The brain controls all of our thoughts, emotions, actions and movement. Neurofeedback Therapy uses clinical neuroscience to help balance and optimize brain function by training specific types of brain waves called sensorimotor rhythms.
During each session, electrodes placed on your scalp measure your electrical activity. A computer analyzes this information and creates a visual representation of your brain wave activity. A large movie screen or video game shows up on a monitor, and you are rewarded with positive feedback when your brain waves meet the goals of treatment. This process, known as neurofeedback, allows you to “retrain” your brain to reduce excess fast beta waves (associated with anxiety) and increase slow alpha waves that promote calmness.
In addition to treating anxiety, neurofeedback can also improve cognitive functioning and help with attention disorders such as ADD/ADHD and autism. By improving self-regulation, it is possible for patients to overcome symptoms that are resistant to medication and other treatments.
The Drake Institute offers many customized Neurofeedback Therapy treatments for a variety of conditions. These include insomnia, depression, anxiety, and attention disorders such as ADD/ADHD. In cases of ADHD, neurofeedback can significantly reduce the negative symptoms and increase focus, concentration, and reading ability by normalizing brain wave patterns. In addition, we can address sleep problems such as insomnia by promoting relaxation and regulating more natural brain wave patterns for sleep.
Neurofeedback can also help with autism by rewiring the abnormal brain networks associated with this condition and helping patients become more self-regulating. It has been shown to significantly reduce the frequency of irritability, tantrums and repetitive behaviors that are typical of this condition. In fact, some studies have demonstrated that it can even change the structure of the brain as seen on fMRI imaging.
In addition, it can be helpful in reducing the agitation and aggression often associated with autism by lowering fast beta waves and increasing slow alpha waves. Similarly, it has been shown to significantly decrease the hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with ADD/ADHD by normalizing brain wave activity. And, it can help improve the ability to regulate emotion and reduce anxiety in individuals with PTSD by bringing down elevated levels of gamma waves.