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Novel Uses for Neurofeedback Therapy

In this blog, we have detailed many evidence- based uses for neurofeedback, as a beneficial therapy for ADD, ADHD, depression, cognitive impairment, and even Parkinson’s disease. Please see our main blog page for an exhaustive list.

The study of neurofeedback as a groundbreaking therapy is in it’s infancy. The potential applications for this life transforming therapy are just starting to be explored- we are just beginning to ascertain potential uses for neurofeedback in the modern era.

Following are some accounts of the novel uses for neurofeedback currently documented.

Brainwave Monitored Assisted Meditation

Highlighted region shows the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain shown to be activated during meditation. Photo credit: Geoff B Hall

Meditation is becoming more popular in the contemporary world, as it moves into the world of medicine and even the corporate environment. As it comes more into the popular eye, it’s important for it’s credibility here in the West to merge this ancient wisdom with more modern approaches to “being at one”.

A great example of this is neurofeedback assisted meditation. This is the process of using a neurofeedback headband and accompanying monitor (a smart phone or a tablet) to decode our brainwaves while meditating, and make small adjustments to improve our focus and attention.

Some of the same technology we use in our office can be used for this, bringing the seemingly esoteric modality of mediation into the realm of science and evidence-based psychology.

Neurofeedback News- The Headlines from July 2017

Neurofeedback has been in the news ever increasingly, with new applications for this ground- breaking therapy being discovered everyday. Here is our latest sum-up of the recent news.

Neurofeedback is Now Available in the Comfort of your own Home

Neurofeedback for your whole familyHave you thought about neurofeedback but couldn’t do it either because of time or because you couldn’t find a provider in your neighborhood?

How would you like to have access to the exact same gear as the Red Bull professional athletes and other professional and collegiate sports teams? We are extremely honored to be chosen as the only clinical site in the world to have access to this equipment! Now you and your loved ones can have access to cutting edge technology with the convenience of training at home or on the road as thousands of athletes are now doing?

At Synergy Neurofeedback in Fort Collins, Colorado, we have new equipment that makes at-home brain training a breeze. Call us at 1-970-221-1106 for more information, or visit our website page: https://synergyneurofeedback.com/neurofeedback-training-at-home/

NEW BOOK: Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child’s Learning, Behavior or Attention

Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child's Learning, Behavior or Attention Paperback – February 16, 2017 by Marijke Jones (Author), Robin E. McEvoy PhD (Author), Kim Gangwish (Author)Recently our own Dr. Steve Rondeau published a chapter in an exciting new book by primary authors Marijke Jones , Robin E. McEvoy PhD , and Kim Gangwish, entitled “Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child’s Learning, Behavior or Attention” and published in February of 2017.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon.com, or have a look at a few chapters before you decide with their “look inside” function”.

Here is the author’s introduction to the book:

 

Neurofeedback- An Evidence-Based Scientific Approach to Mental Health

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, evidence- based psychotherapy that allows patients to train their own brains to improve various functions. Evidence- based psychotherapy or medicine is defined by the NIH (National Institute of Health) as follows:

“Evidence based medicine (EBM) is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of modern, best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. EBM integrates clinical experience and patient values with the best available research information.” (1)

An EEG readout used for neurofeedback Neurofeedback uses qEEG technology (brain mapping) to measure a patient’s brain waves, and then engages them in dynamic brain training to normalize levels, correlating to improvements in function in that area. Research on wave signatures of individual neurological disorders such as ADD or traumatic brain injury (TBI) has helped specialists identify with great accuracy patterns of brain dysfunction, and researchers have used this much larger pool of data to develop specific neurofeedback protocols to benefit or reverse each individual neurological condition.

During a neurofeedback session, patients play simple games in which they are rewarded for changes in their own brain wave patterns through visual feedback. Adjusting brain wave patterns to optimal levels is a skill the patient learns intuitively, and success allows for progress in the game. Eventually patients develop much greater internal control of their psycho-emotional or behavioral issues, and neurological disorders can be corrected or at least greatly improved.

