What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
“If any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used.”
— Frank Duffy, M.D., Neurologist, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Neurofeedback therapy is a natural process that uses our ability to measure your brain waves to help you regulate undesirable brain activity and enhance desirable brain activity, without medication. Using real-time qEEG displays, we illustrate brain activity and teach self-regulation. Ordinarily, a person cannot influence brain wave patterns because they lack awareness of them. We help you see what’s happening so you can recondition and retrain the brain back to balance.
It’s not futuristic. It’s not magic. It’s not experimental.
The natural electrical activity in the brain directly affects the chemistry. The chemistry affects our moods and attitudes. Neurofeedback therapy, developed in 1968 out of UCLA, has substantial research proving that it is a safe and effective method.
Meet the Scientists:
Pavlov did thousands of experiments on conditioning a response. He started by injecting meat powder in a dog’s mouth and then ringing a bell. The dog would salivate because of the meat powder. But, eventually the dog became familiar with the bell ringing and began to salivate with just the sound of the bell, without the presence of the meat powder. This conditioned response changed how we perceive many of the body’s functions. Simply put – it’s trainable.
The Berger Wave
Berger invented electroencephalography (EEG), or the recording of brain waves. In fact, he coined the term “brain waves” and discovered the presence of the alpha wave, promptly renamed the “Berger wave.”
Skinner was the first to describe operant conditioning. Building upon Pavlov’s research, Skinner created “Skinner’s box.” Still used in various forms today, the box allows for an animal to press a lever to obtain food as a type of reinforcement. His research illustrated that learning can be strengthened and reinforced with rewards.
Miller, along with others, discovered that a scientist can apply sensitive electronic ‘readers’ to the brain and gather meaningful information about physiologic processes. In turn, the subject gains greater awareness and control over their physiology and can self-regulate more effectively.
Sensory Motor Rhythm
A high sensory motor rhythm (12-15 hertz) makes you feel calm and relaxed, as if there are no worries in the world. Sterman proved that he could get cats to increase their sensory motor rhythm on their own by rewarding them when they reached a certain level. Years later, NASA asked him to research the effect rocket fuel was having on astronauts. At the time, when they ingested it, they were having seizures. Sterman went back to the cats and exposed them to rocket fuel. Within one hour, 40 of 50 died. The 10 that lived were the same cats he had previously increased the sensory motor rhythm in. He then hypothesized that increasing sensory motor rhythm could work with seizures. He brought the test to a human client who had severe seizures and epilepsy. He started what he called “SMR Neurofeedback Training,” and six months later, she was able to finally get her drivers license.
Based on Sternman’s research, Lubar hypothesized that if sensory motor rhythm increases work with seizures, it could positively impact ADHD. He was able to ‘train’ ADHD in the brain by regulating the dysregulated areas, or by decreasing theta waves in the frontal lobes and increasing beta waves in the parietal lobes.