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Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently.

brain-wave-statesNeurofeedback (NFB) is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography (EEG), to teach self-regulation of brain waves. Neurofeedback works by providing feedback to the brain so it can heal itself through neuroplasticity. Neurofeedback is a non-pharmacological and non-invasive method for training brainwaves. It focuses on optimizing the brain, rather than suppressing symptoms like medication does. Typically, sensors are placed on the scalp to measure activity, with measurements displayed using video displays or sound. There are five types of brainwave: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta. Each has a different frequency, which an EEG can measure. Treatment focuses on teaching the brain to suppress or produce specific brain activity.

Download article: What is Neurofeedback: An Update


neurofeedback-bio-feedback-fair-counseling-illinois-schaumburg-750x568Neurofeedback has been employed and researched in treatments of mental health issues and has been proven to enhance treatment  outcome for individuals who suffer from substance use disorders. Mental health issues include anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, and more. People with various brain disorders have been shown to have different patterns of brain waves than the general population in predictable ways. For instance, people with ADHD often have an excess of Theta waves (drowsy, mind wandering), and not enough Lo-Beta waves (focus, concentration on specific tasks) (Arns, M et al., 2013). Individuals with anxiety disorders have been found to benefit from raising their levels of Alpha waves, which increase calm, resting states (Walker, J,E., 2009). Neurofeedback interventions for attention and hyperactive problems was determined by PracticeWise, an independent national research review organization, as meeting the American Psychological Association’s Level 1 – BEST SUPPORT of clinical efficacy.

The success rate of treatment is quite high, being that most studies indicate that there is substantial improvement in 75% to 80% of cases (Hammond, D., 2011). And even within a smaller subset of people, that are being those diagnosed with GAD, studies have shown that treatment results in “clinically significant reductions of anxiety” in patients (J.E., Walker, 2009). Not only are behavioral and attentional improvements found to be fixed within 6-month follow up studies, but there is evidence to suggest that the effects are lasting (Arns, M., et al., 2013).

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Understanding Neurofeedback Watch this short video to learn the basic points of neurofeedback:

Articles to Read & Sources:

What is Neurofeedback?

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Articles regarding Anxiety and Affective Disorders

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Articles regarding Addiction

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Articles regarding ADHD

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