Neurofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that has risen in popularity. Many patients seek neurofeedback for anxiety and mood disorders, but neurofeedback can also be used to help healthy individuals maximize their cognitive efficiency. In this article, we’ll take a look at what neurofeedback therapy is, how it works, and what patients can expect during treatment.
At Aspire Regenerative, we’re proud to offer cutting edge treatments and innovative therapies to patients suffering from a range of conditions, as well as healthy individuals who want to maximize their overall health and performance. Interested in learning more about neurofeedback in San Diego? Book a consultation with one of our neurofeedback therapy San Diego practitioners to find out if this therapy is right for you. Our clinicians will develop a personalized care plan and make treatment recommendations based on your specific health and wellness goals.
What Is Neurofeedback?
EEG Neurofeedback, or Electroencephalogram Biofeedback, is a series of guided cognitive exercises aimed at teaching a patient’s brain how to naturally regulate its own activity for optimal function. Therapy begins with cognitive mapping and analysis that detects dysregulation within the patient’s brain waves. Once these suboptimal synapses are located, various exercises can be used to essentially train a patient’s brain to fire more efficiently. This helps patients develop mental coping skills and resiliency.
What Are the Benefits of Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback offers many benefits that can help patients as young as 18 months of age spanning throughout adulthood and all the way into a person’s 90’s. Because it has been found to improve mental clarity, memory, focus, concentration, and mood, many doctors recommend neurofeedback for depression, anxiety, and cognitive disorders. For healthy individuals, neurofeedback can be an effective way to optimize mental performance, improve athletic performance, and enhance one’s overall sense of calm and peace.
Studies have found that neurofeedback can aid patients coping with substance abuse when used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy. Researchers found that neurofeedback can decrease a patient’s desire to consume alcohol and use opiates, while also improving the overall mental health of those suffering from drug dependence.
Neurofeedback can also be used to help reduce symptoms of the following conditions:
- Panic Attacks
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Eating Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Movement Disorders
- Seizure Conditions
- Stress-Related Conditions
- Age-Related Cognitive Decline
What Happens During Neurofeedback Therapy Sessions?
Each neurofeedback therapy session lasts about 60 minutes. This is a completely non-invasive therapy, so there is no preparation required beforehand, and patients can resume their normal activities immediately after their therapy sessions. At the beginning of each session, sensors or electrodes attached to a computer EEG program are placed on the patient’s scalp. EEG neurofeedback offers real-time brain wave monitoring and immediate feedback to your therapist.
During each 60 minute treatment, patients interact with a computer program that generates a series of graphics and musical phrases similar to a video game. By adjusting these interactive images and sounds, the program begins to correct dysregulation and helps improve patients’ cognitive function by teaching their brain to use more efficient brain wave patterns.
Typically, neurofeedback therapy consists of one or two sessions per week for 20 weeks. However, the total number of sessions required can range from 12 to 40 sessions and depends on what is being treated, as well as the severity of symptoms. For example, the number of neurofeedback ADHD therapy sessions is likely to differ from the number of sessions needed for healthy professional athletes seeking to finesse their performance capabilities.
Patients undergoing neurofeedback therapy may begin to notice results after just a few treatment sessions, but at least 12 sessions are needed for these results to have long lasting effects. Neurofeedback essentially teaches the brain to strengthen particular neural pathways. Similar to muscle strengthening, your brain will need to practice or repeat these exercises to obtain the best and most enduring results.
Are you looking for neurofeedback in San Diego? Book a consultation with Aspire Regenerative to find out how this therapy can help you personally.
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding neurofeedback therapy. If you are interested in learning more, or don’t see the answer to your specific question on this page, we would love to talk to you. Book a consultation at our state-of-the-art facility to find out if neurofeedback can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
Is Neurofeedback Permanent?
Through a series of guided cognitive exercises, neurofeedback trains the human brain to regulate its own processes for peak function. This requires multiple sessions, because the brain needs practice and reinforcement to effectively do this, but once the full treatment regimen has been completed, the results are typically permanent, though some patients may require an occasional tuneup.
It may help to think of neurofeedback therapy sort of like riding a bicycle. The first time you achieve balance it may only last for a few seconds. It takes practice to be able to consistently ride a bike without the assistance of training wheels or a parent’s guiding hands. However, once you’ve got the hang of it and practiced for a while, it becomes almost second nature. This is very similar to how neurofeedback works. Once the brain learns how to regulate itself for optimal results, it will use those skills going forward.
Is Neurofeedback Safe?
Yes, neurofeedback is safe. It is a completely non-invasive regimen of guided cognitive exercises. This therapy simply helps the brain learn to regulate itself for maximum efficiency.
Is Neurofeedback Effective for ADHD?
Research findings have shown that neurofeedback can reduce symptoms including inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Neurofeedback can be considered as an alternative to medications, or in certain cases may be used in conjunction with medication to alleviate symptoms of ADHD.
What Is the Difference Between Biofeedback and Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, is a form of biofeedback focused on the brain or a patient’s cognitive function. Biofeedback is a general term used to describe the process of using a monitor to assess and influence what are normally involuntary bodily functions. This can include heart rate, breathing, and sweat responses, as well as cognitive processes. Neurofeedback is a specific form of biofeedback focused on brain waves.
Is Neurofeedback Covered by Insurance?
Certain healthcare providers have started covering neurofeedback treatments, but many do not. You will need to check with your specific insurance company to find out if neurofeedback is covered under your insurance plan.