Understanding the Different Types of Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback, a non-invasive brain training method, uses real-time displays of brain activity to teach self-regulation of brain functions. This innovative approach has various types, each tailored to specific needs and goals.
Traditional Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback)
Traditional neurofeedback, also known as EEG Biofeedback, is the most common form. It focuses on altering brainwave patterns by providing feedback based on the electrical activity of your brain. This method is often used for conditions like ADHD, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. It helps in enhancing concentration, reducing stress, and improving overall mental well-being.
swLORETA (Electromagnetic Tomography)
Used in advanced neurotherapy clinics, swLORETA neurofeedback is a more advanced form that targets deeper brain regions. It’s particularly effective for complex conditions such as trauma, severe anxiety, and certain types of brain injuries. swLORETA works by pinpointing and training specific areas of the brain, offering a more targeted and comprehensive approach to brain health, and greatly reduces the number of sessions required to see results.
Z-Score neurofeedback uses a database of normalised brainwave patterns to guide the training. It’s like having a personalised brain map that helps in identifying and targeting specific areas that need improvement. This method is beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including behavioural issues and cognitive enhancement.
Branded Neurofeedback refers to packaged brain training systems, often marketed under names like ‘non-linear’, ‘decoded’, ‘quantum’, or ‘brain state training’. These systems use components of dual-sensor EEG neurofeedback and generic pre-built training protocols. While effective, they are limited by their built-in functions and style, which may not cater to specific goals or problem areas. They require minimal training to use, which can be both an advantage and a limitation.
Branded systems like Neuroptimal, Crecet, and EEGinfo are popular among beginners in neurofeedback therapy due to their ease of use, established brand backing, and relatively low cost. However, their limitations and marketing strategies can sometimes make it challenging for consumers to discern the quality and effectiveness of the therapy provided.
Infra-Low Frequency (ILF) Neurofeedback
ILF neurofeedback is a favourite of the “Branded Neurofeedback” systems (above). It uses a single standardised training protocol that targets the very slow brainwave frequencies. Being untailored, it requires no brain map targeting and requires little to no training to run.
If your provider suggests that brain mapping is not strictly required, you can be confident that they are using a branded neurofeedback system.
Neurofield combines neurofeedback with pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy. This combination is effective in treating a range of conditions, including sleep disorders, chronic pain, and mood disorders.
Hemoencephalography (HEG) Neurofeedback
Rather than the brainwave frequency training of most neurofeedback types, HEG neurofeedback focuses on the brain’s blood flow and metabolic activity. It’s particularly useful for conditions like migraines and is also used to enhance cognitive performance. HEG is a great option for those who might have difficulty with traditional EEG training.
Selecting the right type of neurofeedback depends on your specific condition, goals, and preferences. At Brainworks, we offer a personalised assessment to determine the most effective neurofeedback approach for you.