COVID-19 update: We are offering Teletherapy services for all psychotherapy appointments and some neuropsychological testing. Neurofeedback services are open.

 

As neurofeedback therapy grows in popularity, more people become interested in its benefits. The most attractive characteristics are the holistic, non-intrusive procedures and the minimal side effects. Moreover, it has become a practice implemented by doctors worldwide, and it is an appropriate alternative for treatment-resistant patients.

Neurofeedback is an innovative practice with a promising future in the medical field. Here are some of the most significant benefits of Neurotherapy.

What Is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, also called Neurotherapy, uses electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor brain activity and provide feedback through sounds and video images in real-time. Its focus is the central nervous system, and it works to enhance neurological regulation.

1. It Reduces Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is a prevalent mental health disorder that affects children and adults all over the globe. People with anxiety can experience chronic worrying, fearfulness, trouble relaxing, restlessness or feeling on edge, and irritability. When anxiety is severe, it can affect a person’s ability to manage their daily activities and relationships.

Anxiety and restlessness can lead to fatigue and trouble maintaining focus or concentration. Soon, day-to-day tasks feel like burdens. Worrying makes it more difficult to sleep.

Anxiety and stress can lead to health problems. Most specifically, uncontrolled stress or anxiety can affect adrenaline and cortisol production, reduce the production of growth hormones, and lead to abnormal activation of the immune system and inflammatory responses in the body.

Neurofeedback is a non-intrusive way to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve daily functioning.

Living with anxiety can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t need to stay this way.

The main advantage of neurofeedback therapy is that it can help your brain learn to calm itself, making it easier for you to use the coping strategies you already have – or to develop new ones. Neurofeedback is a great tool to use in combination with psychotherapy.

One study (1) monitored people with anxiety who received 30 sessions of EEG neurofeedback. After treatment, measures of anxiety decreased significantly. Furthermore, a year after the treatment, the patients were still feeling better and had maintained the improvements in their mood from treatment.

2. Reduces Depressive Episodes

Feeling down or experiencing sadness is a normal part of life. But when sadness sticks around and makes it more difficult to get out of bed; or when none of your previous activities sound fun or exciting anymore, or if you start to feel hopeless about feeling better (or even have thoughts of suicide), this is a sign sadness has turned into depression. Usually, such episodes are temporary and manageable. But, not everybody recovers without some help.

People diagnosed with depression have a tougher time getting things done, integrating into social groups, and adapting to new circumstances.

Depression is a common mental disorder that affects people of all ages. 20% of the world’s population deals with depressive episodes during their lifetime. Also, 30% of people diagnosed with depression do not benefit from antidepressant medication or psychotherapy alone. Neurofeedback can be helpful for those who have not responded to antidepressants or therapy.

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive procedure that can improve executive function and reduce the symptoms of depression. Moreover, side effects are limited. It can be a beneficial practice for patients with treatment-resistant depression.

3. Improves Attention and Focus

The importance of neurofeedback stems from its ability to train the mind to help itself. With learning disabilities or problems with focus and concentration, neurofeedback treatment is able to specifically help areas of the brain so that it is easier to focus, leading to enhanced learning and performance in school and work.

Signs of ADHD

  • Being easily distracted
  • Forgetfulness, losing items
  • Procrastinating tasks that require a lot of thinking or cognitive effort
  • Having trouble finishing tasks
  • Difficulty with organization

ADHD can be caused by too much slow or fast-wave activity in the brain. Neurofeedback treatment can help reduce symptoms by changing the way the brain communicates and optimizing the activity that occurs in specific brain regions – and it is effective without medication (and medication side effects). In one article, researchers show the efficacy of neurofeedback for ADHD to be a Level 5, which is considered to be efficacious and specific. This was done by evaluating research where neurofeedback was used to treat ADHD.

4. It Provides Emotional Stability

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People often experience sudden mood changes that affect their professional and personal life. Many situations in a person’s life can be stressful, especially in a professional environment. In these cases, getting overemotional can lead to low performance. When a person feels stuck in difficult circumstances or is stuck with negative thoughts and feelings it can be difficult to attempt or perform routine tasks.

Moreover, uncontrollable emotions can lead to challenges in our most important relationships. Sometimes, it’s the people closest to us that suffer when we struggle with emotional control.

Neurofeedback helps the brain learn to regulate itself in a healthier way so emotional control doesn’t have to be so hard, even when you are experiencing difficult experiences. Moreover, it changes the brain’s pattern of becoming stuck on negative thoughts (rumination) and helps with better mood regulation.

5. It Helps Treat PTSD Symptoms

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric condition caused by experiencing (or observing) a serious threat or traumatic event. As a result, our body’s natural (or adaptive) way to manage stress – our fight, flight, and freeze response – can become stuck. When this happens, we may struggle to manage our thoughts and feelings, we may feel chronically hyper-alert, and we may have a hard time feeling safe and secure.

Neurofeedback uses qEEG and brain mapping to identify the areas that require training to reduce PTSD symptoms. 

A study conducted on patients with PTSD showed that neurofeedback reduced abandonment issues, identity impairment, and also revealed improvement in affect regulation.

Advantages of using neurofeedback for PTSD:

  • Better sleep patterns
  • Decrease in stress
  • Good coping mechanisms in day-to-day situations
  • Mood improvement
  • Less hypervigilance
  • Fewer fear responses
  • Fewer triggers

Final Thoughts 

Neurofeedback has the potential to change the way we approach mental health treatment – even for those who have not been able to find relief from medication and psychotherapy in the past. It focuses on training brain regions to communicate differently, addressing the symptoms at the source of the problems – and it does so with few side effects. Neurofeedback can help to restore hope for people who want to feel more like “themselves” again.

Every person is different, and what works for one patient may not work for another. That is why neurofeedback protocols are individually tailored to your unique symptoms and your brain’s patterns of functioning.

Let us help you gain control over your life. Call us for a free 30-minute neurofeedback consultation that will get you started on your journey!

 

 

References

[1] Srabani Banerjee, and Charlene Argáez. “Neurofeedback and Biofeedback for Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines.” Nih.gov, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, 13 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531603/.

[2]  Kolk, Bessel A., et al. “A Randomized Controlled Study of Neurofeedback for Chronic PTSD.” PLOS ONE, vol. 11, no. 12, 16 Dec. 2016, p. e0166752, 10.1371/journal.pone.0166752. Accessed 16 Oct. 2019.