced peripheral body heat.Finger thermometers
Muscle tension/ relaxationVoluntary muscle activity, such as lifting a ball, is not normally a direct target for biofeedback. However, muscle action such as the tensing of our face and jaw muscles when angry or trembling in fear, occur involuntarily. These are the result of sympathetic nervous system activation of involuntary smooth muscles. Even in the performance of voluntary actions, such as lifting a weight, we are not normally aware of, or consciously in control of, the electrical activity at the microscopic level in the muscle, the single motor neuron.EMG sensors
SweatingWhen we are in an intense emotional state, we do not decide to sweat. It just happens. This type of sweating is not the same as sweating during physical exertion, which takes place in order to cool the muscles and the body. "Breaking out in a cold sweat" like this is amenable to assessment and modification by the use of biofeedback devices.Skin conductance sensors
Breathing (Respiratory Biofeedback)Emotional states and behavioural disorders like anxiety and depression are associated with several features of abnormal breathing: Breath-holding, breathing too fast, or a greater tendency to   thoracic (chest) breathing, instead of relaxed slow abdominal breathing. Breathing is one of the most accessible biological process for voluntary control using biofeedback.Respiratory strain gauges.