What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
What is Neurofeedback Therapy? In the world of therapy, professionals use different approaches and theories. The methods they use during treatment are based on these theories.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of these approaches. It involves talk therapy, where the client has private sessions.
You’re watching a screen while seated on a sofa. It’s a game you’re playing. An electrode is affixed to your scalp, and a headset is placed on your head. The headset interfaces with mobile device software designed to react to the activity of your brain.
You could appear to be merely unwinding and enjoying video games to an observer, but your brain is working hard. Your brain activity may indicate that you are succeeding in the game or that your player is struggling.
You’re engaging in non-invasive EEG-based Neurofeedback Therapy, also known as “neurofeedback,” which detects your brainwave activity and trains your brain using visual and aural stimuli.
But what exactly does this mean? Let’s break it down.
Optimizing Your Brain Activity Neurofeedback Therapy
Neurofeedback Therapy uses current technology and scientific understanding to train brainwaves. It is a member of a larger class of biofeedback treatments based on the idea that anyone may learn to control their bodily systems if they have real-time access to information about them.
Anxiety, migraines, and chronic pain are just a few disorders that can be treated with biofeedback. Other conditions include muscular tension, body temperature, and blood pressure.
A type of biofeedback known as Neurofeedback Therapy is based on the operant conditioning learning strategy, which uses rewards and penalties for behaviour. Through operant conditioning, a link between a behaviour and a result is established (negative or positive).
Neurofeedback Therapy aims to teach the brain to self-regulate and assist you in recognizing when your brain is in the desired state. Eventually, your brain can maintain a more balanced state even when it isn’t getting feedback.
For instance, you might not be conscious of when your brain is focused or when your mind is wandering. During Neurofeedback Therapy training, visual and auditory cues alert you in real-time to the precise moment your mind wanders, and you learn how to focus again on the task at hand.
The electrical patterns that occur in the brain are known as brainwaves. They are connected to essential brain functions, including thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Consider them as musical notes: the higher frequency brainwaves are like soft, high-pitched flutes, while the lower frequency waves are like a heavy drum pounding.
The harmonics connect and cohere the higher and lower frequencies, similar to a symphony.
A single brainwave may predominate over others depending on what you’re doing. Additionally, if your brainwaves are out of balance, you can have neuro-physical and emotional health issues.
For instance, you might experience fatigue, sluggishness, or dreaminess if the slower brainwaves predominate. When you’re focused or very alert, higher frequencies are more prominent.
5 Different Brainwave Types
The frequency (wave speed given in hertz: number of waves per second) and amplitude of the brainwaves captured by the EEG are measured (height of the waves expressed in microvolts). Generally speaking, as frequency rises, amplitude falls.
Brainwave delta (.5 to 3 Hz). Delta is a low-frequency brainwave that develops during intense meditation and sleeps without dreams. It frequently has the largest amplitude and moves the slowest.
Following are the frequency bands into which brainwaves are divided:
When the brain is in this state, healing and regeneration occur. When you wake up feeling unrested, likely, you didn’t get enough time in the delta wave stage of sleep.
Theta brainwaves (3 to 8 Hz) are slow waves associated with daydreamy, detached, free-flowing cognition. They predominate during “autopilot” states, which are examples of automatic tasks, and occasionally in deep levels of meditation. Theta brainwaves are key to learning, memory, and intuition and are necessary for information processing. Theta brainwaves are slower and have a lesser amplitude than alpha brainwaves (8 to 12 Hz), which are faster than theta.
The brain isn’t working to digest much information or solve any problems. The integration of the mind and body, tranquillity, alertness, mental coordination, and learning are all aided by alpha brainwaves. They indicate non-arousal and are often dominant during attentive and meditative activities.
Beta brainwaves are high-frequency, comparatively low-amplitude waves between 12 and 38 Hz. They are heightened when your brain is aware and working on cognitive tasks that need intense focus and attention. They predominate when making judgments, making decisions, or engaging in other focused mental activities.
Three categories can be used to categorize beta brainwaves:
When measured over the center of the brain (sensorimotor strip), Lo-Beta (Beta1, 12–15Hz), also known as “sensorimotor rhythm” or “SMR,” is predominant during meditative states and has been proven to help lower anxiety, boost focus, and to enhance general wellbeing.
When concentrating on a task or interacting with our environment, our brains actively engage in beta (Beta2, 15-22Hz).
Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz) may signify sophisticated thinking associated with assimilating new experiences, intense anxiety, or enthusiasm. Gamma brainwaves (38 to 42 Hz) have the lowest amplitude and are the quickest (i.e., highest frequency) brainwaves.
They play a role in integrating data from many brain regions and are more noticeable when awake and laser-focused. When concentrating intensely, like when trying to solve an issue, gamma waves predominate.
Regulating Brainwaves With Neurofeedback Therapy
Different brainwave states come and go during the day and night for us. While all brainwave states are necessary, they should all be experienced under the right circumstances – during specific activities, at specific times of day, and for particular amounts of time.
To attain the desired brainwave state, Neurofeedback Therapy instructs your brain on controlling its brainwaves.
Alpha waves, for instance, appear when you are at ease. However, beta waves are linked to alertness but can also cause fear and worry if sustained for an extended period.
Therefore, knowing how to boost alpha waves while decreasing beta wave activity can be your goal if you suffer from anxiety.
We can help you with brain wave harmony and more with Neurofeedback Therapy at The Insight Clinic. Contact us today to start with Neurofeedback Therapy and get your life back.