What Is Neurofeedback?


What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also referred to as EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy, is a state-of-the-art, therapeutic training tool that can be used to improve a variety of health conditions or increase personal potential.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is used to monitor brain wave activity and “feedback” information to the brain about its activity. A Neurofeedback professional provides the necessary instruction and interpretation to encourage the brain to function within a more appropriate pattern level. This involves increasing or decreasing certain brain wave frequency activities at certain locations or enhance coherence between various areas of the brain, as guided by a QEEG evaluation. In effect the brain learns to function with greater control and stability through self-regulation.

Neurofeedback has received a lot of media attention in recent years. Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as television reports, have cited cases where  Neurofeedback has helped people with serious and debilitating neurological problems when no other therapies seem to work.

What are the clinical applications?
Conditions that may benefit from Neurofeedback training include: Addiction, anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), autoimmune dysfunctions, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), attachment disorder, behavior disorders, seizure disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Tourettes syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, stress and sleep disorders, learning disorders, anger disorders, sports injuries, and many others.

Neurofeedback can be equally effective when used to improve personal performance, such as in developing memory skills, focusing abilities, increasing concentration, and much more.

How does it work?
Sensors are applied to specific areas on the scalp and ears using a special conductive paste. These sensors transmit brain wave activity to an EEG amplifier that measures and records the frequencies being used to perform a particular task. These frequencies are divided into bands that are displayed on a computer screen, which appear to the trainee in the form of a video game or other video display. During Neurofeedback, the trainee effectively “plays” the video game using his/her brain to reach the mental state in which the desired brain wave is achieved. When the desired brain wave is reached, the brain is “rewarded” and learns to direct itself toward a more desirable performance level. The brain wave frequencies targeted are specific to each individual. There are no medications. The procedure is completely painless and non-invasive.

Is treatment/training successful/permanent?
When the brain wave frequencies move into the desired frequency pattern, symptoms may be greatly decreased or entirely eliminated. Treatment is then considered complete, and the results are permanent. It may not be possible to predict how successful training may be for every individual, but a reasonable expectation of results can usually be assessed early in the course of training.

How many sessions are required?
The number of training sessions required will vary depending on the specific condition being addressed. Treatment periods have been known to range between 20 and 60 sessions (40 minutes to 1 hour per session), 2 to 3 times per week. Your Neurofeedback professional will determine the actual number of sessions required, and assist in establishing the schedule that best fits your budget and goals.

Is Neurofeedback safe?
Neurofeedback training only presents information to the brain about how it is performing. The decision to increase or decrease a performance frequency is made solely by the brain. Neurofeedback training is increasing in popularity because it is safe, drug free, and the results are remarkable.

Does insurance cover the cost?
Some medical insurance plans will cover the cost of biofeedback sessions for various conditions. Some may require co-payments or stipulate annual caps. Others may require a prescription from a physician or psychologist within the plan before approving coverage. Contact your insurance provider to determine the specific requirements and/or limitations of your plan. Some health conditions are severe, and in many cases, working in conjunction with your physician, Neurofeedback training can offer hope for improvement and be an effective alternative to medications or drugs, often reducing or eliminating the need for them.

Reports have documented significant improvements for people with learning disorders, seizure disorders, closed head injuries, and many others. The outcomes achieved using Neurofeedback as reported in these articles are remarkable.

The overall success rate of Neurofeedback training is reported to be more than 85%.

What will happen at the first session?
The first session will include an interview to gather information about your symptoms, current health status, and family health history. Some assessment testing may be conducted. For example, a full brain map (Quantitative EEG) or other assessment tools may be used for comparison purposes. Assessment testing will determine where the brain is doing its job well and where it needs help. Some Neurofeedback practitioners may require more extensive testing before actual “training” sessions begin.

What is Biofeedback?
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