You may have heard the term neurofeedback thrown around as a potential treatment option for some neurological disorders, but may not know precisely what it is and what it does. In this article we are going to go over what neurofeedback is, what conditions it is used for, and the benefits it can provide you, so that by the end you feel much more knowledgeable on this powerful treatment option.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a method of retraining the brain, based on the ideology that the brain gives off different brain waves with various activities. For example, when you are focusing, your brain gives off different brain waves compared to when you are laughing.
Neurofeedback begins with a brain map, obtained by using a cap filled with electrodes. You will be asked to relax with the cap on for a few minutes so that a baseline can be recorded. You may then be asked to perform certain tasks, such as reading aloud. When completing these tasks, certain areas of the brain will light up. By comparing to a database, the doctor can determine which areas are lighting up too much and which aren’t lighting up enough.
This baseline allows the team to determine a treatment plan that focuses on the areas out of balance. By correcting these areas, balance returns to the brain, and symptoms can be minimized.
Throughout your 20 sessions, your brain will be given over 70,000 experiences to learn. By giving the brain repetitive tasks, the brain is able to change its behavior, allowing you to retrain your brain and overcome any challenges you may be facing.
What Is Neurofeedback Used For?
Neurofeedback is used for conditions that occur when your brain waves are not working together in perfect balance. Some of these conditions include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Longer Lasting Results
Neurofeedback offers many benefits, the most obvious of which is that its results last long after the final session is over. For some neurological disorders, medication is a common treatment. However, for conditions such as ADHD, medication is only effective for as long as it is being taken. This means that ADHD medication may be able to manage symptoms, but once you stop taking the medicine, the symptoms come back in full force.
Since neurofeedback focuses on retraining the brain, its results last for a long time because you make the conscious effort to think differently. Most people have results that last for 3-6 months after their sessions, whereas others have result that sustain for years.
Yet another benefit of neurofeedback is that it is a non-invasive procedure. An electrode-filled hat is used during the sessions, and other than that, everything is completed on a screen. This offers a non-invasive treatment option, meaning there is also no recovery time or pain associated with it.
You Put in The Work
Neurofeedback comes with the satisfaction of having put in the work to manage your symptoms yourself. It can be hard work to try and retrain your brain to think differently, but when you start to see the progress, you can benefit from knowing that you did it all yourself.
If you are interested in learning more about neurofeedback, call Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic for more information.