Neurofeedback, also known as EEG (electroencephalogram) biofeedback, is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback from a computer-based program that assesses a client’s brainwave activity. The program uses auditory or visual signals to help patients recognize their thought patterns and try to modify them. Through this process, clients can learn to regulate and improve their brain function and hopefully alleviate symptoms of various neurological disorders and mental health conditions.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback. Biofeedback refers to obtaining information and metrics about physiological functions—such as heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature—to understand and change existing bodily processes. Neurofeedback does the same but specifically for brain activity.
What Conditions can Neurofeedback Training Help With?
Neurofeedback training can help with many common conditions, including:
- Seizure conditions
- Brain injury
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Age-related cognitive loss
- Behavior disorders
- Developmental delays
Neurofeedback may also be used as an adjunct intervention with other forms of therapy.
Devices in the form of headsets or earbuds can monitor electrical activity in the brain that people can then access and analyze on their phone or computer. For example, one application of these devices is to detect when drivers become drowsy, and research suggests that several consumer devices can successfully identify drowsiness. Another is for individual consumers to observe their brain activity during meditation and improve their practice.
What to Expect in a Neurofeedback Training Session
Neurofeedback therapy consists of regular 30- or 60-minute sessions. Some people need fewer sessions, while others require more.
When the client arrives, they’ll be seated and the provider will attach electrodes to their scalp, often by fitting them with a cap or band.
The electrodes will transmit their brain activity to a computer program as they engage in the process. They may watch graphics on a computer screen or listen to music. The provider will be monitoring their brainwaves on the screen.
The computer program will then begin directing the client’s brainwave activity toward more desirable and controlled patterns through visual and auditory cues. They’ll get immediate feedback from the program when their brainwave patterns improve to reinforce those changes.
Between sessions, clients may be able to notice changes in mood, stress, sleep patterns, or mental clarity.
Note that neurofeedback takes place in an office or clinic. The person remains conscious and alert throughout the session, there is no sedation or medication involved, and they can return to their daily routine after the visit.
How Neurofeedback Therapy Works
Neurofeedback is not considered a cure, but rather a method of managing or regulating the workings of the brain so it functions in a healthier manner. This is achieved by repeated training sessions using a computerized neurofeedback program that teaches the central nervous system to reorganize and regulate brainwave frequencies.
The idea is that patients can see their brain waves depicted in front of them. If they can learn to shift their thoughts to produce a desired pattern of activity, they can solve the harmful effects associated with the original pattern of activity.
For example, some research suggests that EEG may help reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. Brain activity among those with ADHD is sometimes associated with an increased power of theta waves, slower brain waves, and a decreased power of beta waves, faster brain waves. EEG may then be used to help children learn to shift the ratio of these two types of brain waves.
Neurofeedback Therapy at NHA
Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback may be helpful for training your mind, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. This easy, noninvasive therapy can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth Associates today and find out how we can help you.
Originally posted by Psychology TodayTags: clinical research, EEG Biofeedback, health, neurofeedback