Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s face it; we all have personal issues that get in our way of being the person we want to be. You might have trouble sleeping, difficulties concentrating, anxiety, chronic pain that nothing seems to help, or maybe a depression that just won't lift. All of these issues have something in common; your brain. And guess what? It doesn't have to be that way. We can help.
What is Neurofeedback?
Around 80 years ago, neuroscientists began the process of mapping the brain to understand the processes behind our everyday experiences, our perceptions, our emotions and our attention. Throughout the years, it was discovered if a human being experiences a disturbance (emotional or physical) the neural networks in the brain get redirected to compensate for that disturbance. The result of this compensation is that brain function may become compromised. A process to correct these compromises and disturbances is called neuro (brain) feedback (return).
With neurofeedback, the neural networks pathways are reorganized so that this compensation is no longer necessary. The result of this healing process allows the brain to perform and function much more efficiently. What this means to you or someone you love is that a significant shift can occur for you in areas of life that may be difficult, such as: sleep, stress, obsessions, food cravings, alcohol cravings, depression, cloudy thinking, sports, school, old traumas (physical or emotional), ADD/ADHD symptoms and many others.
How does the brain’s neural networks get disturbed in the first place?
The brain is about the consistency of egg yolk encased in a skull and surrounded by fluid. When the brain is disturbed, and it doesn't take much, we call this trauma. The result of even the slightest trauma is enough to compromise certain neural connections creating instability in the neural pathways.
This disturbance or trauma is primarily in two areas:
1. Physical: For example, when you fell off your bike and hit your head, even though you had a helmet on: trauma. That little fender bender when you banged your head on the steering wheel: trauma. In soccer, head butting the ball with your head 10 times at practice: trauma. And these are just minor injuries. When you factor in being physically hit, car accidents, being knocked unconscious etc., you can really begin to see how even incidents we consider slight, actually have much larger consequences than we may realize. Remember, your brain is a very sensitive network and any jolt can compromise the brain's neural pathways.
2. Emotional or psychological: For example, the consistent chaos, trauma, and stress which results from growing up with an alcoholic parent. Not unlike a physical brain injury, psychological disturbances disrupt and compromise neural pathways in much the same way. The resulting effects of mental or emotional trauma occur and so the person develops strategies to deal with this damage. But these strategies do not heal the neural pathways. Unless the brain is rewired, these traumas surface by leaking through in other areas of our life such as: relationships, work performance, parenting, focusing, addictions, ADD/ADHD etc. We no longer feel the trauma, but we sure do experience the symptoms.
Why haven't I heard of Neurofeedback?
So many in the medical community are trained to simply write a prescription to medicate issues in the brain rather than heal the source of the issues at the brain level. Therefore, for some it is easier just to write a prescription than to learn a better way.
Also, becoming a Neurotherapist takes quite a bit of additional training, and this training is time consuming and expensive. In addition, the equipment is expensive; therefore, most professionals just focus on what they know.
Lastly, neurofeedback does not enable large drug companies to profit so there are no commercials on TV by the big drug companies. Interestingly enough, some insurance companies will pay for neurofeedback as they recognize the benefits and the long term effectiveness of neurofeedback. This is quite shocking when you realize that insurance companies will only pay for a process if they are absolutely certain that their benefits outweigh the cost. So they are aware that neurofeedback will save them (and you) money in the long term.
How does Neurofeedback work?
Neurofeedback works by re-training the neural networks to function at their optimum level. This is accomplished via sounds, graphics, and coaching. These sounds, graphics and coaching re-train the brain to operate more efficiently with each session. Eventually this reorganization of the brain's neural networks becomes permanent.
What issues can be addressed using Neurofeedback?
As more efficient and stable neural pathways evolve through neurofeedback, a variety of issues can be improved: anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep deprivation, migraines, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, addictions and ADD/ADHD. Neurofeedback can also be helpful in managing stress and emotions.
How does Neurofeedback training transfer to everyday situations?
The wonderful thing about neurofeedback is that it allows our clients a greater ability to negotiate everyday life in a much more productive manner. The subtle influences of the training can be seen as:
- Better Sleep
- More stable moods
- Better focus
- Feeling calmer and less anxious
- Less depressive thoughts
Will Neurofeedback change who I am?
Neurofeedback is target specific so only the parts of the neural networks that are disturbed are corrected. At its core, neurofeedback is simply a healing process of your bran that enables you and those you love to enjoy a better quality of life.
The result is that neurofeedback eliminates the obstacles that are in your way of becoming more of the person you want to be.