Mental health disorders are difficult to diagnose solely based off of a personal questionnaire. Oftentimes, individuals suffering from a mental health condition or addiction have co-occurring disorders that are hard to recognize due to the overlapping of symptoms. For example, someone who suffers from addiction may also be depressed – but his or her depressive symptoms can be chalked up to the effects of long-term substance abuse. Furthermore, an accurate diagnosis is necessary to provide individuals with a more accurate treatment plan. Leaving any co-occurring disorders undiagnosed can pose serious risks to their overall well-being and course of treatment. As a result, medical professionals are beginning to favor an innovative form of therapy, referred to as brain mapping.
Brain mapping is a fairly new and convenient way for doctors to identify mental and medical disorders as well as addictions. Non-invasive and extremely effective, brain mapping has begun to revolutionize mental health and addiction care across the country. Brain mapping is defined generally as the study of anatomy and function in the brain and spinal cord through the use of imaging, immunohistochemistry, molecular & optogenetics, stem cell and cellular biology, engineering, neurophysiology, and nanotechnology. In other words, brain mapping allows medical professionals to notice inconsistencies in brain waves and functions. Therefore, brain mapping gives doctors definitive answers in regard to an accurate diagnosis. This kind of treatment has the opportunity to revolutionize the way we conduct mental and behavioral healthcare.
What is Brain Mapping & Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is the process of treating areas of the brain that display as imbalanced or compromised. For example, neurofeedback helps doctors identify an array of issues like ADHD, sleep, anxiety, and learning challenges. Brain mapping, also known as EEG brain mapping (qEEG), allows medical professionals to administer neurofeedback in an effective manner. To explain, brain mapping is an innovative tool that medical professionals use to identify problematic areas in the brain. In doing so, using neurofeedback to treat these areas becomes more effective because doctors are able to precisely identify areas of concern in the brain.
qEEG Brain mapping helps to reveal exactly what is going on in a patient’s brain. Once problem areas are identified, medical professionals begin neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback is essentially biofeedback for the brain, as it is also referred to as EEG biofeedback. Without the use of medication, neurofeedback is able to regulate and stabilize imbalances in an individual’s brain. For example, patients who undergo this type of therapy typically experience improved cognitive function, attention, mood, anxiety, sleep, and behavior.
This state-of-the-art treatment, neurofeedback, is a simple and non-invasive learning modality that helps to shift the production and distribution of the brain’s electrical energy. There are five frequency bands of natural electrical energy produced by the brain, known as Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
Delta brainwaves are less than 4 hertz of energy and are responsible for producing dreamless REM sleep, pain relief, accessing the subconscious, and loss of bodily awareness during sleep.
Theta brainwaves produce 4-7 hertz of energy. They are responsible for producing inner peace, REM sleep, deep meditation, addiction help, and healing.
Alpha brainwaves produce 7-13 hertz of energy. These brainwaves produce creativity, focus, learning, and serotonin.
Beta brainwaves produce 13-39 hertz of energy. They are responsible for arousal, concentration, alertness, motivation, and problem-solving.
Gamma brainwaves typically produce 40+ hertz of energy. These brainwaves are responsible for self-control, discovery, peak awareness, intelligence, and feelings of oneness.
These frequency bands help physicians identify which areas of the brain are active and which frequency band the brain should use to effectively complete a task. When one of these frequency bands is firing off energy at an inappropriate time, this means the individual is suffering from a psychiatric issue like anxiety or depression. When doctors are able to identify this, they can treat that specific area of the brain – resulting in the balancing and lessening of symptoms.
What Issues can Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Therapy Treat?
Brain mapping allows medical professionals to understand a patient’s brain on a more intimate level, allowing for an effective and specific plan-of-action. That being said, brain mapping allows doctors to understand which areas of the brain are compromised, allowing them to begin neurofeedback treatment confidently. The combination of brain mapping and neurofeedback treatment is used in the recovery of many different ailments. On the one hand, surgeons use brain mapping in order to plan safer surgeries. However, brain mapping’s range of efficacy seems to be endless.
Uses for brain mapping and neurofeedback include:
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
- Developmental disorders like autism
- Attentional disorders like ADHD
- Mood disorders like depression
- Substance use disorder
- Used in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and for operating room (OR) monitoring
While patients may need to undergo additional treatment in combination with brain mapping and neurofeedback, the usefulness of these treatments is outstanding. Brain mapping has allowed millions of doctors across the nation to diagnose hard-to-identify disorders and ailments. As a result, these doctors are able to conduct neurofeedback treatments that allow patients to learn to self-regulate their emotions and reactions.
Brain Mapping Treatment
Brain mapping is an effective tool for individuals who suffer from psychiatric or substance use disorders. To explain, brain mapping allows medical professionals to pin-point the exact area of concern in a patient’s brain. This allows for more precise and individualized plans-of-action during treatment. Additionally, sometimes brain mapping in combination with neurofeