One of the most promising developments for managing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is with Neurofeedback. This is a method that does not require the use of medication or traditional training, but relies on measuring brain waves and training the brain to respond differently.
At Advanced Health and Performance Institute in Orlando and Winter Park, we specialize in neurofeedback to help manage a variety of conditions, including OCD. We work with children, athletes and executives to help them retrain their brains for better overall performance.
To find out how we can help you, contact Advanced Health and Performance Institute today to schedule your appointment.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback is a type of training that teaches the brain to change the way it responds to the world. The brain constantly produces electrical impulses known as EEG (electroencephalograph) or simply brainwaves. The type of brainwaves produced affects how a person feels and how he or she behaves. A person with OCD, for example, may have severe anxiety in certain situations that most people would not find distressing at all.
Neurofeedback involves connecting a person to a computer that measures brain waves while the person listens to music, watches movies or plays games. Whereas traditional biofeedback measures things like heart rate and blood pressure, Neurofeedback measures brain waves. Where biofeedback can be useful for helping people to relax, Neurofeedback is often more effective at managing complex disorders such as ADHD and OCD.
Neurofeedback exercises provide feedback that help the client produce healthier brainwaves. The way this process works can be compared to the skills people develop while playing an ordinary video or computer games. As someone plays a certain game, he or she will develop specific skills. This may involve driving a racing car or navigating a spaceship while shooting at enemy targets. With Neurofeedback, the skills developed are related to brain waves. With practice, the client learns to produce healthy brainwaves and avoid brainwaves that cause the unwanted symptoms.
Neurofeedback sessions last for about a half hour or a little longer. They are done in the offices of trained professionals who know how to set up the machinery and interpret the results. Improvements may occur in the first few sessions or it may take up to 20 sessions. Clients may be children or adults.
How Neurofeedback Can Help People with OCD
Neurofeedback is being used to help people with conditions such as ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome and OCD. All of these conditions are associated with certain brain wave patterns. A person with OCD may have a variety of symptoms, such as compulsively checking whether the stove or lights have been turned off, excessive hand washing, hoarding or unwanted thoughts.
All of these problems are related to specific brainwaves. Neurofeedback trains the person with OCD to create healthier brain waves, which can then eliminate the symptoms. The client does not have to know anything about brainwaves for the process to work. He or she is simply hooked up to the computer and engages with the Neurofeedback game or exercise.
Neurofeedback is a promising development for people with conditions such as OCD. It’s simple, painless and free of side effects. Whereas patients may engage in talk training for years with limited results, a person can often see substantial improvements after only a few Neurofeedback sessions.