What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback can seem complicated, putting sensors on the scalp, measuring your brain waves, tracking changes, but it’s really quite simple. It’s as easy as watching a movie.
Neurofeedback training is an “exercise for the brain.” Just like exercise strengthens muscles, neurofeedback strengthens certain areas of brain function.
Our neurofeedback plans are always customized and begin with a Quantitative Electroencephalograph (QEEG) evaluation. The QEEG is an assessment tool designed to objectively and scientifically evaluate a person’s brainwave patterns. The procedure consists of placing a snug cap on the head that is embedded with 19 small sensors designed to measure and record electrical activity (or brain waves) coming from the brain. It is important to note that these sensors do not put any electrical current into the brain – they simply record signals coming from the brain. This evaluation determines 760 unique points of information about Brain Function.
Every QEEG or brain map comes with a detailed, individualized report outlining key features of brain function including how and where your brain could be functioning better, so that we know what is potentially possible in terms of better brain function – as well as how any dysregulated areas may be contributing to existing symptoms or conditions.
The technology is fun to use
With Neurofeedback, all you do is sit back, relax and watch a movie of your choice. During a neurofeedback session, a person’s brain wave activity is tracked via sensors on the scalp. In fact, in a single session, the brain observes over 1000 times when it’s on track and when it’s off track creating better function in the areas that need it. This information is communicated to the individual with auditory and visual signals. When your brainwaves fire at a rate that’s too fast, too slow or too often, the volume will lower and the picture will dim on the screen — providing immediate feedback to your brain that something is out of balance.
This feedback helps you recognize when wanted and unwanted brain waves are being produced, and gradually, you brain learns how to better create the desired brain waves and minimize undesired brain wave patterns. In other words, you’ll watch a movie, while your brain watches its own brain waves and self-corrects any dysfunction.
There is no way of doing it wrong
The brain is doing its own exercise while watching a movie. Kids especially enjoy the training, since they get to pick their favorite movies as part of the sessions (from Netflix or a DVD.)
You can remain on your medications while training
You don’t have to choose between Neurofeedback and medications, you can continue your medications while training your brain to function better. One of the goals is to eliminate dysregulated brain wave patterns which often reduce or remove the symptoms naturally, and therefore the need for medications used to help control them. We advise our patients to work with their prescribing physician directly about their need for continued medications or decreasing their dosages as they improve with training, because the way medications affect a dysregulated brain is very different from how they affect a balanced brain.
What does a normal course of Neurofeedback look like?
A typical session lasts 45-60 minutes. Most patients report improvements after 5-10 sessions (but sometimes it’s less, or more). A typical treatment plan is 30 sessions, because that’s how long it takes for neuroplasticity to take place (this refers to the brain’s ability to actually make new connections which support better brain function in the areas that we are addressing.)
Allow your brain to see where and how it has gone “off-track” and it will self-correct. It doesn’t hurt. It’s not uncomfortable or unpleasant in any way. And best of all, it addresses the root cause of what’s wrong, allowing your brain to get back to working and functioning well.