Biofeedback and Neurofeedback for the treatment of tinnitus

Biofeedback / neurofeedback

Biofeedback-screenThe most popular form of neurofeedback is also known as brain biofeedback, EEG biofeedback, or more simply -- brain training. It's based on the scientific finding that we can all learn to change our brain's functioning through feedback about brain wave activity. Brain waves are generated by the building blocks of your brain -- the individual cells called neurons. Neurons communicate with each other by electrical changes.We can actually see these electrical changes in the form of brain waves as shown in an EEG (electroencephalogram).

Brain waves are measured in cycles per second (Hertz; Hz is the short form). We also talk about the "frequency" of brain wave activity.

The lower the number of Hz, the slower the brain activity or the slower the frequency of the activity.

Researchers in the 1930's and 40's identified several different types of brain waves.
Traditionally, these fall into 4 types::

  • Delta waves (below 4 hz) occur during sleep
  • Theta waves (4-7 hz) are associated with sleep, deep relaxation (like hypnotic relaxation), and visualization
  • Alpha waves (8-13 hz) occur when we are relaxed and calm
  • Beta waves (13-38 hz) when we are actively thinking, problem-solving, etc.
Since these original studies, other types of brainwaves have been identified and the traditional 4 have been subdivided.

Some interesting brainwave additions:

biofeedback-brainbiofeedback-graph-screen1. The Sensory motor rhythm (or SMR; around 14 hz) was originally discovered to prevent seizure activity in cats. SMR activity seems to link brain and body functions.

2. Gamma brain waves (39-100 hz) are involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information. An interesting study has shown that advanced Tibetan meditators produce higher levels of gamma than non-meditators both before and during meditation.

Biofeedback-girlMany individuals with tinnitus have abnormal oscillatory brain activity. This pathological activity can be normalized by neurofeedback techniques
(Weisz et al (2005). PLoS Med., 2: e153)
This is achieved mainly through enhancement of tau activity, i.e. oscillatory.

This activity is recorded from electrodes placed on the frontal scalp.Individuals can learn to self-regulate distinct features of their ongoing brain activity, Training for the task of neurofeedback aims at teaching the patient an association between the signal and the most recent mental state.

Our Biofeedback clinicians work with tinnitus patient for a period of 2 to 3 months,one 45 minutes session a week.

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