Can Biofeedback Help Children with Autism?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately one in 68 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As the numbers of children diagnosed with ASD continue to climb, therapies and solutions to help them are increasingly important. One such therapy that has become popular is biofeedback. Biofeedback is used to re-train a patient’s brain in ways that help it function effectively at school, work, home, or in different social situations.

How Does Biofeedback Work?

Can Biofeedback Help Children with Autism?The first step in biofeedback is to use diagnostic testing that determines the patient’s level of brain activity. Biofeedback tests include a quantitative EEG, neuropsychological testing, and psychological testing.

These tests will help to understand the underlying causes of many disorders and conditions and provide a comprehensive picture of the patient’s strengths and weaknesses in brain functionality. Data provided by these tests is then used in biofeedback treatments such as neurotherapy, psychological interventions, substance abuse treatments and pain treatment.

How Does Biofeedback Help Children with Autism?

Biofeedback has been shown to help children with autism improve their social skills in ways such as making eye contact and communicating their wants and needs. It has even helped some of these children with academic performance at school. The treatment, neurotherapy, has been especially effective. Improvements that families have noted from neurotherapy include:

  • Less emotional outbursts
  • Ability to tolerate changes better
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Initiating both contact and touch
  • More appropriate responses to parent and teacher requests
  • Clearer speech patterns
  • Improved ability to focus
  • Increased socialization

Biofeedback helps children with autism and their families by improving their overall quality of life. Unlike medication, which typically can only provide benefits while it is being taken, biofeedback provides a long-term solution. The benefits are long-term because it re-trains the brain to develop new patterns and habits that are sustainable for the long run.

At Northwest Biofeedback Center, we have been providing biofeedback services in the Chicago area for over 25 years. Contact us online or call our Des Plains office at (847) 627-8164 or our Schaumburg office at (224) 334-3070 to schedule a consultation.

How Quantitative EEG Can Be Used for ADHD Diagnosis

According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADHD affects 5% of children and adults yearly. For families who live with a loved one with this condition, daily life can be challenging. Problems in school and at work often arise due to the patient’s difficulty in paying attention or sitting still.

ADHD DiagnosisTraditionally, ADHD has been diagnosed by observing a person’s behavior over time to see if they correspond with at least 6 classic inattentive or hyperactive symptoms. In short, a diagnosis has been strongly based on external observation, which can be too subjective, running the risk of overdiagnosis or medicating someone who could very well thrive without ADHD medication. To solve this problem, physicians have sought an objective test that could help diagnose ADHD more accurately.

EEG: Meeting the Need for Objective Testing

The demand for more objective ADHD testing has led physicians to Quantitative EEG, which has recently been approved by the FDA as a valid way to test for ADHD. Quantitative EEG makes a brain map that reveals how much activity is going on in the brain and where it is happening.

A QEEG can discover where there is a lack or an overabundance of activity. It can also find out where activity is not coordinating well. All this data, combined with behavioral observation, determines if the patient has a valid case of ADHD.

Avoid Medication with EEG

Accurately diagnosing ADHD reduces the risk of medicating a child who does not necessarily need chemical interventions. Through EEG we can better understand the patient’s brain and see how strong the case of ADHD is, or if the patient even has the condition. In the event of a positive ADHD diagnosis, EEG can help us develop a neurofeedback training program to help reduce the patient’s need for medications or get rid of their need to be on drugs entirely.

If you would like to schedule a free appointment to discuss your options for diagnosing ADHD with EEG, contact Northwest Biofeedback Center at 847-627-8164 or 224-334-3070.

Is Biofeedback Effective for Treating Bipolar Disorder?

Neurobiofeedback has shown some promise in treating bipolar disorder, but experts say results of tests are inconclusive. Biofeedback is the science of using equipment to gain greater awareness and control of physiological areas of the body. Neurobiofeedback, or neurofeedback, is a specific type of biofeedback that is showing some actual promise in bipolar treatments.

