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?
ADHD and PTSD
The article mentions a recent trial involving 104 children published in March in the Journal of Pediatrics. Neurofeedback produced improvements in attention and impulse control, which persisted after six months. The authors concluded that neurofeedback may be a “promising attention training treatment for children with ADHD.”
Neurofeedback is also a promising treatment for PTSD. Service members, health professionals and military family members attending the Naval Center Combat and Operational Stress Conference (NCCOSC) recently heard military psychologists share findings showing the dramatic benefits of neurofeedback for servicemen and women. Homecoming for Veterans is an organization offering neurofeedback at no cost, for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through a network of clinicians across the country.
Neurofeedback has been shown to provide relief for PTSD symptoms that include sleep problems, pain, irritability, anger and rage, as well as cognitive deficits. The training can also help soldiers recover from drug, alcohol, and tobacco dependency. It is completely safe, non-invasive, and the results are lasting. It has no side effects, or risk of sudden death, like much of the psychiatric medication that is currently being over-prescribed in the military. Thus neurofeedback has the potential to relieve a great deal of psychiatric problems currently experienced in great volume among the military, as well as civilians.
Neurofeedback and Other Disorders
Some other conditions sucessfully treated in our clinic with neurofeedback include seizure conditions, behavior disorders, autism, ongoing developmental delays, acquired brain injuries, anxiety, depression, stress-related problems, and insomnia or interrupted sleep patterns, as well as those with age-related cognitive loss, may find neurofeedback helpful.
Updated December 2019