Neurofeedback Therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and drug-free approach to treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and learning disabilities. Hundreds of scientific studies have found that it can reduce or eliminate symptoms without the use of medications and has a positive effect on mood regulation, cognitive function, and behavior.
Treatment with neurofeedback focuses on the brain’s ability to adapt, or neuroplasticity. It helps patients retrain their brains to function better, and this is accomplished using a form of brain wave monitoring called electroencephalography (EEG).
The EEG continuously monitors a patient’s brain waves and provides real-time feedback when the waves are in the desired state. For example, if a patient’s brain is making too many fast beta waves and not enough slow alpha waves, they may be rewarded with a larger movie Neurofeedback Therapy screen or video game that only plays when the brain is in the preferred state. This feedback loop teaches the brain to self-correct its own patterns, and as a result, symptom relief can be sustained after neurofeedback training sessions are completed.
This type of training can be applied to a variety of disorders, including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, seizures, sleep disorders, and more. It can also be used to train athletes who are having trouble concentrating and experiencing stress-related issues, such as headaches or fatigue.
During the first few sessions, patients can observe their results and decide whether neurofeedback is right for them. Some respond to the training quickly, but others may need more than five sessions to see changes.
After the initial session, patients can continue to practice the techniques learned through neurofeedback at home. This allows for long-lasting benefits that often last months or even years.
For many patients with anxiety, a regular training session can help them learn to control their brain and reduce the intensity of their symptoms. As a result, they experience more control over their emotions and can live a happier life.
Another benefit of neurofeedback training is that it can improve a person’s memory and processing speed, as well as their overall cognitive function. This is because neurofeedback teaches the brain how to regulate itself more efficiently, so that the body can focus on tasks and feel less stressed.
A trained therapist can use neurofeedback in conjunction with psychotherapy, or on its own for some patients. The two treatments can be very effective for a variety of mental health problems, and the combined sessions often allow the patient to implement the therapist’s suggestions under the supervision of their physician or therapist.
The procedure involves placing electrodes on the scalp to record electrical activity in the brain. A therapist can then analyze the data and develop a training protocol that will target the areas of concern.
Depending on the patient’s condition, a series of 30 to 40 sessions is typically required. Those with complex brainwaves such as those resulting from brain injury or developmental delays might need more sessions than those with simple or common conditions.