We get asked a lot about what the first step to working with Amazing Brains is. After the Consultation and assuming you are doing Neurofeedback we start with a Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG or Brain Map). This is a pain-free assessment that looks at the electrical activity of the brain, but more on that later, for now, let’s talk about what you can do to prepare.
The first step towards an accurate brain map (qEEG) is to record your brainwaves (EEG) with as little interference from artifacts (eye movements, jaw movements, muscle tension, drowsiness, etc.) as possible. Consider doing the following to help ensure that your session will go smoothly.
- Schedule your qEEG brain map at a time when you are most likely to be alert. Most people do best in the morning and we require maps be done before 1:00 PM.
- Please be on time and have the necessary paperwork completed. Please note that arriving for your recording late may result in the need to reschedule your recording.
- Do your best to get a good night’s sleep before your qEEG brain map. Please know that over the counter sleep aids and prescription sleeping mediations can affect your EEG.
- Do your best to eat a balanced meal or snack a little while (1-3 hours) before your qEEG brain map and do not consume caffeine, alcohol or refined sugar within 12 hours of the map. Being overly hungry can impact alertness and focus and the ability to sit still. This is especially true of children and teenagers. If you consume marijuana, please inform the technician in advance of the map.
- Consult with our clinic about any medications you are taking that may affect your brainwave patters. Do not discontinue your medications without your Doctors supervision. However, know that some medications affect your EEG activity. Please arrive with a list of current psychotropic medications written down to provide to your clinician.
- Wash and rinse your hair three times and avoid using a leave-in conditioner, styling gels, etc. on the day of your qEEG map. Gels and conditioners can at times make it more difficult for the EEG sensors to make good contact with your scalp.
- If you wear contact lenses, be prepared to remove them during your session (these can cause excess eye blinks/movements). Bring any contact lens solution and containers that you will need if you remove your contacts.
- Be prepared for messy hair following your session. Your qEEG brain map session will leave some leftover gel in your hair (this is water-soluble gel similar in consistency to hair styling gel. Bring whatever supplies (towels, combs, hats, etc.) you will need to restyle or cover your hair to your appointment or plan time to return home to shower.
- Go to the bathroom immediately prior to your session. Once you are hooked up for your recording it is somewhat difficult to unhook you so that you can use the restroom. Please use the restroom prior to your session.
- Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices during your recording. It is best if you leave your phone and any other electronic devices turned off.
- Be relaxed but alert. The qEEG brain map is a non-invasive process. You will sit in a comfortable chair, wear a cap on your head (similar to a swim cap) with ear clips (similar to clip-on-earrings) attached gently to each ear lobe. Once you are set up we will record your EEG activity. Your main job during the recording is to sit still, keep your body and face relaxed, and be as awake and alert as possible. Your technician will assist you through this process.
- Take responsibility for making your qEEG brain mapping session a success. Your technician will make every effort to help you obtain the best recording possible. However, in some cases, the EEG may still need to be rerecorded. This is a rare occurrence due to excess artifact (eye blinks/movement, muscle tension, drowsiness). Repeating a recording can also be due to a lack of willingness or ability to perform the basics for the recording (such as when a child is unable to leave the electrodes or recording cap in place).