Brainworks Neurofeedback

Frequently Asked Questions

What is neurofeedback?
The activity in your brain determines everything you feel and do.
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What are brainwaves?
The root of all our thoughts and behaviours is within our brain.
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What are the different types of neurofeedback?
Summarising the range of training methods and devices.
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Brain balance and flexibility
A blanced and flexible state of mind.
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History and development
From the 1950's to now.
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What is Neuroplasticity?
The brain's ability to change.
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Neurofeedback Questions

Sessions are quite pleasant.

You recline comfortably in a chair while sensors listen to your brainwaves.

A video, some music, or a game tells you when your brain is meeting the training target and when it’s not. Using this gauge, you are learning how to move your brain in new ways – stretching your mental muscles, showing your brain the way toward more comfort, more balance, and better function.

There is a description of neurofeedback here…

You will be working one-on-one with a neurotherapist who will monitor and assist your progress, working with you to assure best results.

Neurofeedback is effective in the vast majority of cases, and provides measurable results.

While it’s not a panacea, almost everyone responds to training, and the results are long lasting. Our clients report significant improvement towards their goals 95% of the time; an exceptionally high rate of achievement.Like any therapy it works best with people who are motivated and want to improve. We don’t work with everyone – our reputation is built on results, so if we don’t feel you will benefit from neurofeedback we won’t accept you as a client.

Neurofeedback is essentially skills building. Like any skill, it is relatively permanent as long as you get enough rest and limit extended periods of extreme stress. It helps to maintain your gains if you keep a healthy diet to properly nourish your brain, and limit your intake of alcohol and other brain toxins.

It is important to note that a child or a vulnerable adult living in a physically or psychologically toxic environment will have difficulty sustaining gains, as will those with degenerative neurological conditions.

Yes, neurofeedback is completely non-intrusive and safe. In the same way that muscles strengthen after use, neurofeedback strengthens neural-pathways with specifically tailored exercises. It is simply a learning technique.

In the 40 year history of neurofeedback, nobody has ever been harmed.

As with learning any new skill, the effects are cumulative.

Most people experience improvements after the first few sessions; however they will likely only last a day or two. After more training and further reinforcement, the changes will last longer.

As the psychological core improves, old habits naturally shift into healthier ones. Like building a muscle, strengthening new neural-pathways requires some practice.

Based on our more complex equipment, most clients notice their first changes within the first four to six sessions, however a minimum of a dozen sessions are recommended to ensure that the changes hold. On more simple equipment, it will take longer.

Since neurofeedback involves learning and every person is unique, the type, order and pace of change differs from person to person. Young brains learn much faster than older ones, and a small issue shifts quicker than a big one.

Typically, the more long standing and entrenched the symptoms the more sessions are required. You can expect the gains to be cumulative over the course.

The average number of sessions varies depending on the type of equipment we are using in your case.

Based on our 19 sensor 3D neurofeedback equipment, a mental ‘tune up’ would about a 12 session run. For a good degree of symptom resolution, we recommend a full package of 20 sessions. For Autistic spectrum and severe autoimmune disorders, expect a greater number of sessions with progressive gains over the course.

If you are using our ‘Brain Boost’ surface equipment, expect 50% to 70% more sessions to see the same results. If using our ‘Mini’ 2 sensor equipment (the type most often used in clinics), you can expect 4 to 5 times the number of total sessions.

More about the different types of neurofeedback here…

For most, simply relieving uncomfortable symptoms is enough. Others want to move forward in other areas, or tackle new goals.

Ultimately, self-improvement is a lifelong continuum. How much is enough is up to you.

We prioritise your training to meet your goals, and you can expect to meet those goals.

Most report a feeling of regaining the vitality they had gradually lost as other things got in the way. A feeling of being more comfortable in their own skin; feeling more like themselves – alert and relaxed, alive and quiet at the same time.

The shifts are so organic to the brain that the way you feel and act seem perfectly natural – and it is, as you are acting more like yourself and less from automatic reactions. It doesn’t mean you won’t encounter life’s problems anymore, it just means you’ll handle them in a healthier way and the feelings won’t linger as before.

A fully balanced state is experienced as happiness, contentment, and clarity. Being in balance allows you to gain control and make choices that you weren’t able to before, as getting out of stuck habits allows you the freedom to choose your reactions rather than be over-run by them.

A fresh perspective can make all the difference.

The weeks following your sessions are important to making the new neural nets dominant over the old. It is important to use your new mental freedom to make healthier choices and implement the changes you need to make.

The more you use your new neural connections, the more dominant they become. It’s the nature of the brain, and of learning any new skill.

The brain naturally seeks a balanced, stable condition, so after you have trained it is more difficult to get out of balance, and easier to return to balance. It is a good idea to take some time each day in a quiet environment to integrate the changes; you may find it helpful to keep a journal to track your progress.

