Like the majority of therapies, neurofeedback training could have negative side effects. These negative effects, though, are typically minor and pass quickly.

Consider it this way: feeling exhausted after a gym session is a side effect of working out. Or is it an advantage? The same is true for brain training: Neurofeedback’s most frequent side effect, weariness, is typically a sign of success.

Although there are many ways in which brain training is similar to physical exercise, the brain displays the side effects of training differently from the body.

When acquiring a difficult cognitive skill or after speaking in a language that is not your native tongue, for instance, you could experience a comparable amount of mental fatigue. However, these feelings are typically transient and don’t last very long.

Even though fatigue is most likely the least severe side effect, it can nevertheless happen. These negative impacts could be:

● Stress: You could feel frightened or uneasy about having an electrode placed on your head, but this is normal because Neurofeedback is a painless and safe technique.

● Headaches or lightheadedness: If you train faster (higher frequency) waves, you may feel lightheaded during or after the session.

● Distraction: You might experience brief difficulty focusing, but this symptom is typically moderate and goes away shortly after the session.

It is significant to note that documented side effects are few, frequently transient, and not harmful. These side effects are temporary and usually go away shortly after the training. If you have any of these side effects, let your neurofeedback specialist know immediately so they can check if any modifications can make you feel more comfortable.

What Does Neurofeedback Do to the Brain?

Since many years ago, neurofeedback training has been provided in clinical settings for various objectives. It is a type of biofeedback that measures your brainwave activity in real-time using EEG equipment and provides visual or audible feedback based on how you performed throughout protocols chosen by your neurofeedback specialist.

Will Neurofeedback Affect My Personality?

Training in Neurofeedback won’t alter your personality. By utilizing the networks in your brain and creating new neural connections through Neurofeedback, you can enhance the health of your brain.

Neurofeedback training doesn’t affect your overall personality; it teaches your brain to function more efficiently. It may improve your memory and concentration, reduce impulsivity and anxiety, and help you attain mental clarity, peaceful sleep, and improved mood.

For your brain to eventually maintain a better-balanced state even when it isn’t receiving feedback, Neurofeedback aims to teach it how to regulate itself and help you recognize when it is in the ideal condition.

Different Parts of the Brain React Differently to Training

Specific brain wave frequencies recorded at a particular area on your scalp are the focus of neurofeedback treatments. These frequencies are either raised or lowered as part of the training.

However, training in some locations can be more complex, and procedures involving these locations may have more significant adverse effects regularly.

The sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) technique, for instance, which involves training over the brain’s center (the “sensorimotor strip”), appears to be especially prone to negative consequences. The SMR procedure has been used to increase cognitive function, especially for advances in attention and memory, because it promotes awareness.

In one study, people who underwent an SMR protocol (targeting the right hemisphere site C4) said they felt weary and had headaches during and directly after their neurofeedback training. Still, these effects were modest and only lasted a short time.

The Impact of Brainwave Frequency Changes

The idea behind Neurofeedback is that by altering brainwave patterns, you may enhance how well the brain functions, affecting things like thoughts, moods, and the capacity to unwind or focus.

Although treatment can have minor adverse effects, retraining certain parts of your brain to produce more beta waves is typically done to increase attention and focus.

Beta brainwaves are intensified when your brain is attentive and working on cognitive tasks that demand a lot of focus and attention. They predominate when making judgments, making decisions, or engaging in other focused mental activities.

After training to boost beta activity, you may feel a little tense and have trouble falling asleep since it can be more difficult to unwind.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to enhance slower frequencies (delta or theta brainwaves), you can feel tired or find it difficult to focus because your brain might be deeply relaxed. But as training progresses, these reflexes ought to fade away.

If You Have Neurological Conditions, Tell Your Neurofeedback Expert

Before beginning neurofeedback therapy, it’s critical to discuss your medical history with your practitioner so they can adapt your protocol to reduce the risk of side effects.

To prevent side effects, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, and agitation, let them know if you have any neurological problems like epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, narcolepsy, or migraines.

Actions You Can Take To Reduce Side Effects

Attempt to lessen the possibility of neurofeedback training negative effects by:

1) Selecting a qualified neurofeedback specialist: An expert practitioner knows the ideal brain regions to target and the frequencies for your training plan.

2) Be careful not to overwork your brain: Just as athletes can overwork their muscles through excessive exercise, you can overwork your brain with excessively long or intensive neurofeedback sessions.

3) Maintaining a nutritious diet: Limiting side effects like weariness by eating a diet rich in protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Consult our neurofeedback technician or one of our therapists

Asking you about potential side effects and keeping track of their frequency and severity throughout the training process is one of your neurofeedback therapist’s responsibilities. It’s critical to share comments about your experiences as training continues continuously.

Maintaining a written journal in which you may list any adverse effects you may have encountered might be a smart idea. You can inform your practitioner of this information so they can modify your regimen appropriately.

A neurofeedback technician may also monitor your brain activity throughout sessions to determine whether your brain responds to the training as intended and to change your protocol as necessary.

You’re attempting to alter the way your brain currently and historically functions. Remember that each change, even a good one, may bring about more changes that you may or may not be able to predict. Minor adverse effects may be there because this is not an easy endeavor, but they should go away as you continue to exercise.

So, record your symptoms and pay attention to your body’s messages. By doing this, you can guarantee that your neurofeedback training will only benefit you.

Visit Myndlift’s research overview article for a comprehensive summary of neurofeedback research with supporting scientific references.

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Getting Help at The Insight Clinic