What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the person. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure.
Neurofeedback is also referred to as EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy. The electroencephalogram (EEG) is another name for the brain wave recordings and, in this context, it refers to the process by which you learn to change your brainwaves and hence change your control of brain states (self-regulation).
Neurofeedback is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. It addresses problems of brain disregulation. These happen to be numerous. They include the anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s, and TBI.
Neurofeedback training improves attention, cognitive abilities, and emotional regulation. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. Good self-regulation is necessary for optimal brain function. Self-regulation training enhances the function of the central nervous system and thereby improves mental performance, emotional control, and physiological stability.
Who can benefit from Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is used to treat individuals of all ages, from kids to seniors. Neurofeedback meets the American Psychological Association’s definition of an evidence based intervention for many issues. Typical CNS symptoms that are commonly reported as clinically responsive to neurofeedback:
- Attention Problems
- Conduct Disorders
- Oppositional Behavior
- Behavior Disorders
- Depression, Mood Regulation
- Affect Regulation Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Panic Attacks
- Insomnia, Frequent Waking
- Restless Leg
- Chronic Pain
- Learning Disabilities
- Pervasive Development Disorders
- Asperger’s Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive, Rumination
- TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Peak Performance
- Anger, Rage
- Substance Abuse
How is Neurofeedback done?
Sensors are attached to the scalp with EEG paste to record your brainwaves. It is painless and does not involve the application of any voltage or current to your brain, so it is entirely non-invasive. A computer processes the brain waves and extracts certain information from them. The ebb and flow of your brainwaves and the specific information obtained from them, are shown back to you in the form of a video game. You are instructed how to play the video game using only your brainwaves (Everyone can do it.) The specific brain wave frequencies we reinforce and the sensor locations on the scalp are unique to each individual.
How many sessions are needed?
How many times do you need to go to the gym before you get in shape? The answer is different for everyone. It could be 10 or it could be 40 visits. But you’ll know quickly whether neurofeedback is working for you.
How soon will I notice changes?
You will probably notice progress towards your goals within a few sessions. With continued training, these changes will expand to new areas of functioning and become more apparent and more lasting. We will set goals together, and monitor your progress toward them during your treatment.
What happens if I am taking medications?
With successful neurofeedback training, medications targeting brain function may no longer be needed, or they may be needed at lower dosages, as the brain takes over the role of regulating itself. It is important for clients to communicate with their prescribing physician regarding neurofeedback and medications.