Neurofeedback Training balances the brain wave functioning, which facilitates efficiency between the mind, body and brain. During typical training, electrodes are placed on the scalp and ear lobes. Then, high-tech electronic equipment provides your patient/client with real-time, instantaneous audio and visual feedback about their brainwave activity. The electrodes measure the electrical patterns coming from the brain--much like a physician listens to the heart from the surface of the skin. No electrical current is put into the brain. Brainwave patterns are relayed to the computer and recorded.
Ordinarily, we cannot influence our brainwave patterns because we lack awareness of them. However, when you can see your brainwaves on a computer screen a few thousandths of a second after they occur, it gives you the ability to influence and change them. The mechanism of action is operant conditioning. We are literally reconditioning and retraining the brain. At first, the changes are short-lived, but the changes gradually become more enduring. With continuing feedback, coaching, and practice, we can usually retrain healthier brainwave patterns in most people. It is a little like exercising or doing physical therapy with the brain, enhancing cognitive flexibility and control. Thus, whether the problem stems from ADD/ADHD, Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, a learning disability, a stroke, head injury, deficits following neurosurgery, uncontrolled epilepsy, cognitive dysfunction associated with aging, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other brain-related conditions, neurofeedback training offers additional opportunities for rehabilitation through directly retraining the brain. The exciting thing is that even when a problem is biological in nature, we now have another treatment alternative than just medication. Neurofeedback is also being used increasingly to facilitate peak performance in “normal” individuals and athletes.
Frank H. Duffy, M.D., a Professor and Pediatric Neurologist at Harvard Medical School, stated in an editorial in the January 2000 issue of the journal Clinical Electroencephalography that scholarly literature now suggests that neurofeedback “should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used” (p. v). “It is a field to be taken seriously by all” (p. vii). (D.C. Hammond, 2004)