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Neurofeedback technology creates opportunities to retrain your brain

Today, Zino has a changed life, as she says, thanks to using neurofeedback therapy BrainCore technology.

She works in the women’s center with a love of helping women and children through the trauma they are experiencing. But she would wonder if she had done enough. The “great toll” these dire situations also had on their mental health resulted in nightmares that kept them from sleeping nights.

Zino started BrainCore neurofeedback sessions in August 2020 and woke up with changes in October.

“I noticed that I not only slept, but slept through the night and haven’t had a night terrors since then,” said Zino. “After several months, my second brain map showed a 57% increase, and I definitely noticed.

How does neurofeedback work?

Neurofeedback therapy is one way of helping your brain develop healthy patterns. It happens through Neuroplasticity, this is your brain creating new paths based on the thoughts, actions, and emotions you have. According to the BrainCore website, people adjust their brain pathways in each session without healing a particular disorder over time.

“The brain learns by making connections between nerve cells and using important pathways that connect different parts of the brain,” explains the BrainCore website. “The more you use these routes, the better the brain can do the job.”

The BrainCore technology as it is at. is used Dr. Big brain in Perham, Minnesota, and BrainCore, north Minnesota, in Brainerd begins with helping patients understand the wave activity of their brain. There is a cap with sensors on your head, along with some sensors on your ear that are connected to a computer. Wait a minute, a sensor for my brain? The sensors do not enter anything into your brain, but register the activity that is already taking place inside.

Neurofeedback, or EEG, involves placing sensors on people's heads and ears. Post / Sourcewell / Mitchell McCallson, 2021

Neurofeedback, or EEG, involves placing sensors on people’s heads and ears. Post / Sourcewell / Mitchell McCallson, 2021

The computer then creates a brain map that shows areas in your brain that could be considered unbalanced with increased or decreased activity. At times you sit with your eyes open and closed – and that is an exercise for the brain. You will also see how these brain waves are correlated through a game, movie, or sound that changes as new avenues are developed.

If you’re concerned, this sounds a little “hokey,” University of California Los Angeles researchers starting at 1950s and 60sHe showed that people can train their brainwaves by giving small rewards like the sound of a bell.

Since the 1970s the therapy has shown Conduct and academic improvements for people with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neurofeedback is used by psychiatrists, chiropractors, clinical social workers, and nurses. Neurofeedback is not widely used as a treatment. The equipment used is certified by the Food and Drug Administration.

Heather Kelm, Managing Director at Group houses in the harbor in Brainerd, shared her experience at Sourcewell’s annual fundraising event in Staples, Minnesota, in October, where organizations share their presentations for community impact funding.

Kelm attended neurofeedback sessions for three weeks. The meetings usually last about a year.

“It’s non-invasive, so no one has to revisit the past trauma they experienced while trying to retrain their brain and make those connections a little faster,” Kelm said. “Neurofeedback is a lifelong change.”

Van Eeckhout highlights sections of Zino's brain based on different wave activity. Post / Sourcewell / Mitchell McCallson, 2021

Van Eeckhout highlights sections of Zino’s brain based on different wave activity. Post / Sourcewell / Mitchell McCallson, 2021

The brain controls attention, emotions, and balance. The main waves of the brain are:

  • Delta: The slowest processing speed occurs when you are sleeping or relaxed.

  • Theta: These waves are also slow processing that produce in deep relaxation.

  • Alpha: When you are idle and your brain is healthy, your brain produces more alpha waves on the right than on the left.

  • Beta: Focus, concentration, and mindful brain work ensure rapid processing, with more beta waves on the left than on the right.

Neurofeedback therapy is not a one-stop shop for pain relief, the focus is on improving your brain functions. Neurofeedback is designed to help people with ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, insomnia, learning disorders, memory loss, migraines, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorder.

In the Port Group Home, which supports young people at risk, Kelm and Zino hope that children can achieve healing with neurofeedback. The new sessions, with $ 100,000 from Sourcewell’s Community Impact Funding program, will be offered to children and staff in Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Todd, and Wadena counties.

“What I noticed was that memory problems were almost completely resolved . Reading comprehension has improved, sleep has improved and these are just some of the small changes I have noticed so far, “said Kelm after three weeks of neurofeedback therapy sessions,” and I can’t wait to see the rest of the sessions and times see where I’m going for another month. “