What is Neurofeedback?
Biofeedback and neurofeedback work on the principle of operant conditioning, which means that when a desirable behaviour is performed voluntarily, it is rewarded. In this case, the reward is sound, and/or video information, based on the brain’s performance in real time. Over time, the voluntary behaviour alone (in this case, the modulation of brain waves) produces the desired effect (i.e. reduction in anxiety) without the reward being necessary.
During your brain training session, this conditioning happens through different means. You could be playing a video game, flying a plane, or watching a video while your brainwaves are being monitored and evaluated in real-time, accompanied by audio and/or video feedback and reinforcement. As you become more familiar with the technique, you learn to regulate certain brain wave patterns so they operate more efficiently, optimally, and in a more balanced way.
Typically, neurofeedback involves two or more sessions per week, of 20-45 minutes of training per session. Although success will vary between individuals depending on the condition and age of the client, the average number of treatment sessions is between 20-40, with follow-up reevaluations necessary along the way to make the necessary adjustments to your treatment as you improve.
How does it work?
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique for measuring and training brain wave activity to help balance and improve brain functioning that has been in use since the 1970s. Extensive research has shown neurofeedback to be an evidence-based and effective treatment for specific conditions such as ADHD (improved attentiveness, impulse control, intelligence scores, academic performance, and decreased hyperactivity) and epilepsy and shows promising results with autistic spectrum disorders, anxiety, depression, insomnia, addictions, pain, and traumatic brain injury. Neurofeedback training is also used to assist athletes, executives, and performing artists in improving their peak performance. Improving concentration, confidence, creativity, memory, problem-solving, and reducing anxiety and extraneous movement allows for better performance overall.
Electro-caps, which have 19 small electrode sensors attached. After the cap is placed on the head, a gel is applied in each electrode to create a bridge for the brainwave signals to travel into the electrodes, through the Discovery amplifier, then transmitted directly into the computer and measured. During the initial assessment, a person’s brainwaves are recorded and measured by BrainMaster Avatar software in what is called a QEEG (quantitative electroencephalograph) through recording a 10-minute relaxed eyes-open and eyes-closed assessment of brain wave function. This assessment helps us to see what is happening in the brain on both a cortical (surface) and sub-cortical level (inside the brain). This information is then compared to a database of healthy normal individuals the same age as the client and is essential in devising an effective treatment plan that can train the brain into better shape, and alleviate many symptoms that can be causing difficulty in everyday functioning.
What Can Neurofeedback Help Treat?
- Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
- Learning disabilities
- PTSD/Complex Trauma
- Memory Loss
- Sleep Problems
- Peak Performance Training
- QEEG 19 Channel Full Brain Map Assessment
- A QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) is a map of your brainwaves that is assessed using the BrainMaster Avatar system. For the assessment, a fabric cap with 19 electrodes is worn, which fits snugly on the head. The electrodes are filled with a clear gel that helps conduct the brainwave signal into the computer, which will then measure and analyze the activity of your brain in two relaxed states: eyes open, and eyes closed. The assessment lasts 20 minutes, and the full session is an hour. A full report and treatment protocols are available up to 24 hours later.
- Neurofeedback treatments (focus on ADHD, Autism, Mood disorders, Complex trauma/PTSD, Peak performance)
- 40-minute treatment session using the cutting edge BrainMaster Avatar neurofeedback system.
- Follow-up Full Brain Map/Reassessment
- After six treatment sessions, we welcome you to a follow-up reassessment. This is a check-in where a Full brain map reassessment is performed, and compared to the original FBM collected to see your progress and chart the course ahead.
- Psychoeducational Assessments
- For children and adolescents who require assessment for academic purposes. This assessment typically takes a full day, divided into two parts of 2-3 hours each, depending on the tests involved. There is a break scheduled between the two halves. Includes a full written report.