Is neurofeedback a viable alternative anxiety treatment?
This article examines the scientific evidence of neurofeedback as an alternative treatment for anxiety.
The search for an alternative anxiety treatment continues to this day, because in spite of the growing number of medications and prescription drugs available, the condition remains hard to treat, not to mention the fact that many health experts have voiced their concern over the long term side effects of continued dependence on prescription drugs. One alternative treatment that has shown promise is neurofeedback.
How Neurofeedback Relieves Anxiety
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that involves training the patient to consciously control abnormal brain wave electrical activities, some of which contribute to anxiety. With regular neurofeedback training it becomes possible to turn off the brain waves that are triggering your anxiety and stimulate the brain waves that promote relaxation and calmness.
The majority of anxiety sufferers are believed to show faster than normal beta wave patterns compared to those that don’t have them. By training with a neurofeedback expert you will be able to determine which brain wave frequencies have surpluses and deficiencies and alter them at a conscious level.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
The Benefits of Neurofeedback Treatment for Anxiety
There are several potential benefits that you can derive from neurofeedback including the ability to regulate your brain waves at a conscious level. This makes it easier to lower your anxiety level without the need to rely on drugs and thus be safe from any potentially dangerous long term effect. However there are benefits aside from that:
· Regulation of brain waves: moving brain waves into particular regions is one of the skills you will learn in neurofeedback, and this will only be possible if you use an EEG to track the electrical activity in your brain. With a well-designed neurofeedback training program you’ll learn how to adjust your brain waves and control the symptoms of anxiety.
· Reduced reliance on medications and prescription drugs: most people who suffer from anxiety are dependent on medications. Not only are these drugs expensive but over time it’s going to take its toll on your mind and body.
For instance, extended use of benzodiazepines has been associated with permanent memory impairment and dementia, and the same thing can be said for other psychiatric drugs. By opting for anxiety treatment with neurofeedback that doesn’t require the use of drugs, you don’t have to worry about the side effects.
· Very little risk: there is very little risk or side effects involved with neurofeedback anxiety treatment. Provided you are working with a specially trained neurofeedback clinician, there is no reason to worry about any short or long term side effects. Compared to pharmaceutical drugs, neurofeedback is a safer method of treating anxiety.
· Neurotransmission: there is a strong possibility that changing the electrical activates in the brain leads to concentration changes in hormones and neurotransmitters. These are areas often affected by anxiety, so being able to change them is going to help you in the long run.
· Non-drug intervention: most of the people who take anti-anxiety drugs don’t like the effects when they try to discontinue it, and that is something you won’t experience with neurofeedback. No matter how many sessions you take part in, you won’t feel any withdrawal symptoms.
Other Ways Neurofeedback Helps Treat Anxiety
Regional regulation is another benefit, because with regional activation and practice you will learn how to cope not just with anxiety but other types of irrational fears or phobias. There have been more than a few studies showing that neurofeedback is effective in treating phobia and it’s very likely you will get the same results with anxiety attacks.
Furthermore, neurofeedback is a long term anxiety treatment program: after you learn how to control and change your brain waves, you won’t forget how to do it. You may need to fine tune it every now and then but the majority of people who have tried it say the effects are permanent.
Neurofeedback for anxiety treatment has proven to be effective because it goes after electrical activities that influence your anxiety levels. One of the most common misconceptions today is that psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression can only be treated by opting for a chemical based solution. But that’s not the case at all because modifying the neuro-electrical activities in your brain is going to help in terms of relieving anxiety and its related symptoms.
For Anxiety Treatment, give us a call at (801) 649-4445 or fill out the form to schedule an appointment with our neurofeedback doctor today!