By Laura Molzer
The human brain holds the power in how we function in our day to day life. At times, our brains get “off track” and cause us to suffer emotionally and physically. Issues such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, migraine headaches and many other conditions can become very debilitating for people. Often, individuals want so desperately to find healing and resolve their issues, but have difficulty doing so. Many wonderful techniques are available that can help, however, these techniques require the ability to use them. When a person’s nervous system is dysregulated (not calm) it is often difficult for people to access the cognitive/rational part of their brain that would enable them to use such techniques.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that allows the brain to become aware of itself and how it is functioning. The brain does not always realize that it is not performing at its most optimal level. With the help of neurofeedback, the brain quickly makes changes and works towards optimal functioning. Thus, symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, migraines, and many other physical and emotional symptoms are alleviated as the brain makes changes on its own. Most people begin to notice relief from their symptoms after one to five sessions, with continued sessions needed for long-term effects.
The beautiful thing about neurofeedback is that it is not necessary for a person to learn or know a specific technique. All that neurofeedback requires is the ability to keep eyes focused on a television screen and report any noticeable bodily changes to the clinician. It is not necessary to think about or focus on anything during the training. They simply get to relax in a comfortable chair and enjoy the deep, calmness that is typically felt throughout the training.
During neurofeedback, three to five electrodes are carefully placed on the person’s scalp, depending on what symptoms he or she is experiencing. The electrodes are passive and do not put anything into the brain. The electrodes measure the electrical output of the brainwaves, and that information is reflected onto the television screen through a movie or game. The brain recognizes how it is functioning through the visual feedback provided on the screen and makes adjustments immediately, often leaving people feeling calm and relaxed. Such feedback may include the picture on the screen shrinking or getting larger, or the screen becoming cloudy or clear, depending on how a person’s brain is functioning.
Neurofeedback has the potential to be life changing for people. Those who have suffered for years will often have a refreshed outlook on life, once their symptoms are no longer problematic. People who have been taking medication for such symptoms will often need a lower dose of medication or will no longer need their medication at all. Neurofeedback is appropriate for all ages, including young children and older adults.
Laura Molzer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing neurofeedback in Fort Collins, Colorado. To find out more about neurofeedback or other services she provides, visit www.lauramolzertherapy.com or call (970) 672-5535.