Benefits of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback, like chiropractic, has proven effective for migraines and tension headaches, urinary incontinence, high blood pressure, anxiety, and other conditions. Increasing research indicates that neurofeedback, like chiropractic, is useful for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, while helping manage patients with autism, brain injury, posttraumatic stress, seizures, and depression. Corporate executives, musicians, artists, and athletes, including some medalists from the Beijing Olympic Games, used neurofeedback and chiropractic to reach their peak performance during competition.

U.S. soldiers returning from war use neurofeedback to help with post-traumatic stress disorder. People suffering from chronic pain often find relief with neurofeedback. Even athletes are using it to gain better control over their bodies.

Students at Iowa State University have access to neurofeedback to help with stress management.  For over a century, millions of people have benefited from chiropractic care for stress reduction. The students sit in a quiet, dark room, wearing noise-suppressing headphones and sensors on their fingertips that measure their heart rate and skin conductance. They practice relaxation techniques while watching real-time graphics demonstrate how their body is responding. As a result, they see which techniques lead to actual relaxation.

Once users of neurofeedback learn what techniques alter their body’s physiology, they can practice until they have learned the techniques. Then they have tools to use when necessary.  Neurofeedback stress evaluation studies have demonstrated the enormous benefits of chiropractic care along with neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback addresses brain disregulation. This includes anxiety-depression, attention deficit, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, the autism spectrum, and cerebral palsy. Neurofeedback provides training for self-regulation. Self-regulation is necessary for good brain function and training allows the central nervous system to function more efficiently.

Regarding organic brain disorders, it can only be a matter of getting the brain to function better rather than curing the condition. When it comes to problems associated with disregulation, there is not a disease to be cured. Where disregulation is the problem, self-regulation may be the remedy.  But the word cure would not apply.

Over the years, many Neurofeedback (EEG) training protocols have been developed to help with certain problems such as attention, anxiety, depression, seizures, migraines, and cognitive function. There are different assessment tools available to help determine which protocols to use. These are simple neuropsychological evaluations. We use the NeuroInfiniti.

Neurofeedback and Chiropractic FAQs – By Terry Rondberg, DC

Chiropractic neurofeedback - frequently asked questionsWe’re getting a lot of interest in our articles on the brain and neurofeedback, and how it relates to chiropractic. Thanks to everyone for the great questions. We are posting the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) here for everyone to read and to learn. Please keep the feedback coming!

-Dr. Terry Rondberg

How are Neurofeedback and Chiropractic successful?

Chiropractors are especially concerned with childhood brain-based problems whose needs are not addressed, including:

  • Seizures and sub-clinical seizure activity
  • Severely disruptive behavior disorders such as Conduct Disorder and Bipolar Disorder
  • Autistic spectrum and pervasive developmental delay
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Birth trauma

Many children have sleep problems that can be helped:

  • Bed wetting
  • Sleep walking, sleep talking
  • Teeth grinding
  • Nightmares
  • Night terrors

We can also help with several adolescent issues:

  • Drug abuse
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Anxiety and depression

We can help maintain good brain function as people age. The good news is that almost any brain, regardless of its function level, can be trained to function more efficiently.

Are the effects of Neurofeedback and Chiropractic long-term?

If brain disregulation is addressed, the answer is yes. Neurofeedback is about the brain learning and if that brings order out of disorder, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, while reinforcing them.

Conditions are different with degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, the dementias, or when we are working against continuing insults to the system, as may be for autism spectrum. In such cases, the training needs to continue over time.  Allergic susceptibilities and food intolerances make it more difficult to hold the gains. Poor nutrition, digestive function and a poor nerve supply are problematic. A child living in a toxic environment (physically or psychologically) will have more difficulty retaining good function.

What is the success rate of Neurofeedback and Chiropractic?

In the past twenty years of experience with Neurofeedback, practitioners have reached high expectations for success in training. When such success is not forthcoming, or if the gains cannot hold, then there is a reason which needs to be pursued. In the normal course of events, Neurofeedback ought to be effective with everybody. Nearly everyone should make gains they themselves would judge as worthwhile. Our brains are made for learning and skill-acquisition. On the other hand, we are working with many families whose expectations have been lowered by their past experience. They must see progress before they agree. With  chiropractic care, who would not perform better with a healthier autonomic nervous system?

Among the vast majority of clients (>100% in most clinician’s experiences) the outcome exceeds the prior expectations. Against such low expectations, the changes that can be produced with Neurofeedback and Chiropractic may appear miraculous. One chiropractic office using neurofeedback has a sign on its front desk: “We expect miracles.” What appears miraculous in all of this is nothing more than the incredible capacity of our brains to recover function when given a chance and the body’s miraculous ability to heal itself.

What happens if Neurofeedback and Chiropractic patients are taking medications?

With successful Neurofeedback training and regular chiropractic care, the medications targeting brain function may not be needed, or needed at a lower dosage, as the brain and nervous system dominate the role of regulating itself. This decrease in medications is striking when the medications play a supportive role in any event, which is often the case for the more severe disorders we treat. It is important for patients to communicate with their prescribing physician regarding Chiropractic care, Neurofeedback and medications.

Neurofeedback Defined – By Dr. Terry Rondberg

Neurofeedback has evolved from a fascination during the ‘60s and ‘70s to the current mainstream methodology for improving certain health conditions and human performance. Neurofeedback, like chiropractic, was considered a radical type of health care approach, but as the years have passed, it has become more mainstream. Now it is accepted as another form of health care.

This evolution has been driven by years of scientific research demonstrating that the mind and body are connected, and that people can be taught to harness the power of this connection to improve physical activity and health.  Interest in neurofeedback is growing, and the need for an answer to: “what is neurofeedback and why is it a perfect fit for chiropractic?” The leading professional organizations representing the field have provided the following definition:

“Neurofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately “feed back” information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.”

