What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a form of Biofeedback and can also be called EEG Biofeedback because it measures brain activity, the output of which is called the electroenchephalogram (or EEG). It is essentially a “brain exercise” that helps the brain return to proper functioning or “regulation.”
What does Neurofeedback do?
Neurofeedback teaches the brain to self-regulate. Regulation means that a brain’s patterns are within normal range, a range that is optimal for the central nervous system to function. Dysregulation of brain patterns, which can be caused by any number of factors like stress that is chronic and unresolved, trauma, chemical exposure or exposure to certain drugs, creates an imbalance in the brain and central nervous system.
Neurofeedback teaches the brain to regulate itself without the need for medication or additional therapy. In turn, the Central Nervous System (CNS) functions better.
By using sound and or visual signals, the brain is rewarded when it produces the brainwave patterns that are desired (a reward could be the playing of a pleasant sound or a movie becomes easier to see). And then it continues to produce these same, desirable, patterns.
The most exciting part of neurofeedback is that the process is entirely subconscious. You do not have to try to make the specific brainwave pattern, or try to get the reward. Your brain will simply learn to function better all by itself.
How Is Neurofeedback Done?
Neurofeedback is done using a cap or individual electrodes, which are placed on the head, and allow the therapist to see what the brain is doing. Electrodes can sound ominous but please know that electricity does not flow from the cap to the brain. The cap and electrodes simply pick up the electrical signals the brain produces on its own… so the equipment is listening in on the brain’s communications.
On average Neurofeedback treatment lasts from 15-30 sessions for a single symptom and around 20-60 sessions for more chronic problems.
Treatment sessions are usually conducted at least once, twice a week is optimal.
How Can Neurofeedback Help?
Neurofeedback can help with simple things like concentration, sleeping, wakefulness, calming down and … as well as in managing migraines, stress and anxiety, depression, sensory processing integration issues, ADD/ADHD.
More recently, Neurofeedback is proving to help people with autism, chronic pain, and addictions, and mental illness like bipolar disorder.
Neurofeedback can also help people suffering from seizures, PTSD, TBI’s or concussions and even Parkinsons.
Essentially, Neurofeedback helps anything that is caused by brain dysregulation.
Here is an example of what we see from our readings and the progress that is made with neurofeedback training.