About Neurofeedback

PHOTO: Janis and subject in therapy

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is the use of technology to train the brain to regulate itself.  Think of it as taking the brain to the gym. The technology allows the individual to have better awareness of mental states, which leads to increased control over mental processes. What most people want is a brain that does what it is asked to do—go to sleep, wake up, pay attention, tune in, tune out.  Neurofeedback is used to bring about  the kind of flexibility and responsiveness that  we associate with well-being and balance.

How does it work?

Neurofeedback is a training process. Through information provided by a computer and special EEG (electro-encephalograph) equipment, the brain receives feedback about its functioning as well as information it can use to interrupt undesired mental states. Pleasant music and interesting visual stimulation are played which tend to induce a relaxed state. The brain’s ability to focus, to pay attention, to be calm, and to be reflective can improve in this relaxed state. 

How is it done?

Training takes place at the computer, with the trainee viewing the screen while linked to the equipment through sensors in contact with the scalp or earlobes.  While the trainee listens to music, brain activity is monitored. This activity is fed back to the individual through the music  which is either playing smoothly or is not playing smoothly. Static or brief interruptions in the music provide information to the brain that it is outside the desired calm state. The brain can use this information to learn new patterns. No signals are being fed into the brain.  Over the course of multiple training sessions, new brain activity patterns emerge. The new patterns are consistent with more flexible and adaptive functioning.

How long does training normally take?

Generally, an individual can tell within six sessions or so that the training is helping or is likely to help.  For those experiencing the benefit that they want, ten to twenty sessions are the norm. Many come to regard the training as a regular part of healthy  living  and schedule training sessions periodically or occasionally to maximize benefits.

Take good are of your body. It's the only place you have to live.  Jim Rohn.