Neurofeedback Therapy: An Effective Anxiety and Depression Treatment Option

Neurofeedback Therapy is an emerging therapy that has many of the same beneficial results as other modalities such as acupuncture and acupressure. Neurofeedback, sometimes called neurotherapy, involves real-time feedback of brain wave activity from the practitioner to help reinforce healthy brain functioning through natural, noninvasive feedback. The therapy can be applied for pain relief, reducing stress, or even to learn how to meditate. Neurofeedback is used by therapists to help patients focus their minds and bodies on things such as the sensation of muscle tension or a decrease in blood pressure. There are many benefits to using neurofeedback therapy.


For instance, neurofeedback therapy is often prescribed to individuals with chronic pain, including patients suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Through identifying and monitoring brain wave patterns during these states, neurofeedback therapists can teach patients how to better control their thoughts and bodies. During states of high stress and tension, for instance, the electrical impulses that power the brain's "fight or flight" response are triggered. These responses can cause the heart to beat faster, the muscles to tense up, the blood pressure to increase, and the brain to speed up or slow down accordingly.


In states of rest, such as meditation or daydreaming, the pattern of electrical impulses is less apparent. In these states, the brain generally operates at a higher level and is not as sensitive to changes in stimulus. This is why neurofeedback therapy can be so useful for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of chronic pain in people who are suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or other chronic conditions. By providing continuous feedback of varying strengths to the patient's brain, neurofeedback can teach the brain to relax and diminish its response to stressful stimuli neurofeedback therapy.


There are two main areas of application for neurofeedback therapy. The first is to treat insomnia. Various techniques are used to reduce the strength of brain waves when a person is sleeping. For instance, if a person is suffering from insomnia, low-frequency pulses of electricity are delivered to the brain in rapid succession. Eventually, the person will learn to block out these strong impulses and their corresponding effect on his or her sleep, allowing him or her to get quality rest.


Another application of neurofeedback therapy is to help improve the overall mental and physical health and well-being of individuals with chronic pain and other conditions. For instance, by applying constant pressure to a painful area on the scalp, it may be possible to help reduce the frequency and intensity of the individual's pain. It is also possible to teach the brain how not to become overly stressed or anxious in various situations. Through carefully monitored neuroplasticity sessions, patients are taught to become relaxed and stress-free in their daily lives. The resulting effect on the person's overall mental and physical health can be life-changing.


Currently, there are many clinics and rehabilitation centers that offer neurofeedback therapy for patients who have experienced traumatic experiences and debilitating illnesses. These include cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients, stroke survivors, and people with chronic pain and/or depression. No person should be denied the opportunity to make use of this highly effective, and safe, treatment option, and it has been proven to be extremely helpful in reducing both stress and anxiety and improving quality of life in patients suffering from different types of ailments and disorders.