Neurofeedback helps stop the “revolving door” of addiction.
With relapse rates sky-high in the majority of addiction programs, people struggling with addiction can find themselves in and out of treatment and rehabilitation programs for years. Often, people with addiction leave a treatment program before completion.
Addiction is a brain disease, a mental disorder that debilitates a person in all aspects of his or her life. In addition, people with addiction frequently suffer from other mental health disorders such as ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
Why Is Neurofeedback So Effective?
Neurofeedback treats the disorder of addiction by retraining the brain. Teaching a person’s brain how to be calm, focused, and relaxed helps them to think more clearly and rationally. As stressful incidents, or triggers, are a major cause of relapse, neurofeedback training helps build a solid base on which to build recovery.
Medications may help to begin the change in the short-term, however, recovery from addiction is a long-term process. Neurofeedback retrains the dysregulated brain patterns causing dysfunction, giving a person with addiction the ability to succeed. Also, for a person who has relied on a substance abuse to manage daily life, medication may be just another substance to abuse.
How Does Neurofeedback Help End Addiction?
During times of stress, those with addiction need to remain calm, reasonable, and rational to make the important choices to stay clean and sober.
- Neurofeedback teaches a person’s brain to operate in a calm, rational state, even in stressful situations.
- Non-invasive therapy with no side effects.
- Research has shown that integrating neurofeedback training into one’s treatment program produces a higher success rate than treatment programs without neurofeedback.
- Neurofeedback clinicians report that more than 85% of their clients who train with neurofeedback improve their ability to focus, regulate behavior, and reduce impulsivity.
- Neurofeedback helps manage emotions and mood while improving sleep, adding neurofeedback to a treatment program gives people the necessary tools to help them be more in control, avoid relapse and achieve success.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback helps to correct dysregulated brain patterns that contribute to addiction.
By using brain maps or a qEEG to determine the specific areas that are dysregulated, a customized training plan targets the regions of the brain that are under- or over stimulated. This helps correct some of the physiological aspects of the addiction.
If the person is over-stimulated, they are in a state of:
- generally uncomfortable in their own skin
Alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates will calm this state (often with deadly consequences).
On the other side, if the brain is under-stimulated the person often struggles with:
- low energy
- a feeling of hopelessness
Drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and other stimulants will make the person feel awake and alive (again with dire consequences).
Neurofeedback therapists individualize the protocols in the Neurofeedback machine for each client based on their symptoms. However, the brain is a self-organizing organ that simply needs a bit of prompting to find its own balance. So, while there is a great deal of science involved in the process, there is also an organic phenomenon that occurs where the brain is seeking a regulated state. The brain wants to function optimally.
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