Concussions can take a toll on our brain health at any age. A concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head which impairs neurologic function.
While this may be physically seen in terms of a loss of functioning, it does not usually show up right away as a structural issue, therefore not detectable by standard neuroimaging. Often, people head back to their regular lives without realizing the damage that has happened. While the brain is designed to take hits and recover quickly, with three or more concussions, psychological symptoms increase in number and can take a long time to resolve on their own.
Besides taking the normal precautions to protect our heads from further impact (i.e. contact sports) what can we do to rehabilitate our brains from a concussion?
In addition to rest, hydration, and taking time away from high-impact and risky activities, both biofeedback and neurofeedback can be very helpful. Biofeedback such as heart-rate (HRV) training can help improve stress management skills, as well as pain management, and a reduction of autonomic arousal and reactivity. This is conducted through guided meditations, breathwork and mindfulness approaches.
Neurofeedback can help by training down the slowed frequencies in the brain and increasing the beta waves and autonomic nervous system functioning into the normal ranges. This works to eliminate brain fog, reactivity, and irritability. It also increases attention and focus, as well as supports other executive functions such as memory, decision-making abilities, task initiation and completion, comprehension, and emotional regulation. Many notice a restored sleep cycle and a reduced sensitivity to lights and sounds which also helps reduce their level of stress.
Neurofeedback has also been shown to decrease is the inflammation in the brain as a result of the concussion. It induces neuroplasticity to modulate brain activity. This training takes place over a number of treatment sessions to restore self-regulation of the autonomic and central nervous system functioning. Biofeedback and neurofeedback assessments target the critical areas of dysregulation and provide measurable interventions for maximum recovery through treatment protocols that are designed specifically for you. If you are suffering from a concussion or post-concussion syndrome, neurofeedback may be the answer for you.
If you have any questions about how biofeedback and neurofeedback can work for you, please book an appointment with Dr. Andrea at Empower Health 604.336.2844. We look forward to seeing you!