Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is essentially when we’re not expanding  – when we are restrained in our ability to unfold our personality, ambitions and realise our dreams. 

Our ability to emotionally self-nurture becomes impaired, and we begin to worry about the future, ruminate about the past.  We become subtly detached from the moment and its meaning.  This is the beginning of mental health issues. 

PTSD is when we don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can fix this with neurofeedback

Neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training takes a holistic approach to addressing trauma and its comorbidities.  

From a pathological perspective, PTSD is an acute stress disorder – the anxiety is characterised by the individual’s inability or unwillingness to process a traumatic event, leading to a state of hyper-vigilance.  This presents in many incapacitating symptoms such as: 

 – feelings of isolation and irritability

 – difficulty sleeping and concentrating

 – recruitability and lack of focus

 – depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity

 – various degrees of dissociation from one’s previous emotional and physical life. 

With Personalised Brain Training, we can address these issues.

The formal diagnosis of PTSD requires the person to have been ‘exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence’, either directly or vicariously through people close to them, and is thus frequently associated with veterans.  

However, less extreme events can cause the same symptoms – you don’t need to have been in combat to experience PTSD –  and neurofeedback training aims to address these as well as the underlying cause – the individual’s inability to process trauma.

The formal diagnosis of PTSD requires the person to have been ‘exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence’, either directly or vicariously through people close to them, and is thus frequently associated with veterans.  

However, less extreme events can cause the same symptoms – you don’t need to have been in combat to experience PTSD –  and neurofeedback training aims to address these as well as the underlying cause – the individual’s inability to process trauma.

Bright Zyon Canyon shows path with neurofeedback

A recent study by the Red Cross for Tortured Refugees in Stockholm,  Sweden, reached very positive conclusions on the impact of neurofeedback training on PTSD.  In particular, the three symptoms of intrusive memories; fear; and irritability were significantly reduced over the course of 10-20 sessions, while headaches responded even more quickly.  The result of the study supports the hypothesis that neurofeedback helps refugees with severe post-traumatic stress disorder to reduce their symptoms over the course of 20 training sessions; and that it suggests that when the effect of the training is large enough to be measurable, the change can also be stable post training.  The report includes summaries and references to other successful studies in this regard and can be viewed below.

Personalised Brain Training and PTSD

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Neurofeedback for menopause

Brain Maps show Character Traits

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify character traits, vulnerabilities and strengths. 

This particular type of brain map shows us relevant information about functional connectivity between brain areas that govern our behaviour patterns.

For the purpose of Personalised Brain Training, we are interested in more persistent attributes than simply states.  Kaiser Neuromaps make these uniquely identifiable and meaningful.

Many Kaiser Neuromap EEG brain maps for neurofeedback

Every Brain is Individual.

A brain map is a way to break down the sources of behaviour patterns in a highly granular form and represents these visually. 

Kaiser Neuromaps reveal the maturity of over 50 Brodmann areas – each with specific functions and contributions to our preconscious interpretation of our surroundings and how we interact with them. 

Instead of categorisation, we get a unique and individual representations of a person’s needs and strengths, and can apply a personalised holistic training approach.

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

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.

Personalised Brain Training with Neurofeedback

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 feedback to our brain via small changes in volume.  

Our pre-conscious mind responds to the feedback and corrects its behaviour while our conscious attention is focused on the reward – watching the movie at full volume

A learning curve is observable as the brain adopts new behaviour patterns.

 

Neurofeedback Training calms the mind and restores functionality

With neurofeedback training, we can restore functional connectivity and thus calm the mind.  

The ability to balance instinct with reason enables us to share realities when needed and thus perform better in groups while preserving our individuality.

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.  

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

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  It’s first application was discovered in 1971 when it was used to resolve intractable epilepsy. 

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

In the US, it is an accepted complementary treatment for many issues. 

The Process:

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 with a training plan.

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. 

Capturing the ultradian cycle with neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training using Kaiser Neuromap

A two hour training session 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.

 

Neurofeedback process using pictures in Japan

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 about ten sessions.  

Generally, we would expect to doing twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary substantially. 

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

Neurofeedback training for PTSD with the Othmer Method takes a dual approach: 

First, we look to achieve substantial calming of the nervous system so as to restore functionality, sense of self-worth, and a feeling of well-being.  From here, usually after about ten sessions, we can start to deal with the underlying trauma, which requires conscious and subconscious processing.

For this we have Alpha Theta training, a pleasant and often profoundly relaxing protocol which effectively keeps the person in perpetual transition between the meditative Alpha state and Theta, which is where dreaming occurs.  The brain appears to process experiences deeply and efficiently during these half-hour sessions, and this can be beneficial for all adults because we all have some unprocessed emotional experiences – life issues that don’t all qualify as traumatic or full-blown PTSD but still need to be dealt with and can cause similar symptoms.

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free training

Training starts with a twenty-minute assessment questionnaire.  Four sensors placed on the head with a water-soluble paste then simply measure an EEG-signal.  This is processed real-time and shown back to the brain via a screen – this is the feedback the brain uses to improve self-regulation.  Watching a video – youtube, Netflix, anything that captures the brains conscious attention – the image will resize subtly, reflecting the brain’s activity at a chosen frequency, during a half hour session

There is observable activity in the brain at all frequencies between 0-40Hz, and with the sensors and a specialised amplifier, we can dial into any frequency, just like on a radio, and isolate the signal there – except it’s not a song, but rather slow amplitude modulations.  Putting these into a form that the brain can perceive, i.e. a visual interpretation that is layered onto something more interesting for the conscious mind to focus on, is like showing it a mirror, and for reasons not fully understood, but demonstrated in extensive clinical practice, the brain is able to improve its self-regulation.

Repeated training allows the brain to form new neural pathways, this concept of neuroplasticity being essential in learning, which is what we do throughout our life.

The following video shows the physical improvements neurofeedback has made to PTSD sufferers, using SPECT scans donated by Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinic:

In the US, Homecoming for Veterans is a pro-bono initiative by neurofeedback practitioners.

The attached article by Siegfried Othmer, PhD., describes the process and results in detail.

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.

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