Guy Annunziata, DC
Neurofeedback is cutting edge technology that is setting a new standard in triggering the brain’s ability to form new connections in response to experience. New connections mean new neural pathways that can now be activated to help reduce, and in some cases overcome, symptoms associated with many neurological conditions.
Some of these conditions include; ADHD, insomnia, anxiety/panic attacks, migraine/tension headache, chronic pain, stress disorders, autism/Asperger’s, post stroke syndrome, traumatic brain injury, tics, memory loss, some cases of paralysis, learning disorders, and others.
It is important to note that neurofeedback is a science based on more than 40 years of clinical research. It is a training method based on operant conditioning where the patient is rewarded for producing a certain brainwave.
The reward serves as signal to the brain that the correct brainwave is being produced. The patient eventually learns how to control the production of the brainwave voluntarily and this result in the alleviation of many neurological symptoms.
For the past 40 years, neurofeedback has been studied in research labs in prominent universities worldwide. Universities such as UCLA, the Univer- sity of Tennessee (UT), the University of South Carolina, and the University of Utah have all participated in neurofeedback research studies that have proven its efficacy.
Frank H. Duffy, MD, a professor and pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School, stated that “Neurofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used.”
Many of the founding principles of neurofeedback were first discovered by sleep researcher Barry Sterman, PhD. He stumbled upon the miracle of neurofeedback during one of his experiments in1965.
These experiments lead to the discovery of a neurofeedback protocol still used today to treat grand mal seizures in epileptics. One of the pioneers that built on Sterman’s work was Joel Lubar, PhD, at UT. He noticed that many of the seizure patients in the study became calmer and slept better after the neurofeedback training.
Based on this observation, Lubar developed a protocol for ADHD that is still used today. Since working with Sterman, Lubar has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and has been involved in more than 25 studies demonstrating the efficacy of neurofeedback for this condition. He is regarded as the foremost expert with regards to neurofeedback and ADHD.
Neurological dysregulation refers to the inability of the brain to regulate itself resulting in abnormal or atypical brain wave patterns. Neurological dysregulation may be caused by poor nutrition, emotional or physical trauma or stress, drugs and toxins, or a subluxated spine.
In order to understand the concept of neurological dysregulation, you need to grasp the concept of brainwaves and their associated mental states.
Delta is associated with deep sleep. You produce delta waves when you are in stage four of sleep. The production of these waves is associated with increased production of human growth hormone.
Alpha is associated with meditation and general health. The ability to train your mind to increase alpha waves is associated with many physiological benefits such as decreased blood pressure, decreased frequency and severity of migraine and tension headaches, weight loss, and enhanced energy levels.
Beta is associated with the state of mind that is linked to problem solving. If a dysregulated pattern causes you to produce lower levels of beta, then you would experience symptoms of inattention — much like some ADHD patients. If dysregulation creates patterns where your brain produces too many beta waves, then you experience symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, or anxiety.
Theta is associated with a twilight state of mind — the comfortable state of mind you are in just before you fall asleep. Patients with ADHD have been shown to produce too many of these brainwaves, which often results in the inability to focus and pay attention. SMR is produced in high levels when our brain is extremely alert and perfectly still. As Sterman discovered through his work with epileptics, these brainwaves are associated with resistance to seizures, as well as a calming effect.
Neurofeedback therapy is a drugless, noninvasive procedure designed to reverse abnormal brainwave pattern associated with neurological dysregulation resulting in the reduction or elimination of symptoms associated with many neurological conditions.
This research was provided by BrainCore Therapy.