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DEFINITION OF NEUROFEEDBACK
Biofeedback in general is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument and can be extremely helpful in addressing a variety of issues such as anxiety and trauma.
Biofeedback specific to brainwave activity is referred to as Neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback provides a tangible and measureable way to look at what is happening in a person’s brainwave activity that might be contributing to a variety of issues from anxiety and depression to learning challenges. When combined with other therapies, neurofeedback can offer an effective and long-lasting way to address issues that may not be as effectively addressed with psychological interventions alone.
What is Involved in Neurofeedback Therapy (NFT)?
NFT uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning. Activity.
NFT is preceded by an objective assessment of brain activity and psychological status. Based on the outcome of the assessment, training involves sensors being placed on the scalp and then connected to sensitive electronics and computer software that detect, amplify, and record specific brain activity. Resulting information is fed back to the trainee virtually instantaneously with the conceptual understanding that changes in the feedback signal indicate whether or not the trainee's brain activity is within the designated range. Based on this feedback, various principles of learning, and practitioner guidance, changes in brain patterns occur and are associated with positive changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive states. Often the trainee is not consciously aware of the mechanisms by which such changes are accomplished although people routinely acquire a "felt sense" of these positive changes and often are able to access these states outside the feedback session.
NFT does not involve either surgery or medication and is neither painful nor embarassing. When provided by a licensed professional with appropriate training, generally trainees do not experience negative side-effects. Typically trainees find NFT to be an interesting experience.