Neurofeedback for ADD/ADHD
When approaching any therapeutic procedure for ADD/ADHD, understanding how the procedure is conducted and how it works can improve your chances of a successful or beneficial outcome.
Neurofeedback training is a proven technique in helping those with ADD and ADHD, as well as many other concerns. It is a non-invasive procedure that seeks to address ADD/ADHD at the core, that is the brain. By using audio and visual stimuli to produce appropriate brain patterns, it in effect retrains your brain to better help you to manage the effects of ADD/ADHD.
Did you know that in November 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics approved biofeedback and Neurofeedback as a Level 1 or “best support” treatment option for children suffering from ADHD? You can read “Double-Blind 2-Site Randomized Clinical Trial of Neurofeedback for ADHD” as published at Clinical Trials.gov for more information.
Understanding The Brain
The brain is an amazingly complex, electrochemical organ with vast capacities for memory, learning, and more and in practice, it is complex and difficult to describe. However, in order to understand how neurofeedback works, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how the brain provides its functionality. The brain generates various waves or wavelengths of different frequencies and it is these waves that are primary to the effectiveness of neurofeedback. The brainwaves we help optimize with neurofeedback include; Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta. Gamma waves are the fastest waves or oscillation above Beta and are generally not used in training by most practitioners as their activity is still undergoing research. Interestingly, some research on gamma waves in the 40 Hz range is showing promise in helping decrease the abnormal amyloid-beta and tau proteins found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Getting A Baseline
After a preliminary session to determine what other therapeutic methods can help, a baseline of the existing patterns is taken. This is accomplished by utilizing a non-invasive diagnostic tool called a QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalography), or brain map. Electrodes or sensors (typically embedded in a cloth cap) are placed carefully on the scalp in order to pick up your current brainwave patterns which are recorded by computer software. These recordings are uploaded to a QEEG normative database. “A distinguishing characteristic of normative databases is the ability to compare a single individual to a population of “normal” individuals in order to identify the measures that are deviant from normal and the magnitude of deviation.”  For the more technical reader, “Quantitative EEG (QEEG) is the mathematical processing of digitally recorded EEG in order to highlight specific waveform components, transform the EEG into a format or domain that elucidates relevant information, or associate numerical results with the EEG data for subsequent review or comparison.  Ultimately the reports from the database produce the information from the QEEG as a readout for analysis. This baseline allows the therapy provider to see which brain waves are active and at what level, thus allowing them to determine what if any alterations to the neurofeedback program might be required.
How Neurofeedback Works
Once the baseline is analyzed, and the client is accepted into a care program, a group of neurofeedback sessions will commence. During a session, sensors will be placed carefully on your scalp and headphones placed over your ears and you will sit in front of a computer connected to a television screen. The screen will display an appropriate movie or documentary. As you watch the images and listen to the sounds of the movie your brain will produce electrical patterns or specific brainwaves that are picked up by the software. Based on the brainwave training goal of the group of sessions; for example, training down delta waves that are too prominent, the brain-training software will then provide feedback (movie pauses or slows and sound diminishes) or reward cues (movie images and sound levels play normally) depending on the training parameters of the session. During the initial session or first few sessions, it will be difficult to consciously alter your brainwaves to produce the correct images and sounds. However, as the therapy continues, the brain begins to adjust itself to produce the right patterns that will allow the software to appropriately control the movie images and sound levels. In effect, retraining your mind to produce the correct brainwave patterns that associate with focus, attention, and more and it can be repeated as often as necessary.
Enhancing The Effectiveness
Understanding how the treatment works is one means of knowing how the treatment can work for you. However, it is also important to understand there are also other methods, that when combined with neurofeedback can potentially improve or enhance the results of this type of therapy. Dietary aspects, other types of therapy such as Interactive Metronome Therapy, dietary modification, and even Spinal Adjustments can all come together to help with managing ADD and ADHD.
The goal is to help you manage your ADD and ADHD to regain your quality of life. Your care provider can help you find the right method that works for your individual circumstances. Neurofeedback is only one of many different possibilities that can assist you in getting your life on track so you can live the life you want to live.
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 today so you do not have to continue to try to manage this disorder on your own.
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!
ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC, BCN – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS