At Empowering Health, we offer Neurofeedback to assist with optimizing your brain functioning. Available starting late Summer 2018.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a safe, evidence-based, non-invasive treatment that improves how your brain functions. It's used to treat many disorders, including anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and more. For more information on the evidence, we've compiled a binder of scientific research about neurofeedback and which conditions it helps. How does it work?
Your brain produces brainwaves. Using EEG technology, we can measure these brainwaves, which tell us a lot about how your brain works and how you're feeling. When your brain is functioning at a suboptimal level –because, for example, you're feeling anxious or depressed – we can identify what those suboptimal brainwaves look like. Then we can start to train the brain to help you feel better. We do this using NeurOptimal®, which gives feedback to your brain in real time and, using music as positive reinforcement, trains it to work in a more optimal state.
What can I expect in a session?
At your first appointment, you will meet with Dr. Sarah Buydens, who will answer any questions you may have about neurofeedback. We'll talk about your ailments and goals for neurofeedback, and together, we'll develop a plan for your neurofeedback sessions and coordination with other possible treatments.
Your treatments will be conducted by a trained Neurofeedback Technician and the overall treatment is overseen by Dr. Buydens. The technician will keep notes about your progress and share these with Dr. Buydens throughout your sessions. Once you have completed the determined neurofeedback goals and sessions, at your discretion, you may wish to book an appointment with Dr. Buydens to discuss any further neurofeedback goals and treatment. We are here for you and want to support you to be successful with neurofeedback.
During the neurofeedback sessions themselves, you’ll relax in a comfortable chair. Then, using a water-soluble conductive paste, we’ll gently attached small sensors to your head – one on each ear, and two more on your scalp. These sensors are attached to a computer, which will show your brainwaves in real time. We’ll provide you headphones that play the neurofeedback music.
And that’s it – you relax, sit back, and allow the music and your brain to do the work. Your central nervous system is hard-wired to take in information and automatically organize it. And it will do this is a way that is optimal for your unique brain.
The session lasts around 45-50 minutes. We’re happy to answer your questions at any time – your comfort and well-being is our top priority.
What changes will I experience?
Neurofeedback increases your brain's flexibility, resilience, synchronicity, and coherence. At first, you may feel more relaxed and start sleeping better. Over time, depending on what your goals are and what conditions you want to address, you’ll start seeing small, medium, and hopefully large improvements. Throughout this process, the technician will be checking in with you about the changes you are seeing, and sharing these with Dr. Buydens so you are monitored throughout your neurofeedback sessions.
Your brain will make changes in an order and at a pace that is right and specific to you. Rarely, people have reported feeling a bit “spacey” for a short while after a session and this feeling is transient and usually just part of the change process. It goes away a little while after the session and is quite mild in nature. People most often report feeling relaxed and calm after a session.
How many Neurofeedback sessions will I need?
There is no limit on how much neurofeedback can benefit a person. The more sessions you have, the stronger and more comprehensive the results. The average person typically attends 15-20 sessions. Some people have a few sessions, others attend many. Some people come for several sessions and then come back for a few follow-up sessions when they feel like they would benefit from it (e.g., before exams, after a stressful event, etc.). If you’re experiencing multiple problems or conditions that go far back, you may want more than 20 sessions. The important thing is for you to see improvements in sleep, mood, focus, and your goals for neurofeedback.