Services at Bloomington Neurofeedback fall into two categories – Bottom-Up and Top-Down. Bottom-Up approaches target the brain and nervous system through our bodies while Top-Down approaches target the conscious mind.
Bottom-Up services address the nervous system directly. They include QEEG Assessment, Neurofeedback Training, Audio-Visual Entrainment, Heart Rate Variability Training, Vagus Nerve Stimulation, and Light Interventions including Red/InfraRed and Blue Light. These bottom-up approaches bypass our conscious awareness and seek to help the nervous system regulate itself.
Top-Down approaches affect our conscious awareness. They include Counseling and Coaching services. Work is done to help you develop and utilize tools at a conscious level for enhanced relationships, healthier and more productive decision making, improved mood or anxiety, and goal-attainment to name just a few. Often counseling services are individual, but they can also include a significant other or entire family.
A program will be tailored to your specific needs and can include any combination of services offered.
A qEEG provides very detailed analysis of your specific brainwave patterns and functioning. It is sometimes referred to as brain mapping because it can provide very precise details about different areas of your brain. A recording of the electrical activity in your brain is done at the surface of your scalp with small sensors.
Using highly rigorous computerized brain mapping analysis, your specific brain map is then compared to a database of hundreds of thousands of EEG readings including a normative sample of healthy individuals and also EEG ratios within yourself. The qEEG helps determine if there are brain-based issues that neurofeedback training might be helpful in addressing. A neurofeedback treatment protocol is then developed based on the specific needs of your brain.
Neurofeedback, sometimes called EEG biofeedback, is a form of biofeedback that uses real-time EEG readings to help teach you how to regulate your own nervous system. Many things use feedback loops -for example, a thermostat provides feedback to your air conditioner. Neurofeedback helps you become an active participant in your brain’s healing by getting that immediate information and adjusting your nervous system accordingly.
Neurofeedback uses a form of learning called operant conditioning, which pairs a stimulus with a behavior to train you to sustain the appropriate brainwave frequencies for your particular issues. This is a non-invasive therapy that will help with neural regulation.
During a neurofeedback session, sensors are placed on your scalp to read the electrical activity. The computer system monitors the EEG and provides the appropriate, moment by moment feedback through visual and auditory cues. In this way the brain learns how to stay regulated and allow healing to take place..
Because areas of dysregulation have been pinpointed and training protocols set for those exact brain regions, your specific behavioral and emotional symptoms will be addressed. With regular sessions, brain dysregulation will improve, which helps you feel better physically and emotionally.Neurofeedback Explained
Audio-Visual Entrainment uses light and sound which pulse at specific frequencies to target electrical activity in the brain. Your brainwaves will gradually sync with the frequencies of the light and sound. Improved mood, relaxation, energy, sleep or cognition are the results. Entrainment is not new. People have been using entrainment for thousands of years in the form of music and drumming.
Clients wear an eyeset and headphones to deliver the technology. This is often used as an adjunct to neurofeedback. We use MindAlive ™ products as well as NewMind Technologies ™ photic glasses.
Bloomington Neurofeedback, LLC is a certified provider for HeartMath+ ™ which allows us to assess the amount of variability between individual heartbeats. Healthier individuals have more variability between fast and slow heartbeats, and we teach you how to breathe, increase variability, and enter a state of coherence. Improved variability provides information to our brain, which in turn creates reinforcement in our improving mood. The HeartMath+ ™program allows us to see our heart rate in real time allowing us to change these patterns to ones that are much better for our overall well-being.
Bloomington Neurofeedback is a certified provider for The Safe and Sound Protocol ™ (SSP), a listening protocol which targets the vagus nerve. Based on polyvagal theory and research by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is a highly modulated music protocol that provides cues of safety to the nervous system through the tiny muscles of the middle ear.
Our nervous system is constantly monitoring our environment for danger. This monitoring system works well for most people but, for some, their nervous system is in alarm mode constantly. The Safe and Sound Protocol ™ is designed to calm these false alarms and reset the nervous system to a baseline of safety rather than danger, allowing better use of conscious decision making.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a process that uses light to stimulate tissue. Light therapy creates a series of events that lead to increased metabolism. It provides enhanced blood flow, oxygen and glucose uptake, and energy at a cellular level through ATP production. PBM helps decrease inflammation which we see following a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Research has shown improved cognitive function with the use of transcranial light therapy.
With Top-Down Counseling interventions, individualized programs will be developed for each client, couple or family. Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, internal family systems, and solution-focused brief therapy are part of an eclectic approach. Gottman-method couples work, family systems interventions and theraplay techniques are used for couples and families. Homework is often assigned and is important in honing skills that we focus on during therapy. Homework might include reading an article, writing in a journal, watching a video or movie, or engaging in various forms of play. It may feel difficult as it stretches you beyond your comfort zone into something unfamiliar. Yet, as we practice these new ways of thinking and being, healthy change becomes part of our growth.
Another great Top-Down approach is Coaching. It is a great way to stay focused on a goal. Coaching is future-oriented and specific. Coaching will help you clarify your “big win” and then develop a personalized plan for accomplishing the goal(s), taking into account your unique strengths and talents. Strategies for overcoming obstacles are also put into place. Business leaders, athletes, musicians and artists frequently use coaching, but it can be an appropriate part of a program of self-care for anyone who wants to be their best self and achieve specific goals.