What Exactly is Neurofeedback?
Updated: Mar 5
Before embarking on your own neurofeedback journey, it's important to understand what this process entails, and why it can help you heal your brain in such a profound way.
There are three basic principles of the brain to understand prior to jumping into the technical side of neurofeedback therapy:
Our brains have an inherent ability to change how they function and how they are structured.
Most behaviors, mental and neural disorders, and other neurodivergent behaviors are related to electrical brain activity.
How the brain works according to energetic brain activity, how the brain is structured, and our every action are all connected to one another.
Thus, the ability to simulate changes in brain activity through frequency neurofeedback influences the ability of how our brain is structured, and how it can change in conjunction with our capacity to choose how we behave in our daily lives.
Neurofeedback Therapy = Self-Directed Neuroplasticity
In its purest form, neurofeedback is a treatment method that trains brain activity to teach our brains how to self-regulate. Our minds learn how to function in healthy patterns that promote optimal performance for living our lives. Neurofeedback is a technology-based therapy training often described as self-directed neuroplasticity. The primary outcome is to create long-term functional, structural, and behavioral changes.
Now for the technicalities:
Neurofeedback (NFB) is brain-energy training using a brain-computer interface via an electroencephalogram (EEG). Neurofeedback is a type of EEG biofeedback that focuses on training the Central Nervous System (CNS) consisting of our brain lobes, cortex, and brainstem. The kind of NFB therapy we use at THRIVE is called “frequency/power training,” which uses the EEG, electrodes, and real-time computer-generated feedback. This kind of training teaches the energy of our brainwaves how to better self-regulate in healthy patterns by focusing on guiding the four primary brainwave frequencies: Alpha, Beta, Theta, and Delta.
What are the benefits of EEG-based neurofeedback?
The advantage of the EEG-based method of delivering neurofeedback is that it is easy to use; it is a low-cost option compared to fMRI, it is also portable, non-invasive, drug-free, and painless. Neurofeedback can also work on anyone, no matter their age.
The EEG monitors in real-time the electrical energy of our brain from our scalp. We can target specific areas of the lobes of your brain and their corresponding primary brainwave frequencies (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta). These brainwaves regulate the conscious and subconscious aspects of your body. We then filter the specific brainwave frequencies we measure as irregular and correct the irregularity through desirable repetitious feedback that guides your brainwaves into healthy ranging patterns. This result is a high probability of long-lasting brain regulation changes and can reduce or eliminate most dysfunctional symptoms.
We use the Clear Mind Neurointegrative System
We use the Clear Mind Neurointegrative System to measure your moment-to-moment electrical brain activity. The audio and visual feedback from the video or music we set you up with provides the brain with a mirror of its activity and functioning. This neurofeedback loop nudges the brain to operate in more optimal frequencies and less of others. This looping is done by setting a reward and inhibiting specific frequencies that your brain produces. In other words, this feedback reinforces selected brainwave patterns while discouraging others.
Long-term Benefits of Neurofeedback
Through these mechanisms, you encourage your brain through repetitious exposure to generate desired frequency ranges, which then teaches your brain how to create new patterns. These new patterns ultimately promote healthier brain-body functioning that enhances your capacity for habit towards self-regulation.
NFB can normalize dysfunctional habitual brain patterns created by trauma or other general impactful life events and stabilize new brain frequency patterns of electrical communication in specific parts of the brain. This therapeutic method of treatment empowers its users to learn how to sense, interact, and choose how to manage their physiological states, brain states, and mental states.