Change your brain, enhance your happiness
Dr Shelley Hyman
Neurofeedback and brain modulation has been around for years, and there is a vast body of research that shows that the brains of people with low mood and depression are very different to a happy, well-functioning brain. Neurofeedback provides a means by which individuals can learn to voluntarily control their brain activity, and thereby increase certain types of brain waves associated with a positive mood, and decrease brain ways associated wth depression, low mood and low energy. A specific type of neurofeedback, the alpha/theta neurofeedback, allows individuals to gain control over low-frequency brain activity and remain in a state of deep relaxation. Previous research has shown that alpha/theta neurofeedback has a range of clinical benefits.
A study by Dr. Raymond and colleagues examined the effectiveness of alpha/theta (AT) neurofeedback on personality and mood. Over the course of 5 weeks, twelve students were given either nine 20 minute sessions of AT neurofeedback or mock feedback. Real alpha/theta neurofeedback group heard sounds relating to their own brain activity, whereas the mock neurofeedback group heard a variable demonstration which involved the same basic sounds but had no relationship with the students’ brain activity.
Dr. Raymond and colleagues found that students who received neurofeedback experienced significant improvements in mood and raised feelings of well-being, compared to those who were given the mock neurofeedback. Students who had received the real AT neurofeedback felt significantly more energetic, more composed, more agreeable, more elevated and more confident. In contrast, the mock group reported feeling more composed but less energised and more tired. The results from this study provides strong evidence to indicate that AT neurofeedback is quite beneficial in enhancing mood and energising experience.
This provides exciting data to support the concept of neuroplasticity, that is, that we can change the brain and change the way we function, even to the point of changing our own emotions. Medication have long been the standard way to affect the brain related changes in low mood and depression, with research showing significant side effects of medication and actually quite weak results in regards to both the number of people who benefit and the extent of benefits.
Neurofeedback provides an alternative or even at additional type of therapy to medication to further enhance mood, in a totally natural ways, with no side effects.
To find out more about our Sydney based neurofeedback practice click here.
To find out more about the scientific evidence behind neurofeedback click here.
- Original Article: Raymond, J., Varney C., Parkinson, L. A., & Gruzelier, J. H. (2005). The effects of alpha/theta neurofeedback on personality and mood. Cognitive Brain Research , 23, 287-292.