These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding how we work

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a specific type of biofeedback procedure directed toward the renormalization of the brain and central nervous system.  It utilizes the very tiny EEG (electroencephalogram) signals obtained from sensors on the scalp, to monitor the brainwaves and provide a corresponding signal (feedback) to the brain.  In short, Neurofeedback is brainwave training, a tool for the brain to directly learn flexibility, mental control and increased stability.  Neurofeedback is created by a highly specialized computer software system and an EEG machine. The passive, low-energy, transcranial, micro-stimulation system we utilize has an EEG machine which monitors brain activity, the software analyzes brain activity and sends back to the brain a similar signal. This signal is sent in a frequency that mimics the brain's own natural electrical neuronal firing and disrupts all weak neuronal pathways which cause us problems.

At the same time, when the body receives the micro-energy, it responds by creating higher levels of serotonin, GABA, dopamine, and endorphins- the neurotransmitters and hormones that keep us in a state of rest and repair, and out of fight or flight. Over a series of sessions, we train our brain to use healthy pathways and to keep our neurotransmitters in regulation, thus keeping our nervous system in a state of rationalization and peace.

The brain is then reinforced to use strong pathways- the health ones that keep us operating at our best. Well-described patterns of optimal brain function are cultivated over sessions, accompanied by diminution or elimination of pathologic conditions as the brain orchestrates its own improvements.  Results are at least long-lasting, often permanent, and typically continue to advance following training.

Common applications of neurofeedback include addressing learning disabilities, particularly those involving, or related to, ADD or ADHD.  Such individuals frequently show a "slowing" pattern in their EEG (Electroencephalogram), so-called because of either the pronounced level, or "surging", of Delta and/or Theta (slower, or lower frequency) waves.  Training to ameliorate these signature patterns over several sessions has been shown to increase the trainee's ability to attend and focus.  Such patterns are frequently experienced following brain injury or insult, and in these cases often respond quickly to neurofeedback.

What can neuroffedback help?

Neurofeedback helps with a large array of issues and disordersThe following is a short, but not complete list: 

  • ADD/ADHD/Conduct issues
  • Conversion Syndrome
  • Anger and Rage
  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
  • Autism
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy/Seizures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches (Migraine, Cluster and Tension)
  • Head Injury Symptoms (like fogginess and confusion)
  • Insomnia and poor sleep
  • Peak Performance (Sports & Corporate)
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
  • Tics / Involuntary muscle movement

Is Neurofeedback safe?

Yes. Neurofeedback has been used on hundreds of thousands people the world over, adult and children alike. There is nothing that may cause harm to you by having neurofeedback. It is not a medical procedure and is rather a retraining of the brain and nervous system through a micro-level of energy equivalent to a 5 billionth of a AA battery. There are a few different types of neurofeedback systems out there, and the system used at Temecula Neurofeedback has no to minimal side-effects. For a very few people who may receive a session a little too strong, they may experience very mild and short-lived side-effects such as dizziness, nausea, headache, irritability, or trouble sleeping. These mild responses usually last only a few hours or so. However, like homeopathy, and other subtle and energy-based healing methods, it may occasionally cause a temporary intensification of symptoms that have been experienced in the past, as part of the process of the condition being resolved.  Clients participate in this process by letting their practitioner know at each visit how they have responded since the last training session.  Protocols can be selected to tailor the feedback to each individual at each point in their recovery.

How many sessions does it take to get better?

Because people are all different and have different symptoms, for different periods of time, and different severity levels, it is difficult to say how many sessions will be the "magic number." From our experience, most people see noticeable differences in the first three sessions- for some people it will take more sessions. Within six sessions, many people feel considerable relief from most of their symptoms. After these initial sessions, the client will work with the clinician to determine if the sessions may end, or if they may be further spaced apart. Each client is considered unique and the progression of the sessions are specifically tailored to each person.

What can I expect during a session?

Neuro-Gen HPN, High-Performance Neurofeedback, is a specific type of next-generation neurofeedback.  It is designed to significantly accelerate the training process.

Neuro-Gen HPN provides feedback to the brain in the form of a specific set of ultra low power signals.  This results in a measurable change in the brainwaves, all without conscious effort from the individual receiving the feedback.  This aspect is especially welcome with young children, or those unable to fully consciously cooperate.

During the session, the trainee sits in a comfortable chair, typically for about 45 minutes or so.  The Neuro-Gen Practitioner places EEG (electroencephalograph) leads at different sites on the trainee’s head.  A computer that is connected to the EEG amplifier analyzes the brainwave signal and in turn signals the EEG interface to produce feedback that precisely tracks, but is a bit different from, the brain’s own signal at that point in time. Specific filters are in place to allow training "under task", allowing the trainee to read, perform math problems, or watch a video, as may be appropriate, to further enhance the effects of training.

Training with Neuro-Gen HPN is pleasant and results are often noticed immediately.  The EEG interface is FDA cleared.

The result of this training is a changed brainwave state and greater ability for the brain to regulate itself for higher, more flexible functioning.

How often should I have sessions?

When first beginning neurofeedback, many people choose to start with two sessions a week, so as to "jump start" their treatment plan, but many people with milder symptoms choose to have sessions once a week. After a couple weeks, sessions are moved to once a week, but no farther apart. When symptoms are better and the client is feeling good, sessions are moved to two weeks apart, reevaluated and then either discontinued if it looks like the brain and nervous system are "trained" or we may choose to further space apart the sessions.

Is neurofeedback right for you?

Most likely, yes! Neurofeedback does not target any specific symptoms during sessions. Instead, it "looks for" all neural pathways which are not health and disrupts them. In this way, any number of symptoms can be addressed in all sessions. Many of our clients have co-occuring, severe symptoms when they first begin, all of which are addressed in their sessions simultaneously. Sleep, energy, reactivity, recovery, as well as mental and emotional symptoms are all helped. Even some psychosomatic symptoms are helped such as numbness in the limbs, tummy issues, high blood pressure, migraines, and more.

Can I take medication while receiving neurofeedback?

With successful neurofeedback training, medications targeting brain function may no longer be needed or they may be needed at lower dosages as the brain takes over the role of regulating itself.  Although neurofeedback typically takes longer to produce change than many medications do, it appears to yield long-term benefits in all key areas of attention span, impulse control, academic achievement and social adjustment without  the physiological side effects often associated with medication.  Those on medication should be closely monitored by their physician, as dosage changes may be (and typically are) indicated.  Although certain specific medications may slow down the training effects of neurofeedback, it is not necessary (and typically not desirable) to discontinue existing medications in order to do neurofeedback.

What research has been conducted?

80% of adults who received neurofeedback as children for ADD showed continued positive focus results in a three, five and ten year follow-up study.  Decreases in impulsivity, distractibility and hyperactivity and increase in IQ have been documented in over 50 studies.  As neurofeedback dramatically shifts the brain's arousal level, modifying the usual response to fear, many otherwise intractable, brain-based emotional problems decrease.  Please also see our Clinical Research page that lists research conducted on the benefits of neurofeedback.