Neurofeedback Training for Concussions | Neurofeedback Certification
Concussions happen in many ways including sports and motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, military blast injuries, and physical assaults. Effective treatment methods are limited. Because a concussion involves an injury to the brain, it makes sense that therapies should involve the brain. Neurofeedback training is a therapy that helps to regulate dysfunctional activity in the brain that might be causing symptoms.
When the brain operates it produces electric impulses that can be measured by neurofeedback instruments. These instruments then display the information from various parts of the brain. If the information shows that the brain is not functioning normally, the software can encourage the brain to go back to functioning in a more effective way. With this neurofeedback training symptoms tend to resolve.
In their book, Conquering Concussion, Healing TBI Symptoms with Neurofeedback and Without Drugs, Mary Lee Esty, Ph.D., and C.M. Shifflett talk about this in-depth. Here is a list of symptoms that they include in their book that brain injuries can cause: headaches, impulsivity, fatigue, confusion, memory problems, slowed thinking, focus, insomnia, anxiety, anger, explosiveness, phobias, dizziness, mood swings, indecision, concentration, light sensitivity, slow speech, depression, nightmares, and risk-taking.
Neurofeedback training is non-invasive. It uses electrodes or sensors that are placed on the scalp either individually or with a cap or headset. The sensors only measure activity coming from the brain. No electricity is introduced into the brain through the electrodes. There are some exceptions to this. Some forms of neurofeedback use CES – cranial electrical stimulation which puts a mild electrical current into the head or Electro-Magnetic stimulation which introduces a magnetic field into the head. When you are researching neurofeedback training, equipment, or therapy you should ask questions about what method is being used and if it is non-invasive or not.
Many neurofeedback providers conduct a brain map before starting training. This involves placing a cap or headset on the head and recording the EEG from 12 or more areas of the brain. This data is then compared to a normative database to determine how close the activity is to the average of similar brains of people without clinical symptoms. A report is produced that indicates which areas have normal, lower than normal, and higher than normal activity for various measures. Based on this information and the symptoms the person presents with, a training protocol is set. The person then attends training sessions 1-3 times per week for a total of about 30 sessions. Sometimes less and sometimes more sessions are required.
Most of the professionals who provide the service are psychologists, social workers, and mental health counselors. Some chiropractors and others also provide the service. Training and certification are available for those who want to provide the service.
For more information on neurofeedback training and certification, you can send me an email or call.
Harry L. Campbell, BPS, BCB, BCN
President, Biofeedback Resources International Corp.
Author of What Stress Can Do, Available on Amazon.com