Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that uses Electroencephalogram also known as EEG to measure an individual’s electrical brain activity known as brain waves. Neurofeedback provides information to the trainee about the brain's rhythm and functioning in real-time as it is happening. When the brain is in the desired state/brainwave, feedback is given to the client as a reward using sounds, visuals, or vibrations. These frequencies are attributed to behaviors and levels of consciousness. Learning to create more or less of specific bandwidth would have an impact on an individual's quality of life.
What is Neurofeedback ?
Neurofeedback is Safe and Non-invasive
Yes! Neurofeedback is FDA approved, non-invasive and drug-free. While connected to the neurofeedback system, the electrodes attached the individuals scalp only reads and measures the current brainwave activitiy. The feedback will be displayed to the indivual in the form of sounds, visual graphics or tactile vibrations. The brain seeks more of that stimulation and gradually changes its activity, providing the opportunity for change and growth. Neurofeedback promotes efficiency in using the brain's own energy resources and promotes self-awareness.
How Can Neurofeedback Help?
The goal of Neurofeedback is to promote awareness that leads to functional changes. Neurofeedback trainees learn to self-regulate their own specific cerebral function. Neurofeedback can improve areas related to attention, cognitive abilities, and emotional regulation. Neurofeedback avoids addressing the issue by the label. Neurofeedback uses QEEG Brain Mapping to identify dysregulation in the brain. Dysregulation in the brain displays itself in the form of symptoms. Neurofeedback aims to reduce or eliminate a number of symptoms anxiety, depression, distractibility, emotional distress, brain fog, cognitive decline, sleep issues and much more.
Does Neurofeedback cure symptoms or conditions?
In the case of organic brain disorders, it is just a matter of getting the brain to function better rather than curing the condition. In the case of disregulation there really is no disease to be cured. Where disregulation is the primary issue, self-regulation is likely the remedy. But the term cure again would not apply.
What is a neurofeedback session like?
There are several variations, but a typical session begins with sensors placed on your head to measure your brainwaves (nothing goes into your head). Then you play a simple video game or watch a movie. When the brain creates an optimal rhythm, the game or movie plays normally. If the brain falls out of the desired pattern, the game or movie slows or stops until the brain returns to the more efficient pattern. The end result is that, with repetition, the brain goes more and more often into the desired pattern until this becomes a habit.
What if I'm on medication?
Psychiatric medications affect the brainwaves and the brain's ability to make intentional changes because they constrain the brain to behave in particular ways. Because neurofeedback involves changing the brainwaves through learning, medication which makes the brain behave in a certain way can affect the learning that takes place with neurofeedback training. As neurofeedback proceeds and learning changes the brain, the effect of the medication also changes. A more normally functioning brain does not have the same requirements as a less normally functioning brain. A common patient scenario is that they begin neurofeedback with their medications as prescribed. As their neurofeedback training proceeds, they feel and function better, but then (because their brain has changed) they start to have negative symptoms secondary to overmedication effects. If they are working with a psychiatrist who understands how neurofeedback works to affect learning in the brainwaves, medication dosages are reduced or changed to accommodate new and improved function. If not, they may be given increased dosages to deal with negative symptoms, which further decreases learning and works against neurofeedback training. Before beginning neurofeedback training, it is very important that you talk with your psychiatrist and discuss with her or him a plan for dealing with brain changes during neurofeedback training with appropriate and informed medication changes.