How Does Neurofeedback Training Work for PTSD Treatment?
If you or someone you know has trauma or PTSD, they may wonder why they can’t move past the events even if it happened long ago. Through talk therapy, they may come to understand they are no longer in danger however they still may continue to experience anxiety, panic, flashbacks, or nightmares. This is due to the fact that trauma does more than affect our thoughts it also changes the brain and body in ways that talking and reasoning may not always be able to reverse. Healing from trauma requires healing the brain and body, not just thoughts.
Neurofeedback training NYC may be the answer for patients suffering from trauma.
Talk Therapy For Trauma Might Not Be Enough
This is not to say that talk therapy for trauma isn’t effective because it’s highly effective it can help to validate emotions and help victims realize they aren’t to blame, look at traumatic events through a new lens, and provide a sense of community, care and support.
Trauma is stored in parts of the brain and nervous system as whole-body exerpeinces, not just linear narratives. This means that patients don’t just rememer what happeneed they also remember how they felt and how their bodies reacted. They remember the fear as well as their racing heart and difficulty breathing.
The reason for this is that trauma is a fight or flight experience that happens in your brain before it happens in your body. Your brain sends signals to your body to prepare for an emergency before any real danger has even presented itself.
Talk therapy often cannot address these emotional and physical memories of trauma that have become ingrained in the body’s biology.
Additionally, one study found that about 40% of patients in the community with PTSD drop out of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), the most recommended type of talk therapy for trauma. Patients need a more comprehensive type of treatment with better outcomes.
There are many reasons why talk therapy isn’t enough for so many people who suffer from PTSD. For example, studies show that it can take up to 10 years for someone to recover from trauma-related disorders! It also takes a lot of work for patients to trust their therapists enough to share their deepest secrets and experiences. And when they do share these things, they often feel shame or guilt about them—which is not helpful at all when trying to heal from mental illness.
How Does Trauma Affect The Brain?
The psychological effects of trauma can be devastating. Whether it’s a car accident, sexual assault, or an experience in which you felt helpless and powerless, the brain is traumatized when it experiences a threat to its safety. The trauma can be physical or emotional in nature—it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your brain perceives it as a threat and responds accordingly by releasing chemicals into your body to help you survive.
The problem is that these chemicals are designed to make you react quickly, not necessarily to make sense of what happened—which is why so many people feel confused after experiencing trauma. It’s also why it can be difficult for survivors to process what happened to them because their brains are still functioning on an old set of rules: “I must survive at any cost.”
In order for survivors to move forward from these experiences, they need to understand how their brains have been impacted by the trauma—and how those impacts might be contributing to their problems now.
How Does Trauma Affect The Body?
Trauma can change the body’s biology. Even after the trigger is gone, the amygdala can hold onto the physical memory of trauma, and our bodies can get stuck in this fight-or-flight mode, leaving us with higher levels of cortisol and symptoms of hyperarousal.
During a traumatic event, the amygdala alerts the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that coordinates the body’s stress response by producing hormones like cortisol. In addition, the autonomic nervous system – which controls our involuntary body functions – goes into fight-or-flight mode. This means having a faster heart rate, breathing more shallowly, sweating, and not being able to think clearly.
The amygdala is especially sensitive to emotional stimuli and can respond quickly to any situation that looks or sounds threatening (such as loud noises or someone yelling). This can be helpful if you need to run away from danger or defend yourself against an attacker – but if you experience trauma repeatedly over time (such as during childhood abuse), then your amygdala may start responding to things that aren’t actually dangerous (like being yelled at).
How Does Neurofeedback Help With Trauma?
ILF (infra-low frequency) training for trauma is a form of neurofeedback training the slowest brainwaves that are involved in regulating the brain’s stress response. If this response isn’t properly regulated, the brain can easily be triggered by even the smallest of events.
During ILF sessions, patients often report feeling physically and emotionally calmer after these sessions. Research and clinical observations find that patients often experience a change in their heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature as they move out of fight-or-flight mode into a calmer, more relaxed state.
Alpha-theta training for trauma is a type of therapy that encourages alpha and theta brainwave activity, both of which are associated with introspection and relaxation. During these sessions, patients can enter a deep state between wakefulness and sleep. In this state, people are more open to processing things in a new and healthier way.
After these sessions, patients may find that when they think about past events or traumas, they have more insight into their emotions without feeling disabled, distressed, or overwhelmed.
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