Frequently Asked Questions About  Neurofeedback Therapy

Technology has helped analyze biological data to fully understand the life around us, including our bodies. It plays a significant role in terms of health. With it, we get access to cures for existing illnesses. At the same time, we get to identify different kinds of diseases that can impair the quality of life of humankind.

Nowadays, the number of cases of chronic illnesses are on the rise. The World Health Organization has included mental diseases in this category due to their long persistence and draining effects. Current medical research has given more light to the mechanisms of various conditions like anxiety. 

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Anxiety is a common disorder that is a subjective psychological experience. Its symptoms include excessive worrying, trouble focusing when doing tasks, insomnia, and fatigue. Chronic anxiety, and the stress that results from it, can activate immune and inflammatory mechanisms that promote disease progression.

Commonly found co-morbidities in people with chronic anxiety include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). 

Another common chronic mental illness is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a mental health disorder that may occur to people who have experienced or witnessed excruciating events like accidents, violence, and death.

Symptoms may appear anytime: after a month, or it can be years after the traumatic experience. The intensity and frequency of these symptoms vary per person. It all depends on the nature of the triggering memory or emotion.

With the increasing understanding of these illnesses comes an increase in the demand for effective, long-lasting, drug-free, and non-invasive treatments. 

An alternative approach used to regulate anxiety and reduce PTSD symptoms is neurofeedback therapy. There has been evidence for the effectiveness of brain-specific alterations brought by neurofeedback therapy in controlling anxiety. 

In PTSD, exposure-based therapy is currently one of the most effective treatments. 

However, a significant number of patients back out of this treatment. The constant exposure to the traumatic triggers can often be unbearable for the patients. 

Neurofeedback therapy is a promising novel treatment that bypasses the need for harsh stimuli for treating PTSD. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about neurofeedback therapy if you have questions regarding this approach.

What is Neurofeedback therapy used for?

Neurofeedback therapy can address various dysregulation of the brain. Therapists typically use neurofeedback as an intervention for conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral disorders, autism, emotional disturbances, brain damage, etc.

Currently, there are an estimated over 15,000 practitioners who are using this therapy method in their practice.

Aside from its medical application, neurofeedback also has non-medical applications. It helps improve performance and accuracy in sports, arts, music, and dancing.

Does neurofeedback therapy really work?

Many studies have noted the effectiveness of neurofeedback therapy as a treatment for various conditions. Furthermore, being a non-invasive procedure, it is readily available for use. However, like other therapy methods, neurofeedback has its clinical limitations and cons.

Since it requires multiple sessions to achieve optimal performance, it may take several months for its effects to show. It’s also important to note that neurofeedback effects are not long-term and will need regular sessions for effects to be evident.

Can neurofeedback be harmful?

In general, neurofeedback results in little or no harmful or adverse effects. While some report experiencing side effects, these side effects are not dangerous and eventually subsides after some time. It happens as a part of the transition process from the procedure.

Also, note that manifestation of neurofeedback side effects are more frequent when you have pre-existing neurological conditions. In such cases, make sure to inform your provider about your condition before undergoing treatment.

Does insurance cover neurofeedback therapy?

Many health insurance plans now include neurofeedback therapy in their coverage. However, in most cases, the insurance coverage would only be applicable for a selected list of conditions. It varies from different companies and insurance plans.

You may check with your insurance provider and confirm their coverage details on neurofeedback.

Who needs neurofeedback?

People with brain-related, cognitive, and behavioral conditions can benefit from neurofeedback therapy. It is helpful for all ages, from children, adolescents, adults, and seniors suffering from cognitive loss.

Thousands of individuals with neurological and medical conditions have benefited from the powerful intervention of neurofeedback. Therapists also use neurofeedback as an adjunct intervention along with other therapy methods.

Can I do neurofeedback at home?

Nowadays, there are a variety of mobile neurofeedback systems you can use in the comfort of your home. Some neurofeedback providers would rent their software units to clients. In this process, you will only need to send your sessions to your therapists for feedback.

There are also neurofeedback systems that use EEG sensors available for purchase in the market. However, note that these are not as effective as the units used by therapists.

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How quickly does neurofeedback work?

