Whenever something is not functioning well in your body, it’s a good idea that you find out right away what’s going wrong. To determine what is going on from a general standpoint, a medical professional could choose one of several biofeedback methods to find the causes of your problem.
You need to understand that the term biofeedback is a general term. It encompasses testing over a full spectrum of biological areas, including skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, brain waves, and other body conditions. By monitoring (through sensors and computer scanning) any one of these areas, a neurobiologist can determine the sources of the actual problems with which you are dealing.
While biofeedback is considered a general science, there is a second-tier that gets more specific. As it pertains to brain function, that second tier is known as neurofeedback. In short, neurofeedback is a process of gathering feedback about specific brain wave functions to determine if there are any inconsistencies that might account for physical, emotional, or mental issues you might be feeling.
The Neurofeedback Process
Neurobiologists are trained to understand how the brain works and what happens when the brain isn’t functioning the way it should. Remember, the human brain is like a little computer. It is programmed via DNA (software) to function a certain way in a healthy, well functioning human being. If your software malfunctions, you start having problems.
To get to the root causes of your neurological problems, a neurobiologist would hook you up to sensors and do a computer scan of your brain function. This might take a while to accomplish, depending on the potential issues of which the neurobiologist is looking. Through a brain mapping process the medical profession refers to as quantitative EEG (QEEG), it is now possible for a neurobiologist to easily determine which part of the brain is not working properly. That further makes it possible for them to specifically determine if your proximate issue or issues exist because of your brain malfunctioning.
Once an issue or issues have been defined, there is a multitude of neurofeedback therapies a neurobiologist can employ to help bring your brain back to normal function. They can actually go in and manipulate your brain function in the targeted problem area or areas and bring it back to normal function.
What is Neurofeedback Therapy User For?
In terms of your brain being a computer that oversees the functioning of your body, you would want a process to determine when things are malfunctioning. That is what neurofeedback is all about.
At the end of the assessment process, you would want a programmer there to fix any bugs that exist. It’s about a neurobiologist figuring out how to fix the bugs in your brain that are causing you physical, emotional, or mental health issues.
Let’s take a look at specific conditions that a neurobiologist might target with neurofeedback therapy. Hence, we will look at the potential benefits of neurofeedback therapy.
Treatable Conditions with Neurofeedback Therapy
According to the information above, a brain malfunction might cause you to experience physical, emotional, or mental health issues.
As for the physical issues you might be experiencing, the list would include a stroke/aneurysm, sleep problems, body movement disorders, and neurological diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementia.
On the mental health side, you might be experiencing issues like Post Traumatic Disorder Syndrome (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or certain mood disorders. Yes, psychological issues can occur because of faulty brain function.
To avoid any misunderstandings, psychological or mental disorder issues are symptoms, not the actual causes. However, there are brain functions that can go awry that will lead to the actual emotional or mental health problem. The neurobiologist is not interested in treating the symptom. They are interested in treating the specific brain malfunction that is causing the symptom.
The Benefits of Neurofeedback Therapy
If you were to decide to let a neurobiologist start manipulating your brain, you would expect to get certain benefits from allowing them to do so. Depending on the conditions you are trying to address, there are certain benefits you could potentially receive. The list of benefits includes:
1. Improved Memory – Studies have shown that neurofeedback therapy improves memory function. That makes a lot of sense when you realize that they use this type of therapy in the treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. According to one study, neurofeedback training was largely responsible for significantly improving the visuo-spatial short-term memory in 70% of the people tested.
2. Improved Sleep – When brain waves are not moving as they should, it tends to disrupt certain aspects of body function. Sleep is one area that almost always suffers when brain activity is abnormal. When a neurobiologist tackles specific sleep issues, they are looking for the brain waves that are causing sleep disruption. Just a tweak here or there and a neurobiologist can correct a person’s sleep issues.
By the way, better sleep can also be an unintended benefit that comes while the neurobiologist is addressing other unrelated issues.
3. Reduced ADHD Symptoms – One of the neurological symptoms associated with ADHD is slow-moving theta waves, which is then coupled with a deficit in sensory-motor rhythm. By manipulating a certain area of the brain with neurofeedback therapy, the symptoms of ADHD can be diminished or eliminated.
Some experts in the neurology science area claim these techniques are more effective than the medications doctors are giving to ADHD patients.
4. Reduced Anxiety – When the brain waves shows a surplus of fast-moving beta waves and a deficit of alpha waves, something that is generally associated with an individual having problems staying calm and focused, anxiety occurs. Through the process of neurofeedback therapy, a neurobiologist can actually slow down the beta waves and bring the brain function back to normal. The result could be less anxiety.
It’s worth noting that the manipulation of slow-moving beta waves can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
5. Improving Overall Brain Health – Taking a larger view of the neurofeedback therapy process, it makes sense that anything a neurobiologist can do to enhance or correct any part of your brain function will lead to better overall brain health. Using the computer analogy again, any positive adjustments made to a computer’s software program is going to help the computer operate more efficiently. That’s what neurofeedback therapy can do for your brain and body function.
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Neuropsychological Assessments combine developmental history with in-office and computerized testing. They typically assess intellectual, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, academic, and personality functioning to determine strengths and areas for growth for educational planning, treatment recommendations, and to answer forensic questions.