What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is exercise for the brain! Neurofeedback, also called qEEG Biofeedback is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive method for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced and healthful way. It does so by shifting the way the brain produces and distributes its electrical energy. Four divisions of electrical impulses made by our brain, Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta are called “Frequency Bands”. These Frequency Bands tell us which parts of your brain are active and which frequency bands the brain should be using to complete a given task or activity. For instance, when we are balancing our checkbooks or in a class following directions, certain areas of our brain will need to be active and using the faster frequency called Beta. On the other hand, if after a long day we wish to relax and wind down, a different part of the brain will need to be activated using the slower brainwave frequency called Alpha. The goal of Neurofeedback is to improve the brain’s ability to self-regulate, maintain flexibility, and smoothly shift between states of relaxation and arousal. Since the Brain also controls Attention Regulation, Emotional Regulation and Affect Regulation, this ultimately allows the entire Central Nervous System to resume normal functioning.
How is Neurofeedback Done?
Sensors are placed on the head and ears to record the brainwave activity. High-tech equipment amplifies the electrical impulses and breaks them into the four key frequency bands. Using sophisticated computer software a customized protocol is developed to address the individual’s unique needs. During the session the Neurofeedback Clinician views the raw qEEG signal as well as the chosen frequency bands. Exercises are typically performed with eyes open. With eyes open the Client is watching a video or playing a game. The video fades in and out depending on whether or not the brain is increasing the desired frequencies and decreasing other frequencies. At the conclusion of the 30 Minute training period, the Clinician shares and discusses the Training Review Screen.
Why Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback takes advantage of the brain’s ability to change itself through a process known as Neuroplasticity. It utilizes the same learning process that occurs whenever we acquire a new skill. The brain learns by forming connections between nerve cells and utilizing important pathways that connect different locations in the brain. The more frequently you utilize these pathways the better the brain becomes at performing the associated task. In psychology, this type of learning is called “Operant Conditioning”. It is a type of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences. Quite simply, Neurofeedback offers the perfect learning conditions, since it facilitates awareness of when the brain is producing healthier brainwave patterns, provides reinforcement for the positive change and multiple opportunities to provide practice during a training session.
Who Can Benefit from Neurofeedback?
Everyone can benefit from brain mapping. From the professional athlete to your next door neighbor, there are countless ways to benefit from brain mapping. Brain mapping has been proven to even help with the following symptoms:
ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Brain Injury, Chronic Pain, Depression, Dyslexia, Epilepsy/Seizures, Fibromyalgia, Learning Disorders, Migraines, OCD/Tourette's, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Substance Abuse.
Neurofeedback results vary on a case to case basis. Some people see immediate results, some people take a little bit longer.