Neurofeedback results typically happen gradually as you undergo multiple sessions. Sessions for neurofeedback usually last an average of 20 weeks,  typically conducted once-a-week. For most cases, you will see initial progress within 15 sessions of the therapy.

Note that different people react differently from neurofeedback sessions. Hence, some patients may require fewer sessions, and others may need more.

Does neurofeedback really work for anxiety?

Studies have shown that undergoing neurofeedback therapy results in statistically significant improvement of anxiety symptoms. These studies show that neurofeedback training results in reduced anxiety for the majority of cases.

The parts of the brain responsible for generating anxiety symptoms are the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. What neurofeedback does is to regulate the connectivity between these two, resulting in controlled and reduced anxiety.

What happens during a neurofeedback session?

During a neurofeedback session, your therapist will instruct you to sit in a chair. They will then attach electrode sensors to your scalp, which will read the electric signals generated by your brain.

Using an EEG program, your therapist will assess the information about your brainwave frequencies. Thereafter, it will start to direct your brainwave activity towards a more controlled pattern.

How many neurofeedback sessions are needed for anxiety?

Neurofeedback sessions for anxiety typically require around 20 sessions. Within these 20 sessions, your brain gets 72,000 repetitive brain network exercises as the feedback occurs every half second. This process enables you to reshape the networks of anxiety in your brain.

What is the best neurofeedback system?

There are a variety of available neurofeedback systems. Do note that the best system would vary on your condition. You have a wide range of choices from one sensor, two sensors, multi-sensor, 19 sensors or more, LoRETA neurofeedback, etc. The prices of these neurofeedback systems also vary depending on its range of functions.

Starting with a two-sensor system will enable you to gauge the process and evaluate if the process is fit for you.

Can neurofeedback help with weight loss?

Neurofeedback can help stabilize your physical and emotional health towards a balanced state. This includes your appetite and cravings. Neurofeedback can train your brain to develop and control your body’s feeling of hunger and fullness.

Furthermore, the procedure can help you deal with weight loss positively by reducing negative thoughts in your mind.

What is the difference between biofeedback and neurofeedback?

It is easy to get confused with the differences between biofeedback and neurofeedback. But in essence, neurofeedback is a subcategory of the broader biofeedback. While biofeedback monitors the body’s physiological process, neurofeedback focuses on observing the brain’s activity.

Moreover, while biofeedback only provides visual observation, neurofeedback actually works directly to “train” your brain.

How much does RenuYou cost?

RenuYou’s neurofeedback sessions cost an average of $80 to $100 every session. While they offer various payment plans, it’s not typically covered by insurance. They recommend undergoing an average of 40 sessions to achieve the desired results and effectiveness of the neurofeedback process.

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In summary, neurofeedback therapy is a promising alternative method to treat mental illnesses without drugs and unnecessary distress.  It is a subcategory of biofeedback that concentrates on observing brain activity using electrodes and sensors. In contrast, biofeedback checks the physiological processes of the human body. 

People experiencing cognitive and behavioral conditions due to afflictions on the brain can benefit from neurofeedback therapy. It can supplement treatments that target dysregulation in the brain, including anxiety and PTSD. It has been clinically studied and has shown effectiveness in many research.

Interestingly, it can also train your brain to control your appetite and cravings. Therefore, it can also help tremendously in weight loss.

As with many non-invasive treatments, neurofeedback results occur gradually after several consistent sessions. It usually takes place at least once a week in about 20 weeks. This therapy brings little to no unwanted side effects. If there are any, side effects are temporary and not threatening. 

Some insurance plans now cover payment for neurofeedback therapy. It is best to contact your insurance provider for more details. 

Recent advances in technology have enabled mobile neurofeedback more accessible. Some therapists rent out their software so patients can use them at home. After use, patients will only need to send back the therapy session data for feedback.

Meanwhile, there are different neurofeedback systems available for various conditions. There is the one-sensor, two-sensor, multi-sensor, LoRETA neurofeedback, and more. 

RenuYou’s neurofeedback sessions can cost an average of $80 to $100 per session. It is highly recommended to undergo about 40 sessions to achieve its benefits. RenuYou offers various payment plans that can accommodate any of your needs. 

Because of its effectiveness and long-term benefits in managing anxiety and PTSD symptoms, neurofeedback therapy is an alternative approach worth exploring. Just be sure to consult first with your therapist.

