According to Tom Collura from Brain Master “Neurofeedback embodies a process of neuronal self-regulation and re-education, leading the brain to find new and beneficial states and ways of processing new information and feeling” and meets the criteria specified by the American Psychological Association to be classified as an evidence-based intervention.
The best way to understand neurofeedback-therapy is in terms of an exercise model.
- Brain rhythms, which control the brain’s level of arousal, can be observed on an EEG.
- The brain organises its own activity through brain waves.
- By training these rhythms we exercise the brain in its fundamental role of controlling and regulating various functions.
- We assume that the brain’s ability to change or adapt to new situations secure effective cognitive and emotional functioning.
- The level of arousal of the brain indicates or orchestrates the efficiency of brain functioning.
- Should the brain be over aroused, it cannot focus, should it be under aroused, it lacks energy to function. Neurofeedback-therapy secures the stability of the brain from one to the next moment, in order to answer to demands.
INFRA SLOW FLUCTUATION TRAINING
- The electrical energy in the brain of each trainee differs and needs to be set to optimize feeling, thinking, and cognitive functioning.
- Similar to a radio station that functions most optimally on a specific frequency such as 49.7 or 702, each individual has an optimal frequency.
- When the radio station 94.7 is turned to 94.9 the sound will be distorted and has to be tuned to the optimal frequency (94.7).
- Certain trainees will function more effectively at 0.0005Hz and others at 0.0030 or 0.0045 but this frequency has to be determined.
- Training sessions start at 0.0030, and when the trainee experiences discomfort the frequency is either increased or decreased, depending on the symptom/s the trainee presents with or level of discomfort the trainee experiences. If the trainee becomes very tired after a few minutes of training, the frequency at which training is done is too high and should be decreased. If the trainee feels nauseous the frequency at which training is done is too low and should be increased. In the case of nausea, the frequency is normally increased to 0.0060 Hz.
- In case no discomfort is experienced and the trainee experiences calmness and mental clarity, it is assumed that the frequency at which training is done is close to the OF (optimal frequency).
- Once the trainee’s OF as been determined, training should be continued at that specific frequency for a couple of sessions.
- The reward sound that the client hears:
- The optimum frequency is reflected to the trainee with 2 reward sounds. A higher tone is heard when the amplitude increases with more than 15 % above the mean (0.0030 Hz) and a lower tone is heard when the amplitude decreases with more than 15% below the mean (0.0030).
- The tone the trainee hears during the session indicates that when the “infra-slow” brainwaves shift 15% above or below the mean, a trainee can be led into another state.
- The brain is getting ready to respond to stimuli in a manner that facilitates self-control and gets to a state of homeostasis.
- ISF is an alternating current, which is small and measured in millivolt signals, and adjustments are made based on the trainee’s feedback in terms of physical and emotional experience.
- The training, therefore, is symptom-driven.
Since the brain has enormous capacity for change, over time, the new brain behaviour is “learnt” or conditioned. The brain learns to make adjustments and enhances a greater ability to self-management and more effective regulation of brain activity.
Effects of training
Dr. Joel Lubar at the University of Tennessee’s studies and research on epilepsy show the effect of neurotherapy lasting 12 months or longer, post training. Clinicians report long lasting and permanent changes.
Relapses are normally due to injury, trauma or extreme stress. Some patients will never need maintenance sessions. For others, ongoing training may be appropriate, especially for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers. Repetition of intensive training is seldom needed. Occasional “tune-up” sessions are suggested once every three to six months.