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Step 3: Neurofeedback

What it's all about:

 

One of the methods we use to take care of the brain's healing ability is called neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is the next evolution of treatment in the ever growing research on the benefits of neuroplasticity - the ability of the mind to create new pathways and connections between nerve cells. This means that the brain has the ability to heal itself through changing old processes and creating new ones.

 

Neurofeedback (NFB) heals the brain. Psychotherapy heals the mind. Together, neurofeedback and psychotherapy can create lasting change and recovery. Neurofeedback improves brain function so you can better engage in a variety of life circumstances, and make more conscious, healthy decisions for yourself.

 
 

FAQ'S

Frequently Asked Questions 

 
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What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We give that information back to the person by sound through feedback tones. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function, and self-regulation training allows the the central nervous system to function better.


How does neurofeedback work?

We apply electrodes to the scalp to listen in on brainwave activity. We process the signal by computer, and we extract information about certain key brainwave frequencies. Some frequencies we wish to promote. Others we wish to diminish. Eventually the brainwave activity is "shaped" toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The frequencies we target, and the specific locations on the scalp where we listen in on the brain, are specific to the conditions we are trying to address, and specific to the individual. 



What does it mean when you say my brain is not regulated?

Simply put, an unregulated brain tends to be over-stimulated when it is supposed to be calm and under-stimulated when it is supposed to be attentive. Sometimes, the brain self-corrects. When it doesn't, this dysregulation becomes “the new normal”.  So it makes sense that we should be able to re-train the brain to function optimally, the way it was designed.  In neurofeedback training, we work in conjunction with other treatments. When your brain is better regulated, it allows you to change behaviors and thoughts.


What issues does neurofeedback improve?

Neurofeedback addresses any problems of brain dysregulation. Just to name a few:

ADD & ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injuries, addiction recovery, headaches and migraines, chronic pain, PTSD, stroke recovery, autism spectrum issues, stress, fears and phobias, tantrums, relationships, trauma, emotional disturbances, mood disorders, focus. 


What do you use to read my brain waves? 

We use state of the art sensors that are placed directly onto the scalp to measure the electrical frequencies that your brain outputs (alpha, beta, delta and theta waves). This information is fed into a computer which analyzes your baseline output. Next, you go through a series of exercise and monitor changes in these waves throughout the session to better understand your brain's natural tendencies. From here you will be guided to change your brain's tendencies and immediately see the feedback from your work as the wave frequencies being to regulate on the monitor. 


Is neurofeedback or brain mapping painful?

Not at all! It is very relaxing and comfortable. Clients generally look forward to their sessions.


How does neurofeedback affect any medication I’m taking?

With successful neurofeedback training, the medications targeting brain function may very well no longer be needed, or they may be needed at lower dosages, as the brain takes over more of the role of regulating itself. Please note - It is important for clients to communicate with their prescribing physician regarding neurofeedback and medications.


Do you take Insurance?

There is an insurance code for biofeedback, under which neurofeedback and brain mapping (QEEG) are covered. And there are codes for combining psychotherapy with biofeedback / neurofeedback. Coverage for chronic mental health concerns can vary widely depending on the provider. Take a look at our Insurance Reimbursement Worksheet to find out how you can be reimbursed.


Is neurofeedback a sustainable when it comes to healing the brain?

If the problem being addressed is one of brain dysregulation, then the answer is yes, and that covers a lot of ground. Neurofeedback involves learning by the brain and if that brings order out of disorder, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, and thus reinforce them. When it comes to degenerative conditions like Parkinson's or the dementias, or when we are working against continuing insults to the system, as may be the case in the autism spectrum, training needs to be continued at some level over time for sustainability. 


Is neurofeedback safe?

Research shows your own brain “knows best”, and we agree. Neurofeedback training does not force or “push” the brain in any one direction. Basically, neurofeedback provides your brain with the information it needs to correct itself and function at its most optimal. It simply enables your own brain’s natural process of self-correction.


Do I need to do anything to perform well in neurofeedback sessions?

Nothing at all. Some brain training systems require the user to “interact” by playing games or solve puzzles during sessions. This additional level of interaction is unnecessary with our state of the art neurofeedback system. During a training session, you can simply relax and enjoy!


How do you know what protocols to use?

Over the years, certain neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) training protocols have been developed that are helpful with certain classes of problems such as attention, anxiety and depression, seizures and migraines, as well as cognitive function. There are a number of assessment tools we use to help us decide which protocols are the best fit for you.


How long is a neurofeedback session last?

We schedule each appointment for a clinical hour (50 minutes). You should arrive 10 minutes early since appointments are always on time. In the clinical hour, there is about 35 minutes of neurofeedback training, and roughly 15 minutes of set up (placing the sensors on your head) before the training begins.


What is the neurofeedback room like?

We have created a very comfortable and relaxing space for clients to come in for their training sessions, complete with warm lamp light and essential oils. Each client has their own private space with a comfortable reclining chair, ottoman, and weighted blanket. The room can accommodate two clients at a time, each with their own space.


What if I want to reserve the room for myself?

That’s great! We want you to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible when you come in for your training sessions. Feel free to tell us if you’d prefer that, and we can talk through how to accommodate that for you.


How many neurofeedback training sessions should I do?

The average number of neurofeedback sessions to achieve enduring change is 40 sessions. 


How long until I will start noticing a difference from neurofeedback?

On average, most people require 15-20 sessions to experience symptom changes. It is very normal for some agitation or irritability to occur for a couple weeks following the 15th session. Please let us know if you feel like metabolic or personal relationship issues might be hindering your neurofeedback training – we have a team of people ready to help you.


Are there any side effects from neurofeedback?

No. The only known side effects may result from prescribed drugs you are taking when dosage is not reduced as the sessions progress.


If Neurofeedback is so successful, why haven't I heard of it before?

Information verifying the outstanding results of neurofeedback is growing by the day. The National Institute of Health lists more than 130,000 scientific publications on EEG, 450 in neurofeedback, and 8,500 peer-reviewed publications in biofeedback. This technology has been shown on Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show, & 20/20. Recently, an article was published in Time Magazine called neurofeedback "the most effective solution for ADHD" by the journal Opinions in Pediatrics. In addition to this, the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America has dedicated the entire issue to the advantage of using neurofeedback in psychiatric disorders affecting children and adolescents. 

 

What are the fees? 

We have several different options available. Get in touch with our team and we will provide you with the information for the cost of brain mapping and neurofeedback training.

 

Call or text us at 615-589-3879

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