Treating PTSD by Changing Your Brain
By Zara Dureno, MOT, Occupational Therapist
There are many options for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, the medications can have some extreme side effects and the therapies can take a lot of time and dedication. Neurofeedback is a technology that can greatly speed up the healing process and help you to manage the symptoms of PTSD much easier.
People who are living with PTSD can have a difficult time managing their symptoms; there can be intense fear, flashbacks, panic attacks and ongoing anxiety or feelings of shame or guilt that can be hard to manage. A lot of these symptoms come from an overactivation of a part of the brain called the Amygdala, which is the fear centre of the brain. When it is overactive, our brain’s alarm system is always on – telling us that we are in danger and causing a whole host of unpleasant symptoms. When we look at people’s brains who have PTSD, they often do not have enough of a relaxed brainwave called “Alpha” and they have too much of a fast, stressed brainwave called “hi-beta”. Because of this, their brains have a hard time relaxing. With neurofeedback, we can train the brain to increase alpha and decrease hi-beta to help the brain relax more.
So how does it work? It is a device that you put on your head and it reads the aforementioned brainwaves. It feeds these waves back to you in real time in the form of a game of your phone. When it detects that your brain is going into “Alarm mode”, your character in the game does not do as well and you do not get points. When it detects you are starting to relax more, your character gets more points and you do better in the game. This use of positive reinforcement trains the brain to be in that relaxed state more often helping speed up the process of recovery by working from the level of how the brain works and changing your brain on a biological level. You can help your brain work for you. Use neuroplasticity and the technology of neurofeedback to re-wire the way your brain was wired through trauma.
Call us today to learn more about the home-based neurofeedback program which we offer globally!