Our team at Neurofeedback Services of New York has successfully used various methods of neurotherapy and brain mapping to bring relief to a spectrum of clients. Learn all about the conditions we’ve successfully treated below.
Anxiety is a general term that can be described as a worrisome or fearful uneasiness of mind. Throughout the course of our lives we all experience occasional anxiety as a normal response to various stress-inducing events, whether it be meeting a work deadline, or getting in a car accident. These events are generally short-term, and once they are over the event-related anxiety typically subsides. For many that suffer from anxiety disorders, however, this is not the case. Anxiety disorders involve high-intensity stress that persists in the absence of specific events, and can cause immense amounts of distress and disruption in people’s personal lives. This genre of diagnoses includes many different conditions from generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The short answer is absolutely! Constantly living in a state of high-intensity anxiety is a strong indication of neurological imbalances, and can cause serious damage to the body as a whole. Neurofeedback Services Of New York can measure these brainwave imbalances using QEEG brain maps and correct them overtime through consistent neurofeedback training.
Trauma is a highly complex phenomenon that can affect different people in various ways. Traumatic events can be thought of as deeply distressing or disturbing experiences that far exceed our biological and emotional coping mechanisms. These events are so severely over-stimulating for both body and mind that the nervous system becomes “maxed out” and physical changes within our brain often follow. The clearest way to understand these changes is through our stress response system, which becomes stuck in an on-going state of uneasy alertness or shuts down in perpetual detachment.
While many people are most familiar with the type of trauma that can follow a single or series of events, such as with post-traumatic stress disorder, many cases of trauma are the result of repetitive early life stress, such as with complex developmental trauma. Neurofeedback therapy has been shown to disconnect the brain from this trauma-induced state, allowing a sense of ease and autonomy to return to the person’s life.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common and steadily growing diagnoses among young children. ADHD does affect older children and adults as well. The behavioral signs and symptoms characteristic of ADHD include inattention (inability to stay focused and organized), hyperactivity (excessive movement inappropriate to the situation), and impulsivity (hasty or intrusive in-the-moment action without thought). While these attributes are usually quite normal in school-aged kids, children with ADHD display these behaviors on a drastically greater and more noticeable scale. In light of this, ADHD is often first diagnosed as a result of difficulty completing schoolwork or disruptions in the classroom.
Neurofeedback therapy is a highly effective treatment option for ADHD. It has provided help for individuals of all ages to improve the brain’s ability to concentrate on a given task, filter out irrelevant information, and keep on track with life goals.
Depression is a mood disorder afflicting roughly 16 million people nationwide. Far more than feeling “down,” depression affects nearly all aspects of emotion, thought and behavior. Depression is typically characterized by perpetual feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or worthlessness. It is often accompanied by loss of personal and pleasurable interests or hobbies, changes in sleep and appetite (greater or less than normal), experiences of fatigue or lack of energy, and even changes in focus and concentration. Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can affect nearly anyone – even those who appear to be healthy and functional.
For many people with depression, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable disruptions in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Whether depression is new to the individual or recurrent throughout life, neurofeedback therapy has been shown to manage depressive episodes, correct emotional imbalances, and restore healthy patterns of thought.
Migraines are intense and often debilitating headaches that can have a number of different triggers including dehydration, allergies or changes in season, temperature, injury, hormonal imbalances, or metabolic issues. Intense headaches and migraines can be accompanied by feelings of nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and even disruptions in cognition, thinking and focus. While migraines may be few and far between for some, many individuals can suffer from recurring migraines that continue for decades, interrupting their personal and occupational lives, and decreasing overall quality of life. Consistent high-stress states that migraines create within the brain, and the hyper-sympathetic environment it creates throughout the body, can take a serious toll on overall health.
Neurofeedback therapy has shown incredible application in the treatment of headaches and migraines, stopping a migraine while it’s occurring in the short term, and rewiring the brain to decrease the frequency and intensity of episodes in the future.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, frequently referred to as Autism, is a complex developmental disability that typically presents itself in the first three years of life. Autism is a wide-spectrum disorder meaning that it encompasses a wide range, or spectrum, of presenting symptoms, combination of symptoms, and levels of disability. In other words, the disorder does not present itself identically in any two people. While the cause of Autism remains a top scientific priority, research has begun to discover that the brains of children with ASD do not display the same connectivity, or communication, between brain regions. Depending on the child, connectivity may be deficient in some areas and excessive in others.
