What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback is a process by which brain waves are projected onto an EEG computer screen and prompts are send back to the brain helping it to recalibrate. Over the course of neurofeedback training sessions – neuronal networks or patterns are rewired, creating more efficient patterns ultimately guiding the brain away from a dysregulated state. When our brain and body operates more efficiently it naturally calms and we experiencing an internal quieting. Cognitive flexibility, creativity, athletic control and inner awareness can be improved. Many patients are able to reduce or even discontinue taking medication with professional guidance.
A non-invasive therapeutic approach to treating a variety of illnesses affecting the brain and nervous system, neurofeedback has been in use for over 30 years and is backed by ever-growing research. It is routinely recommended by medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists.
How does neurofeedback work?
Dysregulation of some kind is the root cause of many emotional, psychological, neurological and cognitive problems. Neurofeedback interrupts dysregulation and helps the brain to recalibrate by encouraging neuronal networks to rewire, creating new, more efficient networks. The brain moves toward self-regulation and learns to go to a place of least resistance. Giving the individual the ability to be more resilient, responsive and grounded, this improves cognitive function, attention, mood, anxiety and behavior.
Brain chemistry is also affected in ways that are still not fully understood. However, there is strong evidence neurofeedback promotes production of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers upon which our neurons rely to send information throughout our brain and nervous system.
Neurofeedback is like a gym for the brain to practice and perfect self-regulation. For example, if one having trouble relaxing, sleeping or concentrating one can teach the brain to manage these states more efficiently. This occurs by allowing the brain to engage with information about itself by way of the brain wave feedback. These changes are possible because of neuroplasticity, the brains innate ability to adapt and change.
What results are expected?
Over 85% of clients who are treated are by their own assessment meaningfully helped. For example, > 85% of those with mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) respond positively and notice a reduction in head pain, brain fog, impulsivity and better sleep during the first few sessions. The same is true for anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The normalizing changes associated with neurotherapy have been shown in preliminary studies to be clearly evident on sophisticated brain mapping techniques such as fMRI.
Many individuals report feeling a mood or condition shift within 24 hours of a session. Family and friends may also notice the shift. Initial changes are often temporary, but due to the cumulative nature of neurofeedback, the improvements last longer with each session.
By the end of a series of sessions, improvements are substantial and long lasting. While some individuals require “tune-ups,” the benefits endure. It seems that the brain regains a healthier homeostasis, balancing its neurochemicals, and its lifelong ability to adapt and learn (i.e. neuroplasticity). In so doing, a natural resistance is built up from returning to a dysfunctional state.
The number of sessions needed to achieve sustained, optimal brain function differs for each individual, depending upon their condition and acuity. There is data on patients for over 10 years after neurofeedback treatment showing that their improved condition is sustaining.
What are some of the possible responses to a session?
The most commonly reported responses are mental clarity, a sense of calm and better sleep. Also observed consistently, is the return of energy during the day, improved sense of humor, motivation to get things done, ease in completing tasks, enhanced memory and recall, ability to read and listen with little or no distraction, and the absence of depression, irritability, impatience, and explosiveness. Individuals with head injuries and/or psychological trauma have reported regaining their ability to function in work and in their personal lives.
InfraLow Frequency (ILF) Neurofeedback
I trained with the internationally acclaimed EEG Institute in the Othmer Method. In use for 10 years with over 300,000 clients served and backed by numerous studies, this type of neurofeedback is exhibiting especially beneficial for results for ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression and many other mental health conditions.