Why You NEED a qEEG if Considering Psychiatric Medications

Dr. Steven Rondeau, BCIA-EEG

Are you or someone you know currently taking or even thinking about taking psychiatric medications? If so then you definitely need to read this!

qEEG to determine psychiatric medicationsDid you know that currently there are no good lab tests that your doctor can use to know what psychiatric medications may work for you? Occasionally, there may be a questionnaire to fill out that may help narrow your diagnosis, however it doesn’t tell us anything about what your unique brain patterns would look like and how you might respond to treatment. For one person what may look like ADHD on paper may present like anxiety to someone else. You then take your anxiety medication and guess what… your symptoms worsen!

This can be even more complex when one person has multiple diagnoses. Statistically speaking, the more providers you see the more likely you are to end up with more than one label. For example, depression is often accompanied by anxiety. However in a qEEG, or brain map, they look completely opposite. Which means even if a medication helps one set of symptoms, its likely going to aggravate the other.

Neurofeedback for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Neurofeedback for cognitive decline and dementiaCognitive decline and dementia are some of the more serious problems facing an aging population today. Dementia increases in prevalence with age, with a doubling of prevalence every 5 years [1]. It is a progressive disease process affecting families, carers, health and social care providers. Cognitive impairment is an important part of the diagnostic criteria for dementia. The most commonly used screening instrument for cognitive impairment is the MiniMental State Examination (MMSE) [2].

Neurofeedback functions to change EEG brain waves over time. As scientists continue to isolate the brain structures and processes involved with cognitive decline and dementia, neurofeedback specialists have developed protocols to assist with these disorders.

Neurofeedback Training at Home

Neurofeedback can be a long process that involves travel to a practitioner’s office a few times a week to get your treatment. You may not be convenient to our location in Fort Collins- in certain cases you may not need to leave the comfort of your own space. Did you know brain training can be done at home using your computer?

EEG headset and Iphone app- Neurofeedback Training at HomeAt Synergy Neurofeedback, we use a cutting edge neurofeedback system that allows you to do your brain training at home with your own computer or tablet and a special set of EEG headphones, designed to both receive biofeedback and provide stimulus for the patient.

At- home neurofeedback training can help with the symptoms of many disorders, including ADD, depression, anxiety, or just used to improve the overall performance of your brain.

Neurofeedback Brain Training for Achieving Peak Performance

neurofeedback for sports performancePeak performance has become a buzzword these days, as anyone from high end athletes to CEO’s can tell you. We modify our intake of food, substances or supplements, and implement other practices that we hope will lead to an increase in our work productivity, or possibly trim a few swings off our golf game.

Neurofeedback brain training is a method for achieving peak performance- changes in the brain translate to changes in physical performance. It starts with an EEG brain map to assess areas of your brain that need “tuning”. After neurofeedback sessions begin, your objective progress is measured by subsequent EEGs. Subjective changes are noted in terms of work or athletic productivity, psychological and perceptive changes, even fine motor control or balance.

Neurofeedback and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

neurofeedback and chronic fatigue syndrome

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trinity/159078562

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include:

  • weakness
  • muscle pain
  • impaired memory and/or mental concentration
  • depression
  • insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities [1]

In Western medicine, there is no known cure. Symptoms are treated with medications like antidepressants and tranquilizers depending on the individual patient’s unique symptom presentation. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve muscle and joint aches that often accompany CFS. Fibromyalgia syndrome and CFS are often overlapping conditions.

Neurofeedback- a Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders

neurofeedback for autism

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57570482@N06/

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

From the National Institute for Mental Health (NIHM):

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

  • Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
  • Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities
  • Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
  • Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled.[1]

Traditional therapies are limited to medication and behavioral therapy, both of which can provide some assistance with the wide range of challenges someone on the spectrum of autism might encounter. Neurofeedback has shown great promise as a tool to help patients on the spectrum with various symptoms, including speech, motor and sensory integration issues, and sociability.