How Neurotherapy Works
Biofeedback training helps a person learn how to control processes in the body usually thought of as being outside of a person’s control. For instance, you might ask a person to make their hand warmer. This would seem to be, at first, an unusual request, and 1) you wouldn’t know how to do it and 2) you wouldn’t necessarily know if you had. However, if you hold a digital thermometer in your hand and focus on increasing the temperature while watching the thermometer, your mind/brain can learn how to do so by observing the feedback it gets from the thermometer. This is thermo biofeedback.
It’s important to comment that you still don’t know how to do it, but your brain does, so when you will it, your brain can accomplish the task. Thermo biofeedback training is useful in providing relief from stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, and headaches. Other forms of biofeedback enable clients to improve heart rate variability (HRV), increase blood flow to different areas of the forebrain with hemoencephalographic training (HEG), relieve muscle tension with electromyography training (EMG).
EEG Biofeedback, or Neurofeedback, or EEG Neurofeedback, rather than using a thermometer, relies on the electroencephalograph which measures the micro electrical currents produced by the cerebral cortex measured through sensors attached to the scalp and fed to a computer. These micro currents, because they oscillate, produce wave patterns, and so they are called brain waves. By giving feedback to the brain about its activity, the brain can learn to alter cortical activity that underlies and produces symptoms of depression, anxiety, attention issues, obsessive rumination, addiction, alcoholism, cognitive decline, and many more. In this manner, neurofeedback training, or showing the brain what it is doing and reinforcing positive changes in the brain waves, changes the brain’s activity, and this reduces or eliminates the symptoms. Results are lasting.
Alpha / Theta Neurofeedback
The object of neurofeedback training is usually to encourage change in the electrical behavior of the brain underlying symptoms to mitigate them. The Alpha Theta protocol is different in that it also encourages change in the brain state in which heightened learning can occur. As with hypnosis, this state can also help with self-exploration, opening a world of inner discovery; the right brain, its universe; from the perspective of dynamic psychotherapy, the unconscious; from a Jungian perspective, depth work and the collective unconscious; from an indigenous perspective, shamanic journeying.
Active neurotherapy technologies first help prepare the brain by making it more plastic, or ready to be influenced by neurofeedback training. They also help achieve change by entraining the brain to frequencies consistent with the neurofeedback targets. They augment neurofeedback training but also have substantially beneficial effects on brain functioning on their own. They can help to achieve symptom relief more quickly while neurofeedback training works to achieve lasting symptom reduction. These augmenting modalities can also help by reducing the number, and therefore the cost of neurofeedback sessions.