Although a cure for Autism has yet to be discovered, neurofeedback therapy has provided families with a range of symptom improvements including increased social interaction and empathy skills, decreased hyperactivity and emotional outbursts, and improved speech patterns and classroom behavior.
Reactive Attachment Disorder is a condition in which an infant or child does not receive the proper physical, mental, and emotional care from their parents or caregivers. This lack of nurturing, love, and affection interrupts the extremely important and vital development of the parent-child bonding relationship. As a result, healthy neurological and cognitive development becomes disrupted, leading to dysfunctional concepts of the self, subconscious feelings of fear and unworthiness, and an inability to form trusting, stable relationships with others. Kids often act out in extreme ways towards other children and adults and are unable to conduct themselves in conventional ways, especially in school or public settings. At its core, RAD is a developmental disorder that interferes with physiological and emotional processes that impact the child’s ability to self-regulate.
Yes, it sure does. Neurofeedback training has been effective in helping children to become more emotionally stable, more engaged in fun and playfulness, and improve attention and memory.
Sleep disorders, such as recurrent or chronic insomnia, can cause massive disruption in people’s daily lives in the way of constant tiredness, exhaustion, emotional instability or irritability, problems with memory, and difficulty with concentration and focus. Even more, consistently losing out on reparative sleep can have serious side effects on overall health including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Problems with sleep can also result from a number of other factors including stress, anxiety, burnout, depression, and trauma. Common symptoms often include difficulties falling asleep, interrupted sleep, nightmares, bed-wetting, and early morning waking. Whatever the cause or disruption, recent neuroscience shows that the brain can become stuck in a state of hyperarousal or overactivity, leading to a disruption in the normal sleep/wake cycle.
Neurofeedback training has proven to be an effective treatment for sleep disorders. Regular training helps to restore the brain to proper sleep rhythms and the ability to shift between wakefulness and rest naturally.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a form of brain injury caused by an external mechanical force resulting in sudden damage to the brain. Depending on the nature of the force, TBIs can be either open head injuries, in the way of a bullet or something penetrating the brain, or closed head injuries, typically from a blow to the head. Regardless, TBIs are a serious medical emergency resulting in two types of brain damage: primary brain damage that occurs at the time of impact, and secondary brain damage that occurs over time as a result of the trauma. While the severity of open head injury perhaps speaks for itself, closed head injuries are extremely common and can often cause concussions. Although the brain has an innate ability to heal itself, some post-concussive damage is so severe that brain tissue is torn and cognitive abilities as well as personality traits can become impaired. In fact, recent research suggests that even non-concussive head injuries can lead to changes in how the brain processes information.
Neurofeedback therapy has shown great benefit in the treatment of TBIs, improving memory and attention span issues, mood irregularities, and diminishing headache and fatigue.
Addiction is a highly complex condition that involves many variables including genetic, biological, social and psychological factors.The behavioral component of addiction can be characterized around a number of different compulsive behaviors, including alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, and more. Whether genetically inherited or not, addiction involves many changes in a variety of brain regions that lead to an increase in the drive and execution of addictive activities. When engaging in addictive behaviors the pleasure and reward circuits of the brain become hijacked and the desire to chase a given experience, and the exhilarating but short-lived “high” associated with it, increases. In addition, the repetition of this cycle begins to impair the brain regions involved in executive functioning, leading to compulsive decision making and poor judgement calls.
