At our chiropractic clinic, our Torrance chiropractors and Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors understand that many of our new patients have questions about what we do. Please take a look at this article if you are looking to learn more about neurofeedback.
COMMON NEUROFEEDBACK QUESTIONS
Many brain issues are caused by irregular brainwaves. Neurofeedback works because it does not directly target any conditions and symptoms…It corrects irregular brainwaves and modifies timing patterns in the brain. This is achieved through multiple neurofeedback sessions, where the brain is re-trained into making normal patterns. The result is an improvement in brain regulation, which then impacts a variety of symptoms.
Absolutely not! Neurofeedback is safe because it is non-invasive, requires no drugs and does not produce any radiation like a CT scan does. 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.
No. Neurofeedback does not require anything more than your attention for 30 minutes per session. In fact, with each successful session you can start eliminating any medications you are taking.
Absolutely not! A brain map is simply a surface scan of your scalp which picks up the electrical impulses we call brainwaves. We do use conductive paste, but there are no shocks, no pain and no discomfort. All you do is stare at the wall for 6 minutes with your eyes open, and six minutes with your eyes closed. The computer does the rest.
Neurofeedback has been around since the 1950’s. It is only in the last decade and with the advancement of computer technology that Neurofeedback has been able to move from laboratory research to a system that can be administered in an office setting.
Your brain produces four primary types of brain waves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta is primarily active during your awake state, which is the majority of your day. Alpha has to do with your subconscious, and is dominant during relaxed states when your eyes are closed but you are not asleep. Theta is present briefly during the periods before you fall asleep and before you fully wake up. Delta is primarily active when you are asleep. All of these brain waves are equally important to your health, and neurological disorders can be attributed to specific brain waves. For example, when you have brain irregularities caused by a head injury, your brain may have too much frontal theta or delta being produced when you are supposed to be awake and alert. By retraining these abnormal patterns in the affected areas, symptoms can be improved or eliminated.
Each session usually lasts 30 minutes.
The number of sessions needed will depend on the individual and the particular condition that has been determined. Much like going to the gym, every person requires a different length of time to improve. 20 – 40 sessions is normal for many conditions to improve or even be eliminated. However, people have reported positive changes after just a few sessions.
Neurofeedback sessions involve relaxing for 30 minutes while you watch a movie or listen to music of your choice. Electrodes are attached to your scalp that monitor your brainwaves during the session. When irregular patterns are detected, a response is triggered from the software that pauses or dims the video or music. this response will automatically cause you to focus more, which will move your brainwaves back into normal ranges. With repetition of this process over multiple sessions, your brain can learn to stay within healthy ranges on its own without neurofeedback.
Again, results will vary from person to person. Some feel different within a couple of sessions, while tougher conditions will take many sessions to see any noticeable results. It’s important to not get impatient and listen to the practitioner. They should be able to show you the graph results of each sessions, which will provide a visual reference of improvement. The type of neurofeedback training we offer here is permanent. Neurofeedback helps to improve functions such as concentration, short-term memory, speech, motor skills, sleep, energy level, and emotional balance.
Long term follow ups have been done on many patients over the years. Dr. Joel Lubar at the University of Tennessee has followed ADD clients who’ve sustained their improvements from neurofeedback for 10-20 years. Published research on epilepsy 12 months after brain training shows the effects on epilepsy usually holds. Owners of the Clear Mind System have commonly reported no relapses from patients after 10 years.
Yes you can start neurofeedback while on your medications. As you progress your physician might suggest that you slowly reduce or eliminate certain medications related to the condition that you are addressing with neurofeedback. Since every patient is unique, the decision to reduce medication will be up to your physician. More research is needed on this, but a common theory is that the same dosage seems to have a stronger effect on a more efficient brain.
If used improperly, it is possible to see problems. That is to be expected from a system that can produce such positive changes. It all comes down to training and proper use. Fortunately, each session is designed to create small changes in brainwave activity, meaning that problems can be spotted and corrected before they become bigger. Our clinic has extensive training on this equipment and can change protocols as needed if negative effects are seen.
Recent research suggests that individuals with ADD/ADHD tend to have elevated theta brainwave activity and low levels of beta brainwave activity. Symptoms of ADD/ADHD are usually reduced when brainwave activity is changed. Neurofeedback is commonly used as an adjunct or alternative treatment to medication and behavior management.
Neurofeedback has been around since the late 1950’s when Dr. Joe Kamiya discovered that by using a simple reward system, people could learn to alter their brain activity. His partner, Dr Sterman discovered that he could train cats to control their epileptic seizures through a similar method. He moved on to train humans to control their epilepsy. Neurofeedback has evolved over the years from laboratory research to a system that can be administered in an office setting. And with 5 decades of positive case studies, it is not likely to go away any time soon.
Neurofeedback has been around for decades. To date there are thousands of studies, with more being published every day. This site has a comprehensive list of studies on neurofeedback for many conditions. You can view them here.
Our chiropractic team at Taylor Chiropractic & Laser Center is here to help you. Please feel free to call us with any questions that you have.