Neurofeedback is an effective treatment for anxiety and many other conditions. It is a safe and non-invasive method that produces lasting results despite the medication’s quick and temporary effects.
During a neurofeedback session, patients watch their brainwaves on a computer screen while guided through a series of exercises. They are rewarded with video images and audio feedback when their brainwaves meet the goals of treatment.
Unlike medications that manage symptoms and do not change how a person thinks, neurofeedback changes brainwave patterns on a biological level. This is called neuroplasticity and encourages lasting adjustments.
Patients treated with neurofeedback often report a noticeable reduction in anxiety and stress-related symptoms. These include agitation, moodiness, insomnia, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Neurofeedback therapy uses sensors placed strategically on the head to track and display brainwave activity. The patient learns to focus and “push” the brain into a healthier functioning pattern that can help regulate emotions and reduce anxiety. As a result, these new cognitive pathways become ingrained and can help to prevent future episodes of anxiety and stress. Neurofeedback is also safe and non-invasive.
Neurofeedback therapy uses operant conditioning to help patients learn what it feels like to shift into a calmer state. The technique involves placing electrodes on the scalp and providing instant feedback about brain wave frequencies that can be controlled.
During sessions, patients watch movies or play a video game and are rewarded when their brain produces the desired brainwave frequencies. The brain is reinforced for changing its dysfunctional patterns, so it starts to self-regulate and anxious symptoms fade.
Many people also use neurofeedback to treat physical ailments like heart rate changes, headaches, incontinence and blood pressure problems. It helps your nervous system function more effectively and improves sleep, breathing and regulating hormones. It can be used independently or with other treatments, including medications.
Effective For A Wide Range Of Conditions
Neurofeedback works by calming the brain and moving it into a parasympathetic state, lessening the negative symptoms of various conditions. It helps to balance the brainwaves and regulate neurotransmitters that can cause multiple issues, from anxiety, depression, and addiction to ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and more.
During a session, electrodes are placed on the head to measure brainwave activity and almost immediately provide feedback, often using visual cues like a movie or video game. When the brainwaves are in a preferred state, the screen will brighten; conversely, when the brainwaves manifest dysregulated patterns, the net will dim. The results are long-lasting as the brain learns to adopt healthier brain functioning habits. Unlike drug-based treatments, the effects of neurofeedback can be sustained over time without ongoing treatment.
As a non-invasive and drug-free method, neurofeedback has far less risk of side effects than medication. In addition, unlike anxiety medications that can mask symptoms and make it difficult to determine the root cause of your condition, neurofeedback can help you get to the bottom of the issue.
During a neurofeedback session, sensors on your head measure brainwave activity in real-time. This information is sent to a computer, which “talks back” to you with images on a screen, such as a movie or video game. The software encourages the type of brainwave activity that supports relaxation and focus.
As you practice, your brainwaves gradually change, and you gain the ability to regulate fast brain wave activity. This is called retraining the brain. Often, patients will see results within five to 10 sessions, but every person is unique.
Neurofeedback is a safe and effective way to manage anxiety and stress without medication. It encourages the brain to change on a biological level for better functioning.
Small sensors are placed on your scalp to monitor brain activity during a session to monitor brain activity. The movie displayed on the screen reflects your brain wave patterns. When you have too many fast beta waves, the movie darkens to reflect this. When you can regulate your brain wave patterns, the film brightens again to reinforce this.
The results are long-lasting because the brain can retrain itself. Most standard neurofeedback training involves 30-40 sessions; consistency is key to achieving lasting benefits. While research is ongoing, some studies show that neurofeedback can lessen symptoms related to ADHD, mood disorders, and even PTSD.