It's time for a calm & focused mind
Our brain is electrical and chemical. Medications have been developed to help with chemical imbalances for optimal functioning but not without sometimes severe side effects and additional medications needed to subside these side effects. Withdrawal symptoms can be unsettling and, without the helpful medication, your brain can go back to its dysfunctional status. We aren’t anti-medication and, in fact, we agree medications can be life saving! But we do have an option to use a more natural and longer lasting approach in helping the brain function at its best and that’s called neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is biofeedback for the brain. With positive feedback with either visual and/or auditory stimuli, your brain learns to become more calm and focused. The goal is for your brain to learn to process the speed of information you experience in each moment maintaining focus and self-awareness so that you can shift your lens of perception so that you can interpret your situation with appropriate intensity. Bottom line, you can become more self-aware, calm, focused, and less reactive.
A calm and focused brain has many benefits such as improving sleep and mood, improving attention and concentration, and reducing/eliminating migraines. Neurofeedback has been empirically proven to help with addictive behaviors and symptoms of PTSD to include anger, irritability, and flashbacks.
Attention & concentration problems
ADHD research has generated the most neurofeedback studies to date. Arns et al. (2009) published a meta-analysis of controlled studies with pretest-posttest designs showing NFB to be efficacious and specific for treating ADHD in the journal, Clinical EEG and Neuroscience. Most who come for neurofeedback who have ADHD want the training because they don't want to be on stimulates for the rest of their life. In fact, when the stimulate wears off, the attention problems are still there! Many of our patients train their brain for better focus and attention so they don't have to rely on medications and can naturally tune into and adjust to their environment.
The American Migraine Foundation note that stress and irregular sleep are the top two triggers for migraines. Neurofeedback addresses this naturally by helping to calm the brain and improve sleep. At WellMind, we use a combination of psychotherapy (coping skills, cognitive therapy, sleep hygiene, & processing stressors), biofeedback with Heart Rate Variability training, and neurofeedback to train your brainwaves to function optimally so that you are able to cope better and improve your sleep. These habits along with good nutrition, hydration, and balanced hormones (see your medical doctor for this part) will help reduce your migraines if not eliminate them all together.
Anxiety & depression
There's over 40 years of research addressing alpha asymmetry and its relationship to depression. We utilize neurofeedback to retrain the brain to enhance brainwave frequencies, such as alpha, to bring to you a more relaxed and calm state of mind, literally. One of the most famous studies addressing PTSD and neurofeedback was conducted by Peniston & Kulkosky (1991). It was a randomized controlled group study using 30 alpha/theta sessions with 15 Vietnam Veterans with PTSD that resulted in significant reductions in anxiety. The results endured for the majority of the subjects beyond 30 months compared to the 14 control subjects receiving traditional treatment who all experienced relapse.
Let's face it...if you're not sleeping well, you're not functioning well. Poor sleep is the culprit for driving accidents, poor academics, impulsivity, mood dysregulation, hormonal imbalances, difficulty losing weight, attention and concentration problems, and the list goes on! We preach sleep hygiene at WellMind. At times, the brain is on overdrive when we close our eyes or may be inhibited all throughout the day when it needs to be it's most functional. Neurofeedback is used to address these issues. We conduct a thorough assessment and, in combination with a qEEG brain map, we are able to recommend protocols that will help optimize and retrain the brain to help you sleep better. In fact, improved sleep is the first benefit we hear from our own patients even after the initial session.
Before brain training, we obtain a qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) brainmap. You will have a cap placed on your head that appears similar to a swim cap with 19 electrodes attached. These electrodes do not do anything “to” you, but rather read your brainwaves in real time (like a cuff reads your blood pressure). After careful analysis comparing your brainmap to thousands of others in a database, we are able to see the magnitude of different frequencies, which frequencies are more dominant, and issues with connectivity and asymmetry.
The brainmap allows us to identify functional issues by location, which includes areas of the brain that are over- and under-active. The brain map can show us sleep issues, memory problems, executive functioning issues, cognitive processing issues, and emotional dysfunction. In addition, it shows us areas of the brain that are functioning at its best.
Your brainmap also includes the following assessments for a thorough evaluation to develop the most effective treatment plan to help you feel your best.
what you should know
Neurofeedback is a painless, non-invasive procedure. Most will feel improvement within a few sessions and indicate better sleep, a calmer mind, and more self-aware. Some may experience a headache afterwards initially but this typically subsides. It can take between 20-40 neurofeedback sessions to see the best improvement; however, it can take up to 60 sessions for those with complex issues. We encourage at least twice-a-week sessions.
We also offer in-home training kits so you can brain train in the comfort of your home. Our clients enjoy this aspect as this eliminates travel and they can train up to twice a day with quicker results. We provide you the guidance and consolation for these sessions along with all equipment and supplies needed for a successful session. For in-home training kits, we also recommend adding family members to brain train too since we know that a family with calm and focused brains are much more cohesive and functional.
Neurofeedback is an investment in your health, happiness, and quality of life. Insurance has been inconsistent with reimbursement, but we are willing to work on your behalf to obtain authorization and submit your claims as a courtesy. Payment is due full at the beginning of each session. Contact us for a consultation to determine if neurofeedback is right for you.