Monthly Archives: December 2013

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is an EEG-based form of biofeedback.  Biofeedback is used for bringing awareness to physiologic functions in order to control them voluntarily. This is done usually through use of an instrument. It is a type of “operant conditioning” in which an individual can modify the brain’s electrical activity by rewarding or inhibiting certain brainwaves.  This is commonly accomplished using a video monitor.

When the brain is operating efficiently, it produces just the right brainwaves so you can do whatever you need to do with focus, clarity and a positive state of mind.  But brainwave inefficiency manifests itself in any number of conditions such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit, behavior disorders, sleep disorders, headaches and emotional disturbances.

 

Retraining brainwaves can eliminate or improve symptoms of the following conditions:

  •   ADD/ADHD
  •   Addiction
  •   Anxiety
  •   Depression
  •   Chronic   Fatigue
  •   Fibromyalgia           
  •   Headaches 
  •   Insomnia   
  •   Memory   Problems
  •   Pain
  •   Parkinsonism
  •   Post-traumatic   stress disorder
  •   Stroke
  •   Tremor
   

 

Neuromapping: Evaluation and   Assessment

Typically, before a client has any   brainwave training, a qEEG is done.    Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) is a procedure that   processes the recorded EEG activity from a multi-electrode recording using a   computer.

 

The patient sits in a comfortable chair   while the technician cleans the earlobes and two spots on the scalp to ensure   conductivity.  The technician then   clips one clip to each ear and pastes 19 sensors to the scalp.  The neuromapping computer program is run   twice, first with eyes open, then with eyes closed, each of these take 15   minutes, and the whole process takes 2 hours.

 

The EEG and the derived qEEG information   can be interpreted and used by experts as a clinical tool to evaluate brain   function.  QEEG brain mapping provides   a highly individualized evaluation and assessment for treatment planning.

 

Neurofeedback: Treatment   Intervention

 

Once the problem is identified, a   neurofeedback protocol is put into place.

During neurofeedback, sensors are first  placed on the scalp then connected to sensitive electronics and computer   software that detect, amplify and record specific brain activity.  The software processes the signal and   provides the proper feedback in visual and audio form.

Areas that are abnormally slow can be  trained to operate at a faster frequency.   Areas that are abnormally fast can be trained to operate at a slower   (more normal) frequency.

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does each neurofeedback session take?

Sessions usually take 1hour.

How frequently should the sessions be scheduled?

In the initial stages of learning, the sessions should be regular and frequent. This means two or three sessions each week, with consistency being the most important.

How will I feel after a session?

Depending on what frequency is being trained, some patients report feeling more relaxed and focused after a session, others may not feel any differently.

Are the results of neurofeedback permanent?

According to research over the past 40 years, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities.  Stress or a life-changing event like divorce may retrigger symptoms, but fewer neurofeedback sessions are needed to return brain efficiency.

Are there any contraindications for neurofeedback?

There are no known contraindications.

How long before I see any improvement?

For most conditions, progress can be observed within 10-20 sessions. However, patients are advised to expect 30-50 sessions on average, depending on the type of problem, the age of the person, and many other factors.

               

 

 

Healthy Fats

I usually say this during every office visit: “Don’t be afraid to eat fat, at least the healthy fats!”

The fat-free era was probably one of the worst dietary interventions for us, as it increased our sugar consumption furthering obesity, hypercholesterolemia, insulin resistance, inflammation, and the list goes on.

Every single cell in our body is coated with fat. Fatty acids are the different kinds of fats we eat.  But we need the good kind of fatty acids for healthy cellular and tissue function. Some of the fats we use for cooking or that we eat at restaurants are damaged. The soybean oil, corn oil, canola, and vegetable oils should be avoided if exposed to medium-high heat.  Even extra virgin olive oil is damaged in heat.  Damaged fats can lead to damaged cells and tissues.

Coconut oil is probably the better oil to cook in medium heats that does not damage as easily. It also supplies you with healthy medium chain fatty acids that are much more readily absorbed and produce energy for the body than other long chain fatty acids.  However, we need a balance of healthy fats, so here are a few recommendations.

Ghee : provides short chain fatty acid called butyrate (healthy for your gut lining)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Healthy for nervous function and anti-inflammatory

Coconut Oil: Works great as an anti-microbial (swish with small amount after brushing teeth), and also helps provide energy for your little tiny organelles called mitochondria  (Here’s a fun little info site on mitochondria:  http://www.biology4kids.com/files/cell_mito.html)

More Smoothies!!!

Here is a recipe list our dietitian, Randy Evans and I came up with when encouraging teens to make their own smoothies.  It contains all of your macronutrients, FAT (from full fat coconut milk), PROTEIN (protein powder and/or nut butter), and CARBS (FRUIT and VEGGIES).

Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup frozen mango

2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk

2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1 frozen banana (Tip: Peel the banana, Slice, and place in freezer container and put in freezer)

1 tablespoon agave nectar or 1 stevia packet

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well.

Coco- Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk or 1 cup milk alternative (rice, almond, hemp, oat, hazelnut)

1 cup frozen raspberries

½ avocado

2 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder

1 tablespoon agave nectar or 1 packet of stevia

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well.

ChocoBerry Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup frozen berries

1 bunch of spinach

2 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder

 

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serve in a chilled glass with a straw and enjoy. For thinner consistency, increase coconut milk.