Neurofeedback is essentially biofeedback for the brain, that helps the brain train itself to work more efficiently. MEDIAN Center is the only clinic in northern Virginia to offer the most advanced form of neurofeedback, called NeurOptimal® neurofeedback.
NeurOptimal® is non-invasive “brain training” that can help brains gain greater performance and focus. Essentially, it allows brains to receive real-time feedback on how they are operating – whether they are getting “stuck” in non-efficient brain wave patterns, for example – through their electrical activity. This information allows brains to change themselves, at their own pace.
Think of holding a mirror up to your brain. Neurofeedback allows your brain to get information it’s never had before, and then to use that information to better regulate itself.
What is a session like?
Sessions are scheduled in one-hour blocks. After filling out an initial self-assessment, you are connected to the NeurOptimal® machine, which is simply a computer with some wires.
When the neurofeedback session starts, you listen to music either through speakers or earbuds. The music has little blips of “static” in it, which are not especially noticeable but are, in fact, providing feedback to the brain. There is nothing painful or uncomfortable about it; you just sit still and listen.
The entire neurofeedback session takes 33 minutes. Unless you’d like to be left alone, we will sit with you during the session.
What types of symptoms does neurofeedback improve?
Neurofeedback users often report improvements in sleep, focus, emotional reactivity, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, and TBI/concussion symptoms, among others.
The first thing most people notice is a substantial improvement in the quality of their sleep. Many report that they dream more vividly and sleep more soundly.
After a few NeurOptimal® neurofeedback sessions, users report feeling more focused, calm, and centered:
- They work faster, more efficiently and experience a significant reduction in physical complaints.
- They’re less bothered by doubts and insecurities and are more apt to experience confidence and satisfaction.
- Nagging, upsetting thoughts simply drop away with no effort on the user’s part.
Free from distraction, the brain can focus on the present and naturally discover the best way to tackle the tasks at hand.
So is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback a type of treatment?
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is not a type of treatment for mental health disorders. We refer to it as “brain training.” It’s more akin to meditation than medication. In fact, we recommend that users of neurofeedback should continue with all of their usual treatment options, including medication.
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is non-invasive and has no side effects.
Who should try neurofeedback?
Anyone who is feeling anxious, overwhelmed or depressed should try neurofeedback. Many of our clients come to us while struggling with life transitions, such as the end of a relationship, or after their children have moved out of the family home. Neurofeedback, alone or combined with traditional therapy, can help our clients understand why they feel the way they do and what they can do to change. It is also helpful for those suffering from symptoms of PTSD, ADHD, and insomnia.
It is not an appropriate treatment for clients with paranoid schizophrenia or other types of paranoia.
How many neurofeedback sessions are required?
We recommend about 10-12 sessions for a client to see results.