The patient is strapped to sensors that provide real-time readings of internal bodily processes, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature and brain-wave activity. Then, they are taught strategies to gain better control over those processes, which can help achieve certain health goals.

Neurofeedback is like using computers to listen to your body and displaying that information so you can see it and decide how to change it. We think of this as an emotional exercise. You use your head instead of your muscles.

It is directly training the brain to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment and share that information with the patient. Then we reward the brain for changing its activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of measurable brain function. Neurofeedback is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram or EEG.

Practitioners apply electrodes to the scalp to listen to brainwave activity. The signals are processed by computer, and we extract information about certain key brainwave frequencies. (All brainwave frequencies are equal, but some frequencies respond differently). We show the ebb and flow of this activity to the patient, who then attempts to change the activity level. We promote some frequencies but other frequencies, we hope to diminish. We present this information to the person in the form of a video game. The person is effectively playing the video game with his or her brain. Eventually, the brainwave activity is “shaped” toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The frequencies we target, and the specific locations on the scalp where we listen to the brain, are specific to the conditions we try to address, and to the individual.

About the Author – Terry A. Rondberg, DC
Terry Rondberg, known worldwide as an expert on chiropractic and wellness, is publisher of The Chiropractic Journal and the author of several books on the medical field, including Chiropractic First and Under the Influence of Modern Medicine.

Chiropractic Instrumentation – Terry A. Rondberg, DC

Dr. Terry Rondberg
Terry Rondberg

Chiropractic Instrumentation

Not long ago, the only “instrumentation” chiropractors needed was their own hands. We palpated for subluxations, conducted relatively simple range-of-motion or leg length exams, and detected subluxations and corrected them.  Later, we obtained X-Ray machines that helped verify our visual and manual findings, although we never relied solely on this machine and still remained confident in our sense of touch and sight. That, however, was before outcome measurements, evidence-based practices, reliance on third-party payers, and an appreciation for the science as well as the art and philosophy of chiropractic.

Over the years there have been several developments in instrumentation for chiropractic use: weight scales, postural measuring, galvanic skin response measurements, para-spinal thermal devises etc. Although much of the instrumentation has provided valuable information for Chiropractic, it has been rated as scientifically unacceptable and has given non-reproducible results.

Earlier chiropractic instrumentation was bulky, awkward, and hard to use. I often wonder how many doctors and staff members gave up trying to learn about their new equipment and how much of that equipment is now sitting in a corner. I have seen some classified ads on popular Internet websites.  Here are some of the actual descriptions for sEMG machines on sale:

  • “Brand-new condition; rarely used.”
  • “Unit is like brand new, Less than 2 years old and used only about a dozen times.”
  • “All in great condition, dynamic SEMG never used.”
  • “Great condition — rarely used.”

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“Today, in order to deliver the safest and most effective chiropractic care to our patients, and satisfy the more stringent requirements of the insurance industry, the government, and the courts, we must go beyond just feeling for subluxations.” – Terry A. Rondberg, DC

Thanks to computerized techniques, we now gather a wide range of data for neurological activity, leading to a better understanding of normal/ideal functional levels.  Surface electromyography (sEMG) and para-spinal thermal scans made a huge contribution about 12 to 15 years ago. While these seemed to support the chiropractic position of spinal care and joint mechanics, one must question if this deals with cause?  Furthermore, X-Rays, sEMG and thermal scans offer a static view of a dynamic being.  To base any care on a single static view is questionable. These instruments have served their purpose, which demonstrates the value of objective measurements in replacing the anecdotal foundations of chiropractic. It is better to move towards objective evidence than just sharing our philosophy and telling the chiropractic story.

In addition to sEMG, inclinometry and infrared temperature evaluations, instrumentation provides the ability to perform stress assessments and neurofeedback.  Much of this was developed by doctors of chiropractic Richard Barwell and Ken Vinton; it translates all data into detailed neurological reports that validate and document all clinical findings and guide health care decisions. This equates to the survival of modern chiropractic practice and plays an important role in case of a lawsuit or board complaint. Another reason to choose the NeuroInfiniti Instrumentation is that it is currently the only reliable system that allows field doctors to participate in a global research project that will prove the effects of how correcting vertebral subluxation impacts the autonomic nervous system while proving the real value of chiropractic care. The ultimate goal is to accumulate and analyze objective data from all the doctors who use the NeuroInfiniti to demonstrate the efficacy of chiropractic, to elevate our professions acceptance insure our rightful place in the health care professions.

We need powerful instrumentation that not only aids us in detecting subluxations, but provides an accurate outcome assessment system which correlates the value of what we do. Since chiropractic is the largest natural health care system in the world, we need the highest quality instrumentation. Let’s not settle for less.

We are working with state-of-the-art instrumentation developed for chiropractic that will transform chiropractic offices into the most effective, health care resources ever offered to the public.  A scientific evidence based practice will act as a patient magnet, drawing families into your office so you can provide the finest chiropractic care.

We do not often have the opportunity to revolutionize our offices, dramatically increase our patient volume and revenue, help more people lead healthier lives, and contribute to research validating what DD and BJ represented.  Chiropractic is a fast-moving profession.  Physicians can either join the frontrunners or be left in the dust.  They can either create the practice and the profession of their dreams today or they can continue to do nothing.

About the Author – Terry A. Rondberg, DC.
As CEO of the World Chiropractic Alliance, Dr. Terry Rondberg is the author of myriad, thought-provoking articles in the wellness field. He is the author of several best-selling books on the subject of chiropractic, and is a sought-after speaker at medical events worldwide.