Neurofeedback and Brain Maps

Expert Neurofeedback Training

If you ever felt that your brain needed a tune up, then neurofeedback might be your answer. Think of it like physical therapy for your brain.

Neurofeedback (also known as EEG-Biofeedback or Neurotherapy) is a non-invasive tool to teach your brain to improve performance. Most people ask how that is possible, and the answer is a little complex. Raise your right arm. Good. How did you do you that? How do you know that you successfully did it? Most people will say their brain sent a signal to their arm, and they know they did it because they could feel it and see it. Now, increase the relaxation in your brain. Decrease mental fog. You cannot see that or easily understand what it would feel like to make those changes. That is why neurofeedback is so powerful. I can teach you how to change those brainwave patterns while showing them to you on a screen.

What To Expect

The process starts by identifying your goals. Then we will conduct a Brain Map (or qEEG) to understand what areas of your brain need support, and finally I will advise you on either training protocols or techniques you can use at home to get you on track.

Neurofeedback treatment is typically provided over the course of many weeks. In order to condense your training, I will assess your needs, and then advise you on what protocols would be most beneficial, what home training systems you can use, and any other techniques that would help improve your brain function. If we have time, we can start your treatment in the office so you have a better understanding of what to expect. I am also available for consultations to help you identify and start Neurofeedback treatment with a local provider in your area.

"My husband and I got more done in 3 hours with Dr H than in several years of therapy with multiple therapists."

MARIA

"After just one neurofeedback session my wife said I was a changed man. I was more pleasant, had more energy, and I slept great that night."

MARK

"I just wanted to say thanks for the good session today. It's great to have the practical exercise. Looking forward to using it."

FRAN

"I can confidently say I feel like myself again. I am so thankful I have met Dr H.”

MIKE

"I can’t say enough about Dr. Helfand. Every morning, I’d wonder how I could possibly get through another day. I was cranky. Ask my husband. Since working with you, I have seen such amazing improvement, and I even finished writing two novels! Dr. Helfand is kind and approachable, entirely professional, but with a ready sense of humor. I highly recommend this practice to anyone who wants to reclaim lost parts of themselves, or who just wants to be their best possible self. It’s amazing getting up every day and looking forward to life!"

NANCY

"Thanks for all the help this past year. Our son really does seem to be doing better in school and at keeping his mind from cycling through worries."

KATHY

“I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing help you gave me. I’ve continued to manage my anxiety using skills you taught me, and I now work full time and I’m planning to go back to school. Before I saw you, I could barely leave my room, but now my life is completely different and I’m able to do pretty much anything I want to. I just wanted to thank you again for all the awesome help you gave me that I continue to use every day!”

SAM

BRAIN MAPPING

A Brain Map is like a blood test for your nervous system. It can help determine why you have certain symptoms and provide a road map for correcting them.

In order to run your Brain Map (also known as a quantitative electroencephalogram or qEEG), I use a cap of electrodes that monitor your brain activity. There is no signal sent to your brain during this test. We are only monitoring your brainwaves. The entire test takes about 1 hour, and your only duty is to sit relaxed in the chair while I do all the work. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes to set up the cap, check the signal quality, and then we record 10 minutes of data. After the test is done, I will clean and sterilize the cap for the next client, and we will spend some time discussing the results. It can take up to 1-2 weeks for me to fully analyze the data, but most information is available immediately after the test is done.

Brain Map (qEEG) example

To better understand what kind of information is presented in a brain map, please review the example below. Each identified section is described below the image.

You are looking at an actual recording of someone’s brainwaves (EEG). The Y-axis shows the electrode placement on the head. Generally speaking, the top of the graph is the front of the head, the middle is the top, and the bottom is the back. The X-axis is time.

The most important description of brainwaves is to say they are slow or fast. The activity in section J for example is slower than H, because it takes longer for the line to cycle making the appearance of an arc.

There is a slow moving wave at Fp2 that you can also see echos of in neighboring electrodes. This is due to eye movement likely left to right.

This is fast moving activity that we want to see in this area of the brain (frontal lobes). It means the person is alert and focused. Slow waves here are generally an indication of an issue (i.e. OCD, anxiety, ADHD, or a concussion)

Notice how thick the line appears in this section. You might think it is very fast activity, which could mean the brain is moving fast or having racing thoughts. However, this pattern is typical of muscle tension that has interfered with the brain waves. Because it is in electrode T3 (located above the left ear), we know it is likely jaw tension.

Notice the slow moving waves especially towards the end of the highlighted section. Slow waves at F3 can be a sign of depression, ADHD, disorganization, or similar conditions. 

Notice this area is also moving slow (similar to section D). Slow waves here can cause a lack of motivation, depression, and other issues.

Cz is one of the most important areas on a brain map. It is a hub that connects the front of the brain to the back, and the left hemisphere to the right. Classic neurofeedback protocols from the 1960’s and 19070’s often only used Cz and nearby areas to train the brain.

You can see some slow rolling waves here that might mean the person’s brain is having difficulty passing information around.

Notice the burst of slow waves in this area. That is called an Alpha wave, and is very distinct from other waves. It is generally okay to see this wave in the back of the head, and we would expect when the person closes his or her eyes, the back of their head should be flooded with Alpha waves. If we don’t see that, then they have a program with relaxation and self soothing. This can lead to sleep issues, substance use, or be a result of trauma and PTSD.

Notice how quickly the brain is moving here. The presence of fast waves at Pz indicates the person might tend to overthink and analyze. Pz (in the middle of the parietal lobe at the back of the head) should be moving slowly similar to what we see in section G of this recording.

T5 is an important location for verbal comprehension. Slow moving waves in this area often mean the person will get lost in conversations. It is very important to assess this site for anyone diagnosed with ADHD as many people actually have auditory processing issues, not attention issues.

Slow waves like this (called Alpha waves) at T6 are often an indication of trauma or PTSD. It can also cause issues with social interactions or awkwardness, and recognizing faces or facial expressions.