According to Medical News Today, biofeedback therapy is “a non-drug treatment in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.” This form of therapy is often combined with relaxation training and consists of three “types” of therapy: thermal biofeedback to measure skin temperature, electromyography to measure muscle tension, and neurofeedback (or EEG biofeedback). The New York Times has expressed the neurofeedback can address a lot of mental illnesses including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, depression, and anxiety – by “allowing patients to alter their own brain waves through practice and repetition.”
The process of neurofeedback therapy works like this: you sit in a chair, face a computer screen, and a clinician places electrode wires to your head. These wires are connected to the computer to measure your brain activity. The Washington Post adds that clients may watch a movie, play a video game, use a computer or other tools while the clinician monitors their brain waves. Whenever the client’s heart rate becomes too fast, or if their brain waves were slow or erratic, whatever they are watching/playing will stop. This stop-and-start feedback helps clients to learn how to control these within the body so that they can relax.
With this, approximately 30 sessions are needed – and individuals learn over time how to control functions that were previously involuntary to them. The following areas can be improved from neurofeedback therapy:
- Stress, worry, and fearfulness
- Anxiety, panic, and hypervigilance
- Sleep disorders
- Learning problems (ADHD)
- Headaches and migraines
- PTSD and trauma symptoms
- Head and brain injuries
- Cravings and addictions
- Low self-esteem and self-image
- Stubborn habits of thinking and behaving
In 2013, Chris Gardner had brain surgery to remove a large tumor – after nine months of physical and occupational therapy and modest improvement, he decided to try neurofeedback therapy. By his ninth session, Chris stated that he was driving, taking power walks, and working from home. Chris explained to The Washington Post, “I am not 100 percent. I probably won’t stand on my head or get on a roller coaster. But I can do almost everything I couldn’t do before.” While neurofeedback therapy is still building evidence for proven effectiveness, there have been many people that have improved due to this.
If you are interested in pursuing neurofeedback therapy or discussing options for treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is home to three main world-renowned treatment centers: Avalon Malibu, Infinity Malibu, and Simple Recovery. We will work with you to determine if neurofeedback would be the best choice for you – whatever the method, you will be surrounded by a licensed, experienced healthcare team that truly cares about your recovery.