How do I get started with the process?
Before neurofeedback training begins, the therapist will ask the client for a thorough description of his or her symptoms, health history and family history in order to determine the best training approach. In most instances, clients will train once or twice a week. Training sessions may be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes long. It is not unusual to see improvement within the first three sessions. Neurofeedback is a learning process. Once this learning is consolidated, its benefits are most often long-lasting and enduring.
The training is a painless, non-invasive procedure. Small sensors are placed one behind each ear and one behind the neck, using conductive paste. The brain waves are monitored by an amplifier and a computer-based instrument that processes the signal and provides the proper feedback.
A growing number of studies and clinical reports have shown that neurofeedback training may be helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with a wide range of cognitive disorders, brain injuries and negative affective states.
Neurofeedback has been shown to be an effective tool for:
• Memory Enhancement
• Peak Performance
• Stress Reduction
Conditions for which studies and/or published clinical data indicate the efficacy or possible efficacy of neurofeedback:
• Anxiety Disorders
• Autistic Spectrum Disorders
• Seizure Disorders
• Substance Abuse
• Traumatic Brain Injury
Conditions for which there are published clinical reports of the efficacy of neurofeedback:
• Attachment Disorders
• Developmental Trauma
• Learning Disorders
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
• Sleep problems
Conditions for which the use of neurofeedback appears to be promising and further study is indicated:
• Borderline Personality Disorder
• Conduct Disorders
• Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
• Sleep Disorders
• Tourette’s Syndrome
Neurofeedback training should only take place under the supervision of a properly trained professional.
Can a successful outcome be predicted?
It is not possible to predict with certainty that training will be successful for a particular individual. The effectiveness of the training, however, can usually be assessed early on in the course of training. Adverse effects are rare and when they do occur they can be reversed. This is the principle of brain plasticity on which all of neurofeedback relies.
Why does neurofeedback work?
The brain is amazingly adaptable or “plastic” and capable of learning. It can learn to improve its own performance, when it is given cues –feedback about what to change. By making information available to the brain about how it is functioning, and asking it to make adjustments, it can do so. When the brain is doing a good job of regulating itself, the person will be calm, alert and attentive. Each session challenges the trainee to maintain this “high-performance” state. Gradually, the brain learns, just like it learns everything else. And as with other learning, the brain tends to retain what it knows.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Neurofeedback is a learning process for our brainwaves. It takes time for neuronal connections to rewire. It is difficult to predict how many IASIS MicroCurrent Neurofeedback sessions will be required, as results are seen gradually over time.
Our experience with MCN is significant: over 85% of clients begin to observe a noticeable positive response in 1-3 sessions. For example, more than 85% of mild/moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) report noticing a reduction in head pain, brain fog, impulsivity and and better sleep during the first few sessions. The same is also true for anxiety and PTSD. Reported changes are generally enduring and sustainable.
Some clients even notice helpful changes during the initial session. Early changes may be temporary, and due to the cumulative nature of MCN, are observed to last longer with each training. By the end of a series of un-training sessions, improvements may be substantial. While some patients require “tune-ups,” for the most part the benefits endure. This is the result of the brain regaining healthier neurochemical balance, and developing more neuroplasticity and a natural resistance to returning to a dysfunctional state. The number of sessions depends on the individual, their condition and acuity.
How frequent should training sessions be?
In the initial stages, the sessions should be regular, optimally two times a week. Think of learning to play an instrument, or starting to work out in a gym. In order to get in shape you’ll want to go regularly especially at the beginning and at least until you form the habit. After the brain begins to consolidate its new learning, sessions can be less frequent. There is no way to anticipate how many sessions an individual will need.
Does it matter what type of neurofeedback equipment is being used?
Yes, definitely. Not all systems are created equal. When researching neurofeedback practitioners, it’s important to ask what type of neurofeedback someone does, and the name of the system they use. The best practitioners are always updating their systems. Latest research is directly applied to better software and more effective system protocols.
I take great pride in owning and being a certified practitioner of two of the best systems available: Cygnet/ InfraLow & Iasis Microcurrent.
My doctor is skeptical about neurofeedback. What should I do?
Your doctor may not know about neurofeedback. He or she should maintain a healthy skepticism about any new approach claiming these kinds of benefits across disorders. Ask your doctor to examine the recent research on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in treating various disorders such as attention deficit disorder, PTSD and epilepsy. It is available.