Neurofeedback (NFB), also referred to as Neurotherapy, EEG biofeedback, or brainwave biofeedback, is a drug-free treatment technique used to improve your brain’s ability to operate more efficiently. Like other forms of biofeedback, NFB uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information about biological functions in your body. This information is simultaneously “fed back” to you so that you can become more aware of and eventually learn to control processes in your body. The characteristic that distinguishes NFB from other biofeedback is its focus on the central nervous system and the brain.
Begin Your efficiency Training with a Brain Map (qEEG)
Neurofeedback training typically begins with a computer analysis of brainwave patterns which provide results in the form of a quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG), also known as a brain map. The QEEG results are often displayed in a colorful map of the brain with different colors representing different brainwave frequencies or patterns. This information can be compared to an extensive normative database to determine appropriate treatment protocols.
There is a broad range of frequencies (or brainwave oscillation speeds) generated in our brain. In general, different levels of awareness are associated with dominant brainwave frequencies which are typically classified into four main categories or EEG bands from slow to fast: delta, theta, alpha, beta. Each of us has some of the four brain-wave bands present in different parts of our brain all of the time.
It is just a matter of degree. For example, when we start getting sleepy, slower wave frequencies will slip in. If someone is especially anxious, we would be more likely to see the presence of high-frequency brainwaves.
Help Your Brain Work More Efficiently with Neurofeedback
Although neurofeedback has been found to be beneficial in treating adults with a variety of emotional and neurological conditions, it is probably most widely known for its application in helping children that are dealing with learning and behavioral problems. NFB is very ‘child friendly’ as the training procedure often utilizes a format that young people are very familiar with – computer games or watching a movie. During NFB training sessions, sensors are placed onthe scalp and it is the brainwaves that control the movement of the objects on the screen. For example, as the trainee’s brainwaves move in the preferred direction, a flower bud may begin to blossom or a rocket shiptake off into the sky. Alternatively, if the trainee’s brainwaves are not following the desired balancing, the movie with pause, dim or stop.
Brain Training Can Heal A Variety of Conditions Improve
Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Add/ADHD) tend to have excessive slow-wave activity in their QEEG. This is also true of those with head injuries, stroke, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. When theta and excessive alpha are present in the frontal area of the brain, it becomes difficult for us to control attention, emotions, and behavior. This can lead to problems with concentration, memory, impulse control, and mood. Neurofeedback can help us make significant changes in our brainwave activity and thereby make positive differences in how we feel and how we respond to the world around us.
Additionally, NFB has been used successfully with those experiencing pain problems such as headache, migraine, PMS, and fibromyalgia. Applications of neurofeedback are not limited to those with health issues. Individuals who are looking for improved academic or athletic performance or high-level functioning in their chosen field have found neurofeedback to be an ally in tapping their talents and optimizing the mind/body connection.
Be Sure to Properly Fuel Your Brain
The basic concept of how nutrition is important to the body is clearly understood by most. However, how nutrition can have an effect on proper brain function is less understood. The human body is a homeostatic system, meaning an adverse effect in one area of the body can create a seemingly unconnected response in another area of the body. This effect can be readily seen in cases of exposure where circulation is reduced to the extremities in order to supply more warmth to the essential organs. While not as easily detectable, the same concept applies when nutrients are not reaching the appropriate areas in the correct amounts. In addition, the uptake of elements that are not necessary for proper nutrition can interfere with the body’s nutrient delivery system thus creating a negative effect, even if the right amount of nutrients are taken in. Therefore, a properly regulated diet that not only provides the right nutrients in the right amounts should be utilized, one that is also free of elements such as artificial food colorings that can interfere with the body’s delivery system should be avoided.
The Fast Food Vicious Cycle
Fast food is typically high in calories, food additives, and colorants and low in nutrition. While occasional consumption is likely not too concerning, a large number of people use fast food as their primary source of “nutrition”. The combination of ingredients in fast food is the perfect storm as they upregulated inflammatory cycles via prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and chemokines which in turn decreases blood flow into the frontal cortex, which in turn depresses neurotransmitter function. The resultant symptoms are typically medicated through psychotropics or self-medicated through food, media, and other drugs. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster when these kids/adults have no coping strategies nor tools to self-regulate. In summary, fresh whole food ingredients are vital for helping your brain work its best.
The combination of ingredients in fast food is the perfect storm as they upregulated inflammatory cycles via prostaglandins, leukotrienes and chemokines which in turn decreases blood flow into the frontal cortex, which in turn depresses neurotransmitter function. The resultant symptoms are typically medicated through psychotropics or self medicated through food, media and other drugs
In addition to regulating the correct amount of nutrients in a person’s diet, who suffers from ADHD or other neurobehavioral disorders, avoidance of any foods that create or enhance sensitivity should also be contained or reduced. Food sensitivity is not an allergic reaction, it is an immune response (with antibody’s immunoglobulin A [IgA] or immunoglobulin G [IgG]) to a specific food or ingredient. With food intolerance, symptoms are milder, are not immediate, and are not life-threatening as compared to a food allergy with a reaction by immunoglobulin E [IgE]. Food sensitivities tend to be mainly digestive in nature (bloating, diarrhea or constipation, stomach cramps, and gas), and may not surface for up to several days after you consume the offending food. Since the digestive tract is one system among many, any disruption in this system can cause rippled effects across the other systems in the body including the brain. It can also have an effect on the endocrine system which can create a direct effect in the brain as well, thus enhancing or increasing the original effect.
Dietary sensitivity is something that occurs with millions of individuals and those who suffer from ADHD and other neurobehavioral disorders, are likely to have a higher potential for a negative response due to this sensitivity. Therefore, to help you maximize your brain function, contact a knowledgeable treatment provider now, so you can start taking steps to get your life back on the track you desire.
If you or your child is facing the challenges and difficulties of ADD or ADHD or other signs of brain and body imbalance. Come in for your Free Evaluation or call (586) 488-4818 and see for yourself how beneficial the Michigan Brain Health neurofeedback program can be for your health challenges.
Always remember one of my mantras., “The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself.”
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body’s Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the bottom of this post, and please share with those you know who are still suffering from chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!