Wellness, balance, healing…..all popular buzz words that sound enticing and are easy get started with the latest craze, but how do we really achieve amidst the reality of our fast-paced world? Here we’ll bring you insight into how find wellbeing and peace for body, mind, and spirit.
By: Tori Paide
Clean Up and Organize your Brain
Just like your smartphone, your brain is full of apps. Some of these apps are useful and make you work smarter, not harder. Others are outdated, slow you down, and suck up your energy causing anxiety, depression, migraines, PTSD, insomnia, memory loss, substance abuse issues and much more. Neurofeedback, also known as EEG (electroencephalogram) biofeedback, is a non-invasive technique that uses a computer-based program to assess a client’s brainwave activity, then provides immediate feedback. The program then uses sound or visual signals to reorganize or retrain these brain signals. By responding to this process, clients learn to regulate and improve their brain function and to alleviate symptoms of various neurological andmental health disorders.
All about brainwaves
Every different kind of emotional or mental state of being that a person can feel and experience has a correlated brainwave to it. For example, there is a specific brainwave that relates to feelings and symptoms of anxiety and a different one that relates to depression, and even brainwaves that indicate lack of focus and insomnia. Anything and everything that you can feel and experience has related brainwaves. Neurofeedback therapy works to figure out which areas of the brain are experiencing imbalances in brainwaves and what those imbalances are associated with as far as symptoms go. Then the therapy works to literally retrain the brain through different methods of conditioning, to a state of symptom free and most optimal state of well-being. There are four main brainwaves and each has a natural time and place for being active depending on what we are doing in our lives. Disorders such as anxiety or depression for example, relate to brainwaves being too present or absent, or even in the wrong area of the brain when it is not supposed to be. The general term for this is known as brainwave dysregulation. The negative symptoms associated with dysregulation can be corrected by regulating the brain properly through neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback is non-invasive, painless, comfortable, and completely drug free. It is essentially a form of operant conditioning that uses positive and negative feedback to retrain the brain to optimal condition.
What to Expect
Neurofeedback therapy typically consists of once-a-week 30-minute sessions for an average of 20 weeks. Some people need fewer sessions, while others require more. While you are sitting comfortably in a chair, the therapist attaches sensors to your scalp. A computer EEG program will process your brain signals and provide information about various brainwave frequencies while you watch something on Netflix or Hulu, whatever keeps your attention and interest. If the brainwaves start to become dysregulated, the screen will become dark and audio so low that you can hardly see or hear it. The brain doesn’t like to watch something it can hardly see or hear. This is a form of non-invasive negative feedback and operant conditioning. Once the brain starts to regulate itself and shift brainwaves, the screen will become bright again and the volume will come back up to a comfortable level. This is a form of positive feedback. The brain likes to be comfortable, and will be rewarded with a nice bright screen to watch whenever its brainwaves are regulating properly. This happens literally hundreds of times a minute during a neurofeedback session, while the person conditions themselves to be symptom free from whatever negative issues they might be experiencing. Between sessions, you should be able to notice changes in stress, sleep patterns, or mental clarity.
We Love Science
For the past 40 years neurofeedback has been studied in research labs at prominent universities throughout the world. This research supports the efficacy of neurofeedback and has been published in top tier scientific journals. See below for recommended research articles. You can read more about neurofeedback treatment protocols in Neurofeedback: A Comprehensive Review on System Design, Methodology and Clinical Applications in the journal Basic and Clinical Neuroscience.
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