Neurofeedback Therapy – A Safe and Natural Treatment For ADD/ADHD, Autism, Depression, Insomnia, Stress

Neurofeedback Therapy is a safe and natural treatment for ADD/ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia, Stress and Pain Management. It is a drug-free alternative and has been clinically effective since 1980. This remarkable, noninvasive treatment works by strengthening and developing the brain’s synaptic connections rather than simply masking symptoms with drugs.

During sessions, patients watch their brain waves on a computer screen and learn to produce desirable patterns. During the training, increases in slow spindle activity are recorded and rewarded, much like scores earned in a computer game. The goal is to increase the amplitude of these slow spindle responses in order to improve brain wave regulation in the areas involved in arousal, attention, and vigilance (Othmer, 1999).

The FDA has cleared many neurofeedback devices that practitioners use to monitor brain activity; the Centers for Disease Control list it as an option for ADHD and migraines. Practitioners also report success with conditions including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, traumatic brain injury, and seizure disorders. Some practitioners believe that neurofeedback can help children with learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dyscalculia.

While the results are promising, researchers are still trying to understand exactly how neurofeedback works. It is possible that a placebo effect plays a role, since it’s difficult to separate the benefits from the relaxing environment of the practice and the allure of watching one’s brainwaves on a computer screen. In addition, neurofeedback is expensive and not covered by most insurance plans.

But some practitioners are confident in the therapy’s effectiveness, and a number of well-heeled investors have poured money into neurofeedback companies. The success stories of some professional athletes, such as Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers, and motivational speakers, such as Tony Robbins, are helping to put neurofeedback in the spotlight.

A neurofeedback therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your medical history before beginning your therapy. They will attach sensors to your head and observe brain activity as you relax and try to train different frequencies of brain activity, such as increasing gamma waves for focus or decreasing beta waves to reduce racing thoughts. Certain frequencies can trigger side effects, such as increased agitation or anxiety, and it is important that you disclose your pre-existing conditions to your provider.

Stokes explains that depression often shows up in imaging studies as too little activation over the left frontal lobe, and encouraging more activity there can help. Migraines, meanwhile, are often associated with low levels of activity over the right frontal lobe; training for calmness in this area can help to relieve them. In addition to these common ailments, some practitioners are trained in addressing more rare brain problems, such as narcolepsy and traumatic brain injuries. These practitioners must undergo 36 hours of study, a mentoring program and a test to earn a credential from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.