What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback (also called EEG biofeedback) recalibrates brainwave activity in order to restore the body and mind to a more relaxed state including but not limited to decreased anxiety, restful sleep, and a decreased level of arousal (i.e., hypervigilance).

It is a painless process which uses sensors on the surface of the scalp that record the electrical patterns coming from your brain -- much like a physician listens to your heart from the surface of your skin.  No electrical current is put into your brain.  The sensors are connected to a computer which records the constantly changing pattern of brainwaves and instantly transforms them into a unique and constantly changing live composition of sounds, array of colors, and fractal patterns.
PTSD and Neurofeedback ... Does It Work?

When someone has PTSD, the brain gets re-wired.  At the time of the traumatic event, the brain's wiring was necessary to respond to the threat.  However, with PTSD, the brain essentially gets caught in a loop where that state of hyper-arousal becomes a constant.  The individual is able to consciously acknowledge the event is a product of the past, yet the deep subconscious brain remains "on guard." 

This "on guard" brain has created an electrical pattern of functioning that is the equivalent of stormy weather.  Wind, rain, snow, and hail make it difficult to function normally.  Neurofeedback enables the brain to wisk that stormy weather away and allow the peaceful tranquility of a mild sunny day to become the norm.

Studies show that when neurofeedback is used with individuals diagnosed with PTSD, significant improvement is found in the following areas:
"Because of neurofeedback, I now have my husband back."
                
Southern California Military Wife
"When my dad came back from Iraq, he wasn't the same dad I remembered.  He didn't laugh anymore.  Now, because of neurofeedback, my dad is better than ever.  He's fun again."
                                                              Drew, Southern California
For example, if the desired result is to reduce anxiety, the customized program will gradually work to bring the individual's brainwaves to produce certain colors and sounds on the computer screen which are indicative of relaxation.  At first, the results will be short-lived, but as more sessions are completed, the results (e.g., a more relaxed state) will become routine behavior.
These patterns, sounds, and colors thus provide neurological feedback (i.e., "neuro" "feedback") about the individual's brainwave activity.  As the individual watches and listens to this audio and visual feedback, a personally customized computer program then influences the brain to produce a healthier brainwave pattern.  The brain then learns to regulate, recondition, and retrain itself, where it gradually develops the ability to maintain that behavior by itself.
Why Neurofeedback is Preferred by Many

Neurofeedback addresses the source of the disturbance -- the problematic brain activity that became the "normal" mode of functioning following the traumatic event.  Neurofeedback does not relay on drugs or chemicals which can mask or modify the erratic brain activity, nor does it require the individual to re-live the trauma like most cognitive therapy does.  Neurofeedback is completely individualized.  Every individual has a different pattern of brain activity; therefore every pattern of neurofeedback is different.

Many other therapies require years of treatment, and the individual often quits due to frustration with accomplishing little or no progress.  Neurofeedback is different.  It can accomplish in months what other therapies may take years.  Plus, it can help establish an improved level of activity in the brain that becomes the new, "normal" pattern of functioning.
•  elimination of suicidal thoughts
•  decreased depression
•  decreased hypervigilance
•  increased ability to concentrate
•  greater memory retention
•  greater ease of falling asleep
•  increased ability to stay asleep
•  less tension among family relationships
Sample color pattern shown on the computer screen during neurofeedback.
Sample color pattern shown on the computer screen during neurofeedback.
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