“[EEG biofeedback] should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used…It is a field to be taken seriously by all.”
-Frank H. Duffy, M.D., Professor and Neurologist, Harvard Medical School. The Journal of Clinical Electroencephalography
What are biofeedback and neurofeedback?
Biofeedback is a research-proven modality that uses medical instruments to give you information about what is going on in your body. The type of biofeedback we use most often in our practice is EEG (electroencephalography). This is also known as “Neurofeedback”, and it teaches the patient to optimize his or her brainwave patterns. We use the Roshi neurofeedback system–one of the most sophisticated systems available.
What does neurofeedback do?
Neurofeedback can help people who are dealing with the following issues, among others:
- Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD
- Brain injury
- Bipolar disorder
- Autism and autistic spectrum disorder
- Peak performance
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Sleep disorders
- Chronic pain
We’ve even found that neurofeedback can help resolve couples problems when both members of the couple have the training.
We do neurofeedback training, in addition to counseling, with many of our clients (only if they wish to do so). Over our years of experience, we have observed that with neurofeedback people feel better faster and resolve their issues more easily and rapidly.
What happens in a neurofeedback session?
The client sits in a comfortable chair, and the counselor attaches four electrodes to the scalp. This process is painless. The electrodes simply measure the brainwaves, as reflected by electrical activity under them.
Neurologist Russell C. Packard, M.D., says that “the concept of EEG biofeedback [neurofeedback] is to train individuals to become aware of and then normalize abnormalities in brain function.”
When an individual is suffering from anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, or brain injury, he or she has too much of certain types of brainwaves and/or an imbalance between the brainwaves in certain areas of the brain.
During neurofeedback, the client sits in a comfortable chair and watches a screen which shows the brainwaves. He or she learns to suppress, enhance, or balance certain frequencies. There’s also a sound, or a series of sounds, which change when the patient is successfully altering his or her brainwaves. Doing this is an example of what’s called operant conditioning, and anyone can learn how to do it with the right training.
With Roshi neurofeedback, the client also wears goggles that use flashing lights to entrain or disentrain the brainwaves (and to give information to the brain about what it’s doing).
The article, “Wired for Miracles” from Psychology Today provides a great summary of neurofeedback, including case studies.