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Newsweek article about neurofeedback

Posted by Hugh on May 27, 2016, at 10:23:22

I first stumbled across the concept of neurofeedback while researching a story on anger in 2014. A couple of the experts I interviewed mentioned the practice, and I found a company called Brain State Technologies that offered a neurofeedback treatment it called Brainwave Optimization. The company connected me with a practitioner in New York City, and in April that year I underwent two sessions. After the first session, I felt as if I'd just finished meditating, and the world seemed a little brighter. After the second, I felt like I'd taken a Xanax.

More committed users sometimes--though not always--see even more dramatic and long-lasting effects. Longo's wife, for example, started using neurofeedback after she fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a series of headaches and vertigo. After 30 sessions, "it made a 100 percent difference," she says. "This is one of mental health's best-kept secrets," Longo adds. "The pharmaceutical companies don't like us because it gets people off of drugs. But there's a growing amount of literature and research, and in the next five or 10 years you're going to see a lot of support when we say we can treat things like traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia, migraine headaches and people who have had strokes."

Charles Tegeler, a neurology professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, got into the field after running a stroke center for 15 years. He became increasingly concerned that stress was killing people, he says, and "putting people on drugs was just a big Band-Aid." In 2009, Tegeler heard about Brain State. "I thought it sounded like bunk," he says. But his daughter had developed migraine headaches so excruciating she'd missed most of her classes during the previous semester. Tegeler decided she could undergo the company's brain wave optimization. "If it helps her headaches, we'll talk," he says of his feelings before the sessions. Tegeler also tried it himself, to see if it could do anything for his irregular heartbeat. After 10 sessions in five days, Tegeler's heart was back to normal, and his daughter's headaches were gone.

In 2009, he founded a research institute at Wake Forest called HIRREM, which stands for "high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring." The facility has enrolled 400 people in five neurofeedback research projects, all using Brain State's technology. Participants included people with traumatic brain injuries, insomniacs and people suffering from depression or stress. Most of HIRREM's participants have seen improvement, Tegeler says. On balance, the results are "like condensing three years of medication into three days," with only a small rate of adverse effects. The center is about to release the findings of a placebo-controlled study of 104 people with insomnia and is launching trials later this year to see if neurofeedback helps those who suffer from PTSD.

Here's the complete article:




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