How Biofeedback Works

A patient suffering from Bipolar DisorderThe Neurofeedback area of biofeedback uses scanning equipment to measure brainwaves, and displays the results in real time. A person may have sensors attached to their head to measure the waves, and they can modify their brain activity through practice. Watching the instant feedback, or results of the brainwaves helps a person change how their brain works. This EEG biofeedback has been shown effective against ADHE, stress, sleep disorders, epilepsy and brain injury. Another difference is there is a reward of some kind when the person is able to make their brain function in a certain way. Just thinking the correct thoughts does not work. There has to be that positive reward that results in long-term effectiveness.

Treating Bipolar Disorder

While biofeedback has been shown to help with ADHD and some other conditions, medical officials are slow to completely give it their blessing when it comes to bipolar. However, if the patient continues with other treatments, many studies have shown improvement with this type of feedback. Some patients have been able to reduce their dependence on medication significantly.

Part of the reason that the results are inconclusive is that little research has been done. What has been done has had positive results, but health officials want to see more results. Even so, it is helpful when used along with medication and other treatments, especially with children. Many bipolar patients have trouble with long term medication, so biofeedback could be an option as an aid to the medication. In some cases bipolar patients have been able to stop medication entirely, but experts say a person should consult with their doctor before making such a move.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Northwest Biofeedback Center call us at 847-627-8164 in Des Plaines or 224-334-3070 in Schaumburg.

Three Positive Ways That Biofeedback Can Help You Beat Addiction

Biofeedback is the unique use of electronic EEG monitors to gauge and treat various aspects of your health. This technique has expanded to include a myriad of treatments, including drug addiction. How can biofeedback help with drug addiction? Here are three of the most promising ways it manages this problem.

Helps Identify Negative Triggers That Influence Addiction

Drug AddictionBiofeedback carefully monitors the way that your body and mind reacts in certain situations, and can be used to identify the changes that occur when you feel addiction triggers. Triggers are those moments that inspire you to use, and your body goes through many chemical changes when they occur. Understanding these and how you feel when they happen can help you identify your triggers and find ways to combat them.

Assess Psychological Problems That Contribute To Addiction

Dual diagnosis occurs when a person suffers from addiction and contributing mental health disorders. It is a problem that shows up in a vast majority of addiction cases, and it can be troubling. However, biofeedback can not only help diagnose these problems, but find ways to treat them. In many cases, biofeedback sessions can serve as the treatment itself. At the very least, it is a great alternative treatment that works side-by-side with more traditional addiction treatment methods.

Treat Negative Physical Side Effects

When you are trying to quit using drugs or alcohol, your body falls into a state known as withdrawal. During this period, you will suffer from severe and agonizing physical and mental health problems. However, biofeedback has been shown to be incredibly effective in limiting the onset and severity of these symptoms, making it a promising new way to quit for good.

Biofeedback is an addiction treatment technique that needs to be studied thoroughly and examined in depth. To learn more about it and other treatments like it, please don’t hesitate to call Northwest Biofeedback Center at (847) 627-8164 or (224) 334-3070 today.

Can Biofeedback Be Used to Treat Headaches?

Biofeedback is one of the behavioral medicine techniques that’s been proven to reduce headaches and improve on the quality of functioning. When it’s employed regularly and also combined with preventative medication, quality of life is then significantly better than with medication by itself.

Biofeedback for HeadachesPhysical and mental tension can most certainly make your headaches feel worse. But just by telling someone to relax, that’s not going to help you deal with deadlines, honking horns, crying babies, demanding bosses, missed sleep, and unpaid bills, just to name a couple of hassles in everyday life. Relaxation truly is a skill. Like any other skill, it can in fact be mastered with practice, time, and a very good instructor. There are quite a few mind and body approaches that will help you to ease tension and improve your pain tolerance. Some of them have proven track records in the prevention of headaches, or in the reduction of their severity.

Biofeedback for Headaches

Biofeedback is one of the most widely accepted non-drug techniques for the control and prevention of headaches. Biofeedback and relaxation training can typically offer a 45% to 60% overall reduction in headache severity and frequency. This is actually equivalent to the reduction in headaches that have been achieved by many headache medications, such as amitriptyline and propranolol, but without any of the many negative side effects. The most common limitation of biofeedback, as well as relaxation training, is actually that it requires a bit of time commitment, as well as implementation effort on behalf of the patient.

