Tag Archives: ADHD

Is There an Alternative to Treating ADHD?

More and more children (and adults) are beingDistracted Student in Classroom diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It is common, especially in this country, to treat conditions with medication. What happens when medicine doesn’t work or one prefers another option?

In an article found on PRWEB.com, entitled, Neurofeedback Training Offers New Paths for Treating Children with ADHD, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that “(neurofeedback offers the) same level of efficacy as medication.” It’s good to know there are alternatives.

relaxedThe article gives an example of a 10 year old girl who is diagnosed with ADHD. She was distractible and had difficulty completing tasks and doing her homework. With neurofeedback, she was able to successfully learn how to calm herself down and develop self regulation and become more focused.

I have seen tremendous results in treating both children and adults diagnosed with ADHD with neurofeedback. One of my clients wrote a testimonial about the efficacy of neurofeedback and both she and her son were able to decrease and eventually eliminate medication. To read the testimonial by JK, click here.

If you would like to learn more about neurofeedback and and how it can help with ADHD, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

What is Neurofeedback and How Does it Work?

Mike Cohen of the Center for Brain Training in Florida created an amazing video that explains what neurofeedback (NF) is and how it works. A lot of what Mike says about NF in his video has been my experience as well.

Mike explains, that for children, NF is commonly used for “ADHD, emotional and behavioral issues, learning and development delays and struggles in school. For adults, it’s generally used for anxiety, depression, obsessing and sleep problems. I love when Mike says, “With NF, the brain changes itself.” That’s exactly what happens. We use the tools that we already have in order to become better. Here’s Mike’s video.

 

The video also addresses the fact that yes, NF helps with problems, but it also helps with performance. Valdeane Brown, Ph.D., is the Founder, Director and President of the Zengar Institute and the creator of the system that I use, NeurOptimal®. He is an avid golf player. Shortly after taking up the game, Val was rated the most improved player. He believes this is due to his ability to return to the present moment and allow his brain to do what it had being learning to do- via NF trainings. He said that swinging the club just right, to get the ball to go just where he wanted it to go, was no easy task. Val found that with his own game (and the games of the athletes whom he trains) he was able to be in the game and not in his head. What a wonderful metaphor. To be able to concentrate on any task and not be stuck in one’s head, is a much easier (and more productive) way to go through life. Here’s a video of Val discussing golf and NeurOptimal®.

Much of what Mike discusses in his video is similar to my experience with NF but there are also some differences. The differences are in the systems that we use. With Mike’s system (and most NF systems), certain parts of the brain are being stimulated, while other parts are hindered. This can create side effects. With NeurOptimal®, the brain is simply interacting adaptively with itself moment by moment, not striving to produce “more” of some frequency and “less” of another according to an outside “expert”. Additionally, Mike uses tests to find out what is “wrong with the client.” With NeurOptimal®, there is no need for outside tests to “diagnose what’s wrong” or “what the central nervous system (CNS) needs”. You can simply allow the CNS to receive the pure information about itself — untainted by the beliefs of the trainer — and the brain organizes on its own. This is what the CNS is designed to do and NeurOptimal® is designed to rely on this inherent intelligence of the brain. As a result, the NeurOptimal® process is perfectly, effortlessly, natural. And this is true no matter what the problem is — even if there was a significant developmental delay or injury as far back as birth or even earlier. Every brain has the potential to optimize itself, if given the right information.

For more information about how NeurOptimal® can help you, feel free to contact me.

The Not-So-Hidden Cause Behind the A.D.H.D. Epidemic

Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote an article in the New York Times Magazine section this week entitled, The Not So Hidden Cause Behind the A.D.H.D. Epidemic. 

images-2Recently people who were prescribed low dose, generic medications, used to treat A.D.H.D., found that the drugs they used to were hard to find.  Because the number of diagnoses of A.D.D./A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has increased in both children and adults, the demand was greater than the supply. Ms. Koerth-Baker writes:

“Between the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, people across the United States suddenly found themselves unable to get their hands on A.D.H.D. medication. Low-dose generics were particularly in short supply.” Koerth-Baker goes on to write, “The number of diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has ballooned over the past few decades. Before the early 1990s, fewer than 5 percent of school-age kids were thought to have A.D.H.D. Earlier this year, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 had at some point received the diagnosis — and that doesn’t even include first-time diagnoses in adults.”

