When approaching any therapeutic treatment for ADD/ADHD, understanding how the treatment is conducted and how it works can improve your chances at a successful or beneficial outcome. Neurofeedback Therapy is a proven technique in helping those with ADD and ADHD, as well as many other concerns. It is a non-invasive therapy that seeks to address ADD/ADHD at the core, that is the brain. By using audio and visual stimuli to produce appropriate brain patterns, it in effect retrains your brain to better help you to manage the effects of ADD/ADHD.
Understanding The Brain
The brain is a complex, electrochemical organ with vast capacities for memory, learning and more and in practice it is complex and difficult to describe. However, in order to understand how Neurofeedback works, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how the brain provides its functionality. The brain generates various waves or wavelengths of different frequencies and it is these waves that are primary to the effectiveness of Neurofeedback. There are multiple waves, Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta with some referred to as Infra-Low waves that are well below the frequencies of the others, although these are not utilized in the therapeutic process. It is these four waves that are targeted by the therapy. Gamma waves are the fasted waves or oscillation above Beta and are generally not used in training by most practitioners as their activity is still undergoing research.
Getting A Baseline
After a preliminary session to determine what other therapeutic methods can help, a baseline of the existing patterns is taken. This is accomplished by utilizing a non-invasive diagnostic tool called a QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalography). Electrodes or sensors (typically embedded in a cloth cap) are placed carefully on the scalp in order to pick up your current brainwave patterns which are recorded by computer software. These recordings are uploaded to a QEEG normative database. “A distinguishing characteristic of normative databases is the ability to compare a single individual to a population of “normal” individuals in order to identify the measures that are deviant from normal and the magnitude of deviation.”  For the more technical reader, “Quantitative EEG (QEEG) is the mathematical processing of digitally recorded EEG in order to highlight specific waveform components, transform the EEG into a format or domain that elucidates relevant information, or associate numerical results with the EEG data for subsequent review or comparison.  Ultimately the reports from the database produce the information from the QEEG as a readout for analysis. This baseline allows the therapy provider to see which brain waves are active and at what level, thus allowing them to determine what if any alterations to the therapy might be required.
How It Works
Once the baseline is analyzed, and the client is accepted into a care program, a group of neurofeedback sessions will commence. During a session, sensors will be placed carefully on your scalp and headphones placed over your ears and you will sit in front of a computer connected to a television screen. The screen will display an appropriate movie or documentary. As you watch the images and listen to the sounds of the movie your brain will produce electrical patterns or specific brainwaves that are picked up by the software. Based on the brainwave training goal of the group of sessions; for example, training down delta waves that are too prominent, the brain-training software will then provide feedback (movie pauses or slows and sound diminishes) or reward cues (movie images and sound levels play normally) depending on the training parameters of the session. During the initial session or first few sessions, it will be difficult to consciously alter your brainwaves to produce the correct images and sounds. However, as the therapy continues, the brain begins to adjust itself to produce the right patterns that will allow the software to appropriately control the movie images and sound levels. In effect, retraining your mind to produce the correct brainwave patterns that associate with focus, attention and more and it can be repeated as often as necessary.
Enhancing The Effectiveness
Understanding how the treatment works is one means of knowing how the treatment can work for you. However, it is also important to understand there are also other treatments, that when combined with Neurofeedback can potentially improve or enhance the results of this type of therapy. Dietary aspects, other types of therapy such as Interactive Metronome Therapy, dietary modification and even Spinal Adjustments can all come together to help with managing ADD and ADHD.
The goal is to help you manage your ADD and ADHD to regain your quality of life. Your therapy provider can help you find the right therapy that works for your individual circumstances. Neurofeedback is only one of many different possibilities that can assist you in getting your life on track so you can live the life you want to live. If you or someone you know suffer from ADD and ADHD, contact us today so you do not have to continue to try to manage this disorder on your own.
Always remember one of my mantras., “The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself.”
The Neurofeedback Center Of Tucson
6015 E Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712