Neurofeedback is a form of therapy based on more than 40 years of medical research. For many, it means reducing problems related to cerebral causes. It involves measuring brain activity throughout a non-invasive process of observation. Nothing will be inserted into the brain. The result of this therapy is increasing the self-control of the brain activity.
Neurofeedback constitutes a workout for the brain. Practicing this exercise, the brain becomes more effective in the controlling its activities, more stable (which is great in case of patients with epilepsy, migraines, vertigo or panic attacks) and also more flexible. Overall, the brain becomes more efficient.
How does neurofeedback therapy work?
This therapy involves measuring the electrical activity of the brain and display it for the same brain, in real time, using audio and video signals.
Special sensors are placed on the head of the patient and they are the ones that will measure the electrical activity of the brain. The picked signal is processed and presented to the patient with an application in which a certain parameter (for example the speed of a butterfly) varies according to the amplitude of the electrically measured signal. As such, the brain has information about its activity and is able to modify it until reaching better values.
Different brain areas are responsible for different functions, so the placement of the sensors will be made according to the problem that is intended to be solved. The devices which measures neurofeedback does not influence the brain`s activity.
In the US, the system used is registered as a Class II medical device.
What patients should expect
After fixing the sensors on the scalp, the program chosen by the patient will start (graphical games , films or animations) . The only thing that the patient is required to do is maintain eye contact with the monitor, in order to allow visual information to return to the brain.
This therapy is intended for people of all ages. The process is passive and at the end of the therapy process, patients feels calmer, more relaxed, quiet and sometimes sleepy. A neurofeedback session typically lasts 30 minutes and, for the best results, the patient will be required to make at least 2 sessions per week and minimum 20 sessions overall.
Neurofeedback therapy can be used for two distinct purposes. The first is to stabilize brain physiology and allowing a person to react more calmly to destabilizing factors. The second goal is solving deep psychological and subconscious problems that hold us back.
What else can be achieved by Neurofeedback therapy?
According to Dr. Michael Villanueva from Alpha Theta Center Neurofeedback in San Diego, neurofeedback can improve your life in the following ways.
- Increased performance for students who want to enhance their learning ability, professionals who want to be quicker, smarter, more creative, better organized and more effective, participants in competitions, to increase their concentration and the intensity of the desire to win.
- Providing support during some serious health problems which may or may not include pain
- Having better relationships with others, more flexibility and balance
- Improving learning disabilities, as well as alcohol and drug addiction.