What is Neurofeedback and how does it work?
Neurofeedback improves your brain’s ability to balance itself which results in a reduction or complete removal of your symptoms. A nervous system can become dysregulated in many ways and for a variety of reasons. This includes trauma you may have experienced in childhood through to adulthood including divorce, accidents, or illness. Symptoms often arise because the nervous system is in a state of defence against perceived threats in the world, which can often be outwith our conscious control.
Neurofeedback uses highly developed software to help your brain become aware of its own activity. This is represented in a feedback animation, game or even YouTube video you watch on a large TV. Its a bit like looking in a mirror to adjust your appearance – your brain will respond and adjust in a positive way when it sees its own activity on the screen. Although you’re not consciously aware of this process, you may notice reduction in symptoms from even the first session. There are many types of neurofeedback and we use Infra-Low Frequency Neurofeedback because it isn’t a one size fits all approach; it is individually adapted to your specific symptoms.
Neurofeedback Therapy is non-invasive and no electrical current is being sent to your brain. Sensors are attached to your head which pick up activity in your brain in the same way that a medical doctor listens to your heart from the surface of your skin. This ‘message’ is sent via an amp to a computer and then onto the screen. There is a visual and/or auditory feedback with whatever animation you choose to watch on the screen. Neurofeedback makes use of neuroplasticity and your brain’s innate desire for balance, returning it to a place in which it can cope much better with the world.
Initially when training begins, the changes are short-lived but gradually the brain learns to stay in its healthier patterns. The process is similar to going to the gym to train muscles, we find your optimum training level and you repeat the training until stronger/healthier. Thankfully, unlike muscles, the brain learns to stay healthier, usually requiring around 20 sessions.
If you’re interested in reading some of the science and history behind neurofeedback, PubMed has some accessible literature and please also keep an eye on our blog.