"The most divine art is that of healing; it must occupy itself with the soul as well as the body."
- Pythagoras, fifth century BCE
Neurotherapy includes neurofeedback. But neurotherapy is bigger than neurofeedback. Neurotherapy has evolved from neurofeedback. In neurotherapy, the brain’s chemistry and function are optimized through a process of neurological reorganization and balancing.
Any successful clinician in this field must stay abreast and trained on the latest and best technological advances. Neurotherapy includes non-neurofeedback stimulation and application, like pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency (pEMF), Quantitative EEG, neuromodulation, Low Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Topography (LORETA), as well as the skillful incorporation of biofeedback technology, like hemoencephalography (HEG), Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Heart Rate Variability, to name a few.
In training, we are disrupting the pathological amplitude, patterns and connectivity of the brain and retraining it by using a linear EMF stim only protocol to show the brain what we want it to do, followed up with a operant conditioning session where we ask the brain to carry out the new instructions on its own. This training leads to dendritic growth and neurogenesis, by its nature.
Neurofeedback is a method of delivering a reward to the participant by means of feedback. Feedback is generally shown as a video game or a movie. This works due to operant conditioning , which is similar to classical conditioning, except that it is unconscious. Neurofeedback is effective, but often takes a long time (especially if training is not on a daily basis). Gamma Jam is different in that we rarely use neurofeedback as a stand alone process. By incorporating neurofeedback and biofeedback at the end of training sessions, we first use other modalities to show the brain what we want it to do, before we ask it to perform via neurofeedback. This greatly expedites the duration of training.
Neurofeedback includes your traditional “alpha/theta” treatments, “SMR training,” or “infra-low frequency training” for instance. All of these methods of training are used at Gamma Jam, just not in isolation.
Classical conditioning: Ring the bell and feed the dogs. Soon, dogs hear the bell and expect food. Thus, when the bell rings the dogs salivate.
Operant Conditioning: Rig the computer so it responds positively to a client producing the brainwaves that the clinician desired. Reward the client when they make the spaceship move forward. Client’s brain learns and shapes itself through plasticity, to be more like the brain that got the reward.
So, neurofeedback is simply giving an award and being patient, waiting for the client to respond and form new neural pathways and habits. It works, but it takes time and commitment. The neurotherapeutic approach we use is often a multi-layered process.