Neurofeedback

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is training for your brain, just like the gym is training for your muscles. However, instead of training to grow bigger muscles, neurofeedback trains your brain to work harmoniously and efficiently towards a more desired, healthy state. This training can be vital for those with mental illnesses, neurological diseases, and head trauma because of the disruptive changes in brain activity that such issues can cause(1). For example, someone with chronic anxiety might have underactive alpha brain waves which strongly contribute to panic attacks and restlessness(2). Fortunately for us, our brains are adaptable. With enough neurofeedback training, our brains can correct the preexisting imbalances, form lasting positive changes, and significantly improve behavioral function. 
Neurofeedback Therapy

How does Neurofeedback Work?

Neurofeedback works by monitoring your brain waves in real time and providing your brain with instant feedback. This “feedback” can take different forms depending on the person being treated. For example, a common practice is to have the client watch a movie during their session. Whenever the client’s brain waves are at the desired range, the movie plays in high quality (feedback). However, as soon as the client’s brain wave activity diverts from that optimal range, the movie starts to get blurry (more feedback). The client’s brain starts to learn that, in order to get the movie to play in high quality, it must reach the desired pattern of brain wave activity. Your brain eventually learns to constantly function at the optimal pattern of activity as opposed to the unhealthy pattern at which it previously operated. This electrical changes in your brain are translated into real, visible behavioral improvements such as improved mood, decreased anxiety, and better cognitive functioning. 

Who can Neurofeedback Help?

Neurofeedback can be used to reduce the symptoms of the following diseases and illnesses. A unique protocol is designed for each client depending on their symptoms, and it is adjusted as they progress through further sessions(1,2).

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Learning disabilities, dyslexia
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Pain management
  • Performance enhancement (athletic, creative, general)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
References:
  1. D. Corydon Hammond (2011) What is Neurofeedback: An Update, Journal of Neurotherapy, 15:4, 305-336, DOI: 10.1080/10874208.2011.623090
  2. Marzbani, Hengameh, et al. “Neurofeedback: A Comprehensive Review on System Design, Methodology and Clinical Applications.” Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, vol. 7, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 143–58. PubMed Central, doi:10.15412/J.BCN.03070208