The Online World And Mental Health

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The online world is a source for everything and anything. Clothes, furniture, education, food, your name, and most probably the internet can give it to you in one click of a button. With all these amazing things you find on the internet, it can be hard to compete with the trends and the many people doing e-commerce. So, if you are starting a business online, or maybe you want to work online, then you have to think ahead, and you have to be as creative as possible. This way, you can get ahead and catch as much attention as you need.

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How A Family Is Changed Because Of The New Normal

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The pandemic has been a challenging time for humankind. Many families have been affected, and people are struggling, looking for alternative ways to bring food to the table since many office-based jobs have been stopped. Thankfully, technology has advanced, and the emergence of the internet has been a great advantage, especially during these times.

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Significance Of Finding A Vaccine Against Coronavirus

I can remember the first time I heard of the word “coronavirus” as if it only happened yesterday. I was grocery shopping back then, and I could not help but overhear a group of mothers expressing their worries about it.

One said, “The first case of coronavirus transmission was already recorded in our city. I don’t feel like letting my child come to school tomorrow.” The other mom agreed and uttered, “You’re right; the virus is too scary and deadly to take for granted.”

To no one’s surprise, the governor announced the new stay-at-home order that’s ruling over the entire state later that day. Every minor or senior individual cannot be seen anywhere out of the house; only adults can leave but only to get food or medical supplies.

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If I am honest, the quarantine did not make sense to me at first. I did not see its necessity; I assumed that it was merely flu season. But when my best friend’s sister called me and said that she’s fighting for her life due to COVID-19 and there’s no cure for it, things got serious fast.

Upon doing my research on the matter, I saw that the only way to end the pandemic is by finding a vaccine against coronavirus. How significant is it to achieve such a feat, you may ask?

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It Will Stop Virus Transmission

Let me give you a crash course on how a vaccine works.

  • Scientists create a vaccine by using tiny pieces of the coronavirus as one of its primary ingredients.
  • Before mass producing vaccines, they need to find a way to make the virus inactive. This way, it will not spread in the person’s body.
  • Over time, the body gets used to the virus and becomes immune to it.

When everyone receives a vaccine, no one needs to worry about virus transmission anymore. Every individual on the planet will technically have immunization against coronavirus, so it cannot be as deadly as we all know it.  

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People Will No Longer Die Due To COVID-19

It is unfortunate how there is still no drug that can be used to vaccinate people. Hundreds of thousands of lives have already been wasted across the globe because of COVID-19. If not for the governments’ bright idea of putting the countries under lockdown for at least a couple of months, the numbers may have undoubtedly blown exponentially.

Once a vaccine becomes available, there may only be a handful of individuals who may come down with COVID-19. After all, getting vaccinated is no guarantee that you will never have the disease—it is meant to reduce your chances of dealing with it. Some experts may even say that a vaccine may make the viral infection less severe, thus giving everyone a fighting chance against COVID-19.

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Everyone Can Live As Normally As Possible

The ultimate goal of finding a vaccine is to allow all of us to regain our regular lives. Doing so seems impossible, even when the number of cases appears to be going down. Although the countries may reopen, the likelihood of catching the coronavirus remains high without the antivirus in the market.

Now, in an ideal world where a vaccine exists, schools and businesses can be fully operational again. No one will fear to eat at restaurants, going to malls and parks, or chatting with neighbors on the streets. Life may be different for all because of what we have experienced during the pandemic, but we will no longer be stuck in the four corners of our homes.

Final Thoughts

It is both incredible and terrible to think that the fate of humanity depends on a single vaccine yet to be invented. As long as no one discovers the best formula to create it, we may need to stay isolated for an unforeseeable amount of time.

Things You Need To Know About Biohacking

 

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The 2019 Biohacking Conference was a day of learning and experiencing a personal transformation for the organizers, influencers, and other attendees of the three-day event. The exhibits, interactive workshops, and question and answer portions from the audience to the speakers were mostly what made the atmosphere very interesting and quite educational. Individuals who experienced first-hand how they became ‘upgraded humans’ were there to inspire and share their success stories, most of which were incredibly amazing.

