NEUROFEEDBACK’S EFFECTS ON ADD/ADHD, ANXIETY & INSOMNIA
Authored by: Kristine Stein, B. Sc., MS, Neurofeedback Clinician
WHAT IS NEUROFEEDBACK?
Neurofeedback (NFB) is a software system that monitors the brain for irregular brain wave activity. When an irregularity is detected, a signal is produced instantly to guide the brain wave back into a healthy pattern. With the repetition of this process over time, the brain will learn to stay within these healthy ranges without the aid of a computer.
This is a drug-free, non-invasive technique that improves the health and function of the brain. NFB has been around since the 1950’s and has the support of many professionals such as Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz and Dr. Amen. Over 1,000 studies have been published in relation to NFB.
HOW IT WORKS
Some of the top conditions that respond well to NFB include ADD/ADHD, anxiety and insomnia. This may be partially due to correcting beta asymmetry. First, let me tell you a little bit about the different brain waves that we produce. The brainwaves include beta, alpha, theta and delta (listed in order of fastest to slowest wave). Beta waves are the fastest waves we produce. It is most dominant when we are doing critical thinking, working and ‘busy thinking.’ Beta asymmetry may sound like a bad thing, however symptoms only manifest if this occurs in the wrong hemisphere. I’m sure you are familiar with the left brain, right brain concept; left brain is more analytical while the right brain is more creative. There is a little bit of truth to that. Technically we should have more beta activity in the left hemisphere versus the right and more alpha activity in the right hemisphere versus the left. This is referred to as alpha and beta asymmetry.
HOW IT EFFECTS ADD/ADHD, ANXIETY, AND INSOMNIA
When we start producing too much beta in the right hemisphere instead of the left, symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety may manifest. Lack of concentration/attention and a ‘racing mind’ may occur as well. With NFB, we can help teach the brain to train down beta waves in the left hemisphere, which will reduce/eliminate symptoms such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety and insomnia. The NFB is essentially teaching the brain to function in normal, healthy brain wave ranges. At no point is the NFB rewiring or changing an individual; it is simply monitoring the brain and teaching it to stay within healthy patterns. Symptoms of ADD/ADHD, anxiety and insomnia have a very high rate of success with NFB training.
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