Providers: Why Refer to Biofeedback?

As with many aspects of rehabilitation or mental health practices, patients benefit from collaborative care. The right team can make a difference to patient outcomes and health care costs. Though there are more and more medical professionals obtaining certification in biofeedback, many still enjoy the freedom to focus on their strengths and refer to biofeedback practitioners. Biofeedback providers are trained in psychophysiological assessments and treatment (such as EMG, HRV, or EEG) and can collaborate with you, providing valuable care for your patient’s health.

Consulting with a board certified biofeedback provider helps ensure that patient’s receive the highest quality care to integrate in their health management options.

The type of biofeedback and its providers are specific to the presenting problems. Learning when and how to refer to the right source is vital to offering the best possible care for your patients.


    • Treatment efficacy for biofeedback and neurofeedback based interventions is strongly supported by research, including randomized controlled trials. In many cases, efficacy is equally as strong as medications, psychotherapeutic care and/or counseling.
    • Since the 1980s, biofeedback and neurofeedback have had a long history as an evidence-based practice.
    • Psychophysiological assessments not only help guide treatment protocols, but can also help strengthen alliance with patients, particularly those with challenging psychophysiological disorders (such as tension headaches or functional gastrointestinal disorders).
    • Support for each major biofeedback-based intervention can be viewed HERE.
    • Biofeedback outcomes are long-lasting with the strongest Risk:Benefit ratio for many disorders.
    • There are no published side-effects.
    • By learning to recognize and train maladaptive physiological patterns, patients are better able to maintain proper homeostatic states. They will become better patients!

    If you are new to what biofeedback is, our introductory videos on psychophysiology and biofeedback can help you get a better sense of how this might best augment your patient’s care. You can also read about the different specialty areas within biofeedback here:

    Two overview videos of BIOFEEDBACK / NEUROFEEDBACK: What is biofeedback and what is it used for?


    Health care practitioners may refer patients to a biofeedback provider for:

    EEG – Neurofeedback | ADD/ADHD and other learning disorders | Seizure Disorders | Depression | Anxiety | Substance abuse | Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback | Hypertension | Non-Cardiac chest pain |Asthma | FGIDs | Headaches (migraine, tension, and cluster) | Electromyography Biofeedback | Physical rehabilitation | Chronic pain | Neuromuscular reeducation after stroke or injury

    **Note: for a more comprehensive list on the evidence for varying disorders, visit HERE.

    When biofeedback is not the first line of treatment, it is still important to know where behavioral treatments may be the best or complementary fit:

    • Patient prefers a non-drug approach
    • Drug treatment cannot be tolerated or is medically contraindicated
    • Response to drug treatment is absent or minimal
    • Patient is pregnant, has plans to become pregnant, or is nursing
    • History of frequent or excessive use of analgesic or other acute medications
    • Significant life stress or deficient stress-coping skill
    • Indication of autonomic, encephalographic, or electromyographic dysregulation


    HERE is a list of agencies that can provide you with the right referral.

    If you are looking to add biofeedback providers at your practice, contact AAPB to list job postings to its members across the country. Biofeedback providers will collaborate with you and your patient to help maintain one treatment plan.

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