What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback (NFB) is a drug-free treatment technique used to train and rewire the brain for healthy functioning of the brain and central nervous system. Neurofeedback involves the monitoring of neuronal activity in the brain – or brainwaves – while the client undergoes a specified Neurofeedback training protocol. The brain receives rewards when optimum neuronal activity occurs, thus training the brain for optimal regulation and function.
Who can benefit from Neurofeedback?
Anyone can benefit from Neurofeedback training. However, it is used specifically to treat a host of health and physiological conditions as well as for enhanced performance such as sports, business or education.
Neurofeedback has demonstrated lasting results for the following conditions:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
- Anger Management
- Attachment Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Concussion or Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
- Developmental Delays
- Developmental Trauma
- Learning Disabilities
- OCD and Obsessive Thinking
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Performance Enhancement in Sports, Education and Business
- Seizures and Epilepsy
How do I get started?
a) Free Phone Consultation:
Contact our office for a free phone consultation. We will discuss your needs and goals. We will also discuss our treatment approach and if you are ready, we will schedule your first appointment.
b) Online Questionnaire:
Once you have scheduled your first appointment, we will send you a questionnaire that you will need to complete online in advance of your appointment. We recommend that you complete the questionnaire a minimum of 24-hours prior to your first scheduled appointment so that we have time to review the results before you arrive.
c) Your First Appointment:
Intake & Evaluation: Your first session we will include an intake interview and an evaluation. Based on your needs and initial assessment, we will schedule a QEEG Brain Map.
d) Your QEEG Brain Map:
QEEG Brain Map: The QEEG brain map will give us an accurate picture of your brain activity, and in combination with your intake interview and questionnaire, we will determine a treatment approach that will meet your objectives (see item #4 for a detailed description of this process).
e) Neurofeedback Training Sessions:
Once you have completed your first appointment and QEEG brain map, you are ready to start training. We will schedule your next appointment. Ideally, you will train a minimum of once a week for optimal results. See item #5 for information on our Neurofeedback training session.
Neurofeedback training sessions last between 40-50 minutes.
How do I prepare for my QEEG brain map (QEEG)?
A full brain map or QEEG will be done prior to starting and after finishing your training. This will involve the use of a cap and sensors to measure your brainwaves from 16-19 points on your skull. Your EEG data will then be edited and processed through a special EEG Database and compared to a large sample of people of the same sex and similar age without illness or pathology as well as individuals with specific diagnosis (neurometric comparison). Based upon your results, a neurofeedback protocol will be determined.
When you come in for your Brain Map, you will sit in a comfortable chair and wear a cap on your head (similar to a swim cap) with ear clips (similar to clip-on ear rings) attached gently to each ear lobe. There is no electrical stimulation. There is no electrical stimulation. The sensors simply read your brain activity and feed that information back to the computer program. Once hooked up, you will guided through recording 6 minutes of EEG data with your eyes open and 6 minutes with your eyes closed. That is it.
The most important step towards an accurate “brain map” (QEEG) is to record your brainwaves (EEG) with as little interference as possible. This means we want as few artifacts as possible, such as eye movements, jaw movements, muscle tension, drowsiness, etc. To avoid “artifacts” and ensure you get the best results possible, we suggest that you adhere to the following recommendations:
Schedule your QEEG Brain Map at a time when you are most likely to be awake and alert. Most people are most alert in the morning. This seems to be especially true of adolescents and teenagers.
Please advise us about any medications you are currently taking. Some medications may affect your brainwave patterns. Do NOT discontinue your medications without your Doctors supervision. However, know that some medications affect your EEG activity and it is important that we know this information in advance so that we can accurately interpret your results.
Get a full night’s sleep and do not take sleep medication. Both prescription medications and over the counter sleep aids can affect your EEG.
Eat a balanced meal or snack 1-3 hours before your appointment. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods. Hunger can impact alertness and focus and the ability to sit still. This is especially true of children and teenagers.
- Contact Lenses:
If you wear contact lenses, be prepared to remove them prior to your session. Contact lenses can cause excess eye blinks / movements which can affect your training. Bring any contact lens solution and containers that you will need if you remove your contacts.
