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Neurofeedback Blog – Page 5 – Synergy Neurofeedback
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Neurofeedback Blog

TBI Traumatic Brain Injury

Neurofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI Traumatic Brain InjuryTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI), commonly referred to as a head injury, is a brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head.

Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury).  Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.  

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths.  Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI.  Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives.

Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression).  These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.

Treating Anxiety and Panic Disorders with Neurofeedback

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyjwood/

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyjwood/

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

With our common cultural norms of overworking, under exercising and poor diet, we have suffered the consequences in the form of stress and stress related disorders. You could say we have a generalized anxiety disorder in the world today.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States, and a major public health problem in the world. According to large population-based surveys, up to 33.7% of the population are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Substantial underrecognition and undertreatment of these disorders have been demonstrated.1

The general heading of anxiety includes panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder.

One study estimated the annual cost of anxiety disorders in the United States to be approximately $42.3 billion in the 1990s, a majority of which was due to non-psychiatric medical treatment costs. This estimate focused on short-term effects and did not include the effect of outcomes such as the increased risk of other disorders.2

Neurofeedback Goes Mainsteam

Neurofeedback Neurofeedback- the Future of Mental Health Care?

The future of mental health care may be very different from the current model, if brain based treatment modalities like neurofeedback could be integrated into or replace the current best practices in the field. Instead of taking a pill or doing talk therapy, you can now train your brain to be healthier through playing something like a video game.

Neurofeedback patients are asked to play a video game, where they are rewarded for self regulating their brains. When the optimal brain wave levels are reached, the plane in the game (for example) will fly above the ground instead of crashing. Repeating this process can lead to long-lasting changes in brain activity.

As neuroplasticity is more thoroghly understood, brain training is becoming more sought after, as people seek to make permanent changes to their brain phisiology to effect greater changes in their performance, well being and even spiritual development. Using neurofeedback, patients can now put their brain through a series of exercises to strengthen areas that are showing suboptimal brain wave patterns, and bring them into the normal range, thus alleviating symptoms.

Evidence Neurofeedback has Gone Mainstream

According to Newsweek magazine, Neurofeedback has gone mainstream.

The promise of neurofeedback is to shift our brain waves back to health without drugs, exercise or even meditation. Clients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, anger or depression can simply sit in a comfortable chair for half-hour sessions with a few wires protruding from their scalp and get a mental tune-up, if not a complete rewiring of an off-kilter brain.

-from Newsweek 5/9/16 

Harvard University published a blog in October of 2017 entitled “Brain training: The future of psychiatric treatment?“. This article is a useful explanation of neurofeedback designed for the layman. Among other things, the usefullness of neurofeeback for ADHD is touted:

“Interestingly, studies have shown that neurofeedback training as a therapy for ADHD may be even more effective than the standard medication (Methylphenidate/Ritalin) used to treat this disorder.”

-Harvard Graduate School Feb 2, 2017

Neurofeedback is a computer-aided training method in which the patient’s own brain activity can be monitored and improved. It has been shown to successfully help patients overcome a variety of neurological and behavioral disorders including ADD, PTSD, Traumatic brain injury, and many more.

Neurofeedback and the Treatment of Depression

depression and neurofeedback

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Traditionally, depression has been treated with therapy and medication. Therapy has significant efficacy problems and is often a lengthy process. Many medications can have undesirable side effects. Neurofeedback is increasingly being considered by a growing segment of the scientific community and the public to be an effective treatment for depression and mood disorders.

Neurofeedback- A Cutting Edge ADHD Treatment

neurofeedback for ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed childhood neurological disorder. Children with ADHD are hyperactive and have low impulse control, and may have trouble paying attention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as many as 11 percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Neurofeedback is a therapy that is increasingly being used to treat ADHD. It is non-invasive and free from side effects, unlike the medications commmonly used to treat this disorder, such as dextroamphetamine (Adderall), or methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Common Conditions Treated with Neurofeedback

What is Neurofeedback?

What is Neurofeedback?Neurofeedback is a type of brain training or biofeedback that uses  real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography (EEG)- to train a client to regulate their own brain waves. Neurofeedback is approaching the mainstream- this article in the Washington Post about neurofeedback extols it’s virtues as an adjunct treatment for a wide variety of brain disorders, including PTSD, pain and anxiety.

A neurofeedback session is a bit like playing a video game with your brain. EEG (electoencephlograph) Sensors are placed on the scalp to measure electrical activity, with measurements displayed using video displays or sound. Clients can learn over time and repeated sessions to self- adjust brainwaves back into the normal range, resulting in a reduction of emotional or neurological symptoms.

For those who find it difficult to come into the office regularly for sessions, neurofeedback is also available as a home care therapy. Click here for more information on neurofeedback training at home.

What is Neurofeedback Used For?