COMMON QUESTIONS – NEUROFEEDBACK
How Can Neurofeedback Work On So Many Conditions?
Many brain-related problems originate from irregular patterns of brain activity, which are reflected in the brainwaves. Neurofeedback doesn’t directly address specific conditions or symptoms, instead, it works on regulating these abnormal brain activities. This is done over a series of neurofeedback sessions, where the brain is coached to generate more typical patterns of activity. Consequently, this leads to improved regulation of brain functions, which in turn can alleviate a variety of symptoms.
Is Neurofeedback Painful?
Absolutely not! Neurofeedback is safe because it is non-invasive, requires no drugs and does not produce any radiation. The goal of neurofeedback is to identify irregular brainwave patterns and make very subtle corrections. With multiple sessions, the brain will learn to self-regulate.
Why Haven’t I heard of Neurofeedback Before?
Even though neurofeedback has been a part of scientific discussions since the 1950s, it might not have been widely recognized due to numerous factors. One significant reason is that neurofeedback is a field that requires a high degree of scientific understanding and technological sophistication. The technology needed to implement neurofeedback effectively has only become widely available in recent years due to advancements in computer technology and data processing capabilities.
What Brainwaves Means?
Brainwaves are electrical impulses produced by the synchronized activity of the brain’s billions of neurons. They’re essentially the byproduct of your brain’s functioning and can be categorized into four primary types: Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta, each associated with a different state of consciousness.
Delta brainwaves are most prominent during deep, dreamless sleep, a time when the body undergoes restorative processes. However, an excess of these waves during wakefulness can indicate brain irregularities, such as those resulting from a head injury.
Theta brainwaves appear momentarily during the twilight periods just before you drift off to sleep and just before you fully awaken. They’re also associated with deep relaxation, meditation, and creative thinking.
Alpha brainwaves dominate during states of relaxed wakefulness, particularly when your eyes are closed but you’re not yet asleep. They’re linked to your subconscious mind, serving as a bridge between your conscious and subconscious.
Beta brainwaves are the most common during your waking hours, when you’re alert and focused on the world around you, whether you’re making decisions, problem-solving, or actively engaging with your environment.
Each type of brainwave is critical to your overall health. Imbalances or irregularities in specific brainwaves can lead to neurological disorders. For instance, too much frontal theta or delta during periods of wakefulness could be a sign of irregular brain activity. Neurofeedback aims to retrain these abnormal patterns, ultimately helping to improve or eliminate associated symptoms.
How Long Do Neurofeedback Sessions Take?
A typical neurofeedback session, including the actual training and preparation, takes around 40 minutes to complete. The initial 10 minutes are dedicated to preparation, where we ensure that the sensors are correctly placed and the equipment is functioning as intended. This is a crucial step to ensure accurate data collection and effective training.
Following this, the actual neurofeedback training begins, which lasts for about 30 minutes. During this time, you’ll be engaged in neurofeedback exercises designed to help your brain improve its self-regulation.
How Many Neurofeedback Sessions Are Needed?
The exact number of neurofeedback sessions required can vary significantly from person to person, depending on the individual’s unique needs and the specific condition being addressed. It’s important to think of neurofeedback training as a fitness routine for the brain – everyone’s ‘fitness level’, or baseline brain function, differs, so the ‘workout plan’, or neurofeedback sessions, need to be customized accordingly.
On average, many individuals see improvements or even complete resolution of their conditions within a range of 20 to 40 sessions. However, this is not a fixed rule. Some people might need fewer sessions, while others may benefit from a more extended course of therapy.
Just as physical fitness is a gradual process requiring consistent effort, neurofeedback also involves training the brain over time to improve its self-regulation. Therefore, patience and commitment to the process are key to seeing the best results. Remember, each session brings you one step closer to enhanced brain health and improved quality of life.
What Happens During A Neurofeedback Session?
During a neurofeedback session, which typically lasts for 30 minutes, you are invited to relax and enjoy a movie or listen to your chosen music.
To monitor your brain activity, electrodes are gently placed on your scalp. These electrodes pick up the brainwaves, which are essentially the electrical byproducts of your brain’s activity and relay this information to our specialized software and device. The key goal of this monitoring is to identify any irregular patterns in your brain activity.
When such irregularities are detected, the neurofeedback training system responds by subtly altering the movie or music, either by pausing it or dimming the sound or visual output. This minor change is designed to attract your attention and refocus your mind, nudging your brain activity back into its normal range.
Through repetition over several sessions, this process of detecting and correcting abnormal brain activity helps to train your brain to self-regulate and maintain healthy activity levels. Over time, your brain learns to sustain these healthy activity ranges on its own, even without the assistance of neurofeedback. It’s akin to learning to ride a bike – with enough practice, your brain can maintain its balance even without the training wheels!
