Clinical Neurofeedback or Neurotherapy is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback from the brainwave activity. The therapy uses sounds or visual signals to retain or recognize these brain signals. It is also known as EEG (Electroencephalogram) Biofeedback. Neurofeedback helps with a wide range of conditions, like sleep disorders, addiction, seizures, ADHD, mood disorders, autism, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, migraines, and more.
At Cadabams, we offer affordable neurofeedback therapy. With the use of advanced instruments and monitoring procedures, our neurofeedback specialists identify neurological responses and train the brain to induce better patient outcomes.
What Does Neurotherapy Treatment Include?
Neurotherapy treatment aims to retrain the brain, either developing new skills or increasing brain fitness and performance through exercise. The signs and symptoms of the disorder improve over the long-term use of neurofeedback therapy.
When you train the brain, it seems to work towards homeostasis. This tends to move symptoms towards normality, regardless of the training effect. Simply put, Neurotherapy aims to improve brain performance. Regular physical activity and exercise improves muscle strength and boosts body endurance.
Similarly, the more your brain is exercised into reaching a more comfortable, more efficient state, the better it gets at it. Neurofeedback therapy requires time and repetition.
Common applications of clinical neurofeedback therapy include –
- Stress relief
- Anxiety management
- Building emotional resilience and improving mood
- Improving attention, focus, and concentration
- Improving learning and cognitive performance
- Motivational boost and energy, and learning to manage cravings, habit problems and addictions.
Difference Between Neurofeedback and Biofeedback
It’s easy to get confused between neurofeedback and biofeedback as their purpose is quite similar, to improve well-being. These therapies have major differences and can’t replace each other. Here are the major differences between the two.
What is Biofeedback Used for?
Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that uses visual or auditory feedback to gain control over involuntary bodily functions. The goal of biofeedback is to make subtle changes in the body to achieve long-term results and control over the symptoms of an illness.
This may include gaining voluntary control over muscle tension, heart rate, pain perception, blood flow, and blood pressure. Biofeedback can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions including:
- Anxiety and stress
- Other physiological conditions.
What is Clinical Neurofeedback Used for?
Neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback is a specific subset of biofeedback. It is a very specific protocol that is utilized to improve brainwave activity. EEG biofeedback is especially useful for treating neurological conditions such as
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Sleep Disorders
- Brain injury
- Traumatic brain injury
How is Neurotherapy or Neurofeedback Performed?
Neurofeedback is not considered a cure, but a method of managing the brain functions in a healthier manner. Neurotherapy practitioners who administer neurofeedback helps patients learn to change their brainwave activity.
The Brainwave activity is measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG). The EEG equipment is connected with sensors placed on the scalp and ears of the patient, which are completely painless and safe. The central nervous system is taught to reorganize and regulate brainwave frequencies. The therapy assesses and provides information about dysfunctional areas of the brain that are causing symptoms so that they can be treated directly.
The prime goal of Neurotherapy is to stimulate neuroplastic change, that is a change in structure and/or function of brain cells. Typically, neuroplastic change means rearranging neurons. Brain healing can be achieved with neuroplastic changes.
Some curated to already existing external stimuli can help revive brain circuits that have become dormant. Some examples of such stimuli are low-intensity laser light (soft laser or cold laser) and intentional thinking and behaviours (i.e. internally-driven neuroplastic change).
The brain is capable of modulating its own functioning – balancing excitation and inhibition.
Types of Neurotherapy
Broadly, Neurotherapy is categorized into two types:
Neurotherapy based on learning, conditioning, and training – This includes biofeedback and neurofeedback. These training include skills development, or better brain fitness through different exercises. This type of Neurotherapy is usually a combination of neuro-modulation and neuro-relaxation.
Neurotherapy based on brain stimulation – In this type, externally driven factors result in neuroplasticity or brain cell rearrangements. Brain stimulation based Neurotherapy can take several forms.
Benefits of Neurofeedback Therapy
The effects and benefits of neurofeedback training last long after the entire therapy is stopped. As the brain has learned (or relearned) more efficient ways of performing, it will continue this way as new pathways in the brain are created. Some important advantages of neurofeedback therapy are –
- Improved overall brain health
- Enhanced memory and focus
- Decreased impulsivity
- Reduced ADHD symptoms
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved depression symptoms
- Better mental clarity
- More restful sleep
- Improved mood
Types of Neurofeedback
- Traditional SMR Neurofeedback – Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) training is a common protocol used to improve focus, attention, motoric precision and balance and the ability to relax.
