What is Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback, also called EEG Biofeedback is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive, drugless method for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced and healthful way. It is a type of biofeedback that measures brain waves to produce a signal that can be used to teach self-regulation of brain activity. Moods, thoughts, and feelings, as well as behaviors, have their own brainwave activity. Neurofeedback teaches the brain to regulate activity, develop more functional patterns, and operate more optimally to reduce negative symptoms.
Neurofeedback training creates a default mode network that supports healthy regulation versus the dysregulated brain wave activity that often manifests with mental health issues along with many other concerns that can affect emotional as well as physical well-being.
Neurofeedback training has also been used to enhance athletic and mental performance. Peak performance is an easily recognized mental state where one is both focused and present. Many people think of neurofeedback as “brain training”. Indeed, the incredible plasticity of our brains allows Neurofeedback training to engage in a stronger and more supportive state of well-being the more it is trained. When the brain is supported and working efficiently, you have the potential to feel better, perform better, and gain an expanded sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
How Does It Work?
Using sensors and special software we simply measure the brain activity and reflect it back to the brain through visual and auditory feedback. When the brain is shown its own activity, it can then adjust itself for better performance and function. Nothing is ever being transmitted into the brain. The feedback provides a recording of the brain’s activity in real-time and the information revealed through the EEG is then used to train for improvement of self-regulation of brain activity. Neurotherapy improves how we function cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally.
A Neurofeedback Assessment Includes:
- Consultation +qEEG Individual neurofeedback training plan
- Report of finds and a free Neurotherapy session
- Baseline standardized test of attention (QikTest)
- An initial Neurotherapy training session
Individual Neurofeedback Training sessions:
- 1 and 4 channel training
- Alpha-Theta Training
- Broadman train of 19 areas gel and paste free
The broad application of Neurotherapy applies whether the client is an adult or child suffering from issues such as mental and emotional stress, difficulty with focus and attention, neurodevelopmental and sensory issues, learning challenges, negative moods, obsessive behavior, difficulty regulating emotions, sleep issues, memory loss, substance abuse, eating imbalances, trauma, etc. Peak performance is another reason to consider Neurotherapy. Concentration, focus, and the ability to sustain emotional control are key elements to achieving optimal performance in virtually all areas where one strives for excellence. Athletes, artists, business executives, entrepreneurs or anyone looking to maximize their performance and function can greatly benefit by taking advantage of neurofeedback to help reach their full potential.
History and Development
Neurofeedback began in the late 1950s and early ’60s through the work of both Dr Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago and Dr. Barry Sterman at UCLA. Dr. Kamiya was studying consciousness and discovered that by using a simple reward system, people could learn to alter their brain activity. This was the first-ever EEG neurofeedback training. Along similar lines, Dr. Sterman ran an experiment to see if cats could increase their sensory-motor rhythm (SMR). A simple machine gave them a food pellet every time they ‘got it right’, and they quickly learned to control their brainwaves to get the treat.
Several years later he was doing an experiment for NASA, again using the cats from his lab. This time, he was testing the effects of exposure to lunar lander fuel. For most the cats, as the levels of toxic fumes increased there was a linear progression of brain instability; first drowsiness, then headaches, followed by hallucinations, and seizures. However, some of the cats seemed to be immune. Sterman noticed that the cats who were immune were the same cats he had used in the SMR brain training experiment a couple of years before. The SMR training had given those cats ultra-stable brains.
Sterman moved on to train SMR in humans to control their epilepsy; 60% of his subjects reduced their seizure levels by 20-100%, and the results lasted. As a result, NASA trained their lunar astronauts to control their brain’s SMR rhythms. Fifty years later, Neurofeedback is still part of the astronaut training program.
In the mid-1970s, Neurofeedback caught the attention of meditators as an aid in spiritual development. Soon Neurofeedback gained a reputation as a meditation or spiritual tool, this had a negative impact on career-minded researchers at the time and Neurofeedback was relegated to the fringes of science. By the late ’80s, Neurofeedback was only being researched for a few disorders, but in the ’90s research expanded to a wide variety of psychological and central nervous system-based conditions. Over the last decade, the medical view of the brain has changed completely and the principles of neuroplasticity are universally accepted. Neuroscience has come to accept the interrelation between the central nervous system, the autoimmune system, and emotional, physical, and mental health. It has conceded that indeed, the brain can change at any age and that we create new neurons throughout life. The natural mechanisms underlying neurofeedback are now becoming clear.
