What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive practice and procedure of measuring and monitoring a person’s brainwaves to provide that patient with real-time feedback on exactly how their brain functions.  The treatment is fundamentally based on the idea that the brain can change its own functioning.

A Means of Changing Unproductive Thoughts

The brain is considered like a computer, which can be programmed to do things differently. You can look at it as a type of biofeedback therapy that aims to empower patients to gain control over typically involuntary body functions. Through electronic measuring tools, neurofeedback can convey to patients what is happening in their bodies and how the methods and practices they can employ to change it if necessary.

This might be one of the currently furthest-reaching methods of neurological improvement using modern techniques. By leveraging what we know about the human body, we can effectively help it to heal.

What is Neurofeedback Therapy Used to Treat?

Neurofeedback has been used for more than 50 years as an alternative treatment for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, migraines, and sleep disorders. It has seen much success in treating these disorders, but modern methods want to take it into uncharted territory.

Because of this, it has seen an expansion of applicability in recent years and has become a popular treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. Interestingly enough, neurofeedback therapy is now used to help neurodivergent persons with ADHD or Autism cope with certain aspects of their lives that prove problematic. It is also seeing a lot of success in this area.

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

How Does Neurofeedback Work

Neurofeedback is based on the idea that your brain emits electrical signals that can be measured by sensors placed on your scalp when you concentrate. These signals show whether your brain is in a state called ‘alpha’ (relaxed) or ‘beta’ (aroused). If your brain works well, it will move back and forth between these two states. Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t happen as it should.

The balance between alpha and beta may be out of balance – there may be too many beta waves and not enough alpha waves or vice versa. In this case, neurofeedback can help train the brain to get back into balance. The general idea is that by doing this repeatedly over time, you can improve how well your brain works overall – for example, by helping you remain calm under pressure or improving your working memory capacity.

Neurofeedback and Measuring Brain Output

The actual execution of neurofeedback therapy involves using electrodes attached to the patient’s scalp to measure the activity of their brain waves. A cap outfitted with tiny sensors called electrodes detect the patient’s brain waves — specifically, their frequencies and amplitudes (the height of each wave).

These measurements are displayed on a computer screen as colorful lines or patterns that change depending on what different areas of the brain are doing at any given moment. When the patient is having trouble focusing or concentrating — which can happen when they’re stressed out, anxious, triggered, or overwhelmed — the lines will appear chaotic and disorganized. If the patient can focus better, the lines will become smoother and more organized (or less chaotic).

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

What Can I Expect from Neurofeedback Therapy?

With regards to the actual practice of neurofeedback therapy, the patient is usually presented with images or sounds that are intended to stimulate specific brain waves — for example; alpha waves are associated with relaxation, so neurofeedback might show them pictures of tranquil scenes that cause their brain waves to shift into this frequency range.

Similarly, beta waves occur when people are alert and focused on something specific — neurofeedback could show them pictures of traffic lights if it’s trying to improve their focus and concentration — so it’s essential that the program doesn’t overwhelm them or make them feel anxious while attempting to shift their state of mind.

Typically, the flow of neurofeedback therapy can consist of three distinct phases: assessment, treatment, and follow-up visits. During the initial assessment session, your therapist will ask you about your symptoms and history before hooking you up to an EEG machine to record data about your brainwaves. After reviewing the results with you, your therapist then maps out a treatment plan based on what the data showed initially. This treatment plan will involve methods and practices that the patient will use to modify their brainwaves to achieve the desired results.

Typically, the patient is encouraged to implement or practice the techniques while hooked up to the equipment for both the therapist and the patient to monitor its efficacy in real-time. Follow-up appointments are typically carried out to monitor any developing trends in the patients’ brain activity and any improvements to their proficiency in implementing the relevant practices.

The Role of Neurofeedback Therapy in Medication Management

The Role of Neurofeedback Therapy in Medication Management

Neurofeedback can be helpful in cases where medication is used to treat certain conditions, particularly mental health issues and neurodivergence. Specifically, it can be beneficial in skill building for the patient in training them to recognize the mind-body connection and link and become adept at reversing, staving off, or recovering from undesirable or difficult states and experiences.

Gaining the power to do this empowers the patient themselves and can pave the way for more flexibility with the application and use of medication. This manifests as patients sometimes being able to step down the intensity or frequency of medication as their skillsets and capacity for coping and self-regulating are naturally built.

Neurofeedback therapy does not assert that medications cannot be helpful. Instead, it addresses the reality that medication without the applied use of therapeutic treatments and skill-building may sometimes not be the pathway that best serves the patient’s long-term health.

Why Choose Neurofeedback Therapy in Hawaii?

The healing properties of Hawaii are well-documented and have been a source of inspiration for many forms of healing. Hawaii is one of the only places where you can fully experience the interplay between the human mind and body and the natural environment.

For centuries, people have come to this magical place to heal themselves both physically and mentally. The warm, tropical climate, rich volcanic soil, and proximity to the ocean are integral to the experience of many healing centers throughout Hawaii. This includes centers that offer neurofeedback therapy.

One of the significant reasons this unique environment is so helpful when applied to neurofeedback therapy is that neurofeedback therapy is about how the mind affects the body. It is about recognizing what is going on in the brain and knowing how to use your body to shift those patterns of brain activity onto a desirable track.

The inherently calming nature of the environment would act as encouragement to states of healing, stability, reflection, and recovery. As was said earlier, neurofeedback therapy is used to help people with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and Autism. These conditions inherently make interfacing with the world and even themselves difficult for the person experiencing it.

By having the therapy occur in an innately soothing environment, the stage is set for a more solid foundation of healing and strengthening.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Using Neurofeedback Therapy in Holistic Settings

Neurofeedback therapy is often used in holistic settings because it effectively improves mood disorders, anxiety, depression, etc. Neurofeedback therapy is one of the most effective tools we have to address the root cause of these conditions – our brain chemistry. The brain has its natural ability to self-regulate when it is given the correct information. Neurofeedback uses electroencephalography (EEG) equipment to measure brain activity and train the brain. Neurofeedback therapy then uses this data to suggest actions or practices to the patient that train the brain to regulate itself.

A Holistic Rehab that Incorporates Evidence Based Practices

Holistic Rehab that Incorporates Evidence Based Practices

What does any of this have to do with holistic treatments? Everything! Many holistic practices; yoga, art therapy, ecotherapy, music therapy, massage, and acupuncture – revolve around a deep understanding that the mind, state of mind, and our physical experience in our bodies as humans are all deeply intertwined with one another.

Holistic treatments seek to do the same thing that Neurofeedback does – to encourage habits and practices that are proven to improve the balance within our brains. Neurofeedback fits neatly into such programs and can significantly augment the patient’s experience with all the other components that make up holistic treatment.

Find Your Recovery in Luxury at the Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Complete recovery. Complete healing. A life you didn’t imagine you could have. These are the core tenets that we swear by at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab. With wholly customized, bespoke treatment programs for every person, comprising both evidence-based treatments like neurofeedback therapy and holistic techniques, as well as new and emerging treatments, our highly-qualified and trained staff are committed to ensuring that you leave our facilities fully empowered and prepared to live the life that you choose; one you may not have thought would or could be yours.

If you or someone you love is struggling to cope, know now that hope exists. Contact our Intake Coordination staff today for more information on any of our services, and to start a consultation that could change the course of your life.