Neurofeedback is a non-invasive brain therapy that attempts to develop the brain in creating healthier thinking patterns. So, naturally, it’s important to know what Neurofeedback side effects include.
It is also known as neuropathy. Not only does it attempt to change how you think and feel, but it also attempts to biologically change your brain.
Moreover, it is increasingly becoming popular as an effective way of improving brain functions.
The treatment monitors real-time feedback of brain activity and tries to restore abnormal brain waves into a more normal pattern.
It’s mainly used to treat ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder PTSD, and bipolar II disorder, among other mental conditions.
This article outlines and explains everything you need to know about the neurofeedback side effects that many may not know.
But first, let’s see what good things it can do for you.
Benefits of Neurofeedback
It reduces anxiety symptoms
Anxiety is a common mental disorder that results in unease and worry. It ranges from mild to severe. Furthermore, it affects adults and children all over the world.
People with anxiety can experience fearfulness, restlessness, trouble relaxing, and unending worry.
Neurofeedback can help improve your brain’s functioning by reducing anxiety symptoms.
It can train you to remain calm and make it easier for you to use common coping mechanisms to get yourself to relax.
It can reduce depressive episodes
Feeling low or sad is a normal thing in our daily lives.
However, if the sadness seems to last a bit too long, that may cause worry.
When your sadness makes it hard for you to leave your bed and enjoy your favorite activities or causes you to feel hopeless, that could be a sign of depression.
Usually, people with depression manage the condition with the help of therapy and antidepressants.
Neurofeedback is a perfect alternative if these two fail to work for you.
It can help reduce your symptoms and make it easier for you to function normally.
It improves focus and attention
This therapy’s importance stems from its role in training your mind to help it function better.
There are specific learning disabilities and conditions that make it difficult to focus and concentrate, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
These conditions can make it extremely difficult for you to learn and focus on tasks.
Neurofeedback particularly makes ADHD a bit more manageable by changing the way your brain communicates.
It can also optimize activity in specific brain regions that are affected by ADHD.
It provides emotional stability
We often experience sudden mood changes in our daily lives, which can leave us stuck with negative emotions and awkward situations.
Neurofeedback helps your brain learn self-regulation healthily, so you don’t have difficulty controlling your emotions.
Moreover, it changes your brain’s pattern of becoming stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, which helps with mood regulation too.
It helps treat PTSD symptoms
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, better known as PTSD, is a mental disorder caused by experiencing a traumatic disorder.
As a coping mechanism, the natural trauma responses of your body – fight, freeze, or flight – may become stuck after a traumatic experience.
When this happens, you may struggle with managing your feelings and thoughts and always feel hyper-alert.
Neurofeedback uses a strategy known as brain mapping to figure out the areas of your brainwaves that require to be retrained to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
Can neurofeedback change your personality?
Neurofeedback does not alter your personality.
It trains your brain to operate more efficiently and enhances overall mental balance.
How do I know if neurofeedback is working?
A successful neurofeedback session will make you feel calmer and have higher mental clarity.
Additionally, you will likely notice your sleep improving, especially if you had difficulty sleeping.
How long does it take to see results from neurofeedback?
In most cases, around 30 to 40 sessions are enough to get you the result you are looking for.
You should have 2 or 3 sessions per week for the best results. You will likely notice some changes within the first 10 to 20 sessions.
Neurofeedback side effects
Before you opt for the treatment, you should be aware of a few neurofeedback side effects.
#1. It may cause chattering teeth
This is rare, but you may find your teeth chattering after a session as though you were in cold weather.
No cause for worry, though. This side effect often goes away within a few minutes or hours after the session.
#2. It can cause headaches
You may get a headache after your neurofeedback session.
This is likely a result of increased activity within your brain during the procedure.
It’s nothing to worry about, though, as it goes away shortly after the session.
#3. It can cause depersonalization
One of the craziest neurofeedback side effects is that it can leave you feeling disconnected from your body and mind.
In other words, you may feel like you’re observing yourself from outside your body.
This can result from changing electrical activity within the brain, heightening your awareness and making you highly conscious.
While some patients may not find this strange, others find it extremely uncomfortable and unsettling.
#4. It may cause insomnia
Research suggests that neurofeedback can cause you to have a hard time falling asleep.
If you suffer from insomnia, be sure to raise this concern with whoever is administering the treatment to find a way of managing this possible side effect.
#5. It may lower your energy levels
Neurofeedback may result in low energy for patients being treated to reduce hyperactivity symptoms.
This may take you some getting used to, but it becomes more comfortable once the energy is completely adjusted to normal levels.
#6. It can cause muscle twitches
Patients may experience involuntary jerking of the muscles during neurofeedback treatment.
This is more likely to happen to patients with bipolar disorder than other patients.
#7. It may result in vocal changes
This is perhaps one of the strangest neurofeedback side effects.
This treatment may make your voice sound different over time.
In most cases, the vocal changes are only temporary. Your original voice will likely return once you’ve adapted to the treatment.
#8. It may cause agitation
Ironically, neurofeedback has the effect of causing agitation in some people.
If you do not have anxiety before starting treatment, you should be aware that it can make you agitated and disturbed.
#9. It can lead to muscle tension
Your muscles may get tensed if whoever is administering it to you does not do it properly, especially if the training is at a high frequency.
If your treatment is administered at high frequencies, such as beta or gamma, it should be done with extreme caution.
#10. It may cause dizziness
You may likely leave your neurofeedback session feeling dizzy, no doubt, from all the stimulation your brain goes through in the process.
Ensure to avoid working heavy machinery or driving until the dizziness goes away.
To minimize these neurofeedback side effects, ensure your treatment is overseen by a medical professional who has been certified to perform the procedure.
Also, note that these side effects occur due to extremely long training sessions. The treatment itself is relatively safe.
You may ask, is neurofeedback bogus? Not necessarily. However, most mental health experts don’t accept it as a mainstream treatment.
Neurofeedback is registered with the US FDA as a medical device, and only licensed professionals can use it specifically for relaxation training and reducing stress.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]