What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG (electroencephalogram) biofeedback, is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback from a computer-based program that assesses a client’s brainwave activity. The program then uses sound or visual signals to reorganize or retrain these brain signals. By responding to this process, clients learn to regulate and improve their brain function and to alleviate symptoms of various neurological and mental health disorders. Neurofeedback is brain training and it draws upon neuroplasticity, your brain’s innate ability to grow and change.
Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain dysregulation. Neurofeedback is a direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. Your clinician observes the brain in action in real time. This information is then showed back to the person. Your brain is then rewarded for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This process is very similar to operant conditioning. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function. Self-regulation training allows the central nervous system to function better which in turn, can reduce or alleviate your symptoms.
How does it work?
Neurofeedback is a method of managing or regulating the workings of the brain, so it functions in a healthier manner. This is achieved by repeated training sessions using a computerized neurofeedback program that teaches your central nervous system to reorganize and regulate brainwave frequencies. Neurofeedback assesses your brain and provides information about areas of dysfunction that are causing symptoms so that they can be treated directly. Various neurofeedback methods and equipment are used for different types of neurological problems.
An initial brain map is taken by placing a sensor cap on the scalp which reads brain waves with both eyes opened and eyes closed. These electrical signals are run through a software program that creates a brain map that can illustrate what areas of the brain are over aroused or under aroused. This map is then used in creating a treatment protocol that will be used to train the brain and regulate disfunction.
Neurofeedback training procedures: Neurofeedback training requires the placement of surface electrodes on the scalp for the express purpose of recording the EEG and using this signal to provide feedback to the brain in the form of a video display, games, or sounds. There is no electrical stimulation applied to the brain at any time, it only reads brain waves that are occurring in real time.
A computer EEG program will process your brain signals and provide information about various brainwave frequencies. Using a program similar to a video game, you will watch the graphics or listen to music while your brain and central nervous system receive feedback signals from the program. The program will then begin directing your brainwave activity toward more desirable and controlled patterns. You will get immediate feedback from the program when your brainwave patterns improve. Between sessions, you should be able to notice changes in your overall symptoms.
Neurofeedback therapy typically consists of once or twice a week sessions for an average of 20-40 sessions. Some people need fewer sessions, while others require more.
Is neurofeedback a cure?
No, neurofeedback it is not a cure. In the case of organic brain disorders, it can only be a matter of getting the brain to function better rather than of curing the condition. When it comes to problems of dysregulation, your clinician would say that there is not a disease to be cured. Where dysregulation is the problem, self-regulation may very well be the remedy.
What conditions can neurofeedback help regulate?
Research has shown neurofeedback to be an effective intervention for ADHD and epilepsy. It is a non-invasive modality to help relieve symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, OCD, panic attacks, depression, substance abuse, traumatic brain injuries, sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, dyslexia, and more. It can help to regulate and improve overall symptoms of dysregulation, mood instability, cognitive processing, and can challenge the brain to establish greater efficacy and effectiveness.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only, not for diagnosis and treatment and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a qualified mental health professional that is familiar with your situation. There is also no guarantee being made as a result of information provided or the counseling services offered.
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