The brain is powered by electricity and produces electrical patterns or brainwaves, which determine the level of arousal of the brain. The more stable the level of arousal of the brain, the more effective is the function. Neurotherapy is focused on enhancing the stability of the brain to ensure effective processing of the brain. The over-aroused brain results in hyperactivity, high tension levels, aggression, symptoms of PTSD, and panic. The under aroused brain results in under-performance which is typical of the couch potato, poor focus, lack of concentration, slow processing speed, short attention span, depression, and being lethargic.
Brain waves are monitored by placing sensors or electrodes on the scalp, which register the electrical signals inside of the brain across specific associative areas. Brainwaves carry messages to and from the body through the nervous system. Breathing, heartbeat, muscle coordination, metabolism, blood sugar levels, memory, attention, learning, emotions, and all cognitive functioning or mental activity are controlled by the brain.
During neurofeedback, the brainwaves are monitored. Neurofeedback is non-invasive in other words, no impulses are sent to the brain. How does the training work? Operant conditioning is a process through which the brain gets visual and auditory feedback or is rewarded for producing the frequencies that were identified by the quantitative EEG and needs to be enhanced. Frequencies the individual produces in excess negatively affecting the behaviour are inhibited and do not get rewarded.
When the brain produces frequencies that result in either over or under arousal a number of deficits can be experienced:
ADD/ADHD Learning disabilities Depression
Bipolar disorder Anxiety disorder Panic attacks
Aggression and rage Conduct disorder Chronic pain
Cognitive impairment Chronic pain Traumatic brain injury
Stroke Sleep dysregulation Epilepsy
Post traumatic stress Dissociative disorders Autism and PDD
Reactive attachment disorder Migraine and headaches Exam stress
Noticeable results generally occur during the first ten sessions. Since neurofeedback is a process, this form of treatment requires a significant number of sessions to ensure consistent and lasting benefits. New neuronal connections enhance new behaviour patterns which are similar to learning to play a musical instrument. Changes are normally seen when symptoms improve and identifiable abnormalities on the quantitative EEG normalize. Typical EEG patterns or phenotypes suggesting ADD/ADHD, epilepsy, petit mal epilepsy, and generalized slowing start to change to normal patterns. The most common effects reported: improved sleep, ability to focus and concentrate, decrease of anxiety, improvement of academic abilities, and more stable emotions. Good results were noticed with epileptic patients and other syndromes such as Alzheimer’s that are not cured but neurofeedback contributes to the patient’s quality of life.
Practice: 6 Gemsbok St, 12 The Palms, Constantia Kloof , Roodepoort
Tel nrs 0823356133 / 011 6756138
Dr Annemie Peche’