Neurofeedback works on the idea of 'neuroplasticity' - our brains are incredibly flexible and can learn all the way through life. Through training we can relax our brains or make them more alert, less fearful or to make our pain sensitivity reduce.
Neurofeedback is done with a computer with a special analyser and associated software. 3 or 5 sensors are placed on your head with a special gel and the software reads your brainwaves working in real time. These brain waves are (from slow to fast): Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, High Beta and Gamma.
It’s all 'feedback' there is nothing that comes back from the computer to your head.
Music is played and using the same principle as ‘Pavlov's Dog', your brain is rewarded when it is doing what the equipment is asking it to do: you will hear more music as you ‘train' your brainwaves to do what either the protocol is asking (in my ‘active’ system) or the equipment (in my neurodynamic feedback, ‘passive’ system).
Brainwaves move to a new normal over time. ‘Inefficiencies' or brainwave patterns that show a deviation from ‘normal' (ClinicalQ Brainwave Analysis results from several thousand clients suggest that within these parameters there are fewer symptoms of distress) can be trained to within the ‘normal' range and hopefully you will have a decrease in your distressing symptoms.
A short history of Neurofeedback
In 1968, Dr. Barry Sterman, a neuroscientist at UCLA medical school, proved that cats in his lab could be trained to make more EEG activity at 12-15 Hz frequencies, using operant conditioning. He called it SMR – Sensory Motor Rhythm. Inadvertently, this experiment launched part of the field of neurofeedback. Sterman then used the same cats for a NASA contract to investigate whether rocket fuel could cause seizure activity. The cats were exposed to a volatile fuel called hydrazine. Half the cats seized in a predictable dose response curve. The other half of the cats, those who had increased SMR brainwaves in the last experiment, had a dramatic reduction in seizure thresholds versus the normal cats. It was a very unexpected outcome.
After additional research, EEG training frequency was tried on a woman with uncontrolled seizures who worked in Sterman's lab. The training had the same inhibitory effect it did on the cats and the woman now has a California driver's license.
These events launched the field of neurofeedback. Brain dysregulation (of which epilepsy is one of the most severe types) is reduced with neurofeedback training. The research, particularly in epilepsy, is extensive. Since that time the field has expanded and is mostly used for children with ADHD, but also now anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, attachment disorders, addiction and serious mental (ill) health injuries such as bipolar, OCD and schizo-affective disorder.