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:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Memory Problems
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
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.