Neurofeedback is simply biofeedback for the brain. It helps to improve the function and efficiency of the brain and helps individuals learn to change their brain with more positive patterns. The brain requires balance in order to work well. When a patient has brain symptoms such as problems with focus, concentration, attention and insomnia, oftentimes there are problems with brain waves that are not working normally.
Our overall approach with brain issues is to work on improving the health of the individual brain cells through improved nutrition, address root causes of poor brain health such as infections, inflammation, and environmental exposures. However, once these issues are addressed, often patients can benefit from teaching their brain to work better and to build new connections, a process known as neuroplasticity.
There are five types of brain wave patterns. They include:
- Delta brain waves, which are very slow and occur mostly during sleep.
- Theta brain waves, which are slow and occur during relaxation, daydreaming and twilight states.
- Alpha brain waves, which occur during relaxed states.
- SMR or sensorimotor rhythm brain waves, which occur during periods of focused relaxation.
- Beta brain waves, which are fast and are associated with concentration and mental work.
We measure brain waves through a test called the QEEG (more details later in the description). When a patient does neurofeedback, they will wear the same cap that they use to do the QEEG. Once your clinician has reviewed the QEEG, they will prescribe a protocol that looks to teach your brain to change the timing and patterns of brain waves.
How can this happen? The computer gives your brain positive feedback on when it is changing the timing and patterns of your brain waves and over time patients learn how to improve the timing and pattern of their brain waves, just like they learned how to ride a bike or play the piano. The cap is placed on a patient’s head while connected to a TV screen. There are a number of options (movie, video game, etc.) that the patient can enjoy and the sensors control the screen. If the brain activity is where it needs to be, the movie continues to play (or the video game advances). If the brain activity isn’t where it needs to be, the movie fades (or the video games slows down). Over time the brain figures out what to do.
Patients will do this for 60 minutes at a time to reach an optimized level of brain activity. Patients can do it at Rezilir or can do it in the comfort of their home worldwide supervised by an online technician. We recommend a schedule of 4-5 sessions a week for a minimum of 20 sessions.
Progress can be documented by repeat QEEGs every 2 weeks. Each time the brain gets a little better and over time, the changes last a little longer.
Neurofeedback has peer-reviewed data from hundreds of studies. It has been shown to be a medication-free way of improving the following types of symptoms
- Memory loss
- Obsessive behavior
What is a QEEG?
Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG for short) is a way to evaluate functioning in your brain by measuring its electrical activity. Every second, millions of specialized cells in your brain, called neurons, are firing or sending electrical impulses to one another to communicate messages. Mapping the brain function allows us to evaluate this communication and identify potential problem areas. QEEG is used by clinicians to study the brain and evaluate damage associated with conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) as well as to exam behavioral and mental functioning. QEEG is complementary to a diagnostic test like the NeuroQuant that looks at brain anatomy. There is a standard view that can give us a good understanding of major issues within the brain.
QEEG can be used to:
- Show how brain wave patterns can be improved.
- Identifying psychiatric and cognitive problems.
- Tracking progress with various treatments and therapies (e.g., hyperbaric oxygen, integrative interventions)
- Predicting response to therapies (e.g., hyperbaric oxygen
- Providing objective information to create a personalized neurofeedback therapy program to strengthen the brain.
Getting a QEEG involves putting on a cap on your head that has 20 holes in particular places. The technician will put gel in each of these holes, which feels cool on your scalp. Sensors are embedded in each of these holes and can record your brain’s electrical impulses. This gel can easily wash out of your hair and is nontoxic. The EEG takes 15-20 minutes to do. When it is used for monitoring progress in neurofeedback, patients can usually put the gel in each of the electrodes at home themselves with some guidance from the online technician.
For more information on Neurofeedback at Rezilir, please call the office at 866-REZILIR or email firstname.lastname@example.org.