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So, What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, as its name suggests, is a type of biofeedback that focuses on the brain and central nervous system. Before treatment begins, patients usually undergo a quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG, a common diagnostic tool in neurology) that "maps" the electrical activity in the brain and identifies patterns that are likely causing symptoms. During a typical session, electrodes are applied to your scalp that monitor the brain's electrical impulses and transmit them to a computer. Then you simply sit back and watch a program on the computer screen. If you're focused and relaxed, you'll enjoy the images and sounds on the computer. However, when your attention wanders or you become anxious, the pictures and sounds will fade in and out or, depending on the software, change altogether.
Sessions last about half an hour and are repeated as needed for as long as it takes for the trainee to be able to normalize their brainwaves on their own.
How It Works
Brain cells communicate with one another via electrical discharges that have varying but predictable frequencies known as brainwaves. For example, when you are mentally engaged, higher frequency beta waves dominate. If you're resting or relaxing, electrical frequencies slow down and you're in the alpha state. Theta brainwaves are even slower-it's that pleasant, ultra-relaxed state you experience just before you drift off to sleep or when you daydream or do repetitious, "no-brainer" tasks. The slowest brain waves are delta, and they occur during sleep.
Neurofeedback simply identifies patterns associated with negative symptoms and provides feedback that encourages the production of more positive patterns such as slowing brainwaves down, speeding them up, or acting on excitatory/inhibitory pathways that may not be connecting in the brain as it should. And, unlike conventional biofeedback, in which you concentrate and willfully try to change physiological reactions, you're not "telling" your brain to calm down or rev up. This therapy focuses more or less on a subconscious level.
People Love This Training
Neurofeedback has been studied in hundreds of clinical trials as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including autism, epilepsy, ADHD, posttraumatic stress disorder, addiction, tinnitus, fibromyalgia, migraines, impulsivity, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The studies are impressive, but the enthusiastic reactions of our clients-evidenced by their comments at the start of this article-are even more striking. The Center for Power Filled living uses this amazing tool for increasing self-control and peak performance in their clients. We have seen individuals regain the use of their limbs and mental functions when the best efforts of our country's finest rehab centers had given up hope.
Neurofeedback Expands Possibilities
The first two clients got me entranced with this process. The first was a young lady that had been in a accident on her graduation night from a nursing school. She had been a quadriplegic for several years before she had been sent to me by a chiropractor. Her hands and feet had curled into claws from contractures and she had an unusual affliction of painful muscle spasms that would occur daily for about an hour. After neurofeedback, she was able to concentrate and open her hands and the spasms were reduced to a third of the frequency and for twenty minutes versus an hour. As she improved, the family asked if there was anything that could be done for her mother's crushing depression. The family was a proud west Texas farming family. The farm had been in the family for generations. However, as the daughter became more disabled, they ended up losing all they had to pay for any possible chance for her recovery and to no avail. The mother had a physical ailment of her own. She had chronic obstructive pulmanory disease as well as congestive heart failure. She had to take three different diuretics to survive. Her life consisted of moving from bed to chair. She had lost her health, her family's inheritance, her livelihood, her daughter's future, and the hope of grandchildren. Being a Christian woman, she would not give in to suicidal thoughts. After neurofeedback her depression had improved tremendously, but that was not the most amazing thing. Her system began to normalize. She regained her strength. The body fluids she could not control suddenly purged and she was able to get off her diuretics. She became active; able to take care of family chores as well as physical activities. Such as it is with many cases, wonderful side effects commonly occur when the brain is ushered into a more normal state of operations. When one condition is corrected it effects many others and can bring unexpected beneficial effects. In over 40 years of research, no negative side effects have been reported. Since the process reflects the individual's brain activity without putting anything into the brain, it feels so natural many times the person does not realize changes are happening until they are in place.
If you have any of the conditions discussed in this article, neurofeedback is worth a shot. It's safe, painless, and incredibly effective.