Blood pressure biofeedback is based on binary method of feedback. Binary method provides information based on ‘yes/no’ criterion, that is, whether or not the physiological response changed sufficiently to meet a pre-established criterion.
In blood pressure biofeedback there is a provision for providing information on beat-by-beat basis by binary feedback. This is because the blood pressure has to be normalized between particular ranges. Thus the binary system allows sustaining the blood pressure within the desired range. New technological advances have led to an indirect method of providing blood pressure feedback, known as pulse wave velocity or pulse transit time biofeedback. This procedure does not require the use of blood pressure cuff. This system works with the help of relaxation techniques like autogenic relaxation, progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) and deep breathing
. First, the patient is trained in any one of the relaxation techniques to be incorporated in the sessions. Blood pressure of the patient is noted down during the session. Then, with the help of instructions, the patient is relaxed via any of the above mentioned methods.
The binary system provides feedback to the patient to relax further. After reaching the desired criterion the patient is asked to normalize the breathing. Blood Pressure biofeedback is found to be useful for lowering the blood pressures of essential hypertensive people.
When biofeedback has been combined with regular home practice of relaxation, clinically significant reductions of blood pressure have been reported. Treatment usually requires 8 to 20 sessions.