- Alpha/Theta Neurofeedback (A/T) – It is deep state neurofeedback and is usually performed with eyes closed. Alpha waves of the brain are associated with being in a calm, relaxed, meditative, mindful state. By using auditory functions, Alpha training improves sleep quality and relaxation.
- Beta Reset Neurofeedback – Beta reset is especially useful in the treatment of chronic and neurodegenerative conditions. This therapy is intended to interrupt and correct neuronal and non-neuronal dysregulation.
- Coherence Training – Coherence training is all about communication between different neurological regions in the brain. It is used to improve the connectivity between different brain regions, resulting in improved neural connectivity and neural network dynamics.
What Problems Can Neurofeedback Help Solve?
Neurofeedback for Insomnia
A night of proper sleep is imperative for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Insomnia is very difficult to treat but over the years, neurofeedback has gained popularity. Neurofeedback allows a patient to view their brainwaves in real-time.
Each time they produce the desired brain activity, they receive positive feedback through auditory or visual cues, or tokens, and negative feedback for undesired brain activity.
The neurofeedback intervention for insomnia aims to minimize hyperarousal. If the patient manages to reduce this state as it occurs, they receive positive feedback. Neurofeedback for insomnia is used for some other common sleep issues including:
Neurofeedback for Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are associated with chronic medical conditions. Chronic anxiety can decrease growth hormones, increase catecholamine release, and aberrantly activate immune and inflammatory cascades. It also has a direct neurobiological consequence. Stress hormones affect neuroanatomical structures and bring changes to the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala.
Alpha electroencephalography (EEG) recordings have proved to reduce anxiety. Alpha EEG biofeedback is a non-invasive drug-free technique where the brain activity is monitored by recording electrodes placed at designated locations on the scalp.
The waveforms are analyzed and then fed back to the patient through computer-generated auditory or visual stimuli. Neurofeedback targets the internal variables factors like operant brainwaves conditioning in an attempt to decrease anxiety.
Neurofeedback Therapy for Depression
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), or Depression, is one of the most commonly found mental disorders. It degrades the quality of life and pushes on into low self-esteem, guilt, and deep sadness. Medications just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain. As per WHO data, 1/3rd of the depressed patients around the world do not respond to the typical treatments. It is termed as Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). For these patients, there are very limited treatment options and neurofeedback therapy for depression is one of them.
In Neurofeedback therapy for depression, the brain function is measured with a quantitative EEG brain map to determine the reason for mood problems. Once the source of the problem is detected, the brain area is targeted for change through neurofeedback
EEG neurofeedback for depression has mainly been based on models of altered hemispheric asymmetry. fMRI-based neurofeedback (fMRI-NF) uses functional localizer scans that allow the dynamic adjustment of the target areas or networks in the brain. It helps in self-regulation training for better emotion processing. Neurofeedback therapy for depression boosts self-esteem and brain connectivity. For the best Neurotherapy treatment in Bangalore, do reach out to Cadabams Hospital.
Neurofeedback Therapy for ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD affects learning, attention, impulse control, and activity levels. These symptoms can make managing and organizing daily life challenging. In a person with ADHD, the brain displays a set of characteristic patterns of behaviour.
While behavioural interventions and medication can do a good job treating the symptoms of children with ADD or ADHD, Neurotherapy treatment retrains the brain to regain better control and focus. Neurotherapy focuses on making the brain Neuroplastic, meaning that it is more primed and open to learning new skills.
In a neurofeedback therapy session for ADHD, the neurofeedback specialist doctor or neuro therapist, attaches electrodes running from an EEG machine to the person’s head to measure brain activity.
A real-time scan of the brain waves shows up on a screen. The practitioner instructs the person to perform a specific task, which alters the brain waves.
As the brain responds to the external stimuli, the feedback on the EEG will show how the stimuli changes, interrupts or increases brain activity. Neurotherapy treatment for ADHD is proved to have large-scale improvements in impulsivity and inattention and medium-scale improvements in hyperactivity.
Neurofeedback for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
People with Autism can be characterized not only by these areas of the challenge but also by significant areas of strength. A child with Autism has a certain set of abilities and aptitude that should be identified and encouraged by the parents, therapists, and teachers.
An autistic child may exhibit some of these skills such as good visual and spatial memory, a methodical and organized way of doing things, ability to understand abstract concepts, excellence in the area of their interest, attention to detail, interest in languages (among children who can speak well). Neurofeedback is a research-backed way to help ASD by improving brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology sounds quite sophisticated, the process is very simple, painless, and non-invasive.
