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EEG biofeedback (AKA neurofeedback) has unquestionably proven over the past 35 years to be the best "brain" training method to solve many brain problems such as the ADD-Autism continuum, Depression, Insomnia, Epilepsy, and many similar brain problems. It has continually grown as a "therapy" over 35 years, and at this point, the accepted success rate for ADD/ADHD is about 85%. For other brain problems, this success rate may be lower, or even higher. What the clinicians (charging amounts up to $250 per half hour) don't want you to know is that it is indeed a very simple process, and in all but a very few cases, can be done by anyone with more than a few working brain cells. When I learned this fact in 2000 while co-presenting a seminar in Soviet Georgia, I came out of retirement to lease and sell EEG BF units. I was trying to bring this horrendous price down to where mid income families had an alternative to dangerous drugs. Think about it - what alternative does a low or mid income family have to these drugs at prices upwards of $10,000 (for the "usual" 60 half hour sessions)? What exactly does EEG BF (AKA neurofeedback) do, and how does it do it? It seems that our brains put out certain audio frequency notes in wave patterns, something like music. The amplitude of these brain signals is very low on the order of millionths of a volt. Only in fairly recent years have we had electronic amplifiers that can make this strong enough to "hear" at all. When these brain signals were first discovered, they were found to be associated with some brain functions, and were separated (very loosely) into different bands. The lowest frequency band was the 1-3 cycle per second (Hz) band, and this was associated with deep sleep. It was named Delta. Next, was the band between 4 and 7 Hz. NASA scientists found that this band was associated with attention issues. If the signals in this band are too strong, it seems to interfere with concentration and attention. It also seems to be loosely associated with artistic ability. Next is the band between 8 and 12 Hz called Alpha. This is associated with meditation, relaxation, etc. Persons in hypnosis, or concentrating on TV or meditating show high strength signals over this band. A lot of research was done on this area during the 1960's to the 1980's Above this area, it seemed to earlier researchers that this was the awake mind working or thinking normally, and it covered from 12 Hz up. This huge spectrum
was named Beta. (It is probable that as research continues that other significant bands will be discovered and utilized.) In the 1960/70's, Researchers found that there was a very small signal at about 13 Hz (from 12-14 Hz) that had some very interesting things associated with it. If it was amplified in the brain, it seemed to solve some brain problems, including the ADD-Autism continuum, depression, insomnia and others. (In 2000 at that seminar I first voiced the theory that raising this particular wave somehow changed the brain response to allergy/sensitivity, and that was the mechanism that solved the brain problems. As an orthomolecular psychologist, I knew that allergy/sensitivity was a major cause of all such brain problems.) So, this newly discovered band was later named Sensory Motor Response, or SMR for short. This was because the "usual" practice was to place two electronic sensors at points equally spaced between the ears on the top of the head. These were designated as C3 and C4, with Cz located at the center of the head. Below these points are the brain areas that seem to be associated with Sensory Motion. We can actually "see" these brain waves. By amplifying this complex audio signal a million times or so, and then filtering out desired signals (or bands), we can isolate each frequency or band of frequencies, and use this audio signal in various ways. It can be displayed on a computer, and used to drive programs. One way is to show the amplitude of a particular band as a colored circle (or square) that grows larger or smaller depending on it's amplitude. Many earlier EEG biofeedback used this type of simple display. The trainee simply tried to concentrate on making the Green circle in the middle of the computer screen grow bigger, while holding the Blue (Theta) and/or the Yellow (Beta) small. This is the "feedback" portion. The trainee "sees" the effect of raising or lowering the particular brain waves, and can actually control this to some extent. With longer training, this control grows, and the SMR signal increases. It's not fast, but it works. In that scheme, the Theta and Beta waves were mostly used to act as controls so that something that increased all waves (60 cycle hum, noise artifacts, etc)would not be confused with SMR only increase. Then, NASA research showed that by holding the Theta brain wave down, it increased attention/concentration. So, almost by accident, this original scheme was successful for ADD/ADHD/Autism attention issues. Much better schemes like the Play Attention unit were developed specifically for the ADD-Autism continuum. For example, the Theta signal was used to control the altitude of a flying object. If the trainee lost concentration, the object went lower. This was an actual video game that was more interesting than the colored circles or squares.
