– Santiago Ramón y Cajal, 1852
Our brain health is a critical part of our overall well-being and yet it can be challenging to target brain-specific training. Similar to how our muscles get stronger with specific exercises, our brains have an incredible capacity to heal and change when stimulated in certain ways. This can happen naturally, like when we are learning to ride a bike or play an instrument. But some brain functions, like improving our focus or feeling less anxious, can be harder to learn without the right feedback.
Neurofeedback is a method of training your brain activity. Think of it as a personal trainer for your mind – but instead of going to the gym, you are sitting quietly watching your brain work. Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive technology that uses a headband to detect subtle electrical signals from your brain. When you are in an undesirable mental state (for example, feeling depressed, anxious, distracted, or having issues with memory) your brain emits certain electrical patterns. This technology can detect those patterns, helping you optimize your brain’s healing potential and change them to more desirable ones through a fun, interactive, rewards-based platform.
With the help of a trained therapist to guide the development of your brain training program and the real-time feedback from the device itself, you can learn how to self-regulate your brain and promote changes that are associated with positive physical, emotional and cognitive states. Over time, with enough repetition, you can make long-lasting changes in the way your brain functions!
Who is neurofeedback for?
The Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic offers neurofeedback protocols for:
- Attention and memory training
- Migraines/chronic pain
- Cognitive decline
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Mood enhancement
- Sleep enhancement
- Improving memory
- Stress reduction
- Relaxation training
What to expect
Sessions can take place in-person at our clinic or virtually from your home.
First, you will meet with one of our occupational therapists to assess your current brain function, and discuss your goals and the changes you wish to make to optimize your brain function. Your therapist will take this information and design a program just for you.
At your first treatment session, the lightweight and comfortable headband will be placed on your head. You will then use your phone/tablet or computer to complete a series of games designed specifically for you by your therapist. Your therapist will be with you during the session, coaching you through the process and adjusting the settings according to your progress.
We always want to ensure that what you do in clinic will translate meaningfully into your everyday life. After each session you will have the time to discuss your progress with your therapist and plan strategies for how to translate these changes into your real world. Over time, with the right combination of repetition, practice, and positive reinforcement, your brain will learn to function more efficiently.
How long does it take?
In order to create lasting changes, we typically recommend at least 15 consecutive weeks of training with at least 1 session per week with your therapist. Each treatment session is 15-45 minutes, depending on your experience and tolerance.
Of course, everyone’s brain is unique, and your program may be adjusted depending on your specific goals.
Click here to see a typical neurofeedback client journey.
Are there any risks in neurofeedback?
Some people experience a small headache, slight fatigue or eye strain in the first few sessions, but side effects are generally very limited. Clients will be well monitored by a trained clinician and any side effects will be addressed and adjusted for.
For those with epilepsy or a severe psychiatric diagnosis (e.g. severe depression, schizophrenia, PTSD), a doctor’s note and close observation from a specialized doctor will be required for treatment to be initiated. For those taking psychiatric medications or medication for sleep disorders, close monitoring from their doctor will be required as well.
How much does it cost?
The price of your program will depend on several factors including the planned frequency of sessions, whether you attend in person or virtually, and whether you have your own device or need to borrow one from us. Contact us to discuss these details with a clinician.
Is neurofeedback covered by insurance?
Depending on your individual insurance plan, you may be eligible for Occupational Therapy or Kinesiology coverage for reimbursement for therapy hours spent on neurofeedback. We offer direct billing to all extended benefits providers.
How do I sign up?
Please click here to book a neurofeedback consultation.