It is good to question. It is even better to seek answers based on sound reasoning, evidence, and direct experience. This holds true whether you are drawn to Western or to Eastern medicine and philosophy.
Biofeedback treatments require active, intelligent participation in the process, and this is supported by a clear understanding of the theory behind it and the evidence for it working. Recognizing this need, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) has compiled statistics from hundreds of studies that tested the effectiveness of biofeedback for a wide range of disorders. They applied meta-analysis review techniques in line with the best principles of evidence-based medical practices. These are the standards that are adopted by the National Institutes of Health and that are the gold standard for determining efficacy. Further, the beneficial effects of mindfulness training have been shown in hundreds of studies. Contemplative Biofeedback™ combines these two powerful modalities into a single, comprehensive training program.
Science is conservative by nature. Good science makes only the most careful and qualified claims. Non-scientists are often disappointed by their overly careful wording and hesitance to present things in black-and-white certainties. While the following levels of evidence (including probably and possibly) reflect this conservativeness, these rankings actually represent some of the strongest scientific proofs in modern integrative and mind-body medicine today.
These levels of evidence are derived from Yucha and Gilbert’s 2004 review of efficacy ratings for most of the disorders biofeedback is used to treat. See References for more.
This is highest level of proof, called efficacious and specific:
This is the middle level of proof, called probably efficacious.
This is the minimal level of proof, called possibly efficacious.
CBT is the gold standard therapy of Western psychology. Research comparing outcomes between CBT and biofeedback, for many conditions, has shown biofeedback to be equally effective.
Mindfulness training “yielded greater reductions than did CBT-P… in daily pain-related catastrophizing, morning disability, and fatigue and greater reductions in daily stress-related anxious affect…. Conclusions: [mindfulness] produces the broadest improvements in daily pain and stress reactivity relative to CBT.”
Stress and anxiety have been treated with mindfulness training. “There were no significant differences between the [mindfulness] and standard care…” in a study of patients with “mild to moderate depressive, anxiety, and adjustment disorders.” The more mindfulness practice, the better the results: “The [mindfulness] treatment response was dose dependent… The equivalence between the [mindfulness] and standard [CBT] persisted.” (https://goamra.org)