Direct Neurofeedback’s Effects for Stress Relief
Direct Neurofeedback is an emerging technology that sends a brief (within seconds), tiny signals back to the brain. This signal causes a slight fluctuation in brainwaves and enables the brain to get out of frozen, stuck patterns. It allows the brain to reorganize itself, like rebooting a frozen computer. Change begins rapidly, usually in the first or second session.
To share insights on this powerful therapy, I have asked my good friend and colleague, David Dubin, MD, to provide his observations, after years of work in this field.
Dr. Dubin graduated from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and then completed a residency in Emergency Medicine. He subsequently worked as an Associate Clinical Professor of Outpatient Medicine at Boston University. After a career of more than ten years in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Dubin founded Cambridge Medical Consultants, providing Occupational and Environmental Medicine consulting to hospitals and corporations.[NS1]
Disenchanted with treating patients primarily with medication, Dr. Dubin researched Neurofeedback and found significant improvement in his own brain physiology. Dr. Dubin started treating patients and saw rapid, meaningful, and often dramatic results. Equally remarkable, he found these changes to be enduring.
His experience echoed recent research in neuroplasticity demonstrating new possibilities for growth and change within the brain. He soon decided to dedicate his career exclusively to the practice of Direct Neurofeedback. He founded The Dubin Clinic, where he provides Direct Neurofeedback to adults, adolescents, and children
Biofeedback therapy has been around for more than 50 years. There are many studies showings how helpful it can be in reducing hypertension and insomnia, as well coping with stress, and reducing chronic pain.
Biofeedback allows us to influence some biologic functions, over which we ordinarily have no control. If asked to raise our skin temperature, most of us would not be able to accomplish this. However, let us say there was a sensor on our skin that measured tenth of a degree changes in temperature, and every time our skin temperature rose tenth of a degree a green bar on a monitor went up, and every time skin temperature decreased, the green bar went down.
If you were asked to keep raising the green bar, most of us are able to accomplish this, even if we do not exactly know how.
By getting “feedback” we are able to effect a change, whether it is skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate and other functions. The point of raising skin temperature (or lowering muscle tension or heart rate) is that it elicits a relaxation response. And teaching relaxation is almost the entire purpose of biofeedback.
Direct Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback. However, here, the physiologic function being influenced is not skin temperature, but electrical activity of the brain. Biofeedback and Neurofeedback are ‘training’ the nervous system.
Direct Neurofeedback is an innovative brain technology that is actually quite different than traditional neurofeedback. As before, sensors on the scalp track the brain’s electrical activity. Now, however, a tiny signal is sent back to the brain.
You cannot feel or even notice this signal—it a thousand times weaker than a cell phone. This signal causes a slight fluctuation in brainwaves and allows the brain to get out of rigid, stuck neural patterns and reorganize itself.
Direct Neurofeedback does not train the brain like biofeedback or traditional neurofeedback. Rather it interrupts dysfunctional patterns. It dis-entrains” the brain. It is like rebooting a frozen computer.
It is also a form of neurofeedback. The signal going back to the brain is a very tiny radio wave that is a kind of mirror that changes as the brain’s dominant frequency changes, which it does, constantly. Therefore, that signal is a form of information (feedback) telling the brain about its own brainwave frequencies. It is information in the form of a micro-stimulation.
The signal is not directed at specific dysfunctional areas of the brain; the effects are global. A metaphor I use is that the signal is like a gently shaking a palm tree that has one stuck branch. The healthy branches wave in the wind and then return to their original places. The one stuck branch, however, is freed.
The brain responds amazingly fast to this form of therapy. In fact, most patients begin to experience some initial improvement in the first or second session. Initial changes are temporary, typically lasting from a few hours to a few days. With additional sessions, the effects last longer. Also, the baseline improves, so that even when the effect of a treatment wears off, the starting point is better than prior to starting.
What Direct Neurofeedback Addresses
This therapy treats four broad categories of problems:
Affective disorders (anxiety and depression)
Cognitive disorders (ADD, certain learning disabilities)
“Eruptions” (anger, impulse control, migraines)
Traumatic brain injury (blunt trauma, some strokes)[NS2]
[NS3] For more information, visit www.thedubinclinic.com
[NS1]You need citations for this and you cannot quote him without permissson. Wehre did you get this information? which text is actually quoted from his material? You must do this the right way or we will need to remove this tet from the book.
[NS2]You should delete this text and just say in two sentences what he believes in and what he does and add notes for the citations to wehre you found this information.
[NS3]This was totally written by DR. Dubin so anything here is from him. I am going to send it back to him to see if there are any updates or changes he may want to add since we are so close.
[NS4]WHAT?? You can’t do this. As I said in your first manuscript, You must be very clear where you are quoting him or else you are in violation of copyright and can be sued. You also need his oermission to quote him and you need to quote only a few sentences.
[NS5]You cannot just say this or do this because you are violating his copyrighted material.