What is Neurofeedback Treatment and How Can It Help?
If you’ve been looking for an effective treatment for pain, anxiety, or mental disorders like PTSD, you may want to try neurofeedback. Before you consult a professional about this treatment, it’s important to get some information about neurofeedback and how it could benefit you.
What is Neurofeedback?
According to NeuroHope, a clinic that specializes in neurofeedback treatment in Colorado Springs, neurofeedback is a way to exercise your brain so that it can become healthier. The system is reward-based and requires healthy slow and fast-moving brainwaves for maximum effectiveness. Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that helps to change your brain’s electrical activity. If you owned a mood ring as a child and noticed that the ring changed colors based on your body temperature or feelings, you already have a basic understanding of biofeedback.
Biofeedback is the process of gathering information by monitoring vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure, as well as brain waves and body temperature. These factors help encourage control over body processes that are normally involuntary through conditioning. This process is also called operant conditioning and relaxation.
All types of biofeedback utilize some form of a monitoring device or computer and electric sensors that display details about what is happening in the body. With neurofeedback, the devices are giving feedback about certain brainwaves. The amount of activity in each area of the brain is called amplitude; the brainwaves either work together, which is called a regulated function, or separate from one another, which is dysregulation.
How Neurofeedback Works
Neurofeedback has been said to help with neurological issues like brain surgery, concussion, sleep issues, stroke or aneurysm, PTSD, and Parkinson’s Disease. Some people have also used neurofeedback to help individuals with movement disorders like myoclonic. Neurofeedback assesses the function of the brain when the brain is not working properly. This treatment can locate an area of the brain where there is neural dysregulation of several neural hubs. This is common in patients who have had a stroke, concussion, or PTSD.
Every neurofeedback treatment includes EEG sensors that regulate the brainwaves. A computer sends the feedback that the medical professional can see to make the proper assessments about a patient. Sometimes the feedback comes from the patient playing a game, watching a video, or listening to music.
The stimuli (i.e. the game, video, or music) will only operate correctly when your brainwaves are functioning in the normal range. This serves as a reward for your brain. when your brainwaves fire at a slower rate, you’ll get negative feedback. This can occur when the music stops or your video pauses. This signal tells your brain that something is wrong and prompts you to “figure it out.” Your brain learns from the feedback over the course of neurofeedback training. Learning about the feedback creates structural changes in the brain. The brain will eventually begin functioning within optimal range even when you’re not in a neurofeedback session. Over time, you’ll notice that your symptoms have diminished or disappeared.
How Can Neurofeedback Help?
Neurofeedback helps to alleviate several conditions including stress disorders, panic attacks, Asperger’s, ADD, and ADHD. The treatment can also help with sleep disturbances, memory concerns, and migraines.
Athletes even use neurofeedback to perform at their best. Neurofeedback improves concentration and focuses to motivate athletes during intense workouts. Business professionals can also benefit from neurofeedback to learn stress management skills.
How Neurofeedback Works with Therapy Services
In addition to regular neurofeedback, it may also be helpful to sign up for therapy services. You may want to choose a therapist who works at the neurofeedback center or receive a referral from your neurofeedback specialist.
A trained, licensed, and experienced mental health care professional can help you improve various aspects of your life and improve your self-perception and well-being. You can discuss your lifestyle choices and receive the tools to better your dietary and sleep habits. Therapy can also assist you in improving your social skills and exercise habits to further enrich your life. In some cases, a therapy session could be beneficial because you’ll learn effective techniques to calm your mind and focus on difficult tasks even in challenging circumstances.
A therapist can also encourage you in between neurofeedback appointments to encourage you and further explain the steps in the neurofeedback process. When your therapist and neurofeedback professional gather information during your assessment and discuss your goals with you, you’ll be more like to experience positive results from regular neurofeedback.