There are numerous benefits of Neurofeedback therapy for children and adults. In fact, it has become an increasingly accessible alternative treatment to numerous conditions, with little to no side effects. Lasting results have even reduced or eliminated the need for medication.
What is Neurofeedback and How Can It Help
A healthy brain is designed to adapt to changes in our body and changes in the environment. It can self-regulate and alter its waves to cater to the current situation. Individuals with healthy brains are better able to regulate their moods, anxiety levels, and physical reactions. However, in reality, millions of Americans are living with mental health conditions that prevent them from balancing their brain activity.
Neurofeedback works by detecting brain activity with EEG sensors. The sensors monitor how fast and slow brain waves move while a client watches a movie or plays a video game to stimulate brain activity. A psychologist is able to monitor and follow brain activity on a monitor to detect abnormal brain activity, and send feedback to get brain waves functioning an an optimal level. This repetitive start-and-stop feedback has proven to produce more balanced brain waves, resulting in improved focus and relaxation.
Benefits of Neurofeedback for Aging
Cognitive decline occurs naturally as part of the aging process. Some of the symptoms associated with aging may include forgetfulness, decreased ability to maintain focus, and decreased problem solving capability. For example, dementia is a form of cognitive decline that significantly impairs memory, ability to focus and pay attention, visual perception, communication and language, as well as reasoning and judgment.
Research has shown that neurofeedback can improve cognitive function in aging adults. Additionally, treatment can be tailored to the individual’s needs. The brain is challenged in areas such as memory, attention and mental processing speed thereby delaying cognitive decline associated with aging and dementia.
A remarkable ten-year study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, has found computer exercises targeting processing speed…could, in fact, dramatically cut the risk of developing dementia ten years later.
Neurofeedback Treatment for Athletes
Through the help of a licensed psychologist, Neurofeedback provides the opportunity for enhancing optimal sports performance without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Neurofeedback works to enhance concentration and attention, reduction of anxiety, improved stress management, and improved control over emotions enhancing the ability to perform under pressure. In addition, athletes who are suffering from injuries such as concussions and mild head injuries have used neurofeedback to assist in the healing process and to speed recovery.
High level athletes who use neurofeedback to enhance peak performance:
- The Vancouver Canucks Men’s Hockey Team; holders of the best regular season in the NHL in both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons
- The Italian National Futbol Team; 2006 FIFA World Cup Champions
- Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings; Three-time Olympic Gold Medalists
- Eric Shanteau; 2012 U.S. Swim Team Olympic Gold Medalist
- Jessica Hardy; 2012 U.S. Swim Team Olympic Gold Medalist
- Phil Mickelson; World Golf Hall of Famer
- Denver Broncos; AFL Division Leaders
- Chicago Bears; NFL Division Leaders
Neurofeedback Therapy for Children
Neurofeedback has been successful in many cases in reducing the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Conduct Disorder, as examples. ADD and ADHD symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. On the other hand, Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviors where basic social rules and rights of others are violated.
Often times children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are given medication to alleviate the symptoms, but consequently, these medications may come with unwanted effects and the effectiveness of the medication may wear off during the day. Neurofeedback may be an effective alternative to medication allowing children to train their brain to focus and concentrate alleviating the symptoms of ADD, ADHD and Conduct Disorder, in addition to other limiting conditions. Neurofeedback improves ADHD symptoms – McReynolds, Villapando, Britt (2018) Manuscript
Neurofeedback has also been used to increase academic functioning. Children who utilize neurofeedback are training their brain to work at its maximum potential, which in other words, is similar to the way the body is exercised, toned and maintained. Children can train the brain to function better through its natural mechanisms, therefore, increasing areas such as memory, attention and mental processing speed.
Read this recent article entitled ‘Research shows brain training in school can improve classroom behavior.’
From young children to veterans, many have lived with conditions and disorders that make day-to-day tasks difficult, if not impossible. However, neurofeedback is giving those with such conditions hope for a better future.
Benefits of Neurofeedback for Veterans
Given the increased concern regarding the negative effects of relying heavily on medication treatments alone, neurofeedback may provide an effective alternative to a drug-free reduction of symptoms. Since the 1970s, research on neurofeedback has demonstrated positive results in the treatment of a number of conditions.
Veterans who have used neurofeedback report substantial improvements in the reduction of sleeping problems, anger management, stress management, etc. Most importantly, Morningstar Neurofeedback clinic develops individualized plans tailored specifically to each veteran’s needs.
Read more in Neurofeedback Treatment Outcomes for Veterans with PTSD.
Interested in Learning More or Booking an Appointment?Contact Licensed Psychologist Dr. Connie McReynolds.
There are numerous benefits of Neurofeedback including it being noninvasive and drug-free with little to no side effects. If you or a loved one would benefit from the alternative treatment, please contact licensed psychologist Dr. Connie McReynolds for more information.