How to treat ADHD with Bio-Feedback
More and more parents are becoming reluctant to put their children on the brain altering stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin for Attention Deficit Syndrome ADD.
A common approach they are turning to is bio-feedback.
In order to understand how bio-feedback works, we have to understand how the brain works. The brain is hard wired with 4 distinctly different brain waves, each having a different function. Here is the list:
- Delta wave are the slowest and is the brain speed the body needs to be in in order to sleep
- Theta wave is the slightly higher frequency then Delta and is commonly referred to as the twilight before a person falls asleep.
- Alpha wave is called the quite focus. In this phase, the body is sort of in idle but paying attention. An example of this would be driving a car, folding cloths or performing an easy task.
- Beta wave is necessary for the brain to do intense focus and complex thought.
A healthy brain has the ability to move from one frequency to another without getting stuck. The brain waves are well regulated and easily switch from one frequency to another depending on what the brain needs.
An unhealthy brain has brain wave dysregulation. The overall brain tends to have a dominant wave length and the brain has a difficult time switching from one wave to another. For example, someone with low delta and high beta typically is someone who has a difficult time sleeping and has anxiety issues. Someone with high theta and low beta is someone that typically suffers with ADHD. There brain is stuck in the twilight phase and cant transition into the beta mode when situations demand it.
In Bio-feedback, we first do a QEEG which maps the brain waves. It takes about 12 min and measures the brainwaves at twelve different sites. We then set treatment protocols based on the degree of dysregulation seen in the brain map.
Treatment goals are to create new neuro pathways to help the brain switch from one wave length to another. We do this by having the patient watch videos on a large monitor with 2 electrodes on the affected focal site of the brain. The video will change its brightness and volume for the better based on the patients ability to keep their brain in the proper range. It’s like learning a new language or learning how to play a new instrument. You start off easy words or songs and you build new pathways in your brain. As with music, the more you practice, the stronger those new brain pathways get and you advance to a more difficult song. With the video work, the patient gradually improves their ability to regulate there brain waves and the net result is a brain that changes the way it’s wired. In the ADHD case, we would program the video to reward the patient when theta is lower and beta is higher.
If you’ve been considering bio-feedback for you or a loved one, feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment 336-740-9580. All consultations are free to see if you’re a candidate for care in our office