Neurofeedback, an alternative therapy that involves measuring and then stimulating brain waves until they reach a specific frequency, is a rapidly evolving field. Every month new developments are coming to light, as neurofeedback moves closer to the mainstream. Through research studies and clinical reviews, we are seeing more scientific proof that neurofeedback is effective in treating many different brain- based disorders.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback starts with a brain map. Using a qEEG, a neuroimaging technique also known as quantitative electroencephalogram, a neurofeedback specialist compares the frequencies of different areas of a patient’s brain with the known normal ranges. Then a treatment protocol is created designed to raise or lower the aberrant frequencies to within normal ranges.
Treatment is then administered, in the specialist’s office or at home. This involves an electronic interface consisting of a qEEG headband to measure the trained frequencies in real time, and a feedback device, usually a tablet. The patient plays a special type of video game, controlled only by brain activity!
The frequencies gradually change, correcting or ameliorating the patient’s associated neurological or psychological symptoms. Another qEEG is taken after a certain number of sessions to measure progress, after which more adjustments are made to the treatment.
What Does Neurofeedback Treat?
Neurofeedback has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of neurological and psychological disorders. These include psychological diseases like ADD/ADHD, depression, and anxiety; and also neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and migraine headaches. Neurofeedback is also beneficial in the treatment of:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue
- Post- Stroke Syndromes
- Traumatic Brain Injury
New Developments in the field of Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback continues to see new advances almost on a weekly basis. Just in the past few months we have seen neurofeedback used for:
Performance Enhancement: Although this is nothing new, neurofeedback continues it’s spread into mainstream sports, recently with White Sox’ pitcher Lucas Giolito who went through 20 sessions of neurofeedback this offseason to “improve his breathing, stay relaxed and in a good mental state.”
Learning to Heighten the Sense of Touch: The correct timing of alpha oscillations is strongly related to performance in cognitive tasks and perception tests. In this study, participants who were able to successfully amplify their alpha oscillations experienced a particularly strong improvement in their sense of touch.
Parkinson’s Disease: A recent study tested a neurofeedback system which enables patients with Parkinson’s disease to gain control of beta wave activity in their deep brain associated with symptoms of the disease.
Where to Get Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback Training should only be administered by a qualified and highly trained professional like a doctor or naturopath. It is not yet highly regulated in the United States, so if you are seeking out neurofeedback make sure to ask what background, training and experience a potential neurofeedback specialist has before you agree to the treatment.
If you are in Fort Collins or the Northern Colorado area, our highly qualified psychiatrists and naturopathic doctors will make sure you receive the best treatment available. Give us a call at 970-221-1106 for more information, or to make an appointment to get started with a brain scan.