The brain is arguably the most complex organ in the human body. A person’s brain determines how they experience the world. Calling the brain “three pounds of remarkable” is truly an understatement.
Your brain is fascinating, and its storage capacity is basically unlimited. Brain mapping and neurofeedback are foreign concepts to many, despite the growing body of evidence supporting their impact on focus, relaxation and other areas.
So, what is brain mapping? It’s basically looking under the hood, so to speak, to figure out what is happening in someone’s brain that could be causing symptoms such as anxiety, depression or difficulty concentrating. Technology can analyze brain waves to help identify areas of the brain that are “stuck” in a pattern of high arousal or low activity.
If you’re looking to discover how powerful the brain can be, brain mapping and neurofeedback could be right for you.
In Episode 29, host Mark Gomez, MD, and his guest, Kyle Bonesteel, PhD, ABPP-CN, BCN, explain brain mapping and neurofeedback and what it can do for you.
Myths vs. Facts
“There have been no published studies which negate the effectiveness of EEG biofeedback.” – Myth
There have been a lot of studies done on neurofeedback that support its effectiveness.
“Neurofeedback lets you control a game with your mind.” – Myth
It’s not your mind that’s controlling the movie or the game. It’s the brain’s production of certain frequency patterns. It’s not something you are aware of, or something you make your brain do.
“Our brains grow, change, and adapt at all times in our lives.” – Fact
The brain is the ultimate adaptation machine. That’s its job—to learn to adapt and change.
“Neurofeedback helps after just one session.” – Myth
It can take several sessions to know whether someone will respond, and it can take more than 10 sessions to see symptom improvement.
“The brain can learn how to control its own activity through conditioning and reinforcement.” – Fact
That’s the concept of neuroplasticity. Methods such as neurofeedback use technology to capitalize on the brain’s ability to do just that.
“All neurofeedback is created equal.” – Myth
You are unique, and so is the electrical activity in your brain.
“Neurofeedback sends signals to my brain.” – Myth
There are forms of neuromodulation that use weak signals that can be useful to train the brain and stimulation approaches like transcranial magnetic stimulation that have some power to them. That’s not what neurofeedback is.
“Brain mapping data can help trained clinicians understand what medication the brain may be more responsive to.” – Fact
There is research based on how someone performs in brain mapping and neurofeedback that can help direct medication, thus increasing the likelihood of a therapeutic outcome.
“Neurofeedback helps overcome any brain disorder.” – Myth
It can be helpful for conditions like ADD (attention deficit disorder), improving focus or mood regulation. But neurofeedback works on brain software. There are several neurological conditions that affect the brain’s hardware, and neurofeedback can’t do much in those circumstances.
“Neurofeedback can only be done at a clinic.” – Both
There are some home technologies, but they’re not as high level as what can be done in a clinic.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“On month 3 of vegetarian! Plant-based diet. We thought we’d do 1 month…and here we are in month 3. You don’t lose weight fast, but I love the new diet.” – A.B.