To some medical practitioners, Neurofeedback is still foreign. Many hold a view based on its old reputation and have had no exposure to the research. Old views die hard, particularly regarding competing methods that lie outside of their expertise. Brainwave monitoring is no longer ‘experimental’. It is common practice in scientific studies to assess how people’s brains are functioning under various conditions of illness, stress, and mental difficulties. Patterns in the EEG reflect emotional and cognitive states and predict whether people are paying attention, or even what their mood is likely to be. With the advances in computer software and brainwave monitoring equipment, Neurofeedback practitioners now have affordable precision tools. With 50 years of independent development behind it, the methods have become highly sophisticated.
The first step is to get in touch. Most people have questions, and we are happy to answer them. For any queries, please contact us.
The next step is to identify what is blocking your way and design your brain training program.
This is done via a QEEG brain map. A brain map involves a set of sensors fixed to a cap; it looks and feels like a swimming cap. The sensors listen to the electrical impulses from your brain, giving us details of your brain activity so we can design your brain training program.
A neurofeedback technician runs the session; you recline in a comfortable chair while the sensor cap reads your brain activity. This activity animates brain-generated feedback in the form of a video, a game, or music.
Neurofeedback sessions are 30 to 45 minutes of actual training time (often shorter for children). After 20 sessions, we do a new QEEG brain map to track progress and modify/adjust your training to ensure best results and up-to-date training.
Both our assessments and sessions are conducted either in the office or at home via our remote service.
What Happens After?
The weeks following your sessions are important to making the new neural nets dominant over the old. It is important to use your new mental freedom to make healthier choices and implement the changes you need to make.
The more you use your new neural connections, the more dominant they become. It’s the nature of the brain, and of learning any new skill.
The brain naturally seeks a balanced, stable condition, so after you have trained it is more difficult to get out of balance, and easier to return to balance. It is a good idea to take some time each day in a quiet environment to integrate the changes; you may find it helpful to keep a journal to track your progress.
To ensure lasting results, do not drink alcohol or use recreational drugs during and for several weeks following your sessions. Brain neurons become ‘rubberized’ with alcohol and drug use and fail to set lasting neural nets.
Will I Still Need Medication?
As the brain becomes more regulated and symptoms subside, some clients report less dependence on medication. This is usually first apparent with sleeping medications, as sleep can become easier.
Any reductions in medication should be handled by your doctor. NEVER stop taking or altering your dosage of prescribed medications without consulting with the prescribing physician.
What is it like?
Sessions are quite pleasant.
You recline comfortably in a chair connected to a computer using wires and sensors to monitor your brainwave activity.
The software automatically detects when the brainwaves are properly ordered and feeds that information back to you in real time. The feedback appears in the form of a game, movie, or sound which signals to you that the brainwaves are becoming more ordered. Your own brainwaves actually control the game, movie or sound activity, and the observation of this dynamic can help your brain learn how to improve its own regulation.
There is a description of neurofeedback here…
You will be working one-on-one with a neurofeedback technician who will monitor and assist your progress, working with you to ensure the best results.
What is Neurofeedback?
The activity in your brain determines everything you feel and do.
While most people have normal brain function, they still have brain imbalances or chronic emotions that affect their day-to-day life. This is where Neurofeedback can help.
Neurofeedback is a way to train brain activity; it is biofeedback for the brain. To understand Neurotherapy, first, we need to understand a little about brainwaves.
Brainwaves are the electrical impulses produced as your brain cells communicate with one another. Brainwaves tell us a great deal about how you feel and function; your thought habits, stress levels, underlying mood, and overall brain function.
Using sensors on the scalp, we can measure and monitor this activity. With brain analysis software (QEEG brain map), we can identify what specific activity is giving rise to your symptoms.
Once we know the areas of concern, we can create a training plan to help draw your brain into a comfortable, efficient state. That brings us to Neurofeedback.
During a Neurofeedback session, we compare what your brain is actually doing to what you’d like it to be doing. When your brain is nearing a more comfortable state, you are rewarded with a positive response on a computer screen. Usually, this ‘neuro-feedback’ is in the form of a video game, music, or movie.
The sounds and images tell you immediately when your brain approaches a more efficient place and when not. When the movie plays, it is because your brain is approaching the desired state. When the movie stops, it is because your brain is heading the other way.
Much like physical exercises develop specific muscles, the more your brain is exercised into reaching a more comfortable, more efficient position, the better it gets at it (see neuroplasticity). As with learning any new skill, it simply requires time and repetition.
As an example, Jane is having trouble getting to sleep. Her concentration is suffering, and she is finding herself unable to control her emotional reactions.
We record a QEEG brain map, and can see that her brain is on high alert; the areas involved in emotional reactivity and anxiety are running at triple the comfortable rate. No wonder she’s uncomfortable.
After careful analysis of her brain activity, we see that this underlying anxiety is affecting her ability to shift from an alert state to rest; the likely culprit in her sleep troubles. While there is no visible problem with her concentration per se, her anxiety is taking the majority of her brain’s resources and there is little left for concentration and clear decision making.
Having identified the areas of concern, we create Jane’s Neurofeedback training plan. Her favorite movie is Love Actually, so we’ll use that as the feedback for her training session.
During Jane’s Neurofeedback sessions, we monitor her in real-time. When her brain is moving towards a calmer position, her movie plays – a positive signal letting her know that her brain is heading the right way. When she’s getting a bit more internally anxious, the movie will go dark and the sound fades – a negative signal telling her that she’s heading the wrong way.
The better she gets at it, the more difficult we make it – so if she wants to watch Love Actually, her brain has to continually shift further and further into a more and more balanced, non-anxious state. As Jane makes this shift time and again, she is learning how to return her mind to a calm position.
With more practice, her skills improve, and she is soon able to make this shift on her own, without our help. As we track her progress, we notice a corresponding shift on her brain map. She reports that she is better able to choose her emotional reactions, and is no longer being overrun by them. Her sleep and concentration are now better as a result.
Her brain is now in a more comfortable position, and her brain map confirms it. Job done.
Jane is only one example. We work with everyone from corporate CEOs to professional artists to youth. Whatever the cause, Neurofeedback can be helpful in retraining the brain into a healthier pattern.
"I am a therapist, and I refer people to Roseann regularly to have them work with her. She is compassionate, caring, and is able to help people heal. One thing I love about neurofeedback is that it addresses the root causes of things at the brain level. I'd 1000 percent recommend this to anyone struggling with any kind of mental health or attention issue."
"Roseann is so kind and always willing to go above and beyond for her clients. Neuro Feedback has really changed my life and helped me modify habits for a happier and more successful learning experience."
"I've been working with Roseann for two months and it has been incredible - the braintap in particular has helped me cope with PTSD. Roseann is also very personable - I cannot speak more highly of her!!!"
"Roseann is extremely kind and knowledgeable. She's gone above and beyond to help us heal our daughter. In the process, she's helped my mental health. She's incredible and I'm grateful we found her."
"Roseann is great! Ive really enjoyed my sessions with her and leave refreshed and relaxed."
"I was struggling with depression for years. The idea of being on medication for the rest of my life just wasn’t something I was willing to do. Then I was introduced to neurofeedback and it changed my life. I have been symptom free for three years. Working with Roseann has been wonderful and I would recommend anyone to her. She has a passion for helping others and only wants the best for her community."
"My son started struggling with OCD tendencies and severe anxiety this past spring. We started using essential oils and CBD oil to help with the symptoms while these worked a little bit. He was still suffering. I was looking for something besides putting him on meds. We started neurofeedback. We have been going for approximately 2 months now and my son has drastically improved. He is sleeping well his anxiety is like a 2 know versus when it was a 10 and is OCD tendencies have reduced significantly. Also we rarely use the CBD oil know where he was using it up to three times a day this summer. We have loved the results we are getting from neurofeedback and would recommend it to anybody. The best is my son loves going and he feels the difference."
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