Neurofeedback For Anxiety: Is it Effective?

Jun 6, 2022

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. each year. And while there are many different treatments available, a growing number of people are turning to neurofeedback as a potential solution. So is neurofeedback effective for anxiety? The answer is complicated. In this post, we’ll take a look at what neurofeedback is, how it’s being used to treat anxiety, and some of the research that’s been done on its efficacy.

The Truth About Neurofeedback and Anxiety

People with high levels of anxiety can sometimes have abnormal reactions due to regular overstimulation. This can be corrected with neurofeedback, which is shown to normalize brainwaves.

Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, worry, or unease. It can be mild or severe and often occurs when people perceive a threat, even if there is no real danger. Anxiety disorders can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, and dizziness. It can also lead to emotional problems such as depression and social isolation.

People who struggle with anxiety disorders often seek out solutions to their problems. One of the most popular solutions, especially for those with milder forms of anxiety, is neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback involves using EEG technology (a process that measures brainwaves) to enable people to regulate and improve their brain activity. This can help relieve symptoms such as racing thoughts,  fatigue, and restlessness.

There is some research indicating that neurofeedback can be effective for treating anxiety disorders. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any type of treatment and should call first before making an appointment.

The Standard Practices for Treating Anxiety

Antidepressants are the standard course of treatment prescribed for anxiety, and they work to stimulate serotonin production. They aren’t a cure though; when they wear off the original problem is still present. Other treatments include:

– Counseling

– Exposure therapy

– Relaxation techniques

– Meditation

All of these are great treatments and finding one that works for you might take time, we recommend doing your own research when looking into ways to help with anxiety disorders. Finding a treatment that works for you should be something that is discussed with your health professional.

Neurofeedback for anxiety: What is it and how does it work?

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that uses electrical sensors to measure brain activity. This information is then used to create an image of the brain, which can be used to show how well your brain is functioning.

When you undergo neurofeedback training, you are given real-time results of what is happening in your brain.  This allows you to see how your brain reacts to stimuli and helps you gain control over your mind.

There is evidence that neurofeedback can be an effective treatment for anxiety, either on its own or in combination with other approaches. It has been shown to normalize brainwaves, reduce reactivity to stressors, and help people develop new coping skills.

A 2014 study found that anxiety levels were significantly reduced in people who underwent neurofeedback training, compared to those who didn’t. Another study from 2015 showed that anxiety standardized scores improved after just 10 sessions of neurofeedback.

Give us a call today to see if Neurofeedback is right for you.

How Neurofeedback Helps Reduce Anxiety

When you start neurofeedback training, results as given right as they are happening so you know what is going on with your brain. At Wasatch Neurotherapy, we work hard at reading the feedback and better help you to understand what they mean. Neurotherapy can help you rewire your brain and change the neural pathways of how your brain used to respond and have it respond in a different way.

Case Study

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Anxiety and depression are very widespread among cancer patients. The state of anxiety covers a wide range of symptoms connected to fear, restlessness, and changes in the autonomy of the patient. Neurofeedback is a behavioral technique of operant learning, in which participants learn to affect the electric activity of their brain, through a dynamic process of visual and auditory feedback. This training seeks to change the frequency of subjects’ electroencephalogram (EEG), something achieved by the majority of participants.

Neurofeedback is a technique that has been successfully used in recent decades as a tool for treating a number of clinical cases. Amongst the clinical cases studied are autism, epilepsy, chronic pain, cases of major depression, and also the effects of cancer upon different psychological parameters and the quality of patients’ lives. Pelvic cancer and its medical treatment seem to increase anxiety and depression, which affect patients’ daily lives.

In the case study, 20 sessions of Neurofeedback were applied to a patient with pelvic cancer and anxiety (state anxiety): the SCL-90 scale for the measurement of psychometric traits was applied before and after each session.

Important improvements were noted to this patient on the above scales, issued during the sessions and within each session, before and after the intervention.

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