What does a typical Neurofeedback session look like?
The Neurofeedback trainee sits in a comfortable chair in front of a large video monitor. Sensors are placed on the scalp at locations specific to the parts of the brain being trained and are held in place by thick conductive paste. These sensors act like microphones to the brain, by recording and amplifying the natural electrical signals generated in your brain.
When the program starts, a video will be displayed on the monitor. The video often resembles a computer-screensaver, but can also be in the form of a video game, or even movie or TV show. The computer processes the trainee’s brain waves and provides feedback by altering what the trainee sees, hears and feels (via a tactical teddy bear). For example, when the computer senses optimal brain function, the brain will be rewarded with a smooth, calming experience. When it senses irregular brain activity, the video might become black and white, pause, or shrink in size.
During the training, trainees are not required to exert themselves at all. Ideally they will provide oral feedback to the technician as to any effects they are experiencing.
Each training session lasts approximately 45 minutes.
How does Neurofeedback work?
Our brains have an incredible ability to self regulate, but sometimes an irregularity disrupts the smooth operation of our brain waves. Just like when a symphony is playing out of sync, a disruption in our brain waves can have dramatic, negative effects on our day-to-day lives.
When you learn to ride a bicycle, your brain absorbs an array of signals from your eyes, ears and nervous system and translates that into signals to your muscles to help you stay balanced on the bicycle. Through repetition, you can learn to ride with much less effort and to feel more relaxed when doing so.
Neurofeedback works much the same way but instead of the muscles that help you balance on a bicycle, it trains the small electrical pulses in your brain that govern your well-being. The computer identifies when these pulses are not optimal and provides feedback to the brain so that it knows to make a change. Through repetition, the brain learns to function more optimally.
Will Neurofeedback training change my personality?
No. Neurofeedback training sessions are designed to help your brain’s connections communicate more efficiently, and stay balanced. It can make you calmer, more resilient to stress, and more clear headed. It will not change your hobbies, interests, or who you are.
Will I notice a difference right away?
How quickly people respond to Neurofeedback can vary. Some patients experience significant effects during the very first session. For others it can take 6 or 7 sessions before they notice a significant effect.
Are Neurofeedback results long lasting?
Yes. Just like learning to ride a bicycle, patients often experience long-term improvements and typically do not need to return. However, depending on the individual and the condition, some people opt to continue periodically for a “tune-up”. Research shows that the scores on attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity had remained stable after 2 years after treatment.
Does Neurofeedback interfere with current medications?
No. We encourage you to continue taking any medications recommended by your physician. Over time, we will work with you and your prescribing physician to determine if you may be able to reduce or eliminate medications, based on your results.
Are there any side effects reported from Neurofeedback training?
Some people can experience minor side effects such as headaches or restlessness sleeping. These effects are usually short lived or can be corrected through further training. More often people report positive side effects. For example someone seeking treatment for migraines might report that they have also been sleeping better or feel less anxious.
What is the difference between Biofeedback and Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is aspecialized type of biofeedback. Neurofeedback can also be called Neurotherapy, Neurobiofeedback, and EEG Biofeedback.
What types of patients do you treat?
We treat patients of all ages who are seeking relief from ADD/ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, concussion or brain injuries, depression, sleep disorders, migraines, PTSD or trauma, seizures or epilepsy, and for those wanting to improve their performance, or handle stress better.
Do you take insurance?
We are happy to work with insurance companies to help cover the costs of Neurofeedback. Coverage by insurance companies varies widely. If you are unsure what your coverage includes, call your extended health insurance company or employer to inquire. At this time the MSP does not cover neurofeedback.
How many sessions are needed?
The initial round of treatment consists of 20 sessions. At that point progress will be evaluated to determine if continued treatment is recommended. Overall treatment requirements will vary depending on the patient and the type and severity of their condition.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.