- Hair Preparation:
- Ideally, wash and rinse your hair on the day of your appointment
- Also, avoid using styling gels and other hair products. Gels and conditioners can at times make it more difficult for the EEG sensors to make good contact with your scalp.
- Be prepared for messy hair following your session. Your session will leave some left-over gel in your hair (this is similar in consistency to hair styling gel).
- Bring any hair supplies such as towels, combs, hats, etc., that you will need to restyle or cover your hair following your appointment.
- Appointment Time:
Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete necessary paperwork.
Please note that arriving for your QEEG brain map late may result in the need to reschedule your recording and a resulting $140.00 charge. Please be on time.
- Bathroom Breaks:
Please use the bathroom immediately prior to your session . Once you are hooked up for your recording it is difficult to unhook you so that you can use the restroom. Please use the restroom prior to your session.
- Turn Cell Phones OFF:
Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices during your recording.
- Be relaxed but alert
Your main priority during your session is to sit still, keep your body and face relaxed, and be as awake and alert as possible. Your technician will assist you throughout this process.
How do I prepare for my Neurofeedback training session?
Preparation for your training session is similar to your initial QEEB brain map. Please see point #6 above. Additionally, we suggest that you abstain from caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods. These substances can impact your physiology and adversely affect your results.
Adequate rest and exercise is also beneficial for optimum training results.
What can I expect in my Neurofeedback training session?
A typical training session will involve 1 – 4 sensors attached to your head and two ear clips, one attached to each ear lobe. This is a painless and non-invasive process that simply consists of using a conductive paste to hold the sensors in place. There is no electrical stimulation. The sensors simply read your brain activity and feed that information back to the program to facilitate your training.
Training sessions will take 40-50 minutes.
How soon will I see results?
Some clients see results within 5 – 7 sessions. However, 20 – 30 sessions are ideal to see the most dramatic and lasting results.
How Many Sessions will I need?
You may be satisfied with a 10-sessions. However, most clients see the most dramatic and lasting results with 20 – 30 sessions.
How long do the effects of Neurofeedback training last?
At first, the changes are short-lived, but as you progress with your training the changes gradually become more enduring. With continuing feedback, coaching, and practice, we can usually retrain healthier brainwave patterns in most people. It is similar to physical training, except rather than developing a 6-pack, you are training your brain to enhance performance, balance, cognitive flexibility and control.
Are there any side effects or adverse effects?
There are no side effects with Neurofeedback. Occasionally, however, clients report that they feel tired, spacey, headache or are irritable following a training session. Research has also shown that left handed clients, 10 – 15% of the time have a reversed right frontal dominance instead of the normal left frontal dominance. This reversed dominance can cause the individual to experience adverse effects to the normal neurofeedback treatment, presenting with increased depression or irritability. Unfortunately, this cannot be predetermined. It can, however, be identified by observing these adverse effects as treatment progresses. Fortunately, these adverse reactions are quickly reversed.
It should be noted that Neurofeedback has been practiced clinically for well over three decades and no lawsuit for adverse effects has ever been filed.
Can Neurofeedback be used when a patient is on medication?
There is no definitive answer to this question and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, there are many clients who train while on medication. In fact, some clients will need to continue their medications in order to best perform in their Neurofeedback training. However, symptoms of over-medication may start to appear as Neurofeedback training progresses. An over-medication scenario is brought about by the normalization of problematic brain areas due to the training and in turn the medication may become too strong for the now more efficient brain. For that reason, if you are on medication, we strongly offer that you maintain communication with your doctor during training.
Cancellation Fees: Take responsibility for making your QEEG Brain Mapping session a success. Your technician will make every effort to make you comfortable and assist you obtain the best recording possible. However, in some cases, the EEG may still need to be rerecorded or rescheduled. Please note that there will be an additional charge of $140.00 for the following circumstances:
- Repeating a session due to a lack of willingness or ability to perform the basics of the recording. An example of this is when a child is unable to sit still or leave the electrodes or recording cap in place.
- Repeating a session due to excess artifact, i.e., eye blinks and movement, muscle tension or drowsiness.
- Rescheduling a recording due to late cancellation, i.e., cancelling less than 48 hours prior to your appointment.
- Failing to show up for your scheduled recording appointment without canceling.
- Rescheduling a recording due to your late arrival for your recording appointment.