What is Neurofeedback with Dr. Trish Murray & Cherie Jewell
Neurofeedback (also called Neurotherapy) is a non-invasive process where brain waves are monitored in real time by a computer, which can then use that information to produce changes in brainwave activity. The process of adjusting brainwave activity is known as operant conditioning, which is a method where rewards for positive behavior increase learning capabilities.
The concept is fairly simple. The computer monitors your brainwaves while you watch a movie. When deviations from normal brainwave activity occur, the computer triggers an audio or visual cue that alerts the patient that they are outside normal ranges. These cues are received by the brain, which subconsciously adjusts itself back to a normal pattern to make the cue stop. With enough repetition of this process, the brain eventually learns to stay in the normal ranges on its own without the computer. With the brain functioning normally on its own, symptoms of irregular brain activity decline.
Training the brain using neurofeedback can change brainwaves over time, adjusting them to normal, healthy ranges. It can improve alertness, attention, emotional regulation, behavior, cognitive function, and mental flexibility. When the brain moves back into normal ranges, users will often see a reduction in symptoms.
The best part of neurofeedback is that results are often permanent, allowing a person to reduce or even eliminate medications altogether. Where medications only manage the symptoms, the goal of neurofeedback is to address the underlying cause and restore normal brainwave functions.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback takes advantage of the brain’s amazing ability to change itself. This ability is known as “neuroplasticity.” It utilizes the same learning process that occurs whenever we acquire a new skill.
The brain learns by forming connections between nerve cells and utilizing important pathways that connect different locations in the brain. The more frequently you utilize these pathways the better the brain becomes at performing the associated task. By using Operant conditioning we can treat those suffering from disorders caused by poorly functioning brain patterns such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain and ADHD successfully.
Who Can Benefit?
Do you feel tired, even when you’ve had plenty of sleep the night before? Does your mind feel “foggy” all day long, no matter how many cups of coffee you have? Do you feel like anxiety or depression is controlling your life? Neurofeedback can help!