Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback therapy that we use to help treat all kinds of mental health conditions here at Grey Matters of Carmel. We use real-time data and brain wave monitoring to help your brain self-regulate in a neurotypical fashion. As you might expect, this can have some side effects, but nothing that will not resolve itself.
We like to compare brain training to learning how to ride a bike. It takes effort, and learning a new skill is never easy. Another way to look at it is like feeling fatigued after exercising. But is this really a side effect or a benefit? Either way, you often feel much better within 24 hours and are ready to hit the gym again the next day. The same can be said for neurofeedback training. In fact, feeling fatigued after a session is expected. But let’s take a closer look at some of the other side effects people can experience during their training.
Some Common Side Effects
While fatigue is the most common side effect of neurofeedback, it does not last, especially when you keep up with your sessions. Just like working out – the more strength you build, the less fatigue you experience.
Still, some of the other effects of brain training can include:
- Stress: During an initial session, it is common for people to feel a little more tense or stressed than usual. But have no fear! Neurofeedback training is non-invasive, and the only attachment is our caps on your head.
- Headaches or Dizziness: We monitor our patients during every training session. Some people experience a minor headache or dizziness while training. If you do not tell us verbally, you can bet that we can tell based on your brain waves. So, don’t be afraid to speak up if this is something you get during a session – We can make adjustments to instantly correct this, so you don’t experience the unwanted side effect.
- Distractedness: As patients progress through each level of training, they may notice some sense of distractedness. This feeling is entirely normal and is your brain’s way of adjusting. Distractedness and fatigue go hand in hand, so you should expect both. However, you can expect this side effect to go away after a few hours.
Training Location has an Impact
Our neurofeedback specialists are highly trained and will guide you through the entire process. We also want you to feel good and confident about your brain training. Therefore, we explain which areas of the brain we are targeting with each level. We then increase or decrease frequencies based on how well you are doing and how little these common side effects impact you. Of course, training certain areas of the brain will result in different side effects, so it is always crucial that you communicate how you are feeling while you brain train.
You Can Minimize these Side Effects
While our treatment is non-invasive, we are dealing with the brain, which means we need to be aware of any neurological conditions you may have. These conditions include epilepsy, narcolepsy, and migraines. If you’ve had a concussion, our qEEG brain map likely picked that up, but it’s best to inform us if you’ve recently had one. Again, this is a safety precaution so we can adjust your protocol and frequency during a session.
However, if you do not have any of these neurological conditions but still want to minimize side effects, here are three things you can do:
- Always work with a professional. Even if you choose not to work with our clinic, you should undoubtedly choose a professional that knows what they are doing. A professional practitioner understands the brain’s frequencies and how to make the proper adjustments for optimal training.
- Do not overwork your brain. Many people ask us if they can come in every day of the week. While we would love to say yes, this just is not practical and could limit your progress. Just like your muscles, your brain can only handle so much change and information at a time. Spacing out your training sessions gives your brain enough time to rest and use the new pathways created.
- Eat healthy foods and rest. Your diet has a lot to do with your neurofeedback success, and so does rest. So, during your training regime, make sure you eat right and get plenty of sleep. Sleep helps the brain repair itself and store information. It also helps your body rest, which can improve the result of your neurofeedback training.
Reap the Benefits of Neurofeedback
At Grey Matters of Carmel, we want you to be your best self. Neurofeedback training can help you get there, mitigating symptoms related to your anxiety, depression, PTSD, migraines, and ADD/ADHD. But these are just a handful of the mental health conditions we treat – We can do so much more! So, contact us today to learn how we can help you. And bring the entire family with you!
As always, we are standing by to answer any questions you have by phone, so give us a call at (317) 215-7208.