Neurofeedback in a Nutshell
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive method of direct brain function training. It is also a type of biofeedback and is therefore, also called EEG Biofeedback. It uses the electrodes (which act like tiny microphones) placed on the client's scalp to record and amplify the EEG, or brainwaves and control auditory, visual, and/or tactile feedback which allows learning to take place. This operant learning initiates self-regulation and enhances relaxation, both necessary components of good brain function.
There are so many facets to what neurofeedback is, and the impacts it can have on us are literally endless. We urge you to read the FAQs on this page, and if you have any more questions about neurofeedback, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to provide a more specific answer or suggestion based on the information you provide for us.
The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) defines biofeedback as "a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument" (2008, retrieved from http://www.isnr.org/neurofeedback-info/learn-more-about-neurofeedback.cfm).
How does neurofeedback work?
In another way, neurofeedback targets the underlying dysregulation in brain activity that can exacerbate and sometimes cause clinical symptoms. This influence may also encourage neurophysiological resilience with the induction of brain flexibility, relaxation, and a steadier central nervous system. For example, if one's state of neuroanatomy and physiological health is over-stimulated or under-aroused, mental illnesses, with various symptoms may manifest behaviorally, psychologically, emotionally, and/or physically. Such disorders as anxiety and depression may have a base in neurophysiology which consequently can be targeted for training. A brain with greater flexibility has the capacity to more healthily adapt to challenging life situations.
During a session, clients usually report feeling relaxed. Clients sit in a recliner and listen to sounds and/or play a video game on a computer screen using their brain to direct the action. When the desired brain wave state is achieved, the game continues and points are accumulated. It's easy and fun. Remember, nothing is being put into your brain. We are simply "listening" to your brain wave activity through sensors, much like a doctor listening to your heart with a stethoscope, and feeding the information back to you. For this reason, it is known as "Neurofeedback."
We work specifically with BrainAvatar, which is a comprehensive interactive neurofeedback system capable of several types of brain training. Visit www.brainavatar.com for more information.
Is NFB only used alongside mental health issues?
Neurofeedback can also be used non-clinically for peak performance training, baseline data for sports players in case of head trauma/injury, certain sleep issues, and to track changes in brain function as a result of medication.
Is any electricity being put into my head?
No, no energy or electricity is put into your head. The equipment only "listens" to your brain waves.
How often must I attend neurofeedback sessions?
A minimum of 1 to 2 sessions per week.
How many neurofeedback sessions will I need?
Typically, 10 or more sessions are needed, but generally, less than 40.
How long do the results of neurofeedback last?
Results will generally "stick" as long as positive mental and emotional environments and behaviors are maintained.
Is Neurofeedback equipment FDA approved? For what uses?
BrainMaster Technologies is cleared with the FDA and has three separate FDA 510k’s (one for Hardware, one for Software, and one for Database); however, not all neurofeedback equipment is cleared with the FDA.