Neurofeedback is a non-invasive form of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity(qEEG) to improve brain function.
Your Brain and Neurofeedback
The human brain is resilient. While it was once believed our brains were hardwired from birth, advances in neuroscience have proven the brain can change. Neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, is the capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction. Neurofeedback is a safe, medication-free way of harnessing the brain’s plasticity to improve brain function.
With neurofeedback, the brain is learning to self-regulate- in real time. It challenges the brain to be more efficient by giving feedback and rewarding positive change. The brain then seeks more of this change, eventually leading to functional changes in the brain and symptom reduction. Many clients report permanent relief from symptoms without the unpleasant side effects sometimes associated with mental health treatment.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback, is a non-invasive treatment that can optimize and balance your brain. At our clinic, we start every patient out with personalized testing that includes a qEEG. This diagnostic scan gives us valuable information about the functioning of your brain. With neurofeedback, we can retrain areas of your brain that may be unbalanced or dysregulated to function better. Neurofeedback is an evidence-based treatment that can result in lasting changes and improvement of many mental health conditions.
What conditions can Neurofeedback help with?
Neurofeedback is safe for children and adults of all ages and may be helpful for a variety of conditions, including:
- Behavioral disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Chronic pain
- Memory problems
- Sleep problems
- Traumatic brain injury
What to expect during Neurofeedback
Every Neurofeedback session begins by placing electrodes on the scalp that monitor your brain waves. These electrodes are attached to a computer program that teaches you to self-regulate your brain function while participating in fun and interactive games. Neurofeedback harnesses your brain’s neuroplasticity, and eventually, you no longer need neurofeedback sessions to maintain these changes.
Why choose MotlMD for Neurofeedback:
At MotlMD, neurofeedback is one of many treatments available to you. Our treatment model views symptoms through multiple diagnostic lenses to better understand the underlying cause of your symptoms. We use this information to personalize your treatment and restore both your mind and body to balance.
Better outcomes start with the right diagnosis, and we would love the opportunity to show you how our approach can help!
Why should I invest in a qEEG assessment?
Quantitative Elecectroencephalography (qEEG) allows our team to provide the highest quality of care for neurofeedback training.
Two individuals may have the same symptoms but the underlying brain imbalances differ. qEEG is a powerful assessment tool that looks at individual brain function, thereby helping us gain information about any dysregulated pattern behind your symptoms.
We are able to create a personalized training plan that is catered to your brain activity.
Is there an age limit?
Research has shown that the capacity of the brain to change and adapt to new knowledge (“neuroplasticity”) by creating new or stronger brain connections is an ongoing process and continues through life!
Is there any electricity going into my head?
The EEG assessment and neurofeedback training are noninvasive and safe- absolutely NO electricity is going out to you.
We are purely doing a recording of the electrical activity that your brain is currently producing.
What about side effects?
Usually there are no side effects.
It can be common to feel fatigued or tired after a neurofeedback session. (The brain is getting a workout, afterall!)
Patients with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or any sort of head trauma will likely be sensitive to neurofeedback as they learn to regulate their neural firing. Clients with a TBI might experience nausea, dizziness, and light sensitivity as their central nervous system learns to regulate itself.
Although rare, some have experienced a mild headache, nausea, vivid dreams, or feel more stimulated at nighttime- all of which are minor, transient experiences.
It is important to inform your neurofeedback provider about any side effects – any side effect is information from your brain to us and helps our team know how best to guide your training.
When can I see results?
It can be expected to begin seeing changes 15-20 sessions into training. Highly sensitive people may sense changes sooner.
This number is case-dependent on varying factors:
1) Individual differences
The amount of sessions before an individual sees results vary by person. Factors including the type of presenting problem, the severity of symptoms, and age will influence the length of time one can expect changes.
2) Frequency and consistency matters
The number of sessions per week and dedication to training are important factors in guiding the momentum and trajectory of your training. We recommend training as often as your schedule allows.
Quality and amount of hours of sleep are instrumental in integrating learning. Substances like alcohol or recreational drug use affect sleep, and therefore may slow down progress, or prevent progress altogether. It is important to be up-front with your provider about any chronic substance use.
How many sessions should I expect?
On average our clients do 30-40 sessions to feel changes and engrain those changes in that time.
Depending on your goals with training, this answer differs. Some do more, some less.
Sometimes 50-60, or 100+ sessions are beneficial depending on therapy goals.
Neurofeedback is retraining the brain- which is an unbelievably beautiful thing that our brains have the ability to do, and takes time and patience.
Please consult with your provider for an idea of the amount of sessions you can expect.
Neurofeedback seems expensive.. why should I invest in this type of therapy?
We understand that therapy is not cheap, and it can seem daunting to think about commiting to 30-40 or even 100+ sessions for some.
Neurotherapy can often be a much cheaper choice in the long run when we can look at the big picture. Alternative options like medication require relying on administering the dose to change brain activity, with often increased likelihood of a good deal of side effects, and oftentimes is a life-long commitment.
Based on neurofeedback’s model of training the brain to learn how to produce more optimal rhythms on it’s own, symptom improvements after training can stand on their own.
Neurotherapy demonstrates a dedication to you or your loved one’s well-being in the present and sets up a supportive foundation for the future, too.
How long do results last?
Based on scientific literature thus far, symptom relief for training, with ADHD for example, has been shown to be maintained for a few months up to a few years.
Joel Lubar is one of the first in the field to conduct a 10-year follow-up study (conducted in 1995) that showed training effects and improvements in symptoms remained in 80% of ADHD children.
Neurofeedback is based on the idea of the brain learning new connections. Similar to when you learn a new instrument- if it has been a lot of time since playing the instrument you can feel a little rusty. Returning for practice is referred to as “tune-ups” and is available to support you.
In the event of a head injury, trauma or substance abuse, brain function could be altered negatively and may influence improvement maintenance.
Will I still need medication or can I stop my medication?
Depending on the case, neurofeedback may be a method for the brain to learn how to produce the brain activity for symptom relief without medication.
Under physician supervision, it may be possible to slowly wean off of medication.
We meet you where you are; let us know how we can help you reach your goals.
Will Neurofeedback change my personality?
No, neurofeedback does not change your personality.
Neurofeedback aids in self regulation, and for some may mean that they become aware of improved changes in internal states that was once perceived as a personality trait.
Remember, healing is not linear. In particular healing with trauma or anxiety we find that bodies that are not used to feeling safe may paradoxically feel anxiety/irritability that can feel like a step back. It is these moves that are steps forward in allowing the body to reconnect with itself and heal.
How long is a session?
Sessions typically last 45-50 minutes.
Training time can range 35-40 minutes, allowing time for set-up and take-down.
We recommend allowing for a full hour of your time, plus any additional time it takes to commute.
How does Neurofeedback work?
Neurofeedback is based on a principle learning model called operant conditioning.
For example, during the session when the brain produces more optimal brain activity for symptom relief, the brain is rewarded with visual or auditory feedback cues.
The brain subconsciously is training to learn the connection between the reward and the desired behavior (the optimal brain activity).
The idea is that over time, the brain is able to learn and apply the learned skills of self-regulation to real-world situations in day-to-day life.
Ready to get started?
We look forward to hearing from you. Please complete this short form or give us a call at (916) 836-0036, and we will be in touch.
You can also schedule a complimentary consultation with our clinical director.