Neurofeedback: what it is and how is this therapeutic tool used

Recently, we are witnessing a real revolution in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to assess and influence brain function. And among all, Biofeedback stands out and more specifically Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback that works by recording and regulating electrical activity in the brain (Electroencephalogram).

Neurofeedback is therefore a type of neurotherapy, that is to say a treatment that seeks to modify brain function by acting directly on it.

Unlike psychotherapy, which influences different psychological processes through the relationship between therapist and patient, neurotherapy it comes from the brain-machine relationship, And it does not address the psychological processes themselves, but the underlying neurobiological state. So let’s see what are the keys to neurofeedback.

    A form of neurotherapy

    Obviously, any psychotherapy will, if effective, produce changes at the neurobiological level, because the mind is based on neurochemical and neurophysiological processes in the nervous system. And conversely, in any type of neurotherapy, the therapist-patient relationship will have its role and will condition its effectiveness.

    However, to simplify, we will say that psychotherapy acts on psychological processes, and has as one of its central elements the therapeutic relationship, and neurotherapy works by looking for a direct change in the function of the nervous system, Thanks to specially designed devices. In other words, neurotherapy is therapy focused on the neurobiological level and, thanks to its influence at this level, it will also change the psychological processes underlying them.

    What is Neurofeedback?

    Technically, therefore, Neurofeedback is a treatment that acts on brain waves to allow the person to be aware of their brain activity and to modify it. From an electroencephalographic (EEG) recording, neurofeedback devices extract a series of parameters that will be used to assess bioelectric function, turning the analog signal (the classic EEG we all know) into data that we can program.

    In all cases, Neurofeedback is a non-invasive method that passively influences brain function, By strengthening or inhibiting certain brain waves by images or sounds. In other words, neurofeedback machines do not emit any waves or energy.

    According to the International Alliance for Biofeedback Certification (BCIA), Neurofeedback is used to modify the electrical activity of the CNS, including EEG, evoked potentials, slow cortical potentials, and other electrical activities. either of cortical or subcortical origin. Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that works with brain wave measurements through an operative conditioning paradigm.

    Its use in mental health

    Biofeedback in general, and Neurofeedback in particular, they have a clinical aspect, and another oriented towards improving performance. Regarding its clinical applications, the most recognized is the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), having been included in several clinical guidelines in this table and approved by scientific groups such as the American Association. of Pediatrics. Besides ADHD, favorable results have been published with disorders as diverse as brain damage, epilepsy, anxiety, OCD, headaches, etc.

    Use it to improve performance, has been applied in the preparation of elite athletes, Artists and in improving cognitive function in healthy subjects.

    Vitaliza’s commitment to the use of neurofeedback as a therapeutic tool, whether as a therapy of final choice or as a complement to other forms of intervention, is definitive. The experience of the last twenty years has been very encouraging and this has encouraged us to promote, together with other health professionals, the creation of the Spanish Society of Bio and Neurofeedback (SEBINE), a true regulator and motor of the sector in our country. .

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