Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback for the brain. Neurofeedback uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography, to help retrain the brian's responses.
I had a good experience the few times I did it and noticed a difference in mental sharpness.
At ocean park natural therapies with Janise Lea O'leandros, I did maybe 24 sessions with Janise. It helped a lot and were I was tired all the time they sped up my brain activity for daytime and slowed down at eyes closed stat and allowed me to rest. I am now not near as tired as I was before the concussions
Daryl Sandford/Janise Lea O'leandros
Neurofeedback, or neuro biofeedback, has been one of my most effective rehabilitation strategies. It is incredibly effective at improving so many of the symptoms of TBI at the same time- attention, mood, cognition, pain, sleep. — You are hooked up to an EEG, which will monitor your brain waves. It is frequently described as acting as a mirror which allows your brain to realize it has been doing something incorrectly, which then allows the brain to heal itself in that correction. I would watch a movie attached to the neurofeedback equipment. When I was fully concentrated, a drum “reward” would play. If my brain waves showed distraction or stress, the sound and, eventually, the display would fade, which my brain would obviously interpret as negative feedback. —- I spent one week doing two sessions per day because I was only home for spring break. That week was brutally exhausting, but it gave me the most noticeable improvements up to that point (about two years post-accident.) I felt as if the fog had lifted. My mood, concentration, and anxiety all improved drastically.
I think this treatment is very effective but I didn’t see results personally. I do know it has helped a lot of my friends who are athletes as well as other TBI survivors.
I am using BrainPaint Neurofeedback that uses an assessment developed at UCLA and evidence-based protocols refined by IBM Watson health analytics. My understanding of this system is that it feeds back EEG information to the brain in the form of fractal images and music, and because the information is transmitted in less than 1/4 second the brain recognizes itself and responds. I think of neurofeedback as upgrading the operating system, whereas psychotherapy is reprogramming the software.
During my 20 years of whitewater kayaking, I've experienced 3 concussions (mTBI) and numerous sub-concussive blows to the head. After the first concussion back in the 1990s, I wrote to Snell, the organization that identifies specifications for different types of helmets. Snell said that they decline to develop specs for whitewater helmets because we need to stay conscious on the river. Most of their helmet specifications are to protect the brain, and allowing the organism to lose consciousness is a mode of protection.
I'm currently rehab-ing with the BrainPaint neurofeedback system. I've had a BrainPrint assessment that measured my EEG while completing a computer challenge that rewarded quick response and penalized impulsivity. I was not happy to learn that my initial result was consistent with ADHD, which I've never had in my life as a primary diagnosis, but seemed to be how my brain was responding to the trauma.
After 45 sessions of the initial protocol, I was seeing improvements in my chronic insomnia. At the start, I was getting only 3-4 hours sleep per night, because I would awaken at least once a night and stay awake staring at the ceiling. By the end of this series, I was sleeping 5-7 hours with fewer sleep maintenance issues. However, I was still feeling ornery and expressing irritability with increasing intensity.
To quell my propensity towards anger, we did another BrainPrint, this time measuring the prefrontal cortex rather than the temporal lobes. After 25 sessions of training the frontals, my ability to respond appropriately began to increase; however, the insomnia started to return.
I'm getting ready to start my third protocol, which will be back on the temporal lobes, but with a nonlinear pattern. Initially, my brainwaves were slow to respond, so the first 45 sessions were to speed them up during the daytime. Now we will just be feeding back the information to the brain in the form of pretty picture that are constantly changing in response to the EEG signals, but allowing the brain to choose its own response pattern. I like this idea! Isn't the brain our own human bio-computer? I just know that my brain can optimize and reprogram itself, and the BrainPaint neurofeedback sessions are about 45 minutes long and relatively fun to do.
Kathryn form Sacramento