What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a tool that monitors activity from the brain, to tell the brain more about itself. It does so using electrodes placed gently on the head and ears using a conductive paste; these measure brain activity (without sending any information back to the brain). With this information, the hardware and software can find patterns and irregularities in brain activity. These are completely normal changes in brain activity that can occur as the result of various forms of trauma, brain injury, chronic disease, stress, etc. However, such changes can lead to decreased brain efficiency and often, symptoms. In order to tell the brain more about itself, the Neurofeedback device utilizes interruptions in the provided music that the listener hears during a session. Although this seems like it shouldn’t work, it does! Many of these interruptions are occuring audibly (the listener can hear them) but some occur without the listener hearing them in an obvious way. The brain then internalizes this information and tries to find a new path of least resistance, without interruption from the machine. Think of this kind of Neurofeedback as a mirror being held up to the brain to show it’s own imperfections!
Why Would I Want Neurofeedback?
While Neurofeedback does not treat or diagnose any conditions, it DOES gently encourage the brain to ignore irregular activity. In this way, when using the device, we can train the brain to be more efficient. In healthy individuals, this increased efficiency can manifest as improved attention, sleep, cognitive processing, and more. In symptomatic patients, (i.e, anxiety, ADHD, cognitive fogging), symptoms improve over time. Please note that not all symptoms are guaranteed improvement and as mentioned above, Neurofeedback is NOT treatment. The brain is being trained to heal itself, and all brains improve differently.
Are there different kinds of Neurofeedback?
Yes! The kind of Neurofeedback machine utilized at Greenhouse Natural Medicine is manufactured by NeurOptimal® Advanced Brain Training Systems. This system is different than other systems (called “linear systems”) because it uses the listener’s own brain information to gather data and provide feedback. In a linear system, someone is interpreting a reading of the brain in order to compare it to a predetermined “healthy” brain for the purpose of diagnoses or treatment. This kind of therapy can be useful for many patients, but not everyone’s brain fits a predetermined mold. The kind of Neurofeedback created by NeurOptimal® devices has been named “Dynamical,” in part due to the complexity required to run software that interprets real time brain data so quickly.
Is Neurofeedback safe?
Yes! Neurofeedback is incredibly safe and can even be used with patients who have seizures.
How long is a session?
Neurofeedback sessions last for 33 minutes; however, office appointments are scheduled for 60 minutes or 45 minutes. The longer appointments are for check ups and new clients.
How many sessions do I need?
Unfortunately, Neurofeedback is like Yoga. One cannot guarantee how long it will take the brain to “get in shape.” Some patients find improvement after one session; others will find it takes 3-10 sessions before noticing improvement.
Who is in charge of using the machine during a session?
Dr. Mendelsohn has been trained to use the Neuroptimal device and has completed the certificate program through the manufacturer, NeurOptimal® Advanced Brain Training Systems.
Do I need to bring anything to a session?
It is recommended that you bring a blanket and/or warm clothes, where you will be comfortable sitting in a lounge chair in an office. If you choose, you can bring headphones or use the speaker attached to the device.
How much does a session cost, and can I use insurance?
Unfortunately, this type of Neurofeedback cannot be charged to insurance. Due to the unique nature of the program, it cannot be claimed as a “treatment” for insurance purposes. In order to make the treatment affordable to patients, the following pricing schedule has been arranged:
First Session: $200 including a training session, discussion, and paperwork to track progress.
Intermediate Sessions: $50 per session for training alone
Every Sixth Session / Follow up: $125 or insurance coverage if there is Naturopathic coverage. This session will include a treatment, but primarily will include a full evaluation during a regular Naturopathic visit. The purpose is to discuss progress and complete tracking paperwork.