There are electrical activities and impulses in our brains that we call brain waves. These brain waves play a huge role in controlling our thoughts, behaviors, attention, and the regulation of our bodies. Any changes in our brainwaves can potentially have a profound impact on our health.
Brainwaves & Neurofeedback Therapy
Brain waves fall into five distinct “bandwidths” depending on their frequency – delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma.
An EEG (electroencephalogram) is a particular test that can detect brainwaves. EEG research has shown that some people have excessively high or low levels of brain activity in one or more of these bandwidths, leading to mental and behavioral abnormalities.
Neurofeedback, which is also known as EEG biofeedback, is an advanced training technique that provides real-time information about your own EEG activity. Therapy involving neurofeedback enables people to develop and strengthen healthier brainwave patterns and rewire the electrical functioning of the brain over time.
Give Your Brain Some Exercise
Like any other muscle in the body, the brain has the ability to self-repair. In order to stay physically fit, you exercise to strengthen your muscles. To ‘exercise’ your brain, neurofeedback training helps your brain ‘muscles’ get fit. Here’s how.
Completely harmless small metal discs with thin wires (called electrodes) are placed on your scalp in various positions to measure brain waves. The electrodes then send signals to a computer that tracks and records your brainwave patterns.
After everything is in sync, you play a computer game using your brain waves. Your brainwaves must remain within the healthy thresholds set by the practitioner in order for you to win the game.
As you start ‘winning’ the game, there are signals of success indicated by computer graphics or noises. Your brain learns to recognize these signals as rewards and seeks them repeatedly. As a result, it strives to maintain the beneficial brainwave patterns that are being rewarded, which leads to the emergence of a healthier, better-functioning brain.
Progressing the Game
Therapists continually adjust thresholds, making them more difficult over time, to encourage further learning.
Neurofeedback functions like a feedback loop. The electrodes on your scalp pick up your brain activity, and the game encourages your brain to make the right frequency of waves in the right places. When your brain complies, it gets rewarded.
Over time, you learn to increase brain-wave patterns associated with concentration and relaxation, while simultaneously decreasing those associated with tension and inattention. You produce new, positive brain patterns, and let go of old, maladaptive patterns.
Neurofeedback Therapy at NHA
Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback treatments. Neurofeedback may be helpful for treating ADHD symptoms, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. The easy, noninvasive treatments can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth today and find out how we can help you.