Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
In recent years, there has been more knowledge and understanding of the human brain available via noninvasive brain imaging techniques such as
Through the use of EEG and computer technology, clients can safely observe pictorial images of their brain function in a private setting known as Neurotherapy, otherwise known as Neurofeedback.
to see a video on migraines and neurofeedback.
In the 1960s and 1970s, research in brain function discovered that it is possible to recondition and retrain brainwave patterns. This gave birth to a field of neuroscience called neurofeedback. Although neurofeedback has been around for some time, it is only now beginning to go mainstream.
In learning about neurofeedback, is important to understand the different brainwave patterns. Brainwaves occur at various frequencies and are measured in cycles per minutes or hertz. There are several brainwave patterns, but the more classic ones are:
Beta Waves These are smaller, faster brainwaves that occur when we engage in intellectual activity that requires focus and concentration. This is when we are most alert. Persistent beta waves are often seen in people who are tense or suffer from anxiety.
Alpha Waves These are slower waves that are associated with a state of relaxation. If we simply close our eyes, we begin to produce more alpha waves.
Theta Waves These waves are associated with even slower brain activity, what can be considered a daydream-like state, in between waking and sleeping. People with ADD tend to show slower frequency theta waves.
Delta Waves These are the slowest brainwaves and are associated with sleep. These brainwaves have also been observed in individuals with learning disabilities.
Neurofeedback is the process of regulating brain wave patterns in specific areas of the brain. Depending on the disorder, the specific areas that influence that emotional state or cognitive behavior are targeted using the International 10-20 system of sensor placement. After several sessions, the enhancement of cerebral cortex activity takes place.
About Neurofeedback Training
Neurofeedback training is brainwave training. During a typical training session, sensors are placed on one or more specific locations on the scalp. Using cutting edge technology client receives instantaneous, real time visual and audio feedback about his/her brainwave activity. The sensors measure the electrical patterns emitted from the neurons in the patient’s brain, which are filtered and relayed to the computer and recorded. Once the brainwave signal is received, the special software processes and emits feedback to the individual to reinforce the brainwaves to be rewarded.
In learning about neurofeedback and retraining brainwaves, it is important to understand the concept ofoperant conditioning.
Operant conditioning is a concept developed and coined by psychologist B.F Skinner. It is a method of learning that modifies behavior by using reinforcers, rewards and/or punishments. Through his research, Skinner proved that consistent, positive reinforcement or the repeated rewarding of positive responses to a given stimulus motivates the subject to repeat the positive or desired response. Over time and practice, the learned behavior can even become second-nature.
In other words, operant reinforcement not only shapes the behavior, but the consistency of the behavior is maintained long after an operant (action) conditioning has been formed
Neurofeedback training uses operant conditioning to retrain the brainwaves. The reward feedback of improved function is reinforced after each training session. After several sessions of reconditioning the brainwave, the brainwave patterns are modified and maintained. Some clients may require 15 to 20 sessions or others may need up to 40 or even 60 sessions, depending on the disorder and its severity.
About Neurofeedback Evaluation
Before neurofeedback training can begin, a thorough evaluation must be carried out by the Neurofeedback Practitioner. The pattern of brainwave activity is established while the individual performs various tasks. For individuals with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or individuals with other attention issues, a continuous performance test (CPT) such as the TOVA or IVA+ is incorporated into the evaluation process. Tests like these help identify the strengths and deficits that can be addressed with neurofeedback training. For persons with disorders such as anxiety insomnia, or chronic pain, a stress level analysis is also conducted.
About Neurofeedback Safety
In learning and understanding
you can begin to explore alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical treatments and therapy. Today, millions of people are placed on mind-altering medications, which are often comprised of substances that have severe side effects.
Neurofeedback also known as Neurotherapy or EEG biofeedback is a safe, non-invasive, powerful, all-natural, drug-free and scientifically designed neurological training method used to enhance and support function and balance of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It is approved for individuals of all ages. There are currently no known side-effects.
Neurofeedback training often reduces the need for medications because of its capacity to regulate abnormal EEG patterns. If this need arises, you may need to discuss a possible adjustment in your current medication with the prescribing physician.
Neurofeedback Can :