Monday, March 5, 2012

Medicating the Brain – Why We Need a New Approach

What’s the generally accepted medical practice for treating someone with clinical depression, with anxiety, ADHD, migraines, seizures – or many other “brain” problems? The answer is – to prescribe a pill, such as a stimulant, an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety medication. Or, in some cases, a mood stabilizer/anti-convulsant, or an anti-psychotic. Disadvantages to medicating the brain abound. Many people who take medications still struggle with symptoms. For many others, stopping a medication causes the problems to reappear, or even get worse. In addition, there can be side effects – ranging from mild to severe. Furthermore, it is common to take medications for a very long time period, which is not only problematic as dependence can develop, but also there are growing concerns about the long-term use of medications, and for good reason. The pills don’t usually TEACH you how to change your own brain. They just temporarily help manage symptoms. Certain “brain problems”, such as autism, Aspergers, learning difficulties, PTSD, even stroke and traumatic brain injury patients - have no medications that really work well or work at all. Yet these are clearly brain problems. 

Moving Past Medication – Healing the Brain through Neurofeedback
The improvements cut across all disorders – ADHD, depression, anxiety, stroke, OCD, and far more. They are brain problems. Improve the brain and you see people LEARN to overcome their symptoms. Unlike pills, Neurofeedback is most successful when patients STOP using it. If you really LEARN to change your brain, you won’t forget. Neurofeedback is learning. Unlike medications, once you’ve learned how to manage your brain and mind better, you can stop. If you’ve learned it well enough, you’ll remember how to continue what you trained. Often, no more sessions are needed. Neurofeedback is not a panacea. Some clients will still remain on medications. But by encouraging the brain to function better, it is common for patients to end up on significantly less medication. There are a number of clinical case reports where clients on medications for many years - have been able to cut back their medications dramatically. Sometimes they go without any medications. That's because - when the brain works better, there is less need for medications. The individual is able to take on more of the task of managing themselves. The more efficient the brain, less medications will now be needed to accomplish the same effect. If neurofeedback simply helps reduce the reliance on meds and cuts back the use of medications, the result is profound. Better functioning! However the biggest benefit of neurofeedback is that people do function better. They enjoy life more. They are less bothered by things. Their mood is more stable. Whether on or off meds, this is really the key goal. Many people mistake the power of neurofeedback as something that occurs through the machines that are used. In fact, the machines are simply helping the individual increase their abilities to manage. In biofeedback - by definition, it is not the equipment that makes the changes. It's individuals who are "strengthening their neural circuits." If you use a weight machine to work out - it's not the weights that make the individual change. It's the effort put in by the individual. Fortunately, the only real effort to learn neurofeedback is to participate. There's no real other effort required.

Taken from - About Neurofeedback - Information, Perspective and Advice
Brain Harmonics • 9 Carlton Road, Noordhoek and 8 Erin Road, Rondebosch • Cape Town, 7985

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