Neurofeedback

My son with ADD just completed 40 sessions of neurofeedback this past June. What a world of difference that has made in his life! His ODD is pretty much gone, his society anxiety has been reduced, he can focus and attend in school and during homework. The only negative thing I have to say about it is I wish I didn’t wait until he was 10 years old to do it.

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback. In biofeedback, information about some part of your body is fed back to you, and you are able to gain control over yourself in a way previously unavailable.

In neurofeedback the information that is fed back to you is EEG (electroencephalogram) data read by sensors placed on your head. Very tiny amounts of electric energy are read and processed by electronic and computer equipment to provide you with moment by moment information about your brain activity.

Brain cells communicate with one another, in part, through a constant storm of electrical impulses. Their patterns show up on an electroencephalogram, or EEG, as brain waves with different frequencies. NFB practitioners first create a “brain map”, the initial EEG readings on their patient to serve as a guide for treatment.

Excessive fast or slow activity is associated with brain dysregulation, and a variety of clinical symptoms.  For example, my son’s EEG showed high Theta waves which are responsible for our daydream state. That explained why he “zoned” out in class and daydreamed, lacked focus and attention. The EEG can show which areas of the brain have high or low wave frequency, or when parts of the brain aren’t communicating adequately with other parts.  Training changes in that activity helps improve self-regulation.

This activity is shown to the neurofeedback therapist as wave patterns on a computer screen, and to patients as visual graphics–ranging from cars racing one another to rapidly changing side by side puzzles. The NFB practitioner will help the patient speed up or slow down the brain waves. The goal is explained to the patient (make one car go faster than the other), and the brain learns how to make that happen without the person knowing how they do it. A sound also beeps when the brain behaves as desired, which helps. Simply wanting to hear the beeps seems to be enough to get the brain to cooperate. This is known as operant conditioning, which forms an association between a behavior and a consequence.

This is a short list of what NFB can improve:

  • alertness
  • attention
  • emotional regulation
  • behavior
  • cognitive function and mental flexibility

Some of the conditions NFB is used to treat are:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

When you change the brain, it undoubtedly affects the mind.  The NFB training produces a measurable physiological effect on the brain.  When you give the brain information about itself, it has an enormous capacity for change.  Neurofeedback makes the information available to the brain almost instantly, and asks it to make adjustments.  The brain can respond rapidly.  Changes in the EEG due to feedback tend to correlate with improved behavior, mood, affect regulation and attention.

21 Responses

  1. My autistic daughter also did neurofeedback and I feel that it helped her alot. She actually did it at school, but now because of budget cuts, they no longer offer it. The therapist that did it said my daughter was her star student because she responded so well to it! I hope to find somewhere that does it and continue .

  2. I too have tried this therapy with my son, he is 4yrs old now and was diagnosed with autism last May 2009. And since our ins didn’t cover this therapy we were paying out of pocket for it, and well we are not rich by any means, our little money is gone so we can no longer afford this. But I do have to say it was working very well for him, his concentration was a lot better and longer, he was calmer, more aware. It’s so sad moeny is our only obstacle to trying more therapies or keep some that our kids benefit from. But what do u do, you just keep going.

    We are now doing CEASE homeopathy therapy for his recovery, it’s going wonderful! I too have a blog about his recovery with CEASE therapy, and links so anyone can learn more about this. I encourage any mother to give this a try, it works!

    Hope to get to you know more, and share our children’s stories!

    • Hi Mother warrior, hopefully this reply finds you, I live in Jacksonville FLorida and looking for a cease Homeopath, or even in Georgia could work, do you mind helping me find one please?

      • I’m sorry that I don’t know of any on the east coast. I live in Southern California. Try the chat rooms on yahoo if you can’t find one via a google search. Good luck!

      • I know there are only about 12-14 CEASE therapist in the states. I am currently starting with Sima Ash in Los Angeles. I live in Oregon so she is my closest one. I have been talking to her and I truly love her, she is very knowledgeable and has a child with autism too which gives her the passion needed to do her very best at what she does. She understands me as she is living with autism daily just like us. Give her a call and see what you think. I will leave you a link here to the CEASE website where you can find a CEASE therapist closer to you if there is one. I am thrilled that you are interested in CEASE, at our house we are HUGE FANS and BELIEVERS in CEASE!

        http://www.healing4soul.com/cease-therapy

        http://www.cease-therapy.com/

  3. Hello, just wondered if you could reccommend a NF practioner in the area. We are in Southern Ca., Porter Ranch. Thankyou

    • Our NF practitioner got a government job researching NFB on vets with head wounds. She was awesome! But she left me with a referral for a practitioner that specializes in kids with autism and adhd located in Burbank:
      Joy Lunt, RN
      Brain Potential, Inc.
      1612 Olive Ave, Suite 301,
      Burbank CA 91506
      phone 818-563-2100

  4. First, this is a wonderful website. I am a Naturopathic Physician in Portland, OR who treats many autistic children and adults. I use a combination of Naturopathic medicine (homeopathics, supplements, diet etc.) and neurofeedback in treating patients and have had great success. The neurofeedback is amazing and have had many children who didn’t speak start speaking after one or two sessions. I use a system called the LENS system designed by Len Ochs. There are several providers in Southern California who are excellent and one I will recommend is David Dubin MD. You can get a full list at http://www.ochslabs.com, however, not everyone on that list works with autism.

  5. Hi could you tell me where are you doing the neurotheraphy? I am in Canada . Pls help.

    • We did NFB here in our home town with a doctor that specialized in it. You can find some resources on the web. Here is one website that lists some clinicians. Check it out: http://directory.eeginfo.com/search_process.asp?searchtype=international&country=Canada

      • I just wanted to chime in. I too did the Othmer Method of Neurofeedback with excellent results. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 49. Life long issues of chronic anxiety, hyperactiveness, compulsiveness, depression, excessive ruminating, sugar addiction, a major sleep disorder (basically napping for 49 years), issues with rage, and instability in relationships all GONE with Neurofeedback treatment. Absolutely the most amazing experience ever.

        I am sure it is even sweeter for me as I suffered for 49 years. It has been 18 months since my diagnosis/treatment and I am still relishing the fact that I now get deep restorative sleep nightly. A truly amazing gift as I NEVER slept through the night before Neurofeedback. The brain/body is incredible!

  6. Thanks a ton. Saba

  7. i have been going to neuro for the past 2 1/2 years I suffer from ptsd (post traumatic stress disorder) the only reason i am still here is beacuse of the positive effects it has had in changing my life…it is something to be recognized as an alternative to drugs and psych druds anti-depressants..before startin g drug therapy go to neuro it saved my life and i want to share that..

  8. I have a 8year old who is Hyperactive. Does anyone know a good neurofeedback place in Michigan?

  9. I am looking for a good neurofeedback/biofeedback person in the Denver metro area in Colorado. If anyone knows of someone please let me know.

  10. Hi just want to say how much I have enjoyed and learned from your site, it’s amazing! I’m wondering, are u still updating this site as of 2014? I don’t see any entries from this year, and I’d love to know how you and your precious boys are doing!,,,

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