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Overview

Neurofeedback is an effective form of treatment for various psychiatric and psychological conditions including anxiety disorders. It works by helping the individual learn self-regulation, which allows the individual to control and thereby reduce their symptoms, a change that is sustained. Neurofeedback training is like exercising your brain. It uses intensive brain training exercises in order to help ‘balance’ your brain and enhance the functioning of your mind. It uses the concept of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of your brain to learn new things, to help retrain your mind. Thus, your brain learns to alter its activity in new ways just like you learn any other new skills – through feedback and repetition.

In a neurofeedback training session, conscious effort is not required as the person’s brain and the technology do all the work. The person may be asked to sit back and watch a video, during which their brain activity is monitored through sensors placed on the scalp. When the person has anxious thoughts, their brainwaves would become too high, which would be out of the desired range, at which the video would grow dim. This feedback would encourage your brain to bring its focus back to the video and not on the anxious thoughts, until eventually the brain learns after a few weeks of sessions to remain within the desired range and maintain balance. This would help you feel much more calmer and able to control your thoughts.
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How effective is Neurofeedback for Anxiety?

Neurofeedback is effective in enhancing the connectivity of two brain regions – the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex – whose lack of connectivity is linked with heightened anxiety, thereby making sustained reduction in anxiety.

Is Neurofeedback for Anxiety safe?

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive method of treatment which is considered generally safe. The side effects that could occur (e.g. fatigue, low energy, headaches, etc.) are found to be mild and temporary, resolving within 24-48 hours after the session.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

The number of neurofeedback training sessions required depends on the severity of the person’s anxiety as well as their response to the training sessions.