Brain Training Through Neurofeedback, Biofeedback, and QEEG for Optimal Brain Function
Biofeedback is one type of Behavioral Medicine using information gained by monitoring skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and other body conditions to promote control over the normally involuntary nervous system through conditioning and relaxation. There are four types of biofeedback: heart rate variability (HRV), thermal (as seen in a “mood ring”) muscular (EMG), and neurological (EEG) also called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback or neurofeedback. All employ some type of computer or monitoring device, along with electronic sensors to give information about what is going on in the body.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
Heart rate variability (HRV) derived from the electrocardiogram (ECG), is a measurement of these naturally occurring, beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. It helps you to relax and reduce the fight/flight reaction of Post Concussion Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The basic method of training your brain is very similar regardless of equipment or method you use. HRV is one of the core methods for teaching people internal or self-control over your involuntary nervous system.
Bio-Acoustical Utilization Device (BAUD)
BAUD is device that creates sonic waves that coincide with brain frequencies measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). By integrating the BAUD as a stimulant with other therapies, such as neurotherapy or music therapy, the individual can better grasp the significance of regulating their brain waves as well as other psychophysiological dimensions, such as relaxation and indices of mood. The music frequencies can increase or decrease a person’s mood levels; drum rhythms also have been documented as having an effect. All of the body can be influenced by external frequencies, such as the frequency waves measured by the electrocardiogram (EKG) or sonogram energy waves for the heart, electromyogram and the (EMG) energetic waves from the surface muscles.
Muscular Biofeedback (EMG)
Muscular biofeedback called electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording your muscular activity in your body and provides feedback to retrain the injured or paralyzed muscles. This method is extremely effective with patients who are paralyzed due to a stroke or back injury. When Dr. Diane® had her 60 mile-an-hour head-on auto accident, she injured three cervical, four thoracic, and three lumbar discs. Also, from her stroke (aneurysm ), she had hemiparesis, which means she was not paralyzed, yet experienced weakness on one side. Dr. Diane® was in chronic pain for almost seven years. EMG biofeedback truly was a life-saver allowing her to regain her physical ability and movement again, along with the Burdenko Water therapy.
Thermal Biofeedback, also known as psycho-physiological feedback, measures changes in skin temperature and physical state. Anyone who has ever had a mood ring has used thermal biofeedback. It is very effective in teaching relaxation methods, assisting in focusing of mind/body interaction. A subdivision of thermal biofeedback is HEG biofeedback.
Hemoencephalography (HEG) measures brain blood oxygenation and facilitates training to provide greater blood flow to the frontal lobes, thereby enhancing concentration, memory, and emotional control. It is also extremely effective for headache pain. Even in this category, there are two methods. One method is near-infrared (nIR) spectroscopy and the other is passive infrared (pIR). While both types measure cerebral blood oxygenation, they vary in the way they measure it.
Neurofeedback, otherwise also known as EEG (Electroencephalogram) Biofeedback, is a technology based learning technique that uses a computer to give information to a person about his or her own brainwave pattern in the form of EEG activity, in order to train the person to modify his or her own brainwaves. When the brain is not functioning properly, evidence of this usually shows up in EEG activity. EEG Biofeedback assists a person to alter his or her own brainwave characteristics by challenging the brain to learn to reorganize and function better. The EEG Biofeedback technique is a process in which subtle brainwave information is amplified and shown back to the trainee in the form of a computer game. The object of the training is to re-educate the brain to make voluntary changes via computerized graphic displays and auditory signals that encourage a change in mental state and thus challenge the brain to function more effectively.
From the raw EEG, waves are amplified and then refined into smaller parts by the means of electronic filters. Currently there are seven unique frequencies, bandwidths and specific states or characteristics with each bandwidth.
- Delta 1-4Hz: This is seen in sleep, repairing of the brain, intuition, emotional radar, trauma and unconscious thought
- Theta 4-8 Hz: This is present in sub-conscious thought, insight, meditative and creative
- Alpha 8-12 Hz: This is the neutral, peaceful, relaxed state that is the gate that allows flow from restorative sleep to alertness
- Low Beta (SMR) 12-15 Hz: This is seen in mental alertness, physical relaxation
- Beta 15-21 Hz: This is being present, sustained attention, thinking, focusing, and conscious thought
- High Beta 21-32 Hz: This is hyper-vigilance, hyper-alertness, extreme anxiety, and PTSD
- Gamma 33-64 Hz: This is integrative thinking, creativity, learning, and the “ah.”
The Ten Subcategories of Neurofeedback are:
- Traditional Neurofeedback
- Z-score Training
- LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System)
- Low Frequency Training
- LORETA Training
- pEMF Training
- NeurOptimal Training
- CES (Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation)
- (Scenar) self-controlled energy neuro adaptive regulation.
The CES and pRoshi do NOT have specific protocols. The CES machine is a medical device, registered with and regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), for depression, insomnia and anxiety. NeurOptimal training and pRoshi methods are based on the brain’s ability to return to self-regulation. Neither of these methods have specific protocols for a specific symptom or brain related issue. Each of the other seven areas has a wide variety of protocols for specific symptoms or brain related dysfunction or for enhancing specific functions, such as the ability to boost memory.
qEEG (Quantitative EEG), LORETA, LENS maps and Avatar 3-dimensional maps, that can locate the specific location, neural hub, and electrical frequency that is not functioning properly. This information ought to be shared with the patient. From this assessment, the method, or methods of treatment are specifically designed to help the brain repair itself.