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Integrative Medicine & Biofeedback Clinic
Pathologies Appropriate for Neurofeedback
Some of the conditions treated:
Anxiety – Generalized
Acute Stress Reaction
Stress Reaction – Acute
Stress Reaction – Psychomotor
Agoraphobia – With Panic Attacks
Agoraphobia – Without Panic Attacks, Simple Phobia
- Back/Neck Problems
Cervicalgia (Neck Pain)
Muscle Spasms Low Back Pain Syndrome
Lumbrosacral/Sacroiliac Myoskis (inflammation of Back Muscles)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
Colitis Duodenal Ulcer (W/O Obstruction)
Hyperactive Gag Reflex
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peptic Ulcer (Stress/Site Unspecified)
Stomach Ulcer (W/O Obstruction)
Cephalgia (Headache Pain/Source Unknown)
Muscle Contraction Tension – Non-Organic Origin
Vascular (Not Migraine)
- Muscle Disorders (Other Than Back)
Anus (Sphincter) Relaxation
Muscle Spasms (Other Than Back)
Tics & Spasms (Chronic or Compulsive)
Tourette’s Syndrome (Motor-Verbal Tic)
- Respiratory Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Other Symptomology/Pathologies
Insomnia (Non-Organic Origin)
Pain – Psychogenic
Pathologies Appropriate for Neurofeedback
Integrative Medicine & Biofeedback Clinic specialists perform biofeedback, neurofeedback and psychophysiology as part of their treatment protocol. The treating therapists are members of the AAPB.
Contact Integrative Medicine & Biofeedback Clinic for a consultation to help you decide if neurofeedback is right for you.
What Is Neurofeedback?
(from the Association For Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback)
Neurotherapy is also called “EEG Biofeedback” and “Neurofeedback.” It involves helping a person learn how to modify his or her brainwave activity to improve attention, reduce impulsivity, and to control hyperactive behaviors. It is a painless, non-invasive treatment approach that allows the individual to gain information about his or her brainwave activity and use that information to produce changes in brainwave activity. Available research indicates that individuals with ADD/ADHD have too little of certain types of brainwave activity in some areas of the brain and/or too much of certain other brainwave activity in comparison to those without the disorder. In Neurotherapy individuals are trained through the use of computerized biofeedback equipment to change their brainwave activity.
Clinicians and researchers who have provided Neurotherapy training report that when brainwave activity is changed, or when the brain is trained to work in certain ways in the process of Neurotherapy, symptoms of ADD/ADHD are usually reduced.
How Is Neurotherapy Performed?
Brainwave activity is measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG). The EEG Biofeedback equipment is connected to the individual with sensors that are placed on the scalp and ears. The sensors are safe, do not prick the skin, and are painless. After adequate connection to the scalp and ears are made, the individual’s brainwave activity can be observed on a computer monitor.
Neurotherapy practitioners who administer Neurotherapy will help the client learn to change his or her brainwave activity. The client does not need to know a lot about Neurotherapy or biofeedback to be effectively trained. Clients are taught to play computerized games using their brainwave activity. Changes in client brainwave activity are fed back to the individual through visual and/or auditory information by the computer. One example is a game where clients move a figure through a maze (similar to the popular pac-man game). The figure does not move because of the client’s motor activity (e.g., pushing a button or moving a stick). Instead, the figure moves whenever the client produces specific brainwave patterns. When desired levels of brainwave activity occur, the individual is reinforced, because the figure moves through the maze. By this method, clients learn to change brainwave activity. Clients also practice maintaining learned brainwave states when engaged in school- or work-related tasks (e.g., reading, writing). This will help them use what they learned in Neurotherapy in their daily activities.
What Results Are Expected from Neurotherapy?
Through changes in brainwave activity, reductions in ADD/ADHD symptoms are expected to occur. Individuals who have received Neurotherapy have also reported improvements in school or work performance, social relationships, and self-esteem, as well as reduction in irritability and oppositional behavior. Neurotherapy practitioners will use various assessment instruments to determine whether the desired changes in brainwave activity and/or behavior have occurred.
Individuals should be aware that Neurotherapy can have a significant effect on seizure activity of those with seizure disorders. This effect, however, is usually positive (i.e., a reduction in seizures).
While you should not experience negative side-effects from Neurotherapy, you may experience additional benefits. Some individuals report increased relaxation, reduced stress, and a heightened sense of control over their bodies, thoughts, and feelings during or immediately after treatment sessions.
How Successful is Neurotherapy?
Some clinicians and researchers have reported remarkable success in the treatment of ADD/ADHD with Neurotherapy. Others still consider Neurotherapy to be an experimental procedure. Several research studies reporting successful treatment outcomes with ADD/ADHD have been published over the last 20 years. In addition, there are increasing numbers of clinician reports being added to computerized data bases that attest to the effectiveness of Neurotherapy as a treatment for ADD/ADHD. However, more research on the effectiveness of Neurotherapy in the treatment of ADD/ADHD is still needed.
