Addiction can take many forms, but the single greatest misunderstanding is that of attributing addiction to a lack of self-discipline.  This is simply not true – addiction is a physiological issue that can take a range of debilitating forms in a persons life.  It needs to be seen as such to be able to formulate a recovery plan that goes beyond the multi-step programs often rooted in faith or even internment in expensive rehabilitation clinics, mostly with a high risk of relapse.

Neurofeedback aims to address the brain disorder of addiction by retraining the brain.  It teaches the brain how to become calm, focused and relaxed, thus creating a more desirable state of mind than what drugs offer in only a temporary and often incapacitating manner.  Without resorting to medicine, neurofeedback lays the tracks for a healthy state of mind, creating a brain that can respond clearly and rationally to the impulses that prompt addictive behaviour in the first place.  It helps create a mind that can adapt its arousal level to any situation as needed.

With neurofeedback training, the brain learns to self-regulate, to summon resources when needed and to switch off into a deep sleep for recovery when desired.  It gives the person the freedom to observe their emotions, respond to situations as needed and generally retain a certain coolness in daily life that reflects a zone where the brain is neither having to be hyper-focussed (‘fight-or-flight mode’) nor overwhelmed and thus drawn to shut down and rest.  Neurofeedback calms the body and the mind, restores a healthy sense of self-worth, and adds cheerfulness in a measure that’s genuine and organic.

Addictions often arise as a reaction to undigested negative experiences, or trauma.  Putting the mind in a state where it can relax and start dealing with this is a key goal.  At first, symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, insomnia, anger and over-excitability are addressed.  Then, we use Alpha Theta neurofeedback training to help the brain deal with the unresolved issues.  Alpha Theta neurofeedback training holds the person in a state of deep relaxation, where memories can safely surface and as a result be processed.  The idea is that traumatic memories are put into long-term storage, where they can be recalled from, without the adverse emotional state attached to them.

Scott & Peniston Study:  Treating Alcoholism with Neurofeedback

Alcoholics produce measurably less alpha activity.  In 1993 Scott and Peniston conducted a neurofeedback study with 24 veterans with PTSD and alcoholism, training alpha-theta while inhibiting delta activity to prevent reliving trauma.  Participants likened the experience to observing their past behaviour from an emotionally neutral vantage point.  It was found that 12-18 months later, none of the participants suffered from PTSD, and 79% had remained abstinent from alcohol and substance abuse.

 

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

 

“I used to smoke cannabis daily, not just to get to sleep, but to be creative, social, inspired and probably also to detach myself from my surroundings – as if to say, ‘it’s not really me, just my funny, slightly stoned side’.  Neurofeedback helped me regain a sense of self-worth that is different from ‘me me me’, it made me confident and self-assured, and I actually enjoy sobriety more now that I realise that it’s not the weed that made me funny, that’s actually me!

I’ve started vlogging, I’m not ashamed to expose my personality in front of others, and I can get to sleep without smoking, which is great as I wake up with a fresh mind, get things done, and I’m still creative – not just that, I’m actually doing things with the ideas I have.

I still smoke occasionally, and I do enjoy it, just in a different way – for one, it’s no longer a stimulant, just a relaxant, and I can have great conversations and good times with friends.  It’s weird, something I relied on to become animated has fallen into the shadow of my personality, it’s almost a drag as I know I’ll be hungover the next day so I really just reserve it for social occasions or special moments – that way I feel the effect much more strongly and it’s become a treasure, not a vice.”

– Jacy, Graphic Design and Social Media Freelancer

Note:  NeurofeedbackIO does not endorse drug use.

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps show character traits for neurofeedback

The functional connectivity between various brain areas allows us to see vulnerabilities to character traits or behaviour patterns.  

Every Brain is individual and different, therefore Personalised Brain Training neurofeedback

Personalised Brain Training is a neurofeedback training method devised by founders of the field, Barry Sterman and David Kaiser.  

 

qEEG recording of brain waves is analysed to generate a brain map in form of a Kaiser Neuromap

A brain map is an analysis of brain wave behaviour as measured by a qEEG recording.  We record 20 minutes of the brain activities with a 19-sensor qEEG recorder.  There is no stimulation, and contact between the sensors and the head is via an easily removable gel applied to specific points.  From this recording, we can generate a brain map using Kaiser Neuromap software.  

Neurofeedback process illustrated by electrode measurement analysed and transformed into feedback via a movie in visual and auditory form for the preconscious mind to process and adapt its behaviour to in a learning process.

Neurofeedback training is a process where we give the brain feedback about its own activity at a particular cortical site in real time, via visual, auditory or tactile means.  There is no direct stimulus to the brain and the sensors attached are for measurement of cortical EEG, or tiny electrical currents detectable on the surface of our head.  This signal is then amplified and analysed by software in real-time, and this information is used to provide auditory and visual feedback to our brain.  

Neurofeedback Training calms the mind and restores functionality

With neurofeedback training, we can reduce stress, calm the mind and restore cortical functionality. 

Neurofeedback training restores balance and equilibrium between brain and heart

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.  In our view, and experience, symptoms resolve when our system is balanced.

Neurofeedback helps restore functional connectivity in key neural networks

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs.

Neurofeedback is evidence based therapy with a wealth of over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports per PubMed neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  

There are over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports on PubMed demonstrating efficacy across a number of pathologies. 

Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive shown in a picture using Othmer Method

Neurofeedback training is safe, effective and non-invasive.  

There is no direct stimulation of the brain:  We measure brain activity and provide feedback through changes in volume and picture size.  The brain understands this and adjusts its behaviour preconsciously.

Kaiser Neuromap qEEG recording forms basis for neurofeedback personalised brain training

A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording.  We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities.  Findings are presented in a separate conversation.  Note this is not diagnosis – issues found are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for a particular attribute and represent vulnerabilities.

Following a Kaiser Neuromap we do Neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  

Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs. 

Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable. 

neurofeedback training sessions last two hours to capture an entire ultradian rhythm cycle

A two hour training sessions allows us to do 90 minutes of neurofeedback.  This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies.  We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children.

 

Forty hours of neurofeedback training is twenty sessions, three per week, over two to three months; intensives with two sessions per day for two weeks

Ideally, we do three or more sessions per week to start with.  We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or ten sessions.  Generally, we would expect to doing forty hours or twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary. 

We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.

Neurofeedback training relies on real-time EEG measurement, analysis and translation into feedback
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