Biohacking is not something that everyone knows about and actually recognizes. It is new in the field of science and society. So this article will be dedicated to discussing what it really is, among other things.

Biohacking Defined

Fundamentally, biohacking is the practice of modifying one’s physiology and chemistry through scientific techniques and self-experimentations in order to improve and energize one’s body. It is quite general, but it is because the concept is always changing. It encompasses making dietary and lifestyle changes that help your body function better, as well as using wearable technologies to assist you in monitoring your physiological data. It can even include utilizing implants and genetic engineering.

There are countless possibilities, but the bottom line is that one can change his body and brain to become smarter, faster, and better human beings.

Biohacking Your Diet Through IF

Eating more superfoods and doing intermittent fasting can make a big difference in optimizing our health. A lot of experts have turned to IF to help their clients achieve optimal health. It has not only proven to help lose fat but gain energy and muscle as well. Intermittent fasting is not like the usually prolonged fasting that is not practical for most people. It provides little in-betweens, an eating habit that you follow every day that will help you reap many benefits of a true fasting lifestyle.

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This has something to do with a fed state and fasted state of your body and how these two pushes your body to provide a balance in digesting and absorbing nutrients and boosting your metabolic rate. Biohacking through fasting also lowers blood sugar, enhances brain function, and prevents cancers, among others.

Biohacking Your Bones

When you reach the mid-30s, there is a 2% loss in bone density of women every year, which progresses for the next years following menopause. This makes them more at risk of suffering from osteoporosis. And although men’s bone density loss is relatively slower, they do lose bone mass up until they reach 65. This problem led to the invention of OsteoStrong, a non-pharmaceutical means of enhancing bone density, balance, and strength and is one of the few biohacking techniques.

OsteoStrong uses a spectrum system that is part of a new classification of devices known as the Robotic Musculoskeletal Development system or RDMS, and each of these devices enables you to attain forces in excess of 5 to 12 times your body weight. The system does aim to increase bone density and muscle strength in ways that cannot be achieved by working out in the gym, but the results will seem like you have been to the gym. Clients who have tried this claim that they have seen an estimated 12% increase in bone density yearly.

Ways To Biohack At Home

Drink Caffeine. Caffeine is a popular productivity booster, and if you haven’t been used to drinking coffee, then you can start with a cup of black coffee, dark chocolate, or green tea. Have one of these at the same time daily, and journal how it’s been making you feel after taking it. Do you feel more energized? More anxious? Do you feel restless?

You can also try drinking coffee with a biohacker twist called bulletproof coffee. This contains medium-chain triglycerides that are known to boost energy and help you lose weight.

White ceramic cup with black coffee

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Try The Elimination Diet. This is simply what the words really mean. You decide what to get rid of from your daily meals for, say, a few weeks, and then gradually introduce them again to check if these foods affect your body negatively or positively. This is best if you are an allergic-type of person, or if you suspect that some types of food may cause you to itch, or some parts of your body to swell.

The best way to do this is to first eliminate one or two kinds of food from your diet fully. Continue for two weeks and then slowly reintroduce what you have eliminated back into your diet. Once you’ve done this, watch out for rashes, pain, body malaise, diarrhea, or stomach pains, which may mean that those foods trigger your allergies.

Exposure To Blue Light. Blue light can be acquired from the sun, and it improves cognitive function. You can reap its best benefits by exposing yourself for a few hours to the sun every day. Start with three to six hours, or whatever is comfortable for you. Then observe the changes.

Remember, though, that sunlight consists of the same blue light that we also get from our phones and computers, which keep you awake by interrupting your sleep-wake cycle. Also, keep in mind that you must wear sunscreen lotions when you’re out in the sun to protect yourself from sun damage.

 

 

Experts In Mental Health Say We Need To Cope During The Pandemic

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My mother would not go out of her room. We, I and my sister, needed to bring her food three times a day and leave it by her door. The plate and utensils are also left there when she is done eating. She would text us if she needs something or would video call us to talk. Her agoraphobia is acting up at this time, and it is really bad.

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A Quick Introduction To Bioinformatics

Among all the education summits that I’ve been to, the 2017 Bioinformatics Conference is my favorite. From the title itself, you could tell that the primary topic was bioinformatics—one of the subject matters that I’d been studying for years.

