Dr. Doug Hanner

Neurofeedback

Computer-brain interface technology that is sparking a Health Care Revolution

Neurofeedback is a computer-brain interface technology often referred to as EEG Biofeedback or Brainwave Training. It is a type of biofeedback in which individuals train to improve their brain function. Sensors are placed on the scalp and the patient receives “feedback” in the form of sound and/or images on a monitor. The feedback is a direct representation of their brain’s activity. The brain immediately recognizes itself and its pattern of activity in the feedback.

Based on the patient’s specific needs, the clinician identifies the sensor placement and training frequency to best optimize brain function. Within seconds of beginning the training, the brain gets to work establishing new neural connections. These new networks and firing patterns are initially transient, but after enough training, can become permanent. The resulting new brain organization and resilience often leads to significant improvement and even resolution of common conditions such as:

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Epilepsy
  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Fatigue
  • Brain injury
  • Stress-related illness
  • Chronic pain
  • Autoimmune Disease

What is Involved in the Training?

In order to successfully “rewire” the brain, most patients will initially receive two or more sessions per week. Sessions are thirty to forty minutes in length. There are numerous options in how the training can be experienced. A patient can watch a pleasant nature scene, play a video game, or even watch something of interest on YouTube or Netflix.

What Should I Expect During Training?

As a training session progresses, most patients say that they feel more physically relaxed and mentally alert. About 75% of patients will begin to notice changes within one to three sessions that will persist for a day or two. These include things like feeling calmer or more alert, sleeping better, dreaming more, and not being as reactive to normally upsetting situations. As training continues, the brain is “rewired”, allowing these new neural patterns to become well established.

How Long Will It Take?

As with most forms of treatment, Neurofeedback results vary among different individuals. Neurofeedback training may require 20-40 sessions or more, depending on the individual’s age and the severity of their condition. Training typically begins with a 20-session block followed by a thorough re-evaluation. At that time, changes are usually beginning to take hold, and the frequency of the visits can be decreased.

When Will I Be Done?

Most patients are finding that even when the new neural networks are established, some amount of “maintenance” care is helpful. This makes sense as many of us are exposed to high levels of dysregulating daily stressors. One to two sessions per month seem to be enough to keep most patients functioning optimally.