Is Neurofeedback Training for You?
Sometimes, cognitive issues are difficult to treat, no matter what you do. But now there's a new technique that showing real promise when it comes to healing difficult imbalances in the brain.
Imagine a time when you felt depressed. The world seems darker, things that once made you happy now fall flat, and the quality of your sleep has fallen off.
And that’s just the beginning of a long list of symptoms. You just feel terrible.
Now imagine that depression just won’t go away. Medications, counseling, even lifestyle changes… Nothing seems to help.
Unfortunately, this is more common than you’d think.
But we now have another powerful tool to deal with these issues.
Neurofeedback training has been proven to be very useful in helping people with these sorts of issues even when nothing else seems to work. It’s helped cognitive issues raining from depression to autism to severe brain injuries. (Watch our videos on neurofeedback here, and here.)
What is Neurofeedback training?
Even as recently as a few decades ago, medical science was pretty convinced that after a certain age your brain cells stopped replacing themselves. The brain you have as a teenager, then, is the brain you’ll have for the rest of your life.
We know now that this isn’t true. Instead, the brain is amazing in its ability to repair itself, to create new inner networks, and divide out responsibilities across the rest of the brain if one portion is damaged. This adaptability is called neuroplasticity, and it’s the basis for neurofeedback training.
Your brain produces electrical waves. But sometimes, those waves can get “stuck” in a pattern. When the pattern gets stuck in a “negative” loop, it can cause depression, along with a broad range of other issues. Just as we can fall into negative habits—eating poorly, absorbing too much stress, or not resolving the roots of our toxic relationships—so too can your brainwaves get “stuck” in self-perpetuating cycles of negativity.
Neurofeedback training is designed to break those cycles and restore your brainwaves to their normal, healthy levels.
How does it work?
I could get very technical with this explanation, but instead, I’ll tell you a story.
Janet is depressed. She’s been depressed for a long time. She’s tried everything available to break the cycle, but nothing has worked.
So, Janet comes to us, and we begin neurofeedback training. She comes in twice a week, and we hook her up to a machine that first of all measures her brain waves. Once she’s relaxed—she can watch TV, or close her eyes, or do whatever makes her most comfortable—the machine begins measuring those waves. Again, not to get too far down a rabbit trail, but there are four main types of waves, based on their frequency range: alpha, beta, theta, and delta. When someone is depressed, for example, there tends to be a high level of beta waves coming from the left hemisphere of the brain.
So, the machine provides a reward system. As Janet’s brain lowers those beta waves—this happens on a mostly subconscious level—the machine might (again, this is just one example) make the tv picture clearer. If those waves come back up, the picture on the screen might begin to darken or blur.
By going through this process—we usually do two sessions weekly—the brain starts to develop new, more positive habits. It begins, slowly, to train itself to balance those waves toward healthy levels.
For a lot of our clients in the neurofeedback program, the initial problem has to do with repression. They’ve experienced some trauma, and instead of dealing healthily, the brain has buried it down deep.
Often, it’s down so deep that Janet, and others, don’t even know it’s there. But the effects of that repression are very real, and in many cases, utterly debilitating.
I love that we’ve had to opportunity to begin incorporating this tool into our programs here at the Wellness Training Institute. For one, it’s amazingly useful. But even beyond that, it fits perfectly into what we’re all about.
Our Healthful Evolutions program is all about retraining your body, mind, and soul—step by baby step—to choose life instead of death. To build those healthy habits to the point at which the old, bad habits no longer have a hold. Just like a detox that uses food elimination to reset the body, neurofeedback training does that by focusing first on what causing your brain to be out of balance.
It’s all about living a happy life. And to be happy, you first need to get healthy. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have another, amazing tool to accomplish that for people who can’t seem to find that balance in any other way!