Applied psychophysiology: beyond the boundaries of biofeedback (mending a wall, a brief history of our field, and applications to control of the muscles and cardiorespiratory systems)

Author: Lehrer P
Department of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 671 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.
Conference/Journal: Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: 28 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 291-304 , Word Count: 120

The field of applied psychophysiology overlaps a number of others, from behavioral and psychosomatic medicine to Eastern disciplines and complementary medicine. Although the proliferation of societies and professional identities across these fields emphasizes this diversity, it also may hinder growth. The history of our field is one of innovation, often at odds with conventional wisdom and practice. It is important that this innovativeness not be sacrificed in a justified quest for professional respectability. This paper reviews the earliest research in biofeedback and applied psychophysiology, and modern applications and interpretations in the areas of muscular and autonomic control, including progressive relaxation and heart rate variability biofeedback, and draws parallels to disciplines of Yoga, QiGong, and Zen practices and their psychophysiological effects.