The goal of Neurofeedback is to assist the brain in training itself to use more effective firing patterns and become better regulated. A well-regulated brain is more effective in daily functioning when it effectively can manage its levels of :
- Thought processing
- Emotional regulation and
- Behavioural regulation.
Communication between neurons in the brain is an electrical event. This gets reflected and recorded via EEG (Electro Encephalogram). Different waveforms reflect certain mental states and can be trained via Neurofeedback equipment. The brain is the regulator of our body processes like sleep, wakefulness, thinking, emotions and behaviour.
Electrical activity being produced in the brain can be displayed on a computer screen virtually almost instantly. EEG-Biofeedback involves recording this information via electrodes placed on the scalp and displaying it. This is then fed back onto the computer screen. When the brain receives information about itself, it has a capacity to change. Neurofeedback uses this information to encourage the brain to make adjustments in the amplitude of the brainwaves that it produces and this has an effect on regulatory mechanisms in the midbrain (Thalamo-cortical loop) These functions are fundamental to brain regulation. Neurofeedback increases state flexibility and also helps to activate specific regions or networks in the brain.
Clients receive feedback or output signals that relate to their own subconscious neural activities. Thus, Neurofeedback is a self-regulating skill that inspires growth through self-awareness. Trainees are informed via auditory or graphic signals, each time the brain operates more efficiently. More importantly, the trainee learns how to access the improved state of mind for future use outside the training /therapeutic setting. Neurofeedback is similar to a comprehensive exercise program as it strengthens neural pathways while increasing mental endurance and flexibility (brain plasticity)
Expected effects of training:
- Improved levels of sustained attention, concentration and focus ability
- Ability to effectively achieve deeper relaxation levels
- Better regulated moods and emotions
- Improvement in sleeping patterns
- Decreased levels of impulsivity and hyperactivity
How does the process work?
Assessment for training
One of the best assessment tools available to a Neurotherapist, is a QEEG (Brain Map) that helps in comprehensive training decisions. The Brain map information will be correlated with functional difficulties that the client experience.
Multicolour brain maps show which part of the cerebral cortex are operating outside of normal limits. Each region of the brain is associated with specific functional operations. Neurofeedback technology gives the clinician tools to assess and train these areas that relate to problems being experienced.
The Integrative Visual and Auditory Assessment is able to indicate if the client has difficulties with visual or auditory processing or sustained attentional difficulties.
Sensory Profiling will also be correlated with the difficulties that the brain might experience with receiving and processing sensory information from its environment.
Who would benefit from Neurofeedback?
Reported improvements experienced following Neurofeedback Training have been well documented in the Neurofeedback field:
- ADD/ADHD - attentional and functional issues
- Anxiety Disorders
- Anger and Rage
- Learning Disabilities
- Conduct Disorders
- Seizure Disorders
- Headaches and Migraines
- Autism and PDD
- Sleep disorders
- Substance abuse and addiction patterns
Neurofeedback is usually used by Licensed Professionals that are registered with their professional boards. This modality is used in conjunction with other therapies that fall inside their scope of practice.
Neurofeedback can be used together with medication and cognitive therapies. Cases where medication reduction was made, in consultation with the client's physician, symptom reduction were noted as clients managed better self-regulation.
Neurofeedback is not a silver bullet; it will not fix all ailments and should not be labelled as a cure for any disorder. It is a training procedure that requires cooperation on the part of the trainee. The effectiveness of this program would be noticeable within the first 10 sessions. For a lasting change, in creating new patterns of regulating yourself, at least 20 to 40 sessions are recommended. Periodically even more might be necessary – refreshing the training previously done.
Preparing for Your EEG Recording
This is a guideline of how client need to prepare themselves for a EEG assessment (Brainmap assessment )Preparing for Your EEG Recording