Neurofeedback: A Century-Old Rise to Fame in the Medical World

Almost a century ago, German psychiatrist, Hans Berger set out on a quest to find connections between physical and mental functions of the human brain. Using sheer ingenuity and scientific knowledge, he attached electrodes to the scalp of a willing volunteer and discovered electrical currents emitting from his patient’s brain in various states of mental stimulation.

Ultimately, his studies gave rise to the science of Neurofeedback. Over the years, numerous names in the field took those studies in different directions; as a result, this technique has now branched out considerably and become a viable treatment for a wide range of mental conditions.

What Is Neurofeedback, Exactly?

As alluded to, those small metal discs first put in place by Berger were able to detect brain waves. When connected to monitoring devices, they had the capacity to track people’s reactions to certain stimuli. Berger and his successors eventually learned ways of determining whether the brain was operating smoothly as is should or certain glitches were taking place by following and evaluating readouts provided by their equipment.

Once this discovery came about, NFB’s potential in treating an array of conditions really took off. Scientists realized if it was possible to find irregularities in brain function, it may be able to combine this knowledge with the brain’s innate ability to retrain itself or bypass defective areas. From there, the road to potentially more effective cures was paved.

What Types of Conditions Might Benefit from Neurofeedback?

Initially, this type of technology took on a more shallow form. Artists, musicians, dancers, writers and other members of the creative community underwent mental and, by extension, physical retraining courtesy of biofeedback to enhance their respective talents. Studies showed significant effectiveness in this realm, leading to other applications. Today, this technique is used on those who suffer from such conditions as:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Each of these involves an interruption in normal brain wave patterns though the origin of the glitches varies. Obviously, if those facing these conditions knew exactly where, when and why the disturbances took place, they could either see them coming and avoid them or compensate for them as they arise. Since they’re hidden deep within the firing of neurons, or misfiring as the case may be, and occur involuntarily, this isn’t possible without help.

Where Does Neurofeedback Come into Play?

NFB provides intervention in breaks from normal brain activity. Monitoring equipment tracks patients’ brain waves, and when an interruption occurs, it alerts them to the dysfunction. In the process, the brain learns to retrain itself or reroute to avoid broken pathways. It’s often used in conjunction with physical or mental therapy to help combat various conditions.

What are the Main Benefits of Neurofeedback?

Perhaps the primary advantage of NFB is its non-invasive nature. Whereas surgery, electroshock and other conventional treatments can take their toll on patients, this option generally leaves them more relaxed, confident and knowing they’re taking a approach to their own treatment.

This is also a direct form of treatment targeting the root cause of the condition at hand. Pharmaceuticals may help combat symptoms on some level, but they often do little to fight the illness.

Unlike some treatments, NFB is completely safe for the recipient and requires no conscious effort in order to be effective. At the same time, treatment can be tailored to the specific needs and issues being faced by each patient rather than being a one-size-fits-all approach.

What Happens during a Neurofeedback Session?

Following a thorough consultation to determine the issues to be treated, a patient will be placed in a quiet, comfortable setting. Then, electrodes are affixed to the patient’s scalp and connected to monitoring equipment. Though a wide range of specific techniques are used, this equipment generally tracks brain waves and alerts the patient in some way when an interruption is detected. Over time, the brain learns to reset itself at the onset of an issue rather than leaving the patient to suffer through his or her condition unaided.

Since its introduction back in the early 1900s, neurofeedback has risen to fame in the medical world. Despite considerable skepticism even today, the technique is now used in a wide range of treatments either alone or in tandem with other proven methods. It has become an effective tools in promoting brain health as well as physical and emotional well-being.

A great site for more information is “The Brain Performance Center” in Dallas and Irving.¬† They have proven credentials and provide a range of treatments in the area of neurofeedback, including EEG, LENS, and HEG methodologies. Below, the owner Leigh Richardson explains:



Less Mean, More Green: Advice On Green Energy

Thanks goodness we live in the age of the Tesla car, wind turbines, and solar.  Solar will continue to improve in efficiency year by year. Soon, self-driving cars will save fuel by using crowd/swarm algorithms to manage traffic better.

Pollution; it is the evil that we release upon our planet every day, as we power our cars, homes, and businesses. If you are one of those who sees the need to pull away from traditional forms of energy and look for cleaner, renewable sources of energy, this article should be helpful to you.

