Whenever we talk to people about Neurofeedback, their first question always is “what the heck is that?”. After explaining that Neurofeedback is a simple therapy that helps train the brain to function better, this opens up a flood of fun questions like: “how does it work? what types of conditions can it help? what is the treatment process like?” and most importantly “can it help me?”
These are all great questions, so lets take them one at a time to get a better understanding of Neurofeedback.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a “brain training” therapy that works on the idea that by changing brainwave patterns we can improve mental health. Brainwaves are simply the collective electrical activity of millions of brain cells functioning together. There are four main types of brainwaves–delta, theta, alpha and beta–all of which serve a specific purpose. Everyone has a “normal” range of brainwave patterns, however when patterns fall outside of “normal” levels problems can occur like depression, anxiety, brain fog, focus and attention problems, insomnia, you name it. This is where Neurofeedback therapy comes in to train the brain to bring these brainwave patterns back into a normal and healthy range.
How does Neurofeedback entrain proper brainwave patterns?
Neurofeedback uses photic stimulation to help your brain produce proper brainwave patterns. During treatment sessions patients wear special glasses equipped with small LED lights that flash at specific frequencies to stimulate desired brainwave patterns. We can modify the color of the light, and the frequency of the flashing to customize treatment to specific neural locations.
What is the treatment process like?
Treatment begins with a diagnostic test called a Brain Map. The Brain Map uses something called electroencephalography (EEG) technology to measure brainwave patterns in specific parts of the brain. It is a non-invasive test that takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
After the mapping session, you make an appointment to meet with Dr. Ian and view the results of your Brain Map. Here you will learn specific details about your brain’s functions, how they relate to your health, and how neurofeedback can help you.
After meeting with Dr. Ian to discuss your Brain Map you are ready to start treatment. Each treatment session lasts about 30 minutes and involves watching a movie while a computer monitors your brain activity in real-time. When your brain is not behaving and producing bad brainwave patterns, the movie fades away. Your brain interprets this as a removal of reward and wants to produce proper brainwaves to get the reward back. To help your brain produce proper brainwaves the special LED glasses flash. Once your brain is behaving the movie returns to full brightness. Over time your brain learns to associate the reward of watching the movie with good brainwave activity–a process called operant conditioning. The best part is that this type of learning is subconscious so you can sit back and relax while your brain does the work.
How soon do people notice changes?
Since Neurofeedback is a learning process, treatment requires multiple sessions. Think about it, did you learn to ride a bike on the first try? In general, people begin to see changes in 10-15 sessions, but the number of treatment sessions always depends on the severity of the case. Practice makes perfect!
What conditions can Neurofeedback help?
Neurofeedback can be used to help just about any kind of brain based disorder including:
-Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
Can Neurofeedback help me?
If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, then Neurofeedback can certainly help you. Or, if you simply want an easy way to improve cognition, memory, decision making and sociability, then we can use Neurofeedback to help you pursue your health goals. But remember, the first step is getting a Brain Map. In September the $250 Brain Map Fee will be waived for the first 15 people to contact the office! 303-882-8447.
When I walked into Red Tail Wellness I was really struggling with ADHD, anxiety, and my health. Things had gotten better than they once were, but I was still having a lot of problems. Zoloft and Focalin helped (school would have been impossible without them, and even with them I was barely passing), but I would rather be off meds. The side effects were not fun!
Thanks to Dr Ian, my last semester of school was my best in years (almost straight As! :D), and without any prescription medication. I didn’t even need my meds for tests anymore! It is hard to overstate how mind blowing that is.
I feel better, work better, and I have been so much less stressed out.
Despite my scepticism, Ian has really helped me a lot. I would highly recommend him to anyone of the…HEY LOOK ITS A SQUIRRRRRRLLLL!! :D…persuasion. Nothing else (and believe me, I have tried virtually everything) works as well!
A year ago, we were struggling with our daughter and her ADD symptoms. We had been trying different prescriptions for about a year. It seemed as if we would begin a new prescription and everything would be going okay, then we would need to keep increasing the dosage until we reached the maximum allowable dosage for her age and size. Then we would start the process of changing her medication and then we would repeat the same process all over again. Each time we dealt with the side effects of no appetite and a zombie type personality. We also tried taking weekends off from medication but it seemed as if she had withdrawals causing dramatic mood swings. We felt like prisoners in our own home and the stress this put on the family was intense. We were tired of living life this way and began to search and pray for a better way to tackle her ADD.
After much prayer and hours of research, we found neurofeedback and we were encouraged with the positive results we read about. We started searching for a doctor in our area who could provide us with this treatment and that’s when we found Doctor Ian at Red Tail Wellness. We were very encouraged after watching the videos on the Red Tail website. We were also excited about the idea of finding something to help our daughter. We scheduled an appointment with Dr Ian and were encouraged by his words of hope for our daughter and our family! We decided to dive in and do whatever it would take to help our daughter. We started neurofeedback treatment immediately and began meeting with Dr Ian to work on any physical struggles she had that were effecting her ADD. Dr Ian discovered she had a 4 food allergies and retained primitive reflexes all which can lead to brain related issues. We changed her diet and worked on daily exercises to overcome the primitive reflexes. Within six months our daughter was a different person: completely off medication, she no longer had mood swings, she is more confident, she was able to focus more at school, better grades, she laughs all the time, she has gained healthy weight and our family is less stressed. It has taken us about 10 months to complete her neurofeedback treatments but it has been well worth it.
If you are at your witz end and don’t know where to turn, please consider this for your child. I will say it is an investment of your money and time but most importantly your child’s future. This past year has taken dedication (we do not live close by to Red Tail and therefore had to make the drive many times, we spent most of the summer doing exercises to help with her reflex issues and then making diet changes) however, we wouldn’t change a thing! In the words of our 9 year old daughter, “Red Tail changed my life and made it better!”