For headache sufferers, the combination of drug and non-drug treatments holds a significant improvement in headache reduction. The average improvement with biofeedback or propranolol is 55% reduction in migraines. To learn more about treating headaches with Biofeedback call Northwest Biofeedback Center at 847-627-8164 in Des Plaines or 224-334-3070 in Schaumburg.

Why Use Biofeedback for Stress Management

biofeedback for stress managementBiofeedback for stress management can be an extremely effective way to deal with the different issues that may be keeping you from reaching your full potential at home, school or work. This scientifically validated approach helps people improve their health – as well as their performance – by paying close attention to the signals their bodies generate. Here is some information on how biofeedback can help you control stress and once again be able to fully relax.

Benefits of Biofeedback for Stress Management

There are several problems and triggers that are either associated with or caused by stress. For example, anxiety, smoking, over-eating and fear are just a few of these issues. Stress can actually be positive in many instances, acting as a stimulant that moves us to action. However, in many other cases, it can be a barrier to happiness. Biofeedback for stress management can help you hone in on your reaction to stress so you can better control it. By releasing the power within your mind, you can achieve improved health and improved performance as well.

In a nutshell, biofeedback is a technique that helps show you how to control your stress and achieve a state of relaxation by channeling your energy in a healthy way. It makes you aware of how you physically react to stress, and allows you to see or hear changes to your stress levels.

Biofeedback for stress management is a non-invasive way to monitor how well you succeed at reducing your stress, providing instantaneous feedback. This technique will show you how your mind can control your body.

The experts with Northwest Biofeedback Center have helped many people gain control of their stress and live much richer, fulfilling lives as a result. If you would like to learn more about biofeedback for stress management, or you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call 847-627-8164 (Des Plaines) or 224-334-3070 (Schaumburg).

Does Biofeedback Work for Autism?

Does Biofeedback Work for AutismA lot of parents ask us, “Does biofeedback work for autism?” And while the answer is not yet fully known, there are several indications that biofeedback can help children and adults who have to deal with this condition on an everyday basis.

How Biofeedback Works

Before answering the question, “Does biofeedback work for autism?,” it is important to have a basic understanding how this treatment method works. In a nutshell, biofeedback involves a patient being monitored by equipment that checks the activity of the brainwaves. These waves can appear as graphs, lines or other ways on a computer screen. As the patient continues to use biofeedback, and is able to get closer to achieving normal patterns of brainwave activity, he or she will notice that the lines or graphs on the computer screen will change.

Practicing biofeedback is essential for the treatment method to be as effective as possible. It is safe and healthy, with minimal side effects. In rare instances, patients have reported mild headaches and muscle tension.

Biofeedback and Autism

We are in the very early stages of determining how effective biofeedback can be for those dealing with autism. Some caregivers have reported patients becoming less irritable and exhibiting improved speech. Some scientific research indicates autistic patients have increased their levee of social interaction.

There is a much larger body of scientific evidence that shows biofeedback can be very effective for children with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And it is also well known that many children with ADHD have been diagnosed with autism as well. At the Northwest Biofeedback Center, we have found that our ADHD treatments have been successful in 60-80 percent of our patients with autism.

So while there is no clear-cut answer to the question of, “Does biofeedback work for autism?,” indications are positive. If you would like to learn more how we may be able to help your autistic child, contact us online or call 847-627-8164 in Des Plaines or 224-334-3070 in Schaumburg.

Biofeedback for Pain Management

biofeedback for pain managementBiofeedback for pain management is a safe, effective way to people to find relief from discomfort without the need for powerful drugs. By using your mind to control certain functions of the body, you can lessen your pain substantially.

How Biofeedback Works

Typically, when a person goes through a session of biofeedback for pain management he or she will have sensors attached to the body. These sensors are connected to a device that monitors perspiration, skin temperature, breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure. As you relax and clear your mind, your breathing begins to slow and your heart rate drops. Eventually, you will learn how to control bodily functions and help reduce pain.

Biofeedback for pain management detects certain electrical signals given off by the muscles. When the muscles are tense, the biofeedback monitor will beep or display flashing lights. When patients relax their muscles, the beeps and/or flashes slow down.

