The brain is a highly complex organ made up of billions of cells called neurons. Neurons send and receive messages to and from all parts of your body. These messages are electrical impulses that create brain waves. The brain map (also called a neuro map) is an important tool we use to evaluate your brainwaves and identify opportunities to improve communication between various regions of the brain. The brain map is able to capture a window of brain activity, analyze the data, and create a visual representation for each lobe of the brain and each specific brain wave (Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta)
Neurofeedback (also called neurotherapy) is a non-invasive process where brain waves are monitored in real time by a computer, which can then use that information to produce changes in brainwave activity. The process of adjusting brainwave activity is known as operant conditioning, which is a method where rewards for positive behavior increase learning capabilities.
The concept is fairly simple. The computer monitors your brainwaves while you watch a movie or listen to music. When deviations from normal brainwave activity occur, the computer triggers an audio or visual cue that alerts the patient that they are outside normal ranges. These cues are received by the brain, which subconsciously adjusts itself back to a normal pattern to make the cue stop. With enough repetition of this process, the brain eventually learns to stay in the normal ranges on its own without the computer. With the brain functioning normally on its own, symptoms of irregular brain activity will decline.
It has been well documented that people who suffer neurological problems have abnormal brain waves in certain areas of the brain. For instance, case studies using QEEG "brain maps" have shown that people with Attention-Deficit-Disorder (ADD) have elevated delta brainwaves, while those who suffer from depression have elevated alpha brainwaves. Those with anxiety will have elevated Beta brainwaves, while those suffering from memory loss usually have decreased theta brainwaves.
Training the brain using neurofeedback can change these brainwaves over time, adjusting them into normal, healthy ranges. It can improve alertness, attention, emotional regulation, behavior, cognitive function, and mental flexibility. When the brain moves back into normal ranges, users will often see a reduction in symptoms.
The best part of neurofeedback is that results are often permanent, allowing a person to reduce or even eliminate medications altogether. Where medications only manage the symptoms, the goal of neurofeedback is to address the underlying cause and restore normal brainwave functions.
Neurofeedback utilizes a non-invasive technique for monitoring brain activity. Small electrodes are attached to specific areas of the head using paste. Our Neurointegration software records the brain waves and displays the data in real time. During this time the patient is watching a movie or listening to music. The software compares the incoming brainwaves to that of an optimal brainwave in the target range. If the brainwaves deviate from normal ranges, it triggers the audio or video to fade. The brain automatically detects this and refocuses itself back into the proper range. This process is repeated hundreds of times per session. Sessions usually last 30 minutes.
The Brain Is A Learning Machine Through operant conditioning, the brain is rewarded when the audio or video returns to normal. Eventually the brain learns to stay in the healthy ranges without the reward stimulus, and is able to sustain normal activity independent of the computer. This is achieved by reconnecting functional pathways in the brain.
Neurofeedback does not target any particular disorder. Its purpose is to change timing and activation patterns in the brain. This improves brain regulation, which can impact a variety of symptoms. Different symptoms will require triggering different areas of the brain. The software is designed to target specific areas of the brain according to a patient's symptoms.
There is no magic number. Just as every person is unique, the number of sessions will vary according to each person. Noticeable results typically occur between the first and tenth session. In general 20 - 40 sessions are needed for the results to become permanent. Symptoms in some patients will resolve in a shorter time. Some require more training, some less. The goal is to complete enough sessions to ensure consistent and lasting benefits. A brain map can be generated at any time between sessions, so that you can visually see the progress your brain is making.