Neurofeedback Therapy Side Effects
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, painless, and safe process. There are no cases reported with lasting adverse effects. With prolonged treatment, there can be short-lived side effects including difficulty paying attention, sadness, inattention, difficulty falling asleep, irritability, restlessness, and headaches.
These effects are very short-lived and are usually gone the next day. It is possible to monitor these effects and alter the treatment dosage to make certain adjustments so that they do not recur.
Does Neurofeedback Actually Work?
When medicines are not effectively curing a condition, neurofeedback is advised by a doctor. Neurotherapy and Neurofeedback treatment is very effective and useful as there are no side effects to this.
The success rate claimed by researchers in various scientific researches for neurofeedback for certain conditions is 75%-80%. Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) is usually provided by mental health professionals such as counsellors, family therapists, and psychologists. These professions usually work with one-on-one clients. The training sometimes is also provided by nurses, clinical social workers, and rehabilitation specialists.
Find the Best Neurofeedback Therapist
Neurofeedback addresses problems related to the brain. No, it is not always about any disorder or dysregulation. Sometimes there are problems like anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behaviour disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS, and emotional disturbances. But Neurotherapy also helps treat brain injuries or supports the brain to function more efficiently.
If you are looking for a neurofeedback specialist, then ensure to check a few things.
- Make sure that your doctor is a licensed mental health professional, who has been trained to use neurofeedback equipment and programs; ensure they can provide neurofeedback services in their private practices and clinics.
- Check their educational background and relevant experience.
- Look for a therapist with whom you feel comfortable discussing personal issues, who displays a mutual understanding of your particular case and you feel a safe space to share all your problems.
- A neurofeedback specialist needs to clearly explain the neurofeedback process, its potential benefits, and its limitations in a way you can understand.
Neurofeedback Therapy at Cadabams
Cadabams is one of the top centres for Neurotherapy treatment in Bangalore. The neurofeedback specialists at Cadabams assess and analyze a patient’s previous health records, medical history, lifestyle, and other vital information to understand and know more about the patient’s behaviour and the right treatment modalities to apply.
Our treatment programs and methods are designed to cater to your unique needs. If your loved one is dealing with any mental health issues, reach us at +91 97414 76476. We are always there to help you. Reach out to us today to know more about a specific psychiatric disorder. You can also mail us your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does Neurofeedback take to work?
Each Neurofeedback session takes between 50 and 60 minutes. The actual training time lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. Additional time is required for the set up of sensor placement and adjustment. Doctors at Cadabams also take some time to briefly speak to the patient before and after each Neurotherapy treatment to monitor how things are progressing.
Neurofeedback helps treat brain injuries and those suffering from any type of disability. Neurofeedback helps the brain become more efficient and flexible so that it works at its best capacity. In case of a brain injury due to stroke, with the help of neurofeedback therapy, the brain can learn to reroute signals to create new neural pathways. Neurofeedback also works wonderfully for learning disabilities
Does Neurofeedback change your personality?
The therapy of Neurofeedback does not change your underlying personality but it works as a powerful modality that lets your true self shine by shunting the negative personality traits like social awkwardness, depression, fear, or anxiety. It supports the brain to function more efficiently and run like a well-oiled machine. Patients undergoing Neurotherapy treatments report feeling lighter, calmer, happier, and having a more positive outlook on life.
Can a successful outcome always be predicted?
It’s impossible for any medical practitioner to predict with certainty that Neurotherapy training will be successful or not. For common conditions, Neurofeedback specialists can do a reasonable prediction of outcomes. After the first or second session, a doctor can presume the effectiveness of the therapy and might alter or modify the therapy.
Does Neurofeedback enhance performance and improves I.Q.?
Siegfried Othmer, PhD and a pioneer in the management of the clinical applications of EEG biofeedback since 1988 opines that “Our intellectual abilities and emotional resources can be considerably enhanced with neurofeedback training as it makes the brain more neuroplastic.” I.Q. scores usually hit 10 to 20 points high after neurofeedback training, but it does not imply that it makes people intelligent. It is the efficiency and flexibility of the brain which has been improved through neurofeedback. It cannot generate a skill to perform well. It only helps to fine-tune performance. Attaining any kind of peak performance requires the brain to learn a very specific, recognizable mental state of focus. Sometimes we call it ‘The Zone’. Everyone experiences it once in a while where they feel super energetic and perform their best. Neurofeedback training might help you learn how to achieve this mental state. It increases intuition, enhances the clarity of thought, and takes off any negative feelings of fear, loss of control, or self-consciousness which are the most common causes which disturb the ability to perform well.