UnknownThe article mentions that rates of A.D.D./A.D.H.D. vary not only by state but by country as well. A study that compares the number of children with the diagnosis in this country as compared to those in Britain, shows that “In 2003, when nearly 8 percent of American kids had been given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., only about 2 percent of children in Britain had. According to the British National Health Service, the estimate of kids affected by A.D.H.D. there is now as high as 5 percent.”

images-3Peter Conrad who is a leading researcher in the spread of A.D.H.D. diagnosis rates, believes that the difference lies in the definition. In this country, we use the D.S.M. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In Europe, the I.C.D. (International Classification of Diseases) is used and their guidelines are “much stricter” for diagnoses.

Another reason for the increased diagnosis in children from this country is due to the fact that “American childhood drastically changed. Even at the grade-school level, kids now have more homework, less recess and a lot less unstructured free time to relax and play.” When kids are unable to move their bodies or use their brains to play and not work, they are unable to relax and thrive. One way to help kids do this, is to allow more time for unstructured amusements, including making art- painting, drawing, imagining, etc…

images-4Another way to calm over stimulated minds and bodies so that they can grow and flourish is by having neurofeedback training. The system I use, NeurOptimal®, trains the brain to be more flexible and to perform optimally. To learn more about NeurOptimal®, click on the link. To discuss how neurofeedback can help you or your child feel calmer, more focused and relaxed, contact me, here.

Neuro-what?

What is the most common question asked when meeting someone new?

It’s generally, “what do you do?” bigstock-Brain-profile-made-by-typograp-32324291

At a party the other day, an old friend came up and asked me, “so what are you doing these days?”

I began with, “I’m still a therapist in private practice and I also do something called, neurofeedback.”

The old friend asked, “is that like biofeedback?”

A new friend, overhearing the conversation asked, “neurowhat?”

I answered them both. “Yes, neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback. It’s a way to train one’s brain to better deal with life’s stressors. You sit in a comfortable chair in my office with five non-invasive sensors, which are reading the electricity on the surface of your scalp. There is nothing going into your head. You simply sit back and listen to beautiful and relaxing music for 33 minutes. There’s nothing else you have to do. It’s a non-medical way to overcome some of life’s challenges such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, addictions, ADD/ADHD, etc. It’s also great for people who have experience with regular talk therapy and want a change. It’s complementary with talk therapy and it’s often the missing piece for those who have done a lot of therapy and other forms of working on themselves.”

neuroBeing that we were on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I assumed that many people in the room had at some point worked with a talk therapist. My friends were both very interested in learning more about how neurofeedback works and how it would specifically work for them. One mentioned having repetitive thoughts while the other discussed bouts of insomnia. They asked if neurofeedback could help with both of these issues. I told them that it could and that I currently work with clients who are being treated for those exact issues. The clients were responding very well and in a much shorter period than they expected.

What happens is this: The system I use is called, NeurOptimal®. When your brain shows turbulence, the music makes a minute pause. What happens is that the turbulence the system is flagging for the brain is what happens whenever our brain shifts from one state to another. The pause in the music is a wakeup call to the brain to come back to the present and choose whether or not the shift is a good idea. The system flags ANY state shift, not just problematic ones. Our brains prefer to use energy efficiently. Even when the pause in the music is indecipherable, the brain notices it. The decrease in the regular stress creates calmness and increases the ability to return to the present moment.

Eventually there become fewer and fewer episodes of recycling the past and you are allowed to see and respond to what is actually happening in your life rather than react to it out of habit. Also, as the brain gets calmer, the part of the brain that controls relaxation responses becomes more dominant than the part of the brain the guides the “fight or flight response.” Your body then is able to repair itself and become healthier.”

It was exciting for me to share what I know and exciting for my friends to learn about neuro-what? I mean neurofeedback.

If you’re interested in trying neurofeedback, call me at 917-817-8575 or email me.