Neurofeedback is very similar to learning how to ride a bicycle. When learning to ride a bicycle, we can’t sit in a classroom and be taught how to ride a bicycle because the mind’s knowledge does not translate into useful information for the brain. Instead, we learn how to ride a bicycle by getting on a bicycle and practicing. During this process, gravity is giving feedback to the brain, and the brain self-regulates its state of balance. For some people this means using training wheels as a tool to assist in learning balance and confidence. During a neurofeedback session your brain is receiving EEG biofeedback about its current state and is self-regulating its thoughts, feelings, and focus. Just as you always remember how to ride a bicycle, improvements made with neurofeedback are long lasting.
Imagine, if you could work out just 20 times and keep the gains forever. With Emerald Coast Neurofeedback that is exactly what you can do. Neurofeedback is a workout for your brain that can help you feel better, improve focus, and enhance performance with long lasting results.
Your brain is made up of electrical and chemical systems. Many people are familiar with pharmaceutical medications which can change or alter the brain’s chemistry. However, most people are not aware that the brains electrical system can be trained with EEG biofeedback to change the brains chemistry, without risky side effects.
DISADVANTAGES OF MEDICATION:
- Lose Effectiveness Over Time
- Physical Dependance/Withdrawal Symptoms
- Negative Side Effects (constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, insomnia)
- Only Effective While Taking
ADVANTAGES OF NEUROFEEDBACK:
- Neuroplasticity – Brain Teaches Itself to Change
- All Natural – Non-Invasive
- No Harmful Side Effects
- Long Lasting Results
Your Brainwaves Affect How You Feel, Think & Perform
Brainwaves are made up of millions of neurons firing all at once. The number of neurons firing in the brain at a certain frequency (speed) convey information that defines the amplitude (or power). Brainwaves are measured in Hertz (waves per second) and have a range of speeds that correspond to different functions. Emotions, physical movement, concentration, and creative expression are all linked to certain brain wave frequencies. We encounter symptoms, or sub-optimal functioning, when specific frequencies do not fire optimally for the given activity.
For example, we do not want the brain running in beta frequencies, (the “go” brainwave), while we are trying to sleep; this can cause insomnia. Similarly, delta, (the “sleep” brainwave) can cause fatigue and drowsiness as well as insomnia if is too active during the day.
The brain is an amazing organ that allows us to interact with life when it’s functioning properly. Although the brain is robust, there are things that can cause difficulties with how our brain works. When it is not functioning well, we can become “stuck” in certain brainwave patterns that produce dysregulation. These patterns can be long lasting and even mistaken for our identity, (“I am scatter brained.”, “They talk too much.”, “They are short tempered.”). While the brain can get stuck, it also has a remarkable capacity to change. This is called Neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form new connections and pathways and change how its circuits are wired. Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, can have significant implications assisting the brain in using its natural ability improve its functioning, reorganize, and heal itself.
Your brain is not your mind. Your brain is the master regulator, an organ that processes substantially more information than your mind can handle. EEG biofeedback improves how you feel and function by improving how your brain operates. Even though your mind wants to understand and even participate in your EEG biofeedback session, it is your brain we are training.
The Brain Regulates Many Important Aspects of Our Life
● Obsessive Thoughts
● Negative Thoughts
● Positive Thoughts
● Perception of Pain
● Inner Voice (self-talk)
A dysregulated brain leads to a hyperactive or worn-out nervous system. Numerous health problems stem from an over-aroused, under-aroused or unstable state in the brain. When a person’s brain is stuck in any of these (or a combination of these) three states, it is dysregulated, and the central nervous system is not able to manage the body appropriately. This can lead to a variety of different symptoms. Neurofeedback trains the brain to regulate itself to feel better, think better and perform better.
Brain Over Arousal
- Anxiety disorders
- Sleep Problems – trouble falling asleep
Brain Under Arousal
- Attention Deficit
- Lack of Motivation
- Sleep Problems – trouble staying asleep
- Bipolar Disorder (manic depression)
- Mood Swings
- Nervous Stomach
- Nervousness – exaggerated worry
- Unpleasant dreams (nightmares or night terrors
- Night Sweats
- Sleep Walking
- Bed Wetting
- Relationship Issues
- Panic Attacks
- Motor and Vocal Tics
Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback
The initial evaluation will take approximately 90 minutes. This is a needs assessment that will allow our therapist and software system to generate a customized protocol best suited for you. This will allow us to identify different symptoms, goals, and growth areas to focus on for improvement during your sessions.
Depending on your protocol(s), you may receive feedback with your eyes closed (auditory only) or with your eyes open (audio & visual). Sensors will be placed on your ears and scalp (this doesn’t hurt, and nothing goes into your brain). The sensors pick up the electrical activity coming from your brainwaves. You may have 1-3 sensor placement changes throughout your sessions. Sessions typically take 45 minutes to an hour (this includes assessing symptom improvements since your last session and time to change the sensors as needed for different protocols)
A commitment of two sessions per week is necessary for the process to be most effective. Double sessions in a day are also available (depending on protocol – sessions may be completed back-to-back or with a small break in between). It is essential that you keep your scheduled Neurofeedback appointments. Missing sessions may result in slower progress. If you have anticipated schedule interruptions, such as a vacation or other event, it is generally recommended that you receive 8 sessions before taking an extended break.
The initial protocol generated is often the best protocol to accomplish your primary goals. However, it is common to see benefit from more than one protocol. Re-evaluations may determine that changes to your growth areas and/or protocol may be needed or desired. In general, a re-evaluation is appropriate when there is less than 10% growth in all growth areas as assessed over the previous 5 sessions. This often indicates that client has maximized benefits of an existing protocol or hit a plateau.