What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Hooked up to a brainwave monitor.
Hooked up to a brainwave monitor. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of André Mouraux)

Neurofeedback therapy, also called neurofeedback training (NFT), is method of teaching a trainee or patient to alter physical and psychological states. It is accomplished by using monitoring equipment that provides real time feedback to patients about their brain activity.


A baseline of brain activity is recorded for analysis, along with some medical and psychological history, to assess the patient's current state and needs. During training the patient is shown readouts of her own brain activity and guided in altering that activity.


The purpose of neurofeedback therapy is essentially to retrain the person's brain to respond more appropriately to stimulus with an aim at improving quality of life.


There are a number of therapeutic uses for neurofeedback therapy. According to the Interational Society for Neurofeedback and Research, it is used to assist those suffering with ADHD, seizures, sleep disorders, anxiety and even brain injury.


The risks involved with neurofeedback therapy are minimal; they include mild headaches, agitation or anxiousness that can be resolved with adjustments to the training approach.


D. Corydon Hammond reports that neurofeedback therapy has been effective in reducing epileptic seizure rates, creating equivalent or superior results to Ritalin in ADHD sufferers, and lowering relapse rates among those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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