What is Neurofeedback?
The above video is provided by Myndlift, our remote Neurofeeback system provider, but the principles apply to any of our Neurofeedback systems.
Neurofeedback is brain exercise. Also called "EEG Biofeedback", Neurofeedback is based on the reading of the brain’s natural electrical activity with the use of an ElectroEncephaloGram, or EEG. By rewarding desirable patterns and inhibiting undesirable ones, we promote and strengthen the brain’s ability to self-regulate and perform optimally. Neurofeedback differs from medication in that it treats the root of an issue rather than simply alleviating the symptoms, and does so without the side effects. It is a non-invasive treatment that works toward optimal brain functioning without the use of medication.
We observe your brain in action, from moment to moment, by monitoring your brain's bio-electrical activity, known as "brain waves", in specific locations. Neurofeedback works by ‘holding a mirror up' to the brain to give it feedback on how it's working. In this way the brain can be trained to work better and more efficiently. The idea that the physical brain itself can change as a result of positive and negative stimuli comes from the scientific understanding of Neuroplasticity. The method comes from the concept of "operant learning", which states that unconscious behavior and response can be learned through subtle rewards and inhibits. The feedback is delivered to the brain via the eyes and ears through games, guided meditations, and movies.
When the brain is working well, the feedback systems cause the video or game to change positively, for example, to go faster, to display full picture and brightness, to play at full volume or with less noise. When the brain is not functioning as well the feedback changes toward mild inhibits; slower play, limited or darkened picture, lower volume or more noise. As the client learns and ‘tunes in’ to this feedback, the brain adjusts in response. It is though reinforcement in the form of sensory feedback that the brain itself corrects its own undesirable patterns. With time and consistency, positive changes can become long lasting or permanent.
This all happens subconsciously and works for children as well as adults. The client just needs to relax and let the brain use its own ability to self-regulate.
A small selection of recent neurofeedback studies that are particularly interesting and relevant. The ISNR link at the bottom is a comprehensive bibliography though only updated once every year or two so most recent studies are often not present.
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ADDITIONAL STUDIES FOR A FULL RANGE OF CONDITIONS CAN BE FOUND AT:
1. The Free Consultation
Book your free phone or in-office consultation to speak between the hours of 9:00am-11:00pm or 2pm-3pm M-F by visiting our booking page or by clicking here . If you cannot speak during those times email us and we'll coordinate a time that works for you.
2. The Assessment
We perform two types of assessments; an intake interview with symptom profile either in person or over the phone/video chat and, if a person's condition warrants, a QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram), also known as a brain map, performed in our office.
Remote Assessment (for 100% remote treatment programs)
Many common conditions implicate areas of the brain in well understood ways. For people who qualify, an additional full QEEG is not necessary to begin treatment. The completely confidential assessment will take between 30-45 minutes and from this information our team builds an individualized training plan that most effectively moves you to your goals and gets you started right away.
In-Office Assessment (for combination in-office/ remote treatment programs)
In-office assessments also include the intake interview and symptom profile mentioned above but may include an additional QEEG brain map when a person's condition warrants. The intake interview and symptom profile portion will take between 30-45 minutes. The QEEG will take and additional 30-45 minutes for a total of 1 to 1-1/2hrs. A QEEG is easy and painless. You sit in a comfortable chair with a fitted cap on your head and repeat short segments of simply sitting calmly with eyes closed, eyes open, and doing simple tasks such as reading.
3. The Training Program
We offer two umbrella programs highlighted below. Our remote system is an excellent and robust neurofeedback system that can very effectively address many conditions by itself. We will determine if you qualify for the fully remote program during the initial consultation. Our in-office systems offer a wider range of clinical tools and protocols for addressing issues more deeply and may be necessary for more complex conditions or desired for more intensive overall treatment.
The 100% Remote Monitored Programs
After your assessment you will be presented with some training options after which you will be sent a package with everything you need to get started. This will include a Muse-2 headband (if you don't have one already), a tablet computer (if you don't already have a new-ish one), external electrodes to be used with the Muse, a heart-rate variability unit, and some additional supplies.
An initial 30-45 minute session will be scheduled via video chat with a Tenafly Neurofeedback professional to walk you step-by-step through your training plan and the simple process of running sessions at home. A brief follow up video chat will be scheduled for after a few sessions to clear up any remaining questions or concerns. Video chats/ calls will then be set up for every 2 weeks to review treatment and progress and make adjustments as needed.
Typical sessions take just a few minutes to set up and run under 15 minutes each in the beginning. The trainee plays games or watches videos on the tablet and all data is recorded to the cloud for your Tenafly Neurofeedback professional to watch, review and discuss with you in your bi-weekly review call. Frequency of sessions is limited to every-other day in the beginning to allow you to acclimate to the system but in time you will be able to do sessions daily, greatly increasing treatment up-take, success and stability.
The Combination In-Office & Remote Programs
After your assessment you will be presented with some training options and suggestions. Your treatment plan and goals will then be explained in easy to understand detail. The plan will involve a mix of in-office sessions and at home/ remote sessions.
In-office sessions run 30-55 minutes. You sit in a comfortable chair while your Neurofeedback professional sets you up with sensors for treatment and manages the session from start to finish. You watch a movie, meditate with eyes open or closed, or play a game depending on what that day's plan dictates.
For combination programs, the remote portion does not start immediately but, rather, after 6 in-office sessions. This allows you to acclimate to the process in steps. The initial set-up session with the remote equipment can be done in-office or remotely but once you're set up, the same basic schedule applies as with the 100% Remote Monitored Plans but with the addition of scheduled in-office sessions.