Brain health is a primary focus here at the Functional Health Center. One of the tools we utilize in the office to encourage better brain health is neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback (also known as EEG biofeedback) is designed to permanently correct brain wave dysregulation through brain training. This is done by having a patient start with a brain map. During the map, we will record a QEEG using 19 different connection points on your brain. This is done non-invasively with an EEG cap and electro-conductive gel. While it leaves your hair a bit messy, the technique doesn’t require a long set up process with possible shaving and endless lead wires. You then relax in a comfortable chair during the recording, which takes about 40 minutes. Half of the recording is done with your eyes closed and half is done with your eyes open, lightly focused on a picture or out the window. Doing this allows us to see how differently your brain operates in a relaxed state versus a state of receiving input. We then upload the data of the recording to create a brain map. This map allows us to spot any imbalances in your brain waves as well as asymmetrical patterns. Either of these things can indicate tendencies towards anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADD, ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities. We can also find the cause of some symptoms following concussions or brain injuries.
Once the map is created, an algorithm recommends protocols for retraining the brain to balance the brain waves. Using passive neurofeedback, the training system alters the structure of the brain to form correct pathways in neuroplasticity, so that the brain can function at a higher capacity.
When coming into the office to receive brain training, we will utilize a small amount of conductive paste to hook up to the 2 spots on the brain we want to track. Then the patient can select an enjoyable show or movie from multiple streaming services. While the patient is watching, the training (passive neurofeedback) is occurring. The audio and visual output of the entertainment fades in and out, in a distinct pattern programmed to stimulate and calm the various brain waves that we are focusing on for each specific patient.
We continue these sessions with the goal of reaching 20 hours of training, ideally with training occurring twice a week. Once reaching 20 hours of training, your brain has made permanent and measurable changes that can last up to 30 years! Following the goal, we then like to do a new brain map to measure the changes. While we are working on very distinct sets of brain waves during the training, other waves throughout the brain can also correct, so doing a follow-up brain map gives us the opportunity to truly witness the improvements as well as make a plan for future training if desired.
If you’d like to find out if neurofeedback could be a fit for you, please contact our neurofeedback practitioner, Ashley by emailing her at [email protected].