What is neurofeedback good for?

Neurofeedback can be helpful with a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficits (ADD/ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Migraine
  • Seizures
  • Some sleep disorders

Neurofeedback can also have impact on the following childhood sleep-related problems:

  • Bedwetting
  • Nightmares
  • Night terrors
  • Sleepwalking
  • Teeth grinding

It is assumed that the underlying cause for a variety of disorders is a disregulation of brain function. Aim of a neurofeedback training session is to train the brain towards better function. After a number of neurofeedback sessions the brain is supposed to adopt this improved function and the symptoms of the disorders should be diminished or resolved completely. Former migraine sufferers report that they have not had a migraine for several years after the (typical) 15-20 sessions. But, these persons will continue to be more susceptible to migraines. Scientific studies have shown that neurofeedback therapy of attention deficits (ADD/ADHD) can lead to similar results as a therapy with Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin.

Since several years there has been ongoing research on the application of neurofeedback in the whole spectrum of psychiatric disorders, partly with astonishing results (s. also literature).

With patients that take medication for specific disorders, neurofeedback treatment can make it necessary to reduce or even discontinue the medication. Although, we must note here that neurofeedback is not a universal remedy and cannot always replace medication.

Besides the more medical applications neurofeedback is also used successfully for deep relaxation and meditation.

People who are already high performers often want to become even better in their field (musicians, athletes, managers). These people more and more often come across neurofeedback for peak performance training.

With the elderly, a regular neurofeedback training can possibly support good brain function. Independent on the current state of the brain, almost any brain can be trained towards better function.

Adverse effects of neurofeedback
In case biofeedback therapy is performed by inexperienced or careless practitioners, it may cause unwanted effects, such as those associated with inappropriate activation, including agitation, anxiety, drowsiness, fogginess, spaciness, and sleep dysregulation. Such adverse effects should subside promptly unless inappropriate training is continued. When employed with persons diagnosed with certain conditions such as migraine, seizure disorder, or bipolar disorder, inappropriate application may provoke rather than suppress symptom expression on a transient basis. Therefore, neurofeedback should be performed by trained professionals only.

Next: "History"

Information about Neurofeedback Training for interested therapists.

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