Others Conditions Treated
Addictions - Chronic Pain - Depression - Learning Disabilities - Peak Performance - PTSD
Addiction is serious and debilitating. It is convenient for friends and family to believe addiction is due to a lack of self-discipline; however, in reality, addiction is a disease. This disease can stem from irregular patterns in the brain. One brainwave pattern often seen in people with addictions is the production of too many fast brainwaves combined with the underproduction of slow brainwaves. This can result in a person feeling like they cannot “turn their mind off.” Alcohol and drug use can be a way of slowing their brains down. Another pattern found in addicts is the presence of too many slow brainwaves, which may make it difficult for an individual to focus. A person may have coped by taking stimulants to “wake the brain up.” Neurofeedback training can help bring overactive or underactive brainwaves into a more functional range. Research is demonstrating that by balancing the alpha and theta rhythms in the brain via neurofeedback, an addict can experience the same feelings of reward or well-being produced when ingesting drugs or alcohol or engaging in an addictive behavior.
Pain sensation involves many complex interactions between different brain regions, the peripheral nervous system and body parts. For example, if you sprain your ankle, the injured tissue releases chemicals which increase electrical signals from your peripheral nervous system to your brain. The brain processes these signals to determine where the injury is and how severe it is. Pain results and you modify your behavior to protect the injured site. This promotes healing. Sometimes, however, the perception of pain continues beyond the duration of the actual injury or can be out of proportion to the injury. The injured site in the brain gets caught in a vicious cycle of increased pain signaling. The brain can become more responsive to the signaling and you can feel more and more pain. At this point, most people are pretty miserable. This is because emotional centers in the brain are involved in pain processing. Neurofeedback can help break the cycle by teaching the brain to interpret signals differently so the vicious pain cycle can end.
Neurofeedback has effectively treated migraines for decades. People with migraines often show increased fast wave activity in particular brain areas. Treating this brain wave activity can decrease the frequency and severity of migraines. Additionally, many clinicians and literature report facilitating neurofeedback training on patients experiencing a migraine and having the pain stop.
In addition to migraines, neurofeedback is also used to treat chronic persistent pain and fibromyalgia utilizing the same technique of decreasing the pain signaling in the brain.
Neuroscientists have identified specific brain map patterns that are often associated with specific disorders. In depression, one common irregularity is “frontal asymmetry.”
This condition occurs when there is more alpha activity in the left frontal region than the right frontal region of a person’s brain. The left frontal region of the brain helps us engage in positive mood and effective social interactions. The right frontal part of the brain is associated with depression, fear and motivation to withdraw from and avoid others. Brain maps of those dealing with depression often reveal slow or underactive brain waves in the left frontal region of the brain, thus allowing the right frontal region to seemingly “take over”, resulting in a susceptibility to depressive symptoms.
An initial brain map can pinpoint the areas of the brain which are underactive. Neurofeedback can correct the asymmetry, thus decreasing depressive symptoms and increasing the brain’s communication for optimal functioning.
Depression is a complicated disorder which does not have an easy “fix”; however, research is demonstrating that neurofeedback can offer hope.
Learning disabilities are caused by a difference in brain structure that is present at birth and is often hereditary. They affect the way the brain processes information, and can impact how a person learns to read, write, hear, speak and calculate. There are many types of learning disabilities, and they affect people differently. Learning disabilities do not reflect IQ. Instead a person with a learning disability has trouble performing a specific types of skills or completing a task.
A QEEG Brain Map will show where the brain is having difficulty. Generally, the areas of difficulty will correspond to areas of the brain involved in performing specific skills, such as math, reading or visual and auditory processing.
Since learning also involves high-speed communication between multiple areas of the brain, the QEEG Brain map will also assess the efficiency of this communication.
We will develop an individualized training program that targets the specific trouble areas and that also will improve how brain regions communicate with each other.
Nineteen channel training and our sLORETA software allow us to precisely target brain areas and their connections and train them to communicate more optimally!
Every type of performance depends on brain function. Athletes and musicians train their bodies to perform specific actions. Business executives prepare themselves to give presentations, manage large teams and strategize effective business maneuvers. The repetition of actions develops neuropathways in the brain that make them easier and more refined each time they are performed. Performers’ brains are constantly anticipating what will happen next and how they need to react. Neurofeedback can train the brain to react a certain way in specific situations leading to peak performance at both the professional and amateur levels
Neurofeedback has been shown to improve concentration, attention and memory, help make decision-making, learning and relaxing easier, and can improve creativity, resistance to stress, self-confidence and self-control.
People who use neurofeedback for peak performance often report getting absorbed in their activity far more easily than they could before. They are more present with their performance, and their mental chatter ceases to interfere with their concentration.
Post-traumatic stress disorder - PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short, affects about 5.2 million people per year in the United States. Approximately 7-8% of people living in the U.S. will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Many cases of PTSD are seen in the men and women who serve in the military. Unfortunately, this disorder is also highly prevalent in people who experience abuse or neglect at some point in their lives. Any kind of trauma can cause PTSD but treatment is often complex for this highly intricate anxiety disorder.
In the past, PTSD has been treated with medication and psychotherapy. While these treatments have shown to be somewhat effective, treating children with PTSD is often even more elusive and complicated. However, modern science and medicine have found a potential treatment that may be dramatically more effective and inexpensive compared to the traditional treatments. This form of treatment does not require costly medication or long psychotherapy sessions, just a neurofeedback device, a trained professional, and you. That’s right, your own thoughts could cure your anxiety and PTSD through neurofeedback therapy.
In a recent study by Kluetsch et al., participants who had experienced childhood abuse or neglect that resulted in PTSD underwent a 30 minute neurofeedback session. Their mental focus in this session was monitored by an EEG while they participated in a neurofeedback “game” of sorts. The object of the game was to keep their focus level as elevated as possible for the time period.
The results of their neurofeedback session? It was shown that a single 30 minute session lead to a rebound in brain activity that increased calmness and improved the integrity of the regions of the brain associated with mental disorders. A simple neurofeedback session significantly reduced many of the anxiety and attention related symptoms associated with PTSD. Given the study only targeted a single session, the long-term potential for neurofeedback as a treatment for PTSD and many other anxiety disorders is vast. This innovative therapy requires no expensive medications or lengthy therapy sessions. The best part is that many participants find neurofeedback sessions to be fun and results can be felt immediately.