FAQ About Neurofeedback
What is Neurofeedback Training?
Based on the results of a safe, non-invasive EEG brain scan we develop a specific computer based rehabilitation to normalize abnormal levels of brain wave activity. The EEG neurofeedback software gives visual and audio feedback to provide an experience to the brain of enhances function, specifically to improve its regulation of thoughts, feelings and focus. As with everything we learn, a beneficial lesson makes a lasting impression. For more information go to www.neurofeedbackdefined.com
What is QEEG Brain Mapping?
The brain is a highly complex organ made up of billions of cells called neurons. Neurons send and receive messages to and from all parts of your body. These messages are electrical impulses that create brain waves. The brain map is an important tool we use to evaluate your brainwaves and identify opportunities to improve communication between various regions of the brain. The brain map is able to capture a window of brain activity, analyze the data, and create a visual representation for each lobe of the brain and each specific brain wave (Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta).
How Does Brain Mapping Work?
Using a cap placed on the scalp, our software captures the electrical impulses in the brain. This method is known as an electroencephalogram (EEG). The results show brain wave patterns in different parts of the brain. The process takes about 15 minutes, and the data is then converted into a visual brain map report. Dr. Thomas then analyzes the brain map report and identifies the specific imbalances in brain activity. The report displays the results in a clear and concise format that you can easily understand. From the results of the scan we can develop a specific neuro-feedback training program to normalize these abnormal levels of brain wave activity.
What are Brainwaves?
Your brain produces four primary types of brain waves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta is primarily active during your awake state, which is the majority of your day. Alpha has to do with your subconscious, and is dominant during relaxed states when your eyes are closed but you are not asleep. Theta is present briefly during the periods before you fall asleep and before you fully wake up. Delta is primarily active when you are asleep.
All of these brain waves are equally important to your health, and neurological disorders can be attributed to specific brain waves. For example, when you have brain irregularities caused by a head injury, your brain may have too much frontal theta or delta being produced when you are supposed to be awake and alert. By retraining these abnormal patterns in the affected areas, symptoms can be improved or eliminated.
How Does My Brain Learn By Watching Software?
Just as your brain makes sense of information being fed to it from gravity, it makes sense of the information being conveyed to it by the software. The brain is an organ that processes substantially more information than your mind could handle. Your mind can not even see, hear, smell, taste or consciously feel earth’s gravitational pull, yet your brain is constantly sending neural commands to muscles according to feedback it receives from gravity. Even though your mind wants to understand and even participate in your neurofeedback session, it is your brain that we are training.
Does Anything Go Into My Brain?
No. Absolutely nothing goes into the brain. Sensors are put on the scalp to pick up electrical activity coming from your brain.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Generally people notice improvements within the first 5-8 sessions, but this does not mean that you are finished. To achieve your goals and for longer lasting results 20-30 sessions are recommended.
How Long Does Each Session Take?
We recommend 30 minutes sessions, administered one to four times a week. Some can benefit almost immediately while others may need a series of sessions to stabilize their brainwave activity. The number of total sessions depends on the type of problem, the age of the person, and many other factors. Depression will usually see results faster, while Autism can require significantly more time to see results.
What Can I Expect After Each Session?
Depending on what frequency is being trained, clients generally report feeling more relaxed and focused after their sessions.
Is Neurofeedback Covered by Insurance?
There are insurance codes (CPT codes) for EEG biofeedback (EEG biofeedback is the term insurance companies use for neurofeedback). Unfortunately, there aren’t consistent requirements for reimbursement among states, insurance companies and individual policies. The best thing to do is to call your insurance company and ask whether it is covered. Even if it is not covered, most people feel that the benefits of EEG biofeedback are worth the out-of-pocket investment in their well-being.
Can Neurofeedback Help with ADD/ADHD?
Recent research suggests that individuals with ADD/ADHD tend to have elevated theta brainwave activity and low levels of beta brainwave activity. Symptoms of ADD/ADHD are usually reduced when brainwave activity is changed. Neurofeedback is commonly used as an adjunct or alternative treatment to medication and behavior management.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Neurofeedback?
Are the Changes Permanent?
Yes... In the past neuroscience viewed the human brain as a machine; if a function stopped working properly, then that function was permanently gone. It was believed that the human adult brain was incapable of fundamental change, hence, the proverb, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Now there is a growing body of research demonstrating that the brain can indeed rewire itself. Scientists have defined this phenomenon as neuroplasticity, also referred to as brain plasticity or brain malleability. These terms refer to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by building new neural connections. In other words, our brains are constantly changing in structure and function even as as we age. Brain self-organization takes place with a few biological mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is called axonal sprouting. This is when healthy brain cells grow new nerve endings in order to compensate for damage. These new nerve endings serve to reconnect injured neurons forming new neural pathways to accomplish a needed function. For example, after a brain injury the unscathed parts of the brain may compensate for the functionality lost by the injured parts of the cortex. In order to reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated and relearn functionality through activity.
Another biological mechanism involved in brain plasticity is called self-regulation. Every organ, including the brain, is wired for homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability of an organism to self-regulate by adjusting its physiological processes. The purpose of this is to maintain internal equilibrium. The brain is continually sensing and responding to the needs of our bodies. For example, it is constantly monitoring our levels of oxygen and blood sugar levels. If the brain senses that something is wrong, then our stress-response system sounds an alarm to help the body get what it needs. Some of this regulation requires our participation (such as drinking water if we sense we are thirsty), but much of this regulation takes place automatically beyond our awareness.
One way to rewire the brain is with EEG biofeedback. EEG biofeedback, via software, gives the brain a way to see itself in action. The brain then learns how to better self-regulate its states of thoughts, feelings and arousal levels. EEG niofeedback works as if the computer screen is a mirror for the brain; it magnifies areas that are not working as efficiently as they could, and trains the brain to operate more effectively. The brain then reorganizes itself by forming new neural pathways or activating unused ones as it expands functionality. As with all abilities we develop, the gains made with EEG biofeedback are typically permanent.
The type of neurofeedback training we offer here is permanent. Neurofeedback helps to improve functions such as concentration, short-term memory, speech, motor skills, sleep, energy level, and emotional balance.