What is Neurofeedback?
The answer to this simple question is rather complex: "Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback therapy that enables an individual to train brainwave activity, as measured by electrodes on the scalp, via feedback of EEG information in the form of a video display, sound or vibration."
Most people, after reading the above textbook definition will still feel like they don't know what neurofeedback is. Don't despair - an understanding will emerge as you continue reading...
Neurofeedback is a computer-driven therapy, and the technology is very sophisticated. The person receiving treatment is attached to a special computer via electrodes placed strategically on the scalp. The placement of these electrodes and the computer settings are determined from Nu-Brain's brain map assessment which serves to accurately target the brainwave frequency that needs to be "trained". The electrodes feed the brainwave information from the person's brain to the computer, where it is converted to a representation on the computer screen. This "representation" can be mentally manipulated by the person as his or her brainwaves fluctuate, thus "training" the problematic brainwaves.
In video games, the play is often controlled using a joystick. With neurofeedback therapy, a video game is also played; only the "joystick" is the brain itself. Nu-Brain offers numerous graphical representations - or games - that a person may select for his or her therapy session.
Imagine a neurofeedback game involving a floating bubble on the computer screen. The goal is to keep the bubble contained in a rectangle that is displayed at the center of the screen. The bubble floats higher as the person's targeted brainwave increases in amplitude (as received through the electrodes on the scalp), or sinks as the brainwave decreases. The individual, in order to maintain the bubble within the rectangle, must concentrate. As he or she concentrates, the brainwave changes, and the bubble is mentally manipulated. A sound may also accompany each "success" as an audible reward for the brain, when it keeps the bubble contained in the rectangle. The game essentially "shapes" the targeted brainwave toward the desired performance. After many sessions of training, the brain eventually finds the optimal state of functioning on its own, and the therapy is successful.
What can Neurofeedback Therapy Accomplish?
It is scientifically established that certain illnesses and disorders generate distinctive brain wave patterns. Neurofeedback has been shown to correct these abnormal brain waves, thus eliminating or at least diminishing the problem.
There are numerous neurological issues that can be improved or overcome through neurofeedback therapy including Attention Deficit Disorder and all of its subtypes, the anxiety-depression spectrum, behavior disorders, headaches
PMS and emotional disturbances. Even organic brain conditions such as autism and epilepsy are significantly improved. Athletes use neurofeedback to enhance their abilities. The elderly can increase their memory capacity, and those who wish to simply "brighten" their mental capacity will also benefit from neurofeedback.
Does Neurofeedback Therapy Really Work?
Yes. Thousands of doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists who were initially skeptical, have been amazed by its success and have since made neurofeedback part of the treatment for their patients. Nu-Brain works in partnership with several doctors here in Arizona. Neurofeedback therapy is completely safe, pain-free and has no negative side effects.
In fact, patients often become completely free of medications such as Prozac or Ritalin through neurofeedback therapy. Drugs are short-acting, they cost more over time, and they have multiple side effects. There are no physical side effects with neurofeedback, and you can expect the changes to be ongoing and lasting.
Because Neurofeedback is still relatively new, rigorous studies over time are being conducted that will indicate definitive success ratios. Some patients will have complete success while others may have only marginal success - this is difficult to ascertain before treatment. As long as an individual is at least mentally capable of comprehending the objective of the "game" during therapy sessions, we can expect a reasonable level of success. All brains will receive at least some benefit through neurofeedback.
Are the Results Permanent?
Research that has tracked individuals for 5, 10, and 15 years has shown that the progress made in neurofeedback continued to hold and be effective during the entire time. At the conclusion of treatment, Nu-Brain takes another brain map assessment to verify that the brain waves are now functioning within the normal range. Once the brain has firmly established its new patterns of functioning, it tends to hold these patterns. A full course of treatment should be followed to ensure that the favorable patterns are entrenched within the brain.
An Investment in Nu-Brain Neurofeedback is an Investment in Future Success
As Nu-Brain helps the brain learn the right way to function and become balanced into correct patterns, many positive changes will occur in the person's life. Psychotherapy may be beneficial for the family as they adjust to a newer, more positive way of life as the patient moves from old patterns of interaction into more positive ways of fitting into the family. Tutoring may also be advised, for as the neurofeedback process improves neurological functioning, a child may have a deficit of basic knowledge that was missed during normal school activity, due to the past problems of the brain not being able to appropriately absorb the academic material that was presented. As brain function improves, the child/adult is now able to take in information that it could not do before neurofeedback training.
Nu-Brain Neurofeedback is without doubt, an investment in future success!