What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is brain training, that includes observing your brain in action from moment to moment by monitoring your brain waves using special equipment. The clinician shows you your brain activity and helps you to change it by rewarding shifts toward more appropriate and stable brain state. It is a gradual learning process, but you can feel results in as little as one session. Neurofeedback is also called EEG biofeedback. The electroencephalogram (EEG) is another name for the brain wave tracings and biofeedback refers to the process by which you learn to change your brain waves, in turn gaining better control over your brain states.
How can Neurofeedback help me?
Individuals of all ages can benefit from Neurofeedback. It is brain training in self-regulation. Good self-regulation is essential for optimal brain function. Neurofeedback enhances the function of the central nervous system thus improving mental performance, emotional control, and physiological stability. Neurofeedback targets bioelectrical functions of the brain, which is usually more critical than the often talked about, “chemical imbalance”. Neurofeedback is concerned with the brain’s internal regulatory networks and training the brain’s functional disregulation. Simply by showing the brain where it is getting “off track” through EEG, the brain can be trained towards enhanced stability and improved function. EEG is similar to looking in the mirror and showing itself what needs to be straightened and Neurofeedback provides the mechanism to train it to be straight more consistently. Neurofeedback is applicable to a wide variety of functional deficits.
How is Neurofeedback done?
Electrodes are attached to the scalp with EEG paste which allows for brain waves to be traced. It is completely painless and does not apply any voltage or current to the brain. It is simply reading what is naturally there. A computer processes the input from the electrodes and presents it in a useful way to the clinician and the client via specialized software. The training is based on a system of rewards and inhibitions as presented in the form of a video game and/or movie that guide to a more stable state of self-regulation. The electrode placements are unique to the individual and the focus of training.
Does Neurofeedback interfere with my medications?
Medications may no longer be needed or dosages may be reduced with successful Neurofeedback training due to the brain improving its own ability to self-regulate. It is essential that your physician be part of your treatment team.
If Neurofeedback is so powerful, why haven’t I heard about it before?
Neurofeedback has not broken into the mainstream culture and is not yet part of the curriculum of most medical and psychology programs. Despite all of this, Neurofeedback is being used across the country in various applications and settings with great results.