What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, sometimes called EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy, is a form of treatment based on real-time analysis of brain function. The idea behind neurofeedback is to use this information about the activity in the brain to teach skills that result in better control over certain aspects of behavior. Learning to control these brain functions can help manage stress, anxiety, and pain as well as specific conditions such as ADD/ADHD, insomnia, and migraines.
What are the Different Types of Neurofeedback?
There are several different types of neurofeedback methods but each uses some kind of feedback signal that provides information about your current mental state. One method measuring your ongoing brain waves using an EEG machine and providing feedback on an individual’s alpha, beta, delta/theta ratios. Another method is measuring brain waves in conjunction with temperature changes at points on the head (temporal or ear lobes) that are thought to be associated with stress or relaxation.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
The idea behind neurofeedback is that an individual uses information about their own brain activity to become more conscious of what’s going on in their mind. This awareness can then help individuals learn to become more relaxed and less stressed. In the case of disorders such as ADD/ADHD, insomnia or migraines people can become better able to regulate the function of the associated areas of the brain leading to a relief from symptoms.
What is a Neurofeedback Session Like?
A typical neurofeedback session is usually 40 to 60 minutes long. The first step to become a neurofeedback practitioner is collecting some background information from the patient as well as conducting an evaluation of both the symptom history and brain waves of the patient. This provides a basis for comparison during and after therapy to measure progress. Next, sensors are attached to specific parts of the head that can be easily reached by the therapist.
How Many Sessions Will you Need?
One session a week with a trained therapist would probably keep you going for at least 3 months or so. You would have sessions more frequently in the beginning then become less frequent as your brain adjusts to its newfound control over stress and anxiety levels. In the case of some disorders such as ADD/ADHD, insomnia, or migraines, milder symptoms can become more manageable quite quickly with a few sessions a month. Other conditions that require a more gradual approach may take months for significant results to be seen.
How Much Does Each Session Cost?
This depends on the therapist you work with and how long you have been seeing them. A good neurofeedback specialist would probably be able to give you an idea of what kind of rate they charge per session as well as an approximate length of time required per visit over the first couple of visits anyway. Some therapists offer group rates which can make treatment very affordable especially if there are others who live in your area that also benefit from the same type of neurofeedback.