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Neurofeedback: What Is It And How Does It Help With Addiction Treatment?

February 6, 2017 - - 0 Comments

Neurofeedback You may have come across the term neurofeedback a couple of times as you browse from one women’s treatment center to another in search for the one.  And this approach is adopted by a growing number of rehabs for its proven effect in women’s addiction treatment.  So what is neurofeedback and how does it work?  Read on and find out.

Neurofeedback in a Nutshell

If you’re familiar with psychotherapy and its effectiveness in healing your mind and its ability to improve your mental state, the principles of neurofeedback (NFB) is not at all that different from it, but the application is in the physical brain.  NFB is geared at improving your brain function in order for you to become more receptive to the psychotherapy process.  This drug-free take on treating addiction and other mental health disorders follows a non-invasive system for training your brain and your central nervous system (CNS) to harmonize and work together for better, healthier and sounder decision-making.  Together, NFB and psychotherapy are a power duo that can work wonders on your overall health and recovery progress.  

Brief History and Modern Application

Since way back in the 1960’s, neurofeedback has been a treatment alternative for individuals suffering from addictions, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder and others. Also referred to as EEG Biofeedback, this decades-old method is yet to be accepted by mainstream partly because of its expensive NFB equipment.  In other words, not a lot of clinicians are willing to invest in this wonderful machine.  Still, the fact remains that more and more research show NFB’s efficiency in treating mental health disorders.  As a matter of fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledges it as a level-two, evidence-based method for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  It can dramatically aid in the stabilization of the brain, thereby significantly reducing anxiety and depression.  As a result, you can become more open to receiving psychotherapy and other holistic approaches necessary for recovery success and lasting sobriety.

A Glimpse into How It Works

Naturally, your brain is attentive, calm and self-correcting.  However, due to genetic or external triggers, or both, it may start to function outside its “normal” range.  Drugs and alcohol play a huge role in destructing otherwise healthy brain functions.  Certain addictive substances push the scale out of balance, sometimes over-stimulating the brain when it’s supposed to be in a calm state, and sometimes under-stimulating it when it’s supposed to be in an attentive state.  Neurofeedback is the process of retraining your brain back to its normal, optimal function. Just as any other part of your body can be exercised, your brain can also be exercised through NFB.  A regulated brain that is healthy and well can more actively and consciously change certain thoughts and behaviors in order to overcome addiction.

What to Expect During an NFB Session

Initially, you will be thoroughly assessed by a specialist and fill out a survey form concerning the specific challenges you are facing in connection with your addiction.  Then, you will be invited into a serene and quiet session room. Once comfortably seated in an easy, reclining chair, the clinician will then fasten NFB sensors to your head, and through which your brain wave patterns will be fed into the NFB program’s software.  Through earphones, you will then be asked to listen to certain music that occasionally has intentional skips or breaks that may or may not trigger tremors in your brain wave pattern.  Every time a tremor is detected by the software, you will hear a signal, encouraging your brain to correct itself and “reset” where possible.  There is absolutely no manipulation or shocking of the brain involved.

An NFB training session can last up to 30 minutes.  After each relaxing session, your stress levels go down, mental clarity goes up, and you feel more open to psychotherapy and other addiction treatment methods.  Therefore, choosing a women’s treatment center that offers regular NFB sessions is the wisest decision you can make.

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