Neurofeedback: A New Hope For Improving Brain Function
Neurofeedback Therapy is a non-invasive approach to treating psychological, brain-centered conditions like autism, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and so on. It is a self-regulatory technique that uses equipment like EEG (electroencephalograph) to measure the brain’s functioning and electrical activity. Professionals use this information to diagnose if any part of the brain is experiencing dysregulation, and convey this to the person who otherwise remains unaware of it.
Neurofeedback therapy focuses on the central nervous system and works to best regulate its functioning. It is found to be very effective for the treatment of several psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress, hyperactivity, anxiety, and so on. Monitoring the brain functions helps build a positive mood while also improving attention and sleeping habits.
By using equipment like EEF, the brain reactions are noted in audio cues or visual format and are displayed to the patients. Because real-time feedback is offered to patients, they get an opportunity to understand how the brain functions and realize it when their brain is in a certain stage. Patients get to know how their brain reacts to different prompting situations offered by the practitioner or a therapist. They learn to recreate states that offer a positive emotion and get rid of undesired states like anxiety, stress, etc. Patients get to understand the root cause of their feelings and emotions in terms of their brain reactions, about which they remain unaware of, otherwise.
Cells in the brain communicate through electrical impulses and these impulses are called brain waves. As is the case with any wave, the quality of the brain wave depends on
- The frequency that determines the speed of the waves and
- The amplitude determines the magnitude or how tall the wave travels.
The frequency and amplitude determine the quality of focus, concentration, and thoughts. If a person has dysregulation in the brain or a distorted thought process, the pattern of the brain waves becomes distorted. For instance, people with ADHD have a low frequency while those with anxiety are found to have a very high-frequency wave.
When these waves are observed through an EEG, they are measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. The observations are recorded and classified under five different names.
- Delta brainwaves - The waves in the frequency range of 1 Hz to 3 Hz are classified under delta waves. They are perhaps the slowest and are observed when we are in a state of sleep and deep relaxation. They are also observed in infants and young children. This wave is observed in people who have learning problems and severe ADHD. When the delta waves are suppressed, the person is incapable of relaxing or revitalizing their mind and body.
- Theta brainwaves - Theta brainwaves are in the frequency range of 4 Hz to 7 Hz. These waves occur when a person is dreaming or sleeping, but not in a very deep state. Theta brainwaves are produced when a person wakes up from sleep or is drifting from an active state to sleep.
- Alpha brainwaves - Those in the frequency range of 8 Hz to 12 Hz are called alpha brainwaves. They are produced when a person is in a state of relaxation or trying to unwind his mind. Or in other words, they are produced when a person is idle, and not focusing too much on any work. These waves help you feel calm and relaxed and ensure that your mind and body get enough rest. Suppression of alpha brainwaves results in depression and stress.
- Beta brainwaves - The beta waves are of low amplitude and faster, and are in the frequency range of 13 Hz to 30 Hz. They are produced when you put your mind to problem-solving and complex thinking. They represent the intensity of brain and intellectual activity. Theta to beta ratio plays an important role in neurofeedback counseling and brain mapping therapy, and to treat people with attention disorders, they work out to increase beta and reduce the theta-beta ratio.
- Gamma brainwaves - The gamma waves are the fastest of all, and they are produced when you intensely focus on something. Their frequency of oscillation ranges between 31-100 Hz. The neurons are in a state of constant communication and higher levels of gamma waves denote a higher IQ and concentration. Lower gamma waves represent learning disabilities.
The brain wave patterns are recorded through an EEG, and the irregularities are spotted. Neurofeedback counseling is all about regulating and modulating the dysregulated brain wave patterns through intensive exercise.
Neurofeedback can be used to treat a variety of mental disorders and irregularities. The broader purpose involves working on the brain waves to modify or alter the behavior of an individual. It is more of diagnosing the disorder by spotting the irregularities in brain wave patterns, offering feedback, working out rewards, and continuous practice to regulate the same. Neurofeedback to treat depression, anxiety, and mental health issues Neurofeedback therapy can improve the mood of a person, and make them feel calm and quiet. By constant monitoring, the person shall be offered rewards to increase the alpha waves, that is associated with calmness while reducing the occurrence of beta waves which are associated with stress and anxiety.
A common observation in patients with ADHD is that the low-frequency brainwaves are produced in abundance while there is a deficit of high-frequency brainwaves. Neurofeedback therapy works to lower this ratio with the ultimate goal of enabling the production of more high-frequency brainwaves that result in lower distraction and higher brain activity. This also works to suppress ADHD symptoms.
Though drugs start with a voluntary decision of the brain, over time with abuse of drugs, the activity becomes involuntary just like walking, breathing, digesting, etc. When the person is trying to get rid of drugs, there is an imbalance in the brain waves resulting in depression, anxiety, and unexplainable sadness. Neurofeedback counseling or brain mapping therapy helps improve the balance of brain waves and enables a harmonious recovery. By prolonging calmness, the probability of relapse is reduced and paves way for long-term sobriety.
If you are looking for a neurofeedback therapy center and counseling for yourself or for your loved one, you are at the right spot. At Abhasa rehabilitation center, we offer state-of-the-art neurofeedback counseling and we hold a record of thousands of people recover from mental disorders, addiction, ADHD, sleeping disorders, eating disorders, and so on. A significant advantage of Neurofeedback therapy is that it is non-invasive and does not involve the administration of medicines or drugs. A typical brain mapping therapy and neurofeedback counseling may take anywhere between 20 to 40 sessions, and this depends on the severity of the condition. Taking a look at the various programs for neurofeedback therapy at Abhasa may help you if you are looking for the best neurofeedback therapy center.