Migraine Headaches and Biofeedback for Pain Management

One of the areas where biofeedback has been particularly effective is in helping to treat migraine headaches. By helping people lower their stress and improve the way they manage their symptoms, biofeedback can substantially reduce discomfort.

Contact Us About Biofeedback for Pain Management

Northwest Biofeedback has helped patients through biofeedback for pain management for more than two decades. The benefits can last well after a patient leaves a session, since he or she will learn relaxation techniques that will last the rest of their lives. Just as physical therapy can help restore a person’s muscle control after suffering an injury, biofeedback can help restore proper functioning of the body.

When you schedule an appointment with us, we will take the time to provide clear, detailed answers to all your questions. Our friendly, professional staff members are devoted to helping our patients get back to living the lives they love. Please contact us online or call 847-627-8164 for an appointment at our Des Plaines office or 224-334-3070 to see a Biofeedback Doctor in Schaumburg to learn more.

Common Reasons for Learning Disorders

learning disordersLearning disorders can lead to a lifetime of frustration and misery. Whether a person has difficulty reading, writing, performing math activities or simply comprehending directions, this type of disorder can be debilitating and rob someone of his or her ability to progress in life. This problem can even make it hard to function in a social setting. Here are some of the symptoms of the issue and potential treatment options.

Learning Disorder Causes

If key portions of the brain are unable to properly process information and coordinate that processing with each other, a person may be suffering from learning disorders. For instance, you may find it extremely hard to read if one area of your brain either communicates too quickly or too slowly with other areas.

Learning Disorder Symptoms

The earlier that learning disorders are discovered and treated, the better the chances the person experiencing them can lead a productive life. In many instances, however, a sufferer will try and hide the problem, making it very challenging to diagnose. For instance, a child may simply not want to do homework or go to school, and may not show any other signs. There are, however, indicators that can let you know an issue exists. These include difficulty remaining focused on a task, disruptive behavior, difficulty memorizing, or either showing too much or too little attention to detail.

Learning Disorder Treatments

One of the most effective methods of treating this condition is to help the brain function at the correct pace. As a result, the brain will find it easier to coordinate information processing. Neurofeedback can help make this possible. When you come into our office for an appointment, we will monitor your brain waves while you perform an exercise similar to playing a video game. This treatment will help your brain find the correct patterns of coordination that are required in order for you to be able to learn properly.

Contact Northwest Biofeedback Center

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you or someone you love who is experiencing learning disorders, get in touch with Northwest Biofeedback Center. Contact us online or call 847-627-8164 (Des Plaines) or 224-334-3070 (Schaumburg).

Neurotherapy Treatment for Depression

Neurotherapy Treatment for DepressionIf you are battling depression and you have found that nothing else has eliminated your symptoms, it may be time to try Neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment for depression has proven to be a safe, effective and non-invasive method to help improve the functioning of a person’s brain and help them overcome this often debilitating condition.

While there are many medications used to treat depression, they tend to address symptoms rather than correct the source of the issue. Neurotherapy, on the other hand, uses advanced technology to help patients achieve real progress.

Research on Neurotherapy Treatment for Depression

There have been many studies performed on Neurotherapy treatment for depression that have helped establish the effectiveness of the approach. Researchers know that a person’s mood tends to be more positive when their brain’s left frontal area is more active than its right frontal area. When the right side is more active than the left, a person’s mood tends to be poor.

Neurotherapy can help “train” the left side of the brain to be more active than the right. This can help improve positive thinking while reducing thought patterns that are linked to depression. Neurotherapy can provide major benefits compared to psychotherapy and medication, which often provide only partial improvement. If you are battling depression and you have found that nothing else has eliminated your symptoms, it may be time to try Neurotherapy.

At Northwest Biofeedback Center, we use advanced technology to produce a “brain map” that can clearly spell out the reason you are having issues with your moods. Once we know the source of your issue, we can then target it for change through Neurotherapy. We can help you “retrain” your brain instead of using other treatment options to merely mask symptoms.

Please contact us online or give us a call at 847-627-8164 (Des Plaines) or 224-334-3070 (Schaumburg) for more information or to schedule an appointment.