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How Neurotherapy Works
Brainwaves: The Key to Change
At the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviors lay the intricate networks of communication among the billions of neurons within our brains. A measurement of this communication activity, like the rhythm or pulse of a flowing river, is the brainwaves. Brainwaves are tiny pulses of the electrical activity that are produced as the neurons communicate with each other. By influencing these electrical patterns, we can change the brain's communication. This means that when there are patterns set up within the brain that are not working correctly there will be corresponding problems. As an example: when you experience stress and you feel the reaction occur in your body such as a stomach ache, headache or some other symptom, your brain has triggered within itself a pattern that results in these symptoms. These patterns are sometimes referred to as pathologically stable patterns. These pathological patterns can arise from a variety of possible stressors, i.e. abuse, physical trauma, emotional trauma, chronic continuous stress, worry, anxiety, etc. As a response to the perceived threat, the brain has adopted a protective pattern in an effort to deal with the past (it can be just a memory) or present trauma. The brain is simply doing the best it can to protect us and enable us to deal with the real or unreal dangers and threats it perceives. A wide variety of problems and disorders can be traced back to this underlying problem.
Neurofeedback is a technique to train the brain to regulate functions of body and mind. When the brain is not functioning optimally, this is often reflected in mental or physical problems. Likewise, many cognitive, emotional, or bodily issues can be traced back to a poorly functioning brain. Training your brain to improve its function can help it take better care of you, just like physical exercise can train your body.When the brain is not functioning well, this is usually visible in an EEG (electroencephalogram). Restoring function to the brain by means of neurofeedback can alleviate a large variety of physical and emotional problems. Sleep patterns may improve, allowing increased alertness during the day. Neurofeedback can reduce anxiety and depression as well as syndromes such as migraine or chronic pain. Hyperactivity, attention deficit, post-traumatic stress, and emotional instability are also frequently visible as abnormalities in the EEG and as such can be treated.
Neurofeedback treatment can also help with certain specific syndromes and issues, including traumatic brain injury, seizures, autism, and stroke cases. In these instances, the training may not eliminate the cause of the problem, but rather assists the brain to function normally despite the injury.
One of the technique's great strengths is that it draws upon the brain's own ability to learn and adapt. Neurofeedback therapy is absolutely non-invasive, and rather than trying to affect the body from outside, it helps the brain to deal with any problems at the foundation. Neurofeedback treatment simply makes certain characteristics of the brain's operation visible to the conscious mind.
Due in part to the nature of the treatment, neurofeedback training can help both children and adults. In fact, thanks to the innate flexibility of the growing child's mind, it is especially effective for children. Hyperactivity, attention deficit, temper tantrums, and conduct problems are more often exhibited by children than by adults, and can be effectively treated. Furthermore, once the brain has learned to function normally, the effect is usually lasting, and relapse rarely occurs.
Because neurofeedback therapy trains the brain to operate effectively, its applications are not limited to recovering from injury or coping with problems. Neurofeedback training is also valuable to bring the brain back on track after day-to-day stress, or to facilitate peak performance, for example, for professional athletes or corporate executives. People practicing meditation also report an enhanced ability to quiet racing thoughts and deeper, more profound, meditation experiences.