Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, isn’t just limited to veterans of war. Research shows that any type of trauma can result in PTSD. Whether it’s experiencing a bad car accident, surviving an abusive relationship or enduring a life-threatening health problem, PTSD does not discriminate. There are a few therapies that exist to effectively manage PTSD, and neurofeedback is the newest training method that’s getting great praise from mental healthcare professionals.
What’s Wrong with Traditional Training?
Despite months or even years of management, the majority of PTSD patients still have significant symptoms even after their program ends. Less than 50 percent of patients that are in psychotherapy had significant improvement, and those with combat-related PTSD showed the least amount of improvement. Published research is indicating that neurofeedback is very consistent in reducing or eliminating the symptoms of PTSD regardless of the trauma that caused the disorder.
What is Neurofeedback?
Also known as EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, neurofeedback is a method that changes brain function through brain training exercises. It’s non-invasive and comfortable. Basically, it teaches the brain to function differently after a trauma as the patient learns to live their life despite triggers, flashbacks, and anxiety/depression.
A computer translates the various brainwave frequencies that come through the electrodes that are applied to the patient’s scalp. This allows the doctor to see what activity should be encouraged and what should be diminished. The patient watches a video game or movie and controls it with their brain activity. Essentially, the goal is to teach the brain how to utilize the desirable activity during situations where PTSD is triggered. This is different for every patient and their unique condition.
How is the brain trained? Every half second, the current brain activity is compared to the goal, and the brain gets a signal and reward when it meets the goal and no signal/reward when the goal isn’t met. Each session gives the brain 72,000 chances to reprogram and learn.
PTSD effectively controls a patient’s life. Loud noises become triggers for severe anxiety attacks for combat veterans. People who left a severely abusive relationship experience panic when confronted by people who are angry or upset. When the world seems to be working against a PTSD patient, they often feel like the only way to function is to avoid the world. Neurofeedback helps retrain the brain into functioning normally during everyday situations that may have once created a severe reaction.
To learn more about how neurofeedback can benefit you, set up a consultation at the Advanced Health and Performance Institute in Orlando. Because it’s tailored to each patient, involves no discomfort and creates no anxiety during the sessions, this is an effective way to manage even the most severe cases of PTSD without making the patient relive their trauma. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.