Anxiety is reduced as neurofeedback trains the brain to calm itself and reduce the “fight or flight” response, leaving clients calm, relaxed, and “in control.” Many have been able to reduce and even eliminate medications and other treatments.
Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, frequently accompanied by physiological symptoms that may lead to fatigue or even exhaustion. It can range in intensity and severity from panic attacks and phobias at one extreme to more mild conditions such as performance anxiety and stage fright. Anxiety/panic attacks are prolonged “fight or flight” responses that become unhealthy for your body and disruptive to your life.
Symptoms can include:
- Increased heart & respiratory rates
- Clammy skin, dry mouth
- Nausea and even diarrhea
- Irritable, easily startled
- Uncontrollable thoughts
- Muscle tension including trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, and muscle aches and soreness
- Withdrawal, isolation
What’s Going On in the Brain
Clients suffering symptoms of anxiety and panic have too much “hyper-alert” or fast wave activity (high beta frequency band), particularly on the right hemisphere of the brain. Normally, the brain is able to quickly enter a state of heightened alertness in response to danger and when the danger passes, quickly return to a normal state. Those suffering from anxiety/panic disorders are seemingly stuck in a perpetual state of heightened awareness and have a very difficult time returning to a normal state.
How Neurofeedback Helps Anxiety
Neurofeedback trains the brain to calm itself by reducing the fast wave activity and replacing it with more “pay attention” (beta frequency band) activity that is more appropriate for day to day functioning. In addition, neurofeedback helps the brain learn to appropriately turn on the anxious state in response to dangerous situations and quickly return to normal when the danger has passed.
Our clients find they are able to maintain a core sense of calm and peacefulness. They are able to handle problems and unexpected events rationally without losing their temper or becoming so anxious that they are unable to cope. Many have been able to reduce and even eliminate medications and other treatments.
The following are selected research studies showing the effect of neurofeedback on anxiety and panic disorders:
Anxiety Disorders: Rethinking and Understanding Recent Discoveries. (2020). In Y.-K. Kim (Ed.), www.springer. com. Springer Singapore.
Relaxation training for anxiety: a ten-years systematic review with meta-analysis. Manzoni, G. M., Pagnini, F., Castelnuovo, G., & Molinari, E. (2008, June 2). BMC Psychiatry, 8(1).
Treatment of Anxiety Disorder with Neurofeedback: Case Study. Moradi, A., Pouladi, F., Pishva, N., Rezaei, B., Torshabi, M., & Mehrjerdi, Z. A. (2011). Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 103–107.
Efficacy of Alfa EEG wave biofeedback in the management of anxiety. Bhat, P. (2010). Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 19(2), 111.