Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that changes the way the brain functions.
It appears to do so more effectively that medication, therapy, exercise or any other form of personal change work. 

Neurofeedback is Exercise for the Brain | What the Experts Says About Neurofeedback | Most Conditions Treated with Neurofeedback

neuroplasticity brain change mind exercise clifton park new yorkIn a very real sense, Neurofeedback is exercise for the Brain! And not just any exercise…but very specific, focused training that reshapes the way the brain functions.

Neurofeedback, also called EEG Biofeedback is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive method for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced, relaxed and efficient manner. In reality, this creates a healthier brain. The EEG training does this ‘magic’ by giving the brain feedback in very rapid, precise ways.

When the brain isn’t working well, we can experience a wide range of symptoms, from anxiety, distractibility, hyperactivity, depression, brain fog, OCD or worry. Physically, we can get headaches, migraines, seizures, body tension and have sleep problems as well. Rather than talking about issues or problems, or taking medications, Neurofeedback takes a more direct approach (and does so much more effectively).

Here’s a bit of ‘geek’ talk for those of you who might be interested. Electrical impulses in the brain are broken into four major divisions; Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta (called “Frequency Bands”). These Frequency Bands are measured in 20 locations across the head. Each band is changing continuously, but not randomly. There are clear patterns that quickly emerge, and these tell us which parts of your brain are active, how well parts are communicating together and how efficient the brain is in any particular area. These patterns correlate to various psychological and physical symptoms and point to weaknesses and strengths for each of us.

Certain patterns of these frequency bands should be active for specific activities. For instance, when we are balancing our checkbooks or in a class following directions, certain areas of our brain will need to be active and using the faster frequency called Beta. On the other hand, if after a long day we wish to relax and wind down, a different part of the brain will need to be activated using the slower brainwave frequency called Alpha. When we visualize something in our mind, another specific set of patterns emerge. These are only a few examples.

The goal of Neurofeedback is to improve the brain’s ability to self-regulate, maintain flexibility, and smoothly shift between states of relaxation, focused effort, planning, brainstorming or creating. Since your brain also controls attention, focus, creativity, awareness, attitude, emotions, memory and… well, EVERYTHING…when we bring the brain into smooth harmony with itself, the entire Central Nervous System returns to normal functioning.

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More on What is Neurofeedback

Simply put, neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback. But what is biofeedback? Biofeedback is a process of taking a signal imperceptible to us as humans, typically an electrical impulse, and using electronic equipment and an amplifier to amplify this signal that lies below the level of awareness for most of us. Once we are able to read the signal, we provide feedback to the person receiving the biofeedback or neurofeedback.

For example, if we want a brain wave to grow stronger, we provide a biofeedback signal every time that wave gets a bit stronger. The same process applies if we want that brain wave to be weaker. 

So, in essence, biofeedback is a very organic, natural process in that nothing invasive is done to the brain or body. That’s why it has a very low risk compared to medications or almost any other form of treatment. With neurofeedback, we can only reward the brain for a state that it has already achieved. This is important to understand because we are not forcing it into any particular state. So, for example, if we have a very high theta wave, as is often the case with anxiety or ADD, we can use neurofeedback to bring theta down, often in remarkable ways.

When such an elevated brain wave fluctuates and comes down a tiny amount, the individual receiving neurofeedback gets a reward signal in the form of a reward tone or increasing brightness. There’s no real conscious effort required. As you sit and absorb the feedback, the learning occurs unconsciously, and your brain becomes more neuroplastic, more flexible, learns, expands, and grows.

We have seen this result in hundreds of studies over the past 40-45 years, to the point that neurofeedback has recently been categorized as a level four or five treatment. Level five is the highest level of treatment possible in the world of mental health, used for anxiety, depression, and many forms of ADD and ADHD. Hundreds of studies with no reported side effects have proved its remarkable effectiveness. 

The bottom line is that we are giving the individual receiving neurofeedback a very precise feedback signal when that brain moves in a desirable, healthier direction. Done repeatedly over time, we can completely change the trajectory of an individual’s brain wave patterns. When these brain waves change, patterns of dysfunction, whether cognitive, emotional or behavioral, shift dramatically overtime.

“What the Experts Say About Neurofeedback”

“Neurofeedback treatment for many disorders such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, seizures, and others has been shown to be highly effective with a long-term lasting results. There are hundreds of published studies and several books demonstrating this.”

Joel F. Lubar Ph.D., BCN
Professor Emeritus University of Tennessee

“Literature now suggests that neurofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas.

In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used”

Frank Duffy, M.D. Director
Pediatric Neurologist Harvard Medical School

“Neurofeedback training is a powerful and effective tool to combat symptoms associated with PTSD.

We see results every day for our patients who are struggling with the debilitating symptoms of PTSD, including sleep problems, pain, irritability, anger and rage, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco dependency.”

Dr. Siegfried Othmer
Homecoming for Veterans Board Chair

“Overall, these findings support the use of multi-modal treatment, including medication, parent/school counseling, and Neurofeedback, in the long-term management of ADHD, and a sustained effect even without stimulant treatment (…)

The therapy most promising by recent clinical trials appears to be neurofeedback.”

Dr. Katie Campbell Daley
Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School

“In my practice, the use of EEG biofeedback has become the primary initial intervention model for any problems in cognition, such as learning disability, attention deficit disorder, and traumatic brain injury. The approach offers the only effective intervention model for these problems.”

Kirtley Thornton, Ph.D., BCN
Director of the Center for Health Psychology QEEG Diplomate

“Biofeedback and neurofeedback offer a wide range of approaches to help the client suffering from any one of a number of consequences of stress and autonomic and physiological dysregulation.”

Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

“An assessment of over 25 years of peer-reviewed research demonstrat[ed] impressive EEG and clinical results achieved with the most difficult subset of seizure patients.”

Dr. Barry Sterman
Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of California Los Angeles

“After years of clinical experience with persons with disabilities and chronic illness, I can unequivocally support the growing body of well-designed research on biofeedback that demonstrates the improved patient outcomes that accrue when an appropriate form of self-regulation training is added to a treatment regimen.”

Eugenia Bodenhamer-Davis, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, BCN
Associate Professor, University of North Texas

“Neurofeedback training allows participants to self-regulate their own brain response.
(…) subjects receive instant feedback regarding potentially pathological brain processes, hypothesized to aid in shaping one’s own brain activation in a desired direction, and thereby improving symptoms.”

A. Zilverstand & R. Goldstein
Progress in Brain Research

“I have found that neurofeedback has been very effective in my practice in treating ADHD, learning disabilities, dyslexia and closed head injury… There is solid scientific support for neurofeedback treatment of these disorders.”

Jonathan E. Walker, M.D., BCN
Board-Certified Neurologist Neurotherapy Center of Dallas, Inc.

“People seek our services when they don’t want to be taking medications or exposing their offspring to any unknown risks or side effects from same. The clinic is extremely busy, because we are successful in reducing the symptoms… without creating unwanted side effects. [with Neurofeedback]”

Stuart Donaldson Ph.D., ACFE (Dip), ABPS (Dip), ABDA, BCB
Psychologist and Clinic Director

“Showing clients the physiological patterns underlying their pain is difficult or impossible to do without biofeedback. How else can clients see the patterns change as they happen? This makes biofeedback a superb teaching and learning tool.”

Richard A. Sherman, Ph.D.
Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service

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