What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback therapy (or neurotherapy) is a proven, non-invasive, state-of-the-art method that uses an EEG (electroencephalogram) device for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced and healthful way. The entire process is completely painless and does not require the use of any drugs or medications.
A success rate of 75%-80% is commonly quoted by clinicians for neurofeedback training.
Sometimes the brain's electrical activity can become imbalanced, too active or dysregulated. When that happens a wide array of disorders can develop, like ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression and many others. At Bayside Neurotherapy we can measure and map your brain's electrical activity with an EEG and determine what needs to be adjusted for optimum mental health. Then, we use Neurofeedback techniques to correct the imbalances.
How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?
First, it's important to know that your brain is continuously producing brainwaves. Brainwaves are electrical impulses that help regulate your mood, attention span, focus, sleep, happiness and many other important neurological functions. We use a qEEG machine with small electrodes placed on your scalp to monitor and record your brainwaves. Don't worry, the electrodes sit on the surface of your scalp and are completely painless.
When you're calm, focused and relaxed your brain will produce certain types of brainwaves in specific areas of your brain. However, when you experience anxiety, depression or other negative states, your brainwaves will change. Some medications, head injuries and other trauma can also change your brainwaves.
Neurofeedback training works by monitoring your brainwaves with a qEEG machine and processing the data through proprietary software. If your brainwaves need to be adjusted, then various types of training can be used to adjust your brainwaves. For example, your brainwaves can be monitored as you watch a movie. If your brainwaves begin to become anxious or unfocused, software will overlay bubbles or clouds on the TV screen. When your brain returns to a calm, focused state, the bubbles or clouds will disappear. After a short while, your brain will learn to return to a calm, focused and relaxed state when the bubbles or clouds appear on the screen. Soon, your brain will learn to maintain a calm, focused and relaxed state all the time.
Several types of training are available. You can watch movies, TV shows, listen to music and even play video games. Most people find the training sessions to be relaxing.
How Are Psychological Issues Identified?
The process of Neurofeedback training begins with an intake session where we will complete what we call a "brain map" of 19 brain locations (also called a qEEG). First, sensors from our a state-of-the-art 19 point EEG equipment are positioned on the scalp and ears (the sensors are non-invasive and painless). During the brain mapping process your brain's electrical activity is measured while you perform some simple mental tasks. We monitor and record your brain wave activity and feed the information into a computer. The computer software will analyze the amplitude and location of your brainwaves and create a 3 dimensional brain map.
We also analyze and compare your brain wave patterns to a normative database of brainwaves. Our software will generate an analysis that will assist us with identifying any brain wave irregularities that are present and the degree of severity.
Based on your brain map, normative database evaluation report and our years of experience, we can develop a Neurotherapy treatment plan specifically designed for you.
What Disorders Can Neurofeedback Therapy Treat?
We can treat a wide array of psychological disorders including:
- Learning disabilities
- Traumatic brain injury
- Post concussion syndrome
- High functioning autism
- Stroke recovery
- Migraine and headache management
- Panic attacks
We can also use Neurofeedback therapy to preform peak performance training to help you achieve your highest possible levels of:
- Academic testing
- Reading comprehension
- Math skills
Please contact us if you have any questions about disorders that are not listed.
Studies conducted by Dr. Joel Lubar, a pioneer in the field from the University of Tennessee, has reported his clients maintained the benefits of Neurofeedback training 20 years later.
Some people who do not experience severe brain wave irregularities use Neurofeedback training to optimize their brain's performance (called peak performance training) which can sharpen attention, enhance mood and relieve anxiety.