How Can Neurofeedback Help My Child?
Neurofeedback is known as EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy. It is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more effectively. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain itself. Self-regulation training allows the system (central nervous system) to function better.
Seigfried Othmer, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of the EEG Institute indicated application of Neurofeedback as being helpful in the following conditions: “Attention Deficit Disorder, the Anxiety-Depression spectrum, seizures and addictions. At that time, 2003, he found applications to be effective with Oppositional-Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder; the Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s; Bipolar Disorder; Specific Learning Disabilities, including Dyslexia; sleep disorders; Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; women’s issues such as PMS and menopause; issues of aging such as Parkinsonism and dementia, and Age-Related Cognitive Decline; and, finally, pain syndromes such as migraine, as well as the management of chronic pain.” (Overview of Neurofeedback Mechanisms: Setting the Agenda for Research, October 2003).
Neurofeedback addresses the “broad functional dysregulations that are part and parcel of all clinical syndromes in mental health, and accompany organic brain disorders as well. The training can moderate our fears as well as regulate our drives such as appetite, thrill-seeking, and drug-seeking. Most importantly, the training can confer essential stability on brain function, which heightens the threshold to such conditions as seizures, migraines, panic attacks, and bipolar excursions.” (Overview of Neurofeedback Mechanisms: Setting the Agenda for Research, October 2003).
Furthermore, Neurofeedback has been known to help with birth trauma, acquired brain injury, bed wetting, sleep walking, sleep talking, teeth grinding, nightmares, and night terrors
How does this work?
Electrodes are applied to the scalp to listen in on brainwave activity and the signal is processed by computer. Information is extracted about certain key brainwave frequencies. (All brainwave frequencies are equal, but some are more equal than others….) The ebb and flow of this activity is shown back to the person, who attempts to change the activity level. Some frequencies are wished to promote. Others are wished to diminish. This information is presented to the person in the form of a video game. The person is effectively playing the video game with his or her brain. Eventually the brainwave activity is "shaped" toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The frequencies targeted, and the specific locations on the scalp where listened to on the brain, are specific to the conditions which are being addressed, and specific to the individual. Please be aware that certain training protocols have been developed for certain classes of problems such as attention, anxiety and depression, seizures and migraines as well as cognitive function. If you have a child with attachment issues, make sure your Neurofeedback provider has been trained with the national protocol used for attachment and trauma disorders. Treatment with the wrong protocol can have an adversarial effect on your child.