Using Neurofeedback to Optimize Brain Health
Have ever been in a grocery store and witness a child is hitting his mother while demanding she that buy him something? Or, had your anxious teen slam her bedroom door in your face after you’ve reminded her to do her homework? Have you ever had a migraine so bad that banging your head on the bathroom floor felt good? How about, have you ever had your child come home from school and tell you, “I just don’t feel normal or smart”. Have you ever stayed awake most of the night because you couldn’t find the off button in your head? Has your partner ever just rolled over on the couch at 2 in the afternoon, and stated: “I just don’t feel motivated.” One last add, have you ever been doing something athletic and thought to yourself, “I know I can be better at this- if only there was a way”.
There is a way to address all of these symptoms and behaviors. It is a simple non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, long-lasting treatment called Neurofeedback. More than ever it is being supported by doctors and psychiatrists. The brain’s communication with itself is read through a qEEG. If the individual shows characteristics of unusual brain wave patterns, neurofeedback (NF) can help retrain the brain. NF treats issues that interfere with normal function and positive behavior in the family, at school, in public and even on the slopes.
What’s is Neurofeedback (NF) anyway?
Although Neurofeedback has been around for over fifty years, it seems it’s not quite a household word. When approaching the subject with friends, family members, acquaintances at the grocery store, and even at the hospital where I work, most respond with the same glazed look, as if retrieving some far off memory. And then say, with a questing voice, “I’ve heard about Neurofeedback, but I really don’t know what it is, how it works, or who it helps.”
Back in 1929 a phycologist named Hans Berger connect some wires to a patient’s head and discovered small electrical impulses. This became what we call electroencephalography (EEG) (PubMed, Abstract, 2005).
Today, with much research backing, NF uses a qEEG to measure brain wave activity. When a clinician takes a read of the brain activity and records it in real time, we can catch the brain performing efficiently in just a millisecond using the sophisticated software and the qEEG. We call it Brain Mapping. After brain mapping, the activity is paired with the symptoms and behaviors the client has stated is an issue, and feedback is then relayed to the brain via audio and visual “q’s” that inform the brain that there is a need to run more efficiently in particular areas. The brain then self-regulates and is instantly rewarded for its positive performance. Through rewards, positive functions are certain to be repeated. Thus, rewards are gained easier and fast each time the audio or visual stimulation is encountered.
One of the issues neurofeedback addresses is Autism or ADHD- mixed, these can fire off negative behavior causing a child to lash out disrespectfully and un-empathetically towards others. Neurofeedback also treats Anxiety, Migraines, Depression, Learning Disabilities, Sleep Disorders, and poor Athletic Performance. Plus, a mound of other issues, such as PTSD, Addictions, Eating disorders, Bed Wetting, TBI’s.
Neurofeedback can be used in conjunction with medications a patient is currently taking, and with EHT, a neuro support supplement. (could Put EHT web link here)
Why use Neurofeedback for Brain Health?
The difference between neurofeedback and alternative treatments is it provides lasting effects that focus on brain healing, not just treatment of symptoms. Unlike medication, Lumosity, tutoring, and traditional counseling therapy, NF goes directly to the source- the brain’s function. It seeks to fix the issues rather than trying to cover them with medication, or by making changes to the thinking processes. Although these avenues are worthy of their place and time, they tend to cost more, in the long run, have side effects, and may cause dependency. With NF training, once the brain has created new ways of communicating with its self, you need only to go in for a tune-up once in a while- like keeping your car in tune in order to get the most years and performance from it, you need to do the same for your brain.The effects of NF are generally maintained over time, with very few exceptions- only 8-12 sessions are required to begin establishing the bridge (new neural pathways) to brain wellness. The client is asked to commit to 20-40 in order to create a long-lasting, solid bridge.In a nutshell, Neurofeedback is a worthwhile, cost-effective, and best choice treatment. It’s a simple and fun. So why not work toward optimal brain function and efficiently, perform better on tests and on the slopes, feel less stressed, sleep better, and relationships will most likely be better too.