To ensure lasting results, do not drink alcohol or use recreational drugs during and for several weeks following your sessions. Brain neurons become ‘rubberized’ with alcohol and drug use and fail to set lasting neural nets.

Neurofeedback is the brain equivalent of physical exercises, and the most common side effect of physical exercise is that you get tired. As with physical training, fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect after a session.

While brain training is in many ways similar to physical training, the brain expresses the side effects of training differently than the body does. The fatigue feels much like the mental tiring after learning a complex mental skill, or the exhaustion felt after speaking a non-fluent language.

Because neurofeedback is essentially structured exercises for your brain, the term ‘side effect’ isn’t applicable in the same sense as for medications. Unlike medication, nothing is put into the body or brain.

Those with more serious emotional conditions or trauma occasionally report an increase of old familiar feelings before the difficulty passes away and the issue fades out for good. It’s a bit like going to the gym and feeling that old injury acting up, revealing what’s beneath. People often report vivid dreams as the mind settles into a more balanced position.

If you have had a physical brain injury or head trauma, you will likely be more sensitive to neurofeedback. You might experience nausea, dizziness, and light sensitivity as you ‘re-regulate’ your brain function. This is part of the process.

The changes usually take place quite seamlessly. Based on your intake forms and your brain map, we generally have a good idea of which of these effects, if any, you might experience.

We monitor your brain activity during neurofeedback sessions, so can tell if your brain is getting tired or overworked and adjust your training accordingly.

We don’t diagnose, nor is a diagnosis required to understand the problem. We map your brain, looking for areas of over or under-activity that correspond to your symptoms, and design a brain training programme to help you move forward.

The medical (DSM) diagnostic model doesn’t fit well into the paradigm of neurofeedback. From our point of view, functional brain disorders such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, concussions, PTSD, memory, focus, autism etc. are not ‘diseases’ to ‘treat’, but as reflections of fundamental brain dysregulation; any of which could benefit from brain training.

For this reason, neurofeedback is clearer viewed as ‘personal training’ rather than a ‘treatment’; a way to shift your mind out of stuck patterns to relieve the corresponding symptoms. Nor is neurofeedback a ‘cure’ for these diagnosed conditions; we work toward symptom resolution by resolving the underlying imbalances.

Most people are simply relieved when they finally know what’s wrong, and that something can be done to change it.

As the central nervous system becomes more regulated and symptoms subside, we often see a reduction in the amount of medication required to manage those symptoms.

This is usually first apparent with sleeping medications, as sleep becomes easier without the outside help.

Any reductions in medication should be handled by your doctor. NEVER stop taking or alter your dosage of prescribed medications without consulting with the prescribing physician.

Brainworks has been operating full time since 2007; we are professionally trained and certified, with years of supervision and thousands of hours of experience behind us.

We are certified Neurofeedback Specialists, a member of the International Society of Neurofeedback and Research, and hold professional Neurofeedback and Biofeedback certifications. Our directors have invested in one-to-one trainings with some of the most experienced practitioners worldwide. Our team comes from a range of backgrounds, bringing a wide perspective to every case.

Scientific understanding of the way the brain works has been changing rapidly. Less than a decade ago, brainwave patterns were believed to be unimportant; the brain fixed and unchangeable. Neurofeedback was therefore deemed ‘scientifically impossible’, thus subject to immediate dismissal.

These days, medical science has realised that these long held beliefs about the brain were simply medical myths. Neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to learn and change through life) is now the focus of scientific inquiry rather than ridicule.

The brain sciences have advanced so quickly that medical establishments have yet to integrate approaches based on this new view; hence few psychologists and physicians have an understanding of neurofeedback or its clinical applications (see history and development here…).

Neurofeedback employs a sophisticated, evidence-based approach with quantifiable results (research area here…) backed by 50 years of clinical application. Still, old biases die hard and mainstream acceptance of neurofeedback is slow.

Change is coming from a fundamental shift in philosophy, and by consumer demand for simple, safe, common-sense solutions.

Neurofeedback is not yet recognised by the NHS. The NHS is a big ship to turn; medication remains the intervention of choice.

Councils can sometimes help with funding under their social care provision. We currently work with traumatised children for Bournemouth council under their adoption care programme.

If you are located in the USA, Neurofeedback is covered by most US health insurance companies.

Yes we do. In fact, we have quite a variety to suit different needs. (more…)

Services include EEG hardware, brain mapping services, and neurofeedback sessions conducted 1-to-1 via a remotely operated computer and live video link. Find our more about our home neurofeedback here…

If you are a professional looking to buy your own equipment rather than using one of ours, you can find more details here…

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