Neurofeedback is a painless, non-invasive procedure. The method involves training brain activity. The brain activity involved in thoughts, sensations, actions and emotions is detectable in the form of brainwaves (electrical impulses generated by brain activity). During Neurofeedback sessions, one or more electrode sensors are placed across the scalp to detect these brainwaves and enable practitioners to view an individual’s brain activity.
Brain waves are monitored by an amplifier and a computer based instrument that processes the signal and provides feedback. This is displayed to the client through a video game or another video display along with audio signals.
The client is then asked to allow the system to “work” train the brain and to relax and observe the feedback given, the practitioner might give some suggestions on breathing, focusing attention, calming the nervous system and other helpful tools that helps the feedback response, As activity in a desirable frequency band increases, the video game either moves faster, or the movie continues playing. When activity in an adverse band increases, the visual display is inhibited. During this process, the brain activity of the patient is compared to a goal on the computer. The sounds and images act as rewards, telling the client immediately when their brain reaches the goal – as the client’s brain activates or suppresses the targeted brain area,the brain gradually responds to the signals it is given and a “learning” of new brain wave patterns takes place.
Before you begin your NF training, an initial interview will be used to obtain a description of symptoms, and to gather your health and family history. Some cognitive tests may also be done if neurofeedback is being conducted for the purposes of trying to improve cognitive performance. Having a good baseline of cognitive ability and being able to quantify a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses is valuable.
If the neurofeedback is being conducted for more emotional issues, a proper standardized questionnaire would be completed as a means of gaining a baseline to monitor improvements.
It is also recommended for all clients (if possible) that a routine quantitative electroencephalogram [QEEG] is conducted to gain and overview of the entire brain and areas of dysregulation, in order to guide the actual training.
Results can be seen as early as the first few sessions, but most people will require sustained sessions to maintain the results long-term. Every individual is different, so a personal training schedule to suit your specific needs and ensure lasting results would be recommended.
The Gym For Your Brain
We all know that keeping fit is good for us. It’s very common knowledge that exercising is recommended and has benefits for your physical and mental well-being.
But what about your mental fitness? Did you know your brain, just like your body,responds to “exercise”? you can create a training schedule that functions like a gym for your brain.
Neurofeedback is especially effective and is a non-invasive, drug-free, highly safe and natural means of training your brain for better performance and improved overall wellness.
Neurofeedback sessions are like exercises for your brain.
Just like physical exercise, neurofeedback has all kinds of benefits including more restful sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, improved memory and concentration, more focus and awareness, and many more as listed on the Neurofeedback websites.
In a way, neurofeedback training builds “muscle” and “burns fat”. It trains your central nervous system to work more efficiently, and that results in many significant life improvements as the following.
Resilience: just like exercise builds endurance, neurofeedback can help your mind “bounce back” from day-to-day challenges and stressors. When you are emotionally overwhelmed, the brain can become consumed with thoughts and not function at its best. Neurofeedback can help your brain cope better with these daily life experiences, so you can function better.
Flexibility: Stress, inactivity and natural ageing can make you physically stiff and inflexible. If you don’t consistently exercise, your body is forced to work harder to accomplish basic daily physical tasks. Similarly, neurofeedback works your brain’s “muscles” and makes it so that daily tasks consume less mental effort. Instead of staying stuck on a problem, brain training helps your brain find better solutions.
Stress Reduction: One of the primary benefits of physical exercise is that it triggers the release of endorphins, hormones and chemicals that help de-stress our bodies. Neurofeedback, in a very different way, is very relaxing, often being likened to meditation and is excellent for stress reduction also teaching the brain to be calm.
Concentration: Like exercise that encourages mental discipline through holding concentration, neurofeedback helps to improve consistent focus and concentration,essentially neurofeedback teaches your brain to pay attention without all the sweat.
So after your gym training session, come in for a brain training session.