The client should know in advance that, as with all treatments, positive results (i.e., reductions in ADD/ADHD symptoms) cannot be guaranteed.
Some major reasons why practitioners are committed to providing Neurotherapy are: to attempt to help individuals for whom other approaches have failed, to help individuals who do not want to use medications for years, and to add to the scientific evidence related to Neurotherapy’s use.
What are the Potential Side-Effects of Neurotherapy?
Unlike the use of medications for treating ADD/ADHD, Neurotherapy rarely produces negative side-effects. In fact, lack of side-effects is a major reason for the use of Neurotherapy. To learn more about reported side-effects, you may want to ask a practitioner who provides Neurotherapy treatment. Some potential side effects are discussed below.
To reduce electrical impedance and to ensure cleanliness and safety, the client’s skin is cleaned on the areas where the EEG sensors are applied. Some individuals with sensitive skin may experience small breaks in the skin when the cleaning occurs.
A very, very small minority of individuals have reported brief periods of negative feelings (e.g., anxiety, or frustration) or negative physical sensations (e.g., fatigue, dizziness, tingling sensations) while undergoing treatment. These negative side-effects are very rare and usually last for only a short period of time.
Some families experience a disruption in family roles and relationships after the family member who has received Neurotherapy training gets better. The problem behaviors of the family member with ADD/ADHD may have masked other family problems that come into the spotlight once the ADD/ADHD symptoms are reduced. The anxiety levels of family members may increase, because they have been used to focusing on one problem and now must focus on a new one.
How Long Will Neurotherapy Last?
During Neurotherapy, you or your family member will be learning to change and control brainwave patterns. This learning process takes time. The length of treatment varies between individuals. Many individuals report initial progress after ten sessions, but effective treatment usually requires between twenty and forty 40 sessions. Clients will be asked to participate in enough sessions to ensure that treatment produces the changes in behavior desired or to make clear that the intervention does not seem to be working for a particular client.
How Frequently Will Neurotherapy Sessions Occur?
The number of sessions of treatment received per week varies based on time available, transportation issues, finances, progress, and individual preferences. Neurotherapy has been reported to be effective when sessions are received daily, three times per week, twice per week and once per week. To assure progress, it is recommended that clients receive at least one session per week of Neurotherapy. In the initial stages of training, many practitioners prefer that sessions occur frequently (e.g., two to three times per week). As learning and progress take place, sessions are usually reduced to once per week and finally to one or two sessions per month.
Who Will Provide Neurotherapy?
Neurotherapy should be administered by a practitioner trained in the use of EEG equipment, who has the background knowledge about ADD/ADHD and Neurotherapy needed to provide neurofeedback, who has extensive experience, or who is practicing under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
What is Attention-Deficit Disorder?
Attention-Deficit Disorder is a disorder that can be separated into three types: 1) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type (includes both symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity), 2) Predominantly Inattentive Type (sometimes referred to as ADD) and 3) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (sometimes referred to as ADHD or Hyperactivity Disorder).
Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type have six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity that have been present for six or more months (see sections that follow for sample symptoms).
Individuals with Attention-Deficit Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type (ADD) exhibit six or more symptoms of inattention and less than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity. They usually exhibit some of the following symptoms: inattention, distractibility, disorganization, daydreaming, lack of foresight, carelessness, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, lack of persistence, and procrastination.
Individuals with Attention-Deficit Disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (ADHD) usually exhibit six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity and less than six symptoms of inattention. They usually exhibit some of the following symptoms: hyperactivity, fidgeting behavior, restlessness, excessive talking, inappropriate running and climbing, often “on the go,” can’t wait turn, interrupt others, and impulsive.
Many individuals display symptoms that can be included under any of the three types of attention-deficit disorder. Individuals with an Attention-Deficit Disorder, e.g., ADD or ADHD often have significant difficulties with learning, concentration, school or job achievement, behavior control, social relationships, and self-esteem. Further, Attention-Deficit Disorders are often associated with other disorders, such as Learning Disorders, Oppositional and Conduct Disorders, Tourette’s, Anxiety, and Depression. Neurotherapy can be used to treat individuals with all three types of attention-deficit disorders, as well as some of the associated disorders.
How Do I Know if My Child or I Have ADD/ADHD?
If an individual has many of the symptoms specified in the previous section, then that individual might have ADD or ADHD. To determine whether a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is appropriate, the individual should be diagnosed through a thorough evaluation conducted by professionals who are familiar with the disorder. Your family physician, a pediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist may be able to conduct the appropriate assessment to determine if such a diagnosis is appropriate or refer you to someone who can make the diagnosis.