Make use of fans inside the home. You can easily use floor fans or have a ceiling fan installed to increase airflow inside the home. You can use these even if you already have an air conditioner because you can turn the thermostat higher and just use the fans for air movement.

Reverse the direction of the blades on your fan if you’d like to cut heating costs by as much as 10 percent! Although most people use fans for cooling, it’s possible to use them to suck cold air up and make your home feel much warmer without turning up the heat.

Go green on your coffee break by bringing your own cup. If you usually order a Tall Latte at Starbucks, bring a tall re-usable coffee mug with you. Every time you ask your favorite coffee shop to mix your drink in your own cup, you are helping to green your environment.

Are you currently using a wood-burning fireplace to decrease your dependence upon fossil fuels? If so, remember to shut the flue damper very tightly when your fireplace is not being used. If you forget to do this, both warmed or cooled air will easily escape from your house through the chimney.

Storm doors and windows help control air flow into a home. This is because they decrease the amount of cold air circulating through your home. Storm doors and windows can increase a home’s energy efficiency by up to 45%, which can have great impacts on utility bills.

If you are struggling to maintain low energy costs in your home, you should try putting in a water-efficient flow control washer or shower rose that is Triple A-rated. Triple-A appliances are designed to decrease the amount of energy used in your home, which will ultimately lead to large savings.

If you want to save energy, try not to use your dishwasher very often. Instead, let your dishes air dry. Dishwashers tend to use a lot of energy and because they use so much power, your electricity and your water bill will be through the roof. If you have to use the dishwasher, put it on a low setting.

Measure the prevailing wind speed on your property before considering a wind generator. In order for wind energy to be cost-effective, you need a wind speed greater than 8.5 to 9 MPH at least sixty percent of the time. Any slower, and the turbine won’t spin fast enough to generate much electricity.

Electric heaters should only be used when necessary in order to be more green. Ways to cut down on electricity include wearing warm clothing indoors and using a fireplace to heat your home. You want to remember that sleeping in cooler air is better for your breathing, and it also prevents the airways from becoming dry.

Use a laptop rather than a desktop computer to save electricity and enhance your mobility. Laptops use up to 75% less electricity than desktops, especially during non-demanding tasks like surfing the web or word processing. You can also bring your computer anywhere if you have a laptop.

Replace your light bulbs with eco-friendly bulbs. These light bulbs will last longer, burn brighter and use less power. The only downside is that they are more expensive than regular light bulbs. However, you will get your money back when your energy bills start decreasing and you won’t have to constantly buy new light bulbs.

Going green means many things, including saving energy in your home. One of the easiest and best money-saving ideas is to insulate your attic. The recommended insulation level for most attics is approximately 12 to 15 inches, depending on the type of insulation you are using. Attic insulation can save you a bundle on your energy bill!

Invest in green technologies to ensure their proliferation. Consumers are a powerful group that can exercise that power by selective purchasing. If you want to encourage the use of renewable energy purchase products, vehicles, and electronics that utilize these technologies. If consumers insist on green technologies companies will produce items that use green technologies.

Although it is probably common sense, usually, most people forget to shut off lights and electronics when not using them. Most people could probably save a ton on utility bills by getting in this habit. Try to be consciously aware of what you are doing, and try your best to turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them.

Eventually, it will pay off to get green appliances and electronics. Green technology may be more expensive at first, but your utility bills will be reduced. It is also going to ultimately pay off for the environment.

You might want to consider installing automatic light sensors that include motion detection in the rooms that have the most traffic. If nobody is using the room, the sensors will turn the lights off; this saves energy and money. Make sure outdoor lighting, such as above your garage, in also included.

Know when your appliances need to be replaced. If you have a major appliance, such as a furnace or air conditioner that is over 10 years old, you should replace them with newer, more energy-efficient models. Buying the newer, Energy Star appliances can save you a lot in the years to come.

More and more people are becoming aware of the need for a shift from traditional, polluting energy to renewable, clean, green energy. Hopefully, some of the thoughts and ideas mentioned in this article should help you as you learn more about green energy. We all have a responsibility to take care of our world, and finding better energy sources is key to fulfilling that responsibility.