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A lot of people in my circle already asked why I insisted on showing interest in such a complicated field. After all, any scientific area seems challenging for a higher number of folks, but bioinformatics belongs in the same category as quantum physics, organic chemistry, etc. In short, it looks extra tricky at first glance.

My only response to such comments is, “You have not given bioinformatics enough attention to know if it’s too much.” Although there is no question about its level of difficulty, the subject is also too interesting to set aside. Here are a few factors that may make you look at bioinformatics in the same way that I do.

What Is Cool About Bioinformatics?
The coolest thing about this scientific field is that it is a hybrid of sorts. You need to be excellent at mathematics, engineering, and computer science to be able to make anything out of the data that you will get.

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Why Is Bioinformatics Useful?
Bioinformatics is useful because it allows scientists to identify a person’s genetic traits and use the information to cure or prevent diseases. This is why a lot of pharmaceutical companies want to hire experts in this field of science. With the biological information in their hands, the professionals can figure out what makes someone prone to specific illnesses and how they can be avoided.

How To Prepare For Bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics requires you to learn about biological sequencing, genetics, statistics, and computer programming. These are merely the first topics that you need to go through before even getting an opportunity to analyze and interpret data.

In The End

It is safe to say that bioinformatics is not for the faint at heart. It calls for utter focus and dedication; you can’t let any precise detail get past you. However, if you genuinely want to know more about it, attending seminars is an excellent start.

The Chemistry Of Depression – A Therapist Knows

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What Is The Biochemical Basis Of Depression?

We all know that chemical malfunctions cause depression and other types of mental health disorders in the brain, and the medications alter these abnormalities by maintaining the right balance of these substances. That’s what a therapist would say to discuss it biochemically. This is also a very scientific explanation, and some of us might get confused. So what does this have to do with depression?

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What Science Tells Us About Stress

Many people keep on saying that they are stressed out, exhausted, and anxious because of everything that is happening in their lives. However, not all of them can define what stress is. It is the conclusion that a group of psychologists made after conducting their study that tackles the impact of stress on many people. According to them, many individuals claim that they are under a lot of stress when in truth, and fact, they only feel uncomfortable. Is it proper to say that stress can be equated to lack of comfort?

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In today’s article, we are going to discuss the different concepts of stress under science. Our primary goal is to educate everyone about what stress means, as well as its signs and symptoms. We also want to share with everyone the ultimate causes of why people feel this negative emotion. Most importantly, at the end of this post, we aim to provide our readers with the top techniques that can help one eliminate the stressors in his life.

Definition

Stress can be defined as a state where the human body reacts to any change or circumstance that it encounters and one that requires a particular response, reaction, or adjustment. Stress can be affected by the physical, emotional, and mental responses that a person gives to every situation that he experiences. When a person is under a lot of pressure or is too anxious because of his environment or emotions, then the said individual may be under a lot of stress. When a person is stressed, the base of the brain releases hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. William R. Klemm, PhD, wrote, “Chronic high levels of cortisone change the neural circuitry that regulates its release.”

 

Signs And Symptoms

One of the common signs of stress is experiencing a racing heart. When a person suffers from too much stress, his heart will start to the race, which ultimately makes him paranoid or anxious about everything. Guy Winch, PhD, wrote, “Anxiety can make us feel so restless, uncomfortable, and incapable of concentrating.” Aside from this, there is also a high possibility that the said individual will be in a bad mood that can make it difficult for other people to deal with him. Experiencing too much stress can also lead to weight gain. It usually takes place because a stressed person will become inclined to eat more as he can look at food as a source of happiness.

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Another common symptom of stress is difficulty in sleeping. No matter what a person does, he will find it challenging to get a good night sleep even if he is too exhausted from the day’s work. It is one of the reasons why many individuals end up purchasing sleeping pills to help them rest during stressful days and nights. Having constant headaches or migraines can also be an indication that a particular person is under stress.

