Neurofeedback is a way to train brain activity; it is biofeedback for the brain. To understand neurofeedback, first we need to understand a little about brainwaves. Brainwaves are the electrical impulses produced as your brain cells communicate with one another. Brainwaves tell us a great deal about how you feel and function; your thought habits, stress levels, underlying mood and overall brain function. Using sensors on the scalp, we can measure and monitor this activity. With a qEEG brain map, we can identify what specific activity is causing your symptoms. Once we know the areas of concern, we can create a training plan to help draw your brain into a comfortable, efficient state using neurofeedback. During a neurofeedback session – which lasts 45 minutes – we compare what your brain is actually doing to what you’d like it to be doing. When your brain is nearing a more comfortable state, you are rewarded with a positive response via sound. The sounds tell you immediately when your brain approaches a more efficient place and when not. Much like physical exercises develop specific muscles, the more your brain is exercised into reaching a more comfortable, more efficient position, the better it gets at it. As with learning any new skill, it simply requires time and repetition.
Neurofeedback is effective in the vast majority of cases, and provides measurable results. Almost everyone responds to training, and the results are long lasting. Our clients report significant improvement towards their goals 95% of the time; an exceptionally high rate of achievement. All of our treatment protocols are strongly supported by evidence based research. Neurofeedback is known as a ”Level 1″ or Highly Effective Treatment by the American Academy of Pediatrics. And like any therapy it works best with people who are motivated and want to improve.
Yes, neurofeedback is completely painless, non-invasive, and safe. In the same way that muscles strengthen after use, neurofeedback strengthens neural-pathways with specifically tailored exercises. It is simply a learning technique.
In the 40-year history of neurofeedback, nobody has ever been harmed. However, as with any form of exercise, there can be ‘side-effects’. See the side effects questions below.
Most people experience improvements after the first few sessions; however they will likely only last a day or two. After more training and further reinforcement, the changes will last longer. Just like building a muscle or learning to ride a bike, strengthening new neural-pathways requires some practice, but once it’s set – it’s set.
Since neurofeedback involves learning and every person is unique, training varies for each person. Young brains learn much faster than older ones, and a small challenges shift quicker than bigger ones.
Typically, the more severe or chronic the symptoms, the more sessions that are required. You can expect the gains to be cumulative over the course.
A mental ‘tune up’ would take about a 10 sessions. Symptom resolution for depression, anxiety, stress or some sleep disorders, we recommend a full package of 30 sessions. For Autistic spectrum and severe autoimmune disorders, expect a greater number of sessions with progressive gains over the course.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE ENOUGH?
For most, simply relieving uncomfortable symptoms is enough. Others want to move forward in other areas, or tackle new goals.
Ultimately, self-improvement is a lifelong continuum. How much is enough is up to you.
Your personalized training is designed to meet your goals.
Most report a feeling of regaining the clarity and vitality they had gradually lost over time. Clients say they are more alert, calm, focused, and enjoy life more.
The shifts are natural to the brain so the way you feel and act seems perfectly natural. And it is! You’re acting more like yourself now and less from automatic reactions. You’ll be able to handle life’s challenges in a healthier way.
A fully balanced state and an optimally functional brain is experienced as happiness, contentment, focus, and clarity. The allows you to gain control and make choices that you weren’t able to before. You will be able to choose your reactions rather than be over-run by them.
This new outlook can make all the difference.
Fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect. And while brain training is in many ways similar to physical training, the brain expresses the side effects of training differently than the body does. The fatigue feels much like the mental tiring after learning a complex mental skill.
Because neurofeedback is essentially structured exercises for your brain, the term ‘side effect’ isn’t applicable in the same sense as for medications. Unlike medication, nothing is put into the body or brain.
Those with more serious emotional conditions or trauma occasionally report an increase of old familiar feelings before the difficulty passes away and the issue fades out for good. It’s like cleaning out a garage – sometimes you just take all the “stuff” to the curb and sometimes you open all the boxes and take a trip down memory lane. Don’t worry, it will pass and is part of the process.
If you have had a physical brain injury or head trauma, you will likely be more sensitive to neurofeedback. You might experience nausea, dizziness, and light sensitivity as you ‘re-regulate’ your brain function. This is part of the process.
We monitor your brain activity during neurofeedback sessions and can tell if your brain is getting tired or overworked. We will adjust your training accordingly.
Any reductions in medication should be handled by your doctor. NEVER stop taking or alter your dosage of prescribed medications without consulting with the prescribing physician first.
Neurofeedback does cause the central nervous system to become more regulated and causes symptoms subside. Therefore, we often see a reduction in the amount of medication required to manage those symptoms.
You may also be able to use your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) account for our services.