What is neurofeedback?
Remember when you learned to ride a bike? It’s probably been a while, but remember how difficult it was to balance at first? Eventually, your body just instinctively knew that sweet spot that would keep you balanced. Now, years later, even if you haven’t ridden in a long time, your body remembers that balance–if not instantly, pretty quickly after you get onto the bike.
That’s kind of how neurofeedback works. Your brain really likes to feel rewarded (think chocolate cake or insert favorite food here). Our brains are constantly trying to feel those rewards and, behind the scenes, notices when things feel good and, well, when they don’t. During neurofeedback, your brainwaves are read by a simple to use headset which sends that information to an app. Our brainwaves are determined by our state at any given time. Alpha waves are present when we are more focused in a relaxed way, high-beta waves are present when we are stressed, and so on.
As you watch a video, play a game, or listen to music, the neurofeedback app analyzes your brainwaves and rewards you with positive feedback when your brain is in the desired state. For example, if we are working on anxiety, where high-beta waves are usually high and theta waves are usually low, the app detects moment to moment shifts and rewards you in moments where your brainwaves are hitting the goals we are going for (e.g. higher alpha and theta with lower high-beta). The video will come into focus, your runner with start passing other runners in a game, the music will continue playing, etc. Your brain registers the reward and wants more of that. Just like on that bike, it starts to note where the balance is without you even thinking about it. So, while you’re just paying attention to screen or output, your brain is working behind the scenes to balance those wave and get more reward. Our brains are learning machines, so after several sessions, your brain begins to naturally be more and more in the goal frame of mind. Pretty simple, right?
Neurofeedback has been used in clinics around the world for decades, and clinical research has shown it to be effective in treating a myriad of challenges including anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia, and much more. It has even been used really successfully for sports and business performance enhancement.
Here’s an infographic showing how it works:
You can refer to this online presentation to learn more about it here.
Neurofeedback therapy from home:
I chose Myndlift software and equipment after an exhaustive search for the best possible neurofeedback option for my clients. Myndlift is the only program that now allows clients to do their Neurofeedback sessions remotely. You can either rent the easy to use equipment from me or you can purchase it on your own, if you’d prefer. The software I use allows me to design a set of sessions for you and monitor your brain activity and progress from my office while you sit comfortably in your own home. You’ll be able to train from your couch knowing you have close clinical supervision behind the scenes. This allows for more frequent training and faster results without having to fight traffic or take time to come into my office several times a week. It saves you time and money in the long run while allowing for faster results.
If you want to see neurofeedback in action, here’s a video.
What is used in the training?
Myndlift neurofeedback training requires an EEG headset that is placed on the head. Once connected, you can start playing games that are controlled by your brainwaves. Through playing these games, your brain will learn to better regulate itself.
Is neurofeedback safe?
Yes. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique which helps a person learn how to control, or self-regulate, their brain waves. The headset is simply used to listen to and record the brainwaves, it doesn’t transmit or otherwise change anything in the brain. Through the process of simply wearing the headset and playing the games the brain will teach itself to better regulate its activities.
What is the evidence behind neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback was first discovered in the 1950’s as a form of operant conditioning, in which the brain changes its activities as as result of stimuli, or positive or negative feedback. See more information on research in this webpage.
Myndlift Neurofeedback is therapist-guided, which means I provide personalized supervision, whether in-clinic or remotely.