Neurotherapy refers to the tailored, combined use of traditional neurofeedback (which is based on a system of biofeedback) alongside neurostimulation (which is not). Traditional neurofeedback is a therapeutic modality that has been around for decades. However, in recent years, clinical research has combined neurofeedback with the use of newer neurostimulation technologies designed to enhance neuroplasticity.
In his seminal work, DeRidder (2014) found that neurostimulation changes functional connectivity of the brain as well as the brain’s emergent properties. Neurostimulation may be effective in rerouting old, pathological brainwave patterns to better enable the brain to form new patterns of behavior that reflect greater connectivity and optimal functioning. Such shifts in brainwave patterns may correlate with a reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life. The integration of neurostimulation with neurofeedback is new to the field (incorporated in 2016); a small minority of practitioners are using these modalities in tandem.
Our overarching clinical goal for our clients is the effective rewiring of dysfunctional, aberrant brainwave patterns. While both neurostimulation and neurofeedback are effective modalities, they really address two different aspects of how the brain learns. While traditional neurofeedback teaches the brain new patterns through a system of operant conditioning, neurostimulation is what makes effective learning possible. Clinical observations are showing that the combined use of these modalities results in better results in far fewer sessions, so that what was once accomplished in 30 sessions of neurofeedback is now being accomplished in half that time!
Neurostimulation can refer to the applied use of any stimulus to change nervous system functioning. In particular, our clinicians employ the use of stimulation such as transcranial alternating and direction current stimulation (tACS and tDCS, respectively), random noise stimulation (including white noise, pink noise, and brown noise), pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (pEMF), photobiomodulation, and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Each of these technologies has different clinical applications, and we rely on clients' QEEG brain mapping to identify where and how to use them.
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