Neurofeedback is where you directly train your brain function so the brain learns to function more efficiently. It works by looking at the brain from moment to moment in action and awarding the brain for changing its activity to a more appropriate pattern. This is a gradual learning process and it applies to any part of the brain that we can measure. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation, which is a necessary part of a good-functioning brain. Self-regulation training allows the Central Nervous System- the Master System in the body- to function better.
Neurofeedback addresses problems with brain dysregulation, which happen to be numerous. If you think about it, the brain and central nervous system work together to control and coordinate EVERYTHING in our bodies. Problems include the anxiety-depression spectrum, ADD/ADHD, behavioral disorders, various sleep disorders/problems, headaches/migraines, chronic fatigue, PMS and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for brain disorders such as seizures, cerebral palsy, and the autism spectrum.
Neurofeedback has 3 main goals:
Identify irregular brainwaves
Guide those brainwaves into regular patterns
Teach the brain to maintain regular patterns permanently
First, we apply small electrodes to the scalp to measure brain wave activity. Using a computer with special software, we can process the signal and extract information. We can see the flow of activity of the brain and we send this information back to the brain to attempt to change the activity level. Some frequencies we want to enhance while others we want to diminish. Eventually, the brain learns what the more desirable frequencies are to enhance overall brain performance. It is non-invasive, uses no drugs and does not involve any radiation.
During a normal session, you watch a show or listen to music. While you are doing this, the computer is monitoring your brainwaves, looking for any that are out of the normal range. When it finds one, the system triggers a response that changes the movie or music. This change is not annoying, but it is subtle enough to get your attention and make you focus more. Refocusing corrects the irregular brainwaves, which then move into the normal range. At that time, the show or music will resume normally. This process is called Operant Conditioning. Over the course of multiple sessions, the brain eventually learns to make healthy patterns on it’s own. At that time, no further neurofeedback sessions are needed.
Irregular brain waves are responsible for many neurological conditions, such as:
Neurofeedback can improve these symptoms, and many more, by balancing the brain waves. Some brain waves may need to be enhanced and some may need to be diminished. Once the brainwaves are balanced, your body can go back to functioning in a harmonious state.
If you are interested in learning more about neurofeedback and its benefits or making an appointment, please call us at 303-794-1737.