“EEG Biofeedback therapy should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used.” Frank Dully, MD Neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor at Harvard Medical School.
The simplest analogy that has been used is that Neurofeedback is like learning to ride a bike. Our brains learn best from direct experience and conditioning, that is what training with neurofeedback is like. As we learn to ride a bike, gravity gives “feedback“ to our brain. In a similar way, Neurofeedback, via complex hardware and software, gives the brain a way to see itself in action. The brain then learns to stay in a more efficient and effective pattern.
Neurofeedback has been found to be a successful treatment for a number of today’s disorders with the brain such as seizures, attention, Traumatic Brain Injury, learning, migraines, autism spectrum symptomology, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Neurofeedback trains the brain to self-regulate, the second core step in my brain fitness optimization model. It has become increasingly popular as a complementary medicine option because it reduces symptoms in a variety of medical and psychological conditions in a safe and drug-free manner.
Neurofeedback has its foundations in based and applied neuroscience as well as data-based clinical practice. It is a method that encourages self-regulation through operant conditioning.
I have come to find Neurofeedback to be a great relaxation-response training system, combined with a coaching/counseling model, my clients have found it to be transformative, particularly for concerns with anxiety, insomnia, and overall mood regulation.
Just as the body needs to stretch and recover after a full physical workout, as does our brain need intentional and deliberate time to recover and regnerate, Neurofeedback provides such a process to take place. In general Neurofeedback is recommended for my clients with concerns around stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, gut issues, and some forms of attention or performance concerns.
Sensors are placed on the scalp in areas determined by the experienced and licensed clinician on our team, guided by the QEEG and CNS-VS results as well as clinical history interview. These sensors capture, measure, and display the brainwaves in real-time that are occurring in that area. The machinery then converts the brain’s performance into visual and auditory signals that the individual can understand.
As certain healthier brain states are rewarded, reinforced and conditioned, the brain tends to stay in that state, generalizing and transfering to real-life improvements of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-mastery. A very simple way I describe this idea to young children is to think about how we train a puppy when we first get them home. We tell the puppy “good puppy“ when it does the behavior we want it to learn, through repeated positive reinforcement, the puppy begins to do these behaviors regularly and automatically, a new habit has been hardwired.
Most clients complete a round of 25 training sessions, ideally 3-5 per week over a 6-8 week period. Each session is one hour with 40 minutes of actual training time. For more research and information, visit the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research, www.isnr.org.