Treatment And Other Techniques

Fortunately, there are several ways on how one can battle stress. If you believe that you are under constant stress, we highly recommend that you familiarize the items listed below:

  1. Keep Your Cool – Do not get mad when things do not happen the way you want them to be. Keep in mind that everything is temporary, which means that you can still do something about every situation. Try to control the way you react to certain circumstances that come your way. Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD, wrote, “Use your strengths of critical thinking and hope to look at any negative situation in a fresh way.” Be smart enough to know how to handle your emotions.
  1. Exercise Regularly – Make time for physical activity, no matter how busy you are at work. Take note that exercising can do a lot of wonders for your body. It will not only increase your energy to continue all the activities you want to complete for the day. At the same time, it can also put you in a good mood, thereby limiting your stress.
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  1. Have A Balanced Diet – Not everyone knows this, but the truth is that your food intake can affect your mental health. Because of this, it is best if you will try to be in a healthy lifestyle. Be wary of what you eat so that you can help yourself achieve a state of excellent mental wellness. Keep your meal plans full of choices that are rich in fiber and nutrients.

 

  1. Meditate – Look for a serene place where you can chill and relax. This place must enable you to quiet your mind and go deeper to your soul. The beautiful thing about meditation is that it only requires at least ten minutes a day. What is essential is to achieve a state of mindfulness, and you are good to go.

Stress is a mental health issue that you need to handle well. Be smart enough to eliminate all the stressors in your life.

Dealing With Stress And Anxiety 101

Have you noticed that stress and anxiety are now part of your day-to-day life? Do you always find yourself feeling exhausted even if you have gotten the right amount of rest? Are you constantly afraid of the future or how things will unfold in your life? If you answered yes to all these, then it is time for you to learn the different ways on how you can deal with the stressors in your life. At the same time, you need to master the various techniques on how to handle anxiety or panic attacks in case you have one.

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Below are the top strategies to remember:

Think Of A Happy Memory

The moment you start to feel a little down, the best thing that you can do is to remind yourself of a happy memory. Think of someone or an experience that can surely make you smile. For example, a parent who is tired at his work in the office can feel instantly happier the moment she starts to remember her child who is left at home. The mere thought of her beloved kid can already cheer her up. All you have to know is to be aware of the thoughts that make you happy and keep on visualizing them so that you can manifest the happy thoughts.

 Learn When To Stop

Are you aware that you are the only one who can control how things will unfold in your life? Andy Tix, PhD, wrote, “In order to respond effectively to life stressors, we must realize we have at least some control—if nothing else, over our attitudes.” If you feel that everything has become overwhelming, it is best if you will choose to quit. Give yourself a chance to be happy and try something new. An excellent example of this is getting stuck in a job that you do not like. The moment you realize that your profession is no longer in line with your life’s goals and principles, then the best option that you have to choose is to hand in a resignation letter. Do not be afraid to click the stop button and start anew.

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Take A Break If Necessary

Keep in mind that there are days when all you need is a breather. Just because you are already stressed or anxious about your work or business does not necessarily mean that quitting is the best choice. Sometimes, all it takes is to choose to avail of a break from your usual routine and invest your time in relaxation. Do not be afraid to travel to a new place if it means regaining your self-confidence and love for what you do. Aside from this, you can also stay at home and sleep the entire day if it is what will make you feel relaxed. Do whatever it takes to unwind. Margarita Tartakovsky, MS, wrote, “Daily habits are vital in staving off stress, and coping with it.”

Make Exercise A Part Of Your Day

No matter how hectic or busy you are with work or with a business, it is ideal if you will spend a part of your time in engaging in physical activities. Susan Biali Haas, MD, wrote, “Physical exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress.” As much as possible, make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Take note that everything you do at this aspect in your life can have tons of advantages in the future. A study shows that exercise can help the body to release dopamine or a substance that is often called as happy hormones. This is why you can notice an improvement in your mood and mental health whenever you engage in physical activities or exercises.

Let It All Out

Make it a habit to talk to other people about what you feel and think. Remember that you have to let all your emotions out so that it will not consume all of you. If you are comfortable with opening up to a close friend, all you have to do is to call your best friend and discuss everything. On the other hand, if you feel awkward in addressing your issues to friends, the best option available for you is to seek professional help. Look for the best therapist in your area so that you can have someone to talk to regarding your feelings and thoughts. Take note that your cooperation is highly essential to make this arrangement work.

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Do not let anxiety and stress beat you down. Instead, find a way to turn it into something positive. follow the strategies enumerated above the best experience.