Neurofeedback: 21st Century Technology To Improve Brain Function

3 minute read | Posted by Dr. Carmen N. García-Oller Ph.D. & Fabiola Santos-Vilella Ph.D. on Apr 14, 2018 9:05:56 AM

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive approach used to normalize brain wave patterns in order to function more efficiently, improve our emotional state and increase cognitive performance.  Thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brain, improvements can be seen regardless of age.  Neurofeedback helps teach you the connection between your emotions and your body.  When your brain is functioning better and is more aware and connected to your emotions, you can live a calmer, more productive and happier life. 

"Often times, we imagine our brain as a dark room we don't have access to.  Neurofeedback helps you get to know your brain and make it work for you not against you."

Neurofeedback Pravan Health

Why do people use Neurofeedback?

Events and experiences of our past may cause stress-related disorders and symptoms that result in overall feelings of not being well. 

Neurofeedback  is commonly used with great success to treat stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, panic  attacks, memory and concentration problems, traumatic brain injuries, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia; among other conditions.  

In some cases, people use Neurofeedback to optimize, and do not necessarily have symptoms or conditions they want to improve.  Neurofeedback is an approach that can optimize performance in the workplace, sports and the arts; and for students to enhance their test taking skills.  In addition, Neurofeedback is used to assist spiritual practitioners to learn or improve their meditation skills.

Is Neurofeedback an invasive therapy?

No.  In Neurofeedback there is no electrical input into the brain of the person receiving therapy.  

The patient must do some simple preparation prior, and small sensors are placed on the scalp using a paste.  A device simply measures the scalp surface brain activity and records it.  There is no pain involved.  Using the findings from the sensors, we develop a treatment protocol according to the patients' specific needs. 

What is the treatment process like?

  • In the first appointment, we do an assessment of the brainwaves by conducting an EEG.  With the results we identify patterns, symptoms and even unresolved issues that later we’ll discuss with the patient.  We also conduct a clinical interview and complete a few questionnaires.
  • After the evaluation is complete, we can better understand where symptoms are coming from and create an ongoing individualized plan to work with the condition or if there are opportunities for optimization.
  • The next step is to start what we call the Neurofeedback 'training' sessions.  In these sessions, the patient interacts with him or herself through the feedback received. Any changes in physiological activity are recorded and reflected back to the patient through the use of computer displays, music and audio tones in a moment-to-moment basis.  People say the experience is pleasurable and relaxing.  

Do I need to discuss my problems during this treatment?

Unlike the traditional psychological therapy, you don't necessarily have to discuss your issues with a psychologist during the Neurofeedback process.  Instead, you can experiment using different techniques of relaxation, insight, self-awareness and mental practice while receiving instant responses from the computerized feedback.  Some people feel the desire to share experiences and emotions with the therapist after a particular session, but this is not required for the therapy to be effective.

What types of benefits may be experienced?  

Since everyone's experience is individual, it can be hard to predict the benefits of Neurofeedback.  In general, we describe the results as a sensation of calm, wellness and general peace of mind.  Our patients find themselves finishing their work easier, able to start doing those things they've always wanted to do, concentrating and being able to react better to the environments they live and work in.  

One of the best words to describe the benefits of Neurofeedback is empowerment.  The approach empowers our patients to take control of their emotions and better manage life situations, overall reducing their symptoms related to stress and anxiety.  

After evaluating with their primary care physician, some of our patients have reduced or eliminated medications, 

Who Can Receive Neurofeedback Training?

Anybody can be evaluated for Neurofeedback training.  If you are currently in psychological treatment (pharmacological or psychotherapy), there are no contraindications to doing Neurofeedback at the same time.  


When Will I See Results?

It is difficult to predict the number of training sessions needed to see benefits.  Everyone is different, and while it is not guaranteed everyone will experience a benefit, most people see improvements within the first few sessions.  For those who receive the benefits of Neurofeedback, there is no need to continue the training your entire life.  You have improved your brain health and taught it how to make permanent changes.

Pravan Clinic Support

Every Monday, we provide Neurofeedback evaluations and training sessions at Pravan Clinic as one of many wellness offerings to support members in their healing and health optimization journey.    

Call for an orientation at 787.339.2639 or visit our website for more information about what Pravan Health can do for you.

Click here to learn more about how Pravan Clinic can help you


Topics: mental health, neurofeedback, brain, optimization, wellness

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