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There is a particular type of biofeedback called neurofeedback therapy, which quantifies blood flow within the brain and brain waves, producing a signal that can be used as feedback to measure brain activity. Used to teach self-regulation, it can help the brain to stay calm and focused.
In neurofeedback therapy, the brain generates electrical signals when neurons fire, and these electrical signals are then interpreted as measurable brain waves. These brain waves are then associated with specific functions and governing states of mind. With drug and alcohol addiction and abuse, the client’s brain can become conditioned over time to associate certain brain wave patterns negatively. In neurofeedback therapy, clients learn to recognize pleasant images or sounds and experience natural rewards for positive practice.
Emotional pain can be masked by all sorts of symptomology, mental illness, and addictions. Our goal at Avalon Malibu is to assist each client in breaking through old patterns and shedding beliefs that no longer serve the whole person, while also healing past trauma.
Neurofeedback therapy starts with brain mapping. The patient is fitted with a sensor-equipped cap with electrodes connected to a computer monitoring system able to record and interpret this brain activity. The monitoring system works by sending electrical signals that are recorded and processed by a sophisticated software program that is then compared to a databank of ‘normal’ brain signatures. The software records all brain activity and rhythmic patterns known as beta waves, and statistically measures all ‘average’ brain function. Neurofeedback therapy allows us to look at the electrical activity closely, and determine if it is outside the norm within a specific part of the brain. The therapist at Avalon Malibu will know that this area may be a contributing factor to addiction and can therefore create an individualized plan based on these results.
Our psychiatrists work with the underlying psychiatric disorders that often accompany addictions. We believe that treating the co-occurring disorder is the key to long-lasting healing and recovery. In neurofeedback therapy, the brain waves and graphs are shown to the client via sounds or images so that they can learn to exert some control over them. This biofeedback lessens feelings of anxiety, offering a calming sense of focus while clearing the mind. Those who have tried neurofeedback therapy say that it can change lives.
Neurofeedback therapy provides the brain with almost instantaneous information and asks it to make adjustments. Providing the brain with introspective information, allows it to enact dynamic change as a result of its unique capabilities.
Every year, people grow more concerned about the side effects of medication, as well as the fact that some medicines have either stopped working or have never worked. Neurofeedback therapy is a growing alternative to medication – is simple and painless, and there are no side effects. After training ends, the hope is that the benefits will persist, with continuing changes in behavior allowing more ability to focus and attend to regular activities.