How Soon Will I See Results From Neurofeedback?
The timeline for experiencing noticeable results from neurofeedback can vary among individuals. Some people might observe changes within just a few sessions, while others with more complex conditions might need a larger number of sessions before discerning any significant improvements.
It’s crucial to maintain patience throughout this process and closely follow the guidance of your practitioner. They will provide you with graphical representations of each session’s outcomes, offering a visual indication of your progress. These graphs can be immensely helpful in understanding the subtle changes that are taking place over time, even when they might not immediately be perceptible in your day-to-day behavior or feelings.
Remember, the neurofeedback training we provide is designed to effect lasting changes. It aims to enhance various brain functions, including but not limited to concentration, short-term memory, speech, motor skills, sleep quality, energy levels, and emotional stability. As such, it’s worth investing the necessary time and patience to realize its full benefits.
How Long Will The Effects Of Neurofeedback Last?
Over the years, various long-term follow-up studies have been conducted to evaluate the durability of neurofeedback’s effects.
One significant contributor to this research is Dr. Joel Lubar from the University of Tennessee, who has tracked the progress of individuals with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). His research indicates that the improvements gained through neurofeedback have been sustained for a remarkable duration of 10 to 20 years.
Additionally, research published on the effects of neurofeedback on epilepsy shows that the positive impact typically persists even 12 months after the brain training sessions.
These studies suggest that the benefits of neurofeedback are not just momentary but can indeed be long-lasting or permanent, potentially transforming an individual’s quality of life in a sustained manner.
Can I Use Neurofeedback While On Medication?
Absolutely, it’s entirely possible to begin neurofeedback therapy while continuing your current medication regimen. As you make progress through your neurofeedback sessions, it may become appropriate, under your physician’s guidance, to gradually decrease or even cease certain medications related to the condition being targeted by the neurofeedback.
However, it’s important to remember that every patient’s journey is unique, and decisions regarding medication adjustments should always be made by your medical provider, based on your individual progress and overall health.
While more comprehensive research is required, a prevalent theory suggests that as the brain becomes more efficient through neurofeedback, the same dosage of medication could potentially have a heightened effect.
Can Neurofeedback Cause Negative Effects?
Given the transformative potential of neurofeedback, which can induce significant positive shifts in brain activity, it’s understandable to question if it could also lead to any negative effects. The likelihood of such outcomes largely depends on the skill and proficiency of the practitioner, along with the correct application of the procedure.
Fortunately, each neurofeedback session is designed to effect only gradual changes in brainwave activity. This step-by-step approach allows for any potential concerns to be detected and addressed promptly, thereby preventing them from escalating.
At our clinic, our team has extensive training and practical experience with this technology, ensuring that your neurofeedback sessions are conducted with utmost safety and effectiveness. If any minor side effects were to be noticed, which are minimal and could include feeling tired on the day of training, we are fully equipped to promptly adjust the protocols to alleviate these effects and steer your brain back towards healthier functioning.
Can Neurofeedback Help With ADD And ADHD?
Neurofeedback has shown promising results in managing and reducing the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These conditions are characterized by certain irregularities in brain activity patterns, and neurofeedback therapy works by targeting these irregularities to promote healthier brain activity.
ADD and ADHD typically present with symptoms like difficulty in maintaining focus, impulsivity, and in the case of ADHD, hyperactivity. These symptoms are often associated with imbalances in brainwave activity. Neurofeedback trains the brain to alter these imbalances, helping to reduce the symptoms. By monitoring and providing feedback on an individual’s brainwave patterns, neurofeedback sessions can encourage the brain to adopt more normalized patterns of activity over time.
Neurofeedback provides a form of training for the brain, helping it to learn better self-regulation. This can lead to noticeable improvements in focus, impulse control, and overall behavior, significantly benefiting individuals with ADD or ADHD. The process is non-invasive and drug-free, offering a safe and effective option for managing these conditions.
How Much Research Is There On Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is not a new concept; it has been a part of scientific and medical exploration for several decades. Over this time, it has been the subject of extensive research, with a multitude of studies conducted worldwide to investigate its efficacy and applications.
To date, thousands of studies have been carried out, exploring the various facets of neurofeedback. These studies delve into its potential for treating a range of conditions, from ADHD and anxiety to insomnia and cognitive decline. This growing body of research not only demonstrates the effectiveness of neurofeedback but also helps to continuously refine and optimize its application.
Even now, the field of neurofeedback continues to evolve rapidly, with new research findings being published regularly. These ongoing efforts are expanding our understanding of how neurofeedback works and how it can be used to enhance brain function and overall wellbeing. To get a sense of the scope and depth of this research, you’re welcome to explore some of these studies on our RESEARCH PAGE. This collection of research offers a comprehensive look at the exciting possibilities of neurofeedback.