Choices and Compliments: Neurofeedback and Neurostimulation

 

 

We offer two modes of neurotherapy at the nCenter: neurofeedback and neurostimulation. Neurofeedback and neurostimulation treatments are based on two tenets:

  1. That brain electrical activity reflects mental states;
  2. That brain electrical activity can be trained and/or stimulated.

We’ll start by looking at the neurofeedback, which is akin to the image above–a workout for the brain:

Neurofeedback:  Training the Brain

At the nCenter, we use Real-Time Z-Score (RTZ) Neurofeedback to train the brain.  With this approach we can empower individuals to alter brain waves and the concurrent mental states they produce to increase self-regulation.  

Are you inattentive?  Irritable?  Anxious or overwhelmed?  And has this been going on a long time?  

If so, you might want to try combining both Real Time Z Score (RTZ) Neurofeedback with Neurostimulation.

Real-Time Z-Score (RTZ) Neurofeedback

RTZ Neurofeedback compares an individual’s brain waves to a normative database instantaneously throughout the training session. This allows us to see how many standard deviations (or Z-scores) your brain is from the norm for a multitude of variables.  RTZ Neurofeedback is complex and multidimensional; its parameters can be set to train amplitude, absolute power, coherence, phase and asymmetry.  Thomas Collura, from BrainMaster Technologies, explains:

This may be thought of as moving the biofeedback training in the direction of a complex task such as riding a bicycle or reading a book, rather than simply “bench pressing” a single parameter, such as theta amplitude, up or down.

With Neurofeedback, operant conditioning plays an essential role.  Positive rewards during neurofeedback, like the video show screen getting larger and clearer when the client meets the predefined brain wave frequency goals, reward a behavior and serve to “shape” or increase the frequency of the behavior recurring.

Neurostimulation, which provides healthy stimulation to the brain, is another nCenter choice and has been particularly successful at treating anxiety and depression—lifting the blue mood or agitated state and creating a more ‘Zen’ you.

Neurostimulation Explanation (of the pEMF stim and tAC/DCS and tRNS):

Evidence suggests that the brain will mimic what the signals it is provided, whether by an electromagnetic field (e.g. pEMF) or by a current stimulation (e.g. tACS, tDCS or tRNS).  For example, if you introduce 5Hz–a slow brain wave frequency–to the brain, then the brain will make 5Hz.  This type of treatment is useful in and of itself, if the brain in question struggles to get into the 5Hz groove, but there are other benefits that accrue as well.  The stimulation causes capillary dilation which increases circulation making neurogenesis (the development of completely new neurons) possible and reducing inflammation by carrying away free radicals.  The pEMF stim frequencies, which we use at the nCenter, are gentle but effective: pEMF stim can run a broad range of frequencies (0.31-300,000 Hz.) at a low amplitude (0.01-2.5 V).   The tDCS, tACS and tRNS can create a brain that is more able to change and adapt.  Likely you’ve heard of neuroplasticity, well we might explain it this way: with tDCS, a brain can entrain and change old patterns for new ones, with tACS a brain can become more balanced, tRNS can gently reboot the brain by stimulating the ability to make new patterns.  As the neuroplasticity saying goes, “neurons that fire together wire together” so these positive new patterns tend to self-perpetuate using the brain’s innate neuroplasticity.

When doing Neurostimulation at the nCenter, we sometimes first use tDCS (to enhance calcium ions), tRNS to reboot, and follow this by tACS with a pEMF to entrain the brain.   This can lead to relaxation, focus, and a steady ‘good’ mood.  

Our job at the nCenter, is to find the best fit for you and your beautiful brain and to adjust to what you need.  We continuously take in your feedback and conduct brain maps so that we can continuously adjust treatment sessions to help you change and grow into more of who you are meant to be.

Thompson, M. & Thompson, L. (2015). The neurofeedback-book: An introduction to basic concepts in applied psychophysiology. Toronto: Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.