FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A NEUROFEEDBACK SESSION?
Neurofeedback sessions involve relaxing for approximately 30 minutes while you watch a movie or listen to the music of your choice. Sensors are lightly placed on your scalp to measure your brainwaves during the session. When an imbalance is noted, “feedback” is triggered from the software that dims the video and lowers the audio inputs.
Because the feedback you are getting is happening almost as soon as your brain produces the signal, your brain will repeat patterns that produce the reward (usually a sound and/or a video or game working). If it repeats it enough, it learns the pattern and the change becomes long lasting (Source: ISNR).
Your brain senses the change and subconsciously modifies itself back into a more balanced brainwave generation pattern. With repetition of this process, eventually, your brain develops new neural connections that allow your brain to remain healthier and more efficient long after your last training session has been completed.
HOW MANY NEUROFEEDBACK SESSIONS ARE TYPICALLY NEEDED?
The number of sessions needed will depend on the individual. Much like going to the gym, every person requires a different length of time to improve. 20 – 40 sessions is normal for many conditions to improve.
HOW LONG DO NEUROFEEDBACK SESSIONS TAKE?
Each session is approximately 30 minutes.
HOW SOON BEFORE PEOPLE SEE A DIFFERENCE?
The results vary from person to person. Some feel different within a couple of sessions, while tougher conditions may take 10 or more sessions to see noticeable results. It’s important to remember – just like regular exercise takes time to build muscle, it takes time to build new neural pathways in the brain.
ARE THE BENEFITS LONG-LASTING?
Yes. Long-term follow-ups have been done on many patients over the years. Dr. Joel Lubar at the University of Tennessee has followed ADD clients who’ve sustained their improvements from neurofeedback for 10-20 years. Published research on epilepsy 12 months after brain training shows the effects on epilepsy usually holds. Neurofeedback training has been the subject of more than 40 years of research and clinical study. The training appears to be harmless as far as is known at present and no injuries have been reported, or in a review of research literature. Neurofeedback does not do anything to the person being trained. It is not a treatment; it is a training process. The average number of NFB sessions to achieve enduring change is 40 sessions.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS?
Neurofeedback has few side effects when administered properly. The most common side effects of neurofeedback include improved sleep, more awareness of dreams, feeling calmer, feeling more energy, and feeling more focused. Training with neurofeedback can occasionally result in an adverse response that temporarily increases symptoms that are typically associated with relaxation and calming of the central nervous system such as fatigue, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, irritability, moodiness, weeping, insomnia, agitation, difficulties with focus and anxiety. These potential reactions that may occur during or right after a neurofeedback session are temporary and typically only last for 24 to 48 hours. Once clients become more relaxed and aware, they tend to integrate past emotional issues and these symptoms subside. It is also possible that you might fall asleep during or after neurofeedback sessions.
HOW MUCH RESEARCH IS THERE ON NEUROFEEDBACK?
Neurofeedback has been around for decades. To date, there are thousands of studies, with more being published every day. Visit our research page for a list of studies, and information you can use to do a more extensive reading if you desire.
Are you ready to feel better?
Dr. Johnson is pleased to offer a free initial evaluation to anyone interested in this all-natural approach to improved brain health.