Because the Play Attention people were teachers, they were aware that ADD/ADHD kids could concentrate on playing the high stimuli (gory) video games for hours, but couldn't concentrate on a low stimuli teacher for many minutes. That is why all the games used on Play Attention are low stimuli types. Some video games are advertised as good for ADD/ADHD training, but research shows that they are not very effective at actually raising SMR and solving attention problems. There has also been a controversy in the EEG BF (Neurofeedback) field about sensor placement. With the newer better amplifiers, I was the first to prove that sensor placement is usually unimportant. If a signal can be derived anywhere on the body, even the "toes", that signal can be used to "train" SMR up in amplitude. Too many psychologists didn't realize basic electronics. The human body is 70% salty water. Nothing is put into the sensors, only a signal that is used for feedback is derived. That's how EEG Biofeedback (AKA neurofeedback) works. Anyone can attach sensors (electrodes) to a person, and hook up a computer, and do this. That's what I learned in 2000. A trained professional isn't necessary, except in very few cases. (All "doctor time" is very expensive). Now, let's look at two problems with EEG BF: 1. First, there is motivation. Both the trainee, and the parents in most cases. Without this, success is limited at best. Some clinicians are great at this, and some are poor. It's a major factor in my opinion and experience. 2. Even with home training, it's not cheap. Typical cost of most EEG BF units is close to $2000 up front. While some portion of that can be retrieved by selling the unit after training, how many low and mid income families can even afford this amount? It still leaves the great majority of mid and low income families with their one option - Ritalin and the rest of the dangerous drugs. After years of seeing the effects of these and other antipsychotic drugs, I hate drugs. They may be useful for immediate relief, but in the long term, they all too often cause as much damage as the "problem". They do not usually "cure", but only relieve symptoms by upsetting some body balance. This is not a good answer. A Cheap Alternative Is Invented In 2004, (near my 77th birthday) I suddenly realized that since this EEG BF training is taking place in the unconscious mind that is being trained, it probably could be done using Subliminal Messaging or Subliminal Training. I wrote a script that only attempted to raise SMR. I wanted to prove that my theory that raising SMR affected the brain response to allergy/sensitivity, as well
as prove that changing brain wave amplitude could be done using Subliminal Training. The results were very gratifying. Many persons who had not listed insomnia as one of their "symptoms" solved their sleep problems. Some serious depressives also solved their depression problems. Some of the ADD-Autism continuum also solved those problems. Interestingly enough, some of those persons who had failed to solve such ADD/ADHD problems using EEG BF, also failed with this method. In 2005, a new script was done that not only raised SMR brain wave, but also lowered or controlled the Theta brain wave down. A test, using a medium group of volunteers that paid to enlist was conducted for a period of 8 to 10 weeks. Most of the volunteers were ADHD types. All of these improved dramatically over the testing. Two of these were autistic boys that improved so much that the parents are still using the Auditory Training! This corresponds to extended EEG BF training of Autism with up to 200 half hour sessions required. The results showed clearly that this relatively inexpensive system can solve all the same brain problems as EEG BF, but at so much lower cost that even low income families can afford this alternative to dangerous drugs! From all the data, and from my personal experience, this is very analogous to EEG BF, and has the added advantage of no motivation required. Simply sleep while it does its work! More details on websites below.
Dr Bate is a retired orthomolecular psychologist who invented Neuroliminal Training, a simpler and affordable way to change brain wave amplitudes solving ADD-Autism, depression, insomnia, and more. http://drbate.com – http://Neuroliminal.com
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