Neurofeedback therapy has been an effective addition in strengthening adaptive coping strategies and maintaining clarity of mind during recovery. Neurofeedback has also been shown to help reduce or eliminate the need for certain medications that can interfere with the recovery process.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme and unpredictable shifts in a person’s mood, energy, thought processes, and activity levels. These shifts often revolve around intense emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and intense emotional lows (depression). During times of depression an individual may feel sad or hopeless, and uninterested in personal interests or hobbies. When experiencing episodes of mania or hypomania (which are less extreme than mania), one may feel full of intense energy, euphoric, invincible, or even unusually irritable. Altogether, these mood swings are often exhausting and can cause measurable disruptions in everyday life affecting sleep, energy, judgment, behavior, and the ability to think clearly. Severity of the mood episodes can vary and may occur rarely or even multiple times per year.
Incorporating neurofeedback therapy into the treatment of bipolar disorder has produced an array of benefits for clients from better managing mood episodes to long-term stabilization and discontinuation of medication.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a specific type of anxiety disorder that features a pattern of uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts or urges (obsessions) that lead to repetitive rituals or behaviors (compulsions). The recurrent thoughts, urges or images are intrusive and unwanted leading to an immense amount of distress and anxiety for the individual. While trying to ignore or stop the obsessions only increases feelings of anxiety, performing the compulsive acts are a way of easing or soothing the distress. In this way, the ritualistic compulsions act as a self-medicating behavior. OCD can often center on a theme, such as fear of contamination and germs, or needing things to be organized, symmetrical and orderly. Tic disorder symptoms can also be present in some individuals with OCD. Motor tics involve sudden, repetitive movements such as eye blinking, head or shoulder jerking, or grimacing facial expressions. Vocal tics may include repetitive sniffing, grunting, or throat clearing.
Neurofeedback therapy has been shown to disrupt the rigid and ritualistic patterns of the OCD brain, easing experiences of distress and anxiety, and correcting repetition of thought and behavior.
Most people experience chronic pain as a result of an injury, physical trauma or surgery, or underlying states of disease. However, from a neurological perspective, pain is just as much of a subjective feeling as it is a physical experience. We see this in poeple’s varying degrees of “pain tolerance,” which reflect subjective differences in pain perception and pain memory. Chronic pain pateints often present shifts in physical and emotional capacities that are directly mirrored by shifts in the function of specific brain regions not only involved in the pain itself, but also in various co-morbidities that accompany chronic pain, such as depression, anxiety, and sleep issues. This further shows that pain is in fact a two-part experience: physical and emotional.
Neurofeedback training has been shown to relieve the subjective feelings of chronic pain by shifting the brainwave activity that influence pain perception, memory, and tolerance. In doing so, neurofeedback is able to separate the emotional component from the physical, changing pain affect and increasing subjective pain tolerance. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain, and many other causes of chronic pain are able to live more comfortably.
Dementia is not a specific disease. Rather, it’s a general term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, clear thought, and social abilities. While many forms of dementia are progressive, meaning the onset of symptoms develops slowly and gradually worsens over time, even the early signs of dementia are usually substantial enough to interfere with daily functioning. Since the causes behind dementia can vary greatly, symptoms can span in severity from impaired focus and attention skills, all the way up to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Overall, common signs and symptoms typically include cognitive changes, such as memory loss, difficulty communicating, planning and organizing, reasoning and problem-solving, and disorientation, accompanied by psychological changes, such as personality shifts, anxiety, depression, inappropriate behavior, and irritability, and paranoia.
While deterioration in the brain cannot be reversed, neurofeedback works to maximize the functionality of regions that remain healthy. Training neurofeedback has been shown to stabilize and even improve cognitive performance and working memory in dementia and AD patients.
Whether you’re a professional athlete, student athlete or a fitness obstacle courser, a musician or performing artist, or a businessperson or surgeon, engaging in high-intensity mental and physical activity is a daily part of your craft. What many may not realize, however, is that engaging in such intense activity often triggers our biological stress response. While this can lead to an increase in performance in the short-term, it can also vastly impair our ability to think clearly in the moment if left unchecked. Even further, prolonged periods of such unchecked, high-intensity stress can lead to detriments in our brain function and the ability to performance at our best.
With Neurofeedback training, teach your brain to override the energy- and cognition-depleting aspects of the stress response system. Train your brain to remain calm in high-stakes, high-intensity situations, and build new pathways that will allow you to steadily think and perform in your craft without the drop in optimal states.