Addiction is a disease, but its treatment is quite different from other medical conditions. Unlike many health issues, there is no cure or addiction “fix” that heals all pain brought on by addiction. Addiction is a psychological issue; a disease of the brain. If the underlying root of addiction comes from brain function, shouldn’t we implement developing brain skills and brain monitoring into treatment? Well, FHE Health thinks so, which is why we have adopted alternative methods of treatment including neurofeedback therapy. This new method in addiction treatment helps to train individuals to understand and identify reactions their brain may have to certain stimuli. This allows them to better manage their thoughts, emotions, and actions.
What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback has scientific roots within the biofeedback method. This method monitors real-time systems and responses of the body to gain control of involuntary functions. Biofeedback information is useful to regulate and monitor body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The idea is that patients who understand more about how their brain works as it relates to other functions of the body have a better opportunity to control those functions. Biofeedback therapy is useful in the treatment of migraines, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and even shows promise in treating ADHD. The difference in Neurofeedback therapy and biofeedback therapy is that the neurofeedback method is specifically designed for treating conditions of the brain
How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?
An addiction specialist that understands how brain waves affect how we react performs Neurofeedback therapy. During the therapy, the patient will wear a special machine connected to headgear worn by the patient. This machine tells the specialist of brainwave activity. This brain activity is then explained to the patient, who acts to try to control specific brainwaves through interactive imagery. For the most part, the brain waves the specialist and patient address will be positive. Less frequently addressed, negative waves will also occasionally be a target. This way, the brain can learn to adapt to more regulated activity.
What are the Benefits of Neurofeedback Therapy?
Anyone can benefit from the common forms of neurofeedback therapy, not just those in addiction treatment. Any brain, no matter how young or old, can be trained with neurofeedback therapy to help the body perform better. The goal for neurofeedback therapy is not to cure addiction, but to teach a patient that their behaviors can be controlled just by understanding more about the brain and how it works. Neurofeedback therapy can be used to regulate:
Behaviors: Especially in addiction treatment, we wish to regulate behaviors so that relapse does not occur. Neurofeedback therapy is special because it can help people retrain their brains. It promotes positive actions and decreases the risk of negative actions brought on by reactions of the brain.
Emotions: Neurofeedback therapy is a great way to help those that need reinforcing concentration in focus. Because of this, it’s optimal for people who need to focus on their recovery in addiction treatment.
Stress: Anxiety and stress are dangerous to those in recovery because it can lead to relapse. Neurofeedback therapy may people with high levels of stress regulate the stimuli that are the root cause of their anxiety.
Neurofeedback Therapy and Trauma
Along with aiding in the categories listed above, neurofeedback training is highly suggested for people that have been through traumatic experiences that have not responded positively to other forms of treatment. Specialists that monitor the brain with neurofeedback equipment can compare your brain to others. They can also determine specific areas of the brain that are short-circuiting that may be the cause for previously unsuccessful treatments. Trauma therapy for those in addiction treatment is vital, as the trauma may directly relate to substance abuse. These short circuits in the brain correlate with feelings, which may lead to behaviors that trigger addiction. Training the nervous system to reduce these short circuits will not only help traumatized individuals in treatment be able to refrain from drug use, but also deal with the feelings that stem from their traumatic experiences.
A Long-Term Solution
Retraining the brain takes a few sessions, but the results of neurofeedback are lasting. While medications may effectively treat certain medical issues, it is apparent that they are not a solution for all. Neurofeedback techniques can change your life for the better and help you to understand how your brain and body work. This is important information and a useful technique for all areas of life, not just addiction recovery. To receive neurofeedback therapy, all you have to do is decide on a treatment option that supports alternative addiction treatment methods. Decide that you need help for your addiction and you will be able to heal not only your body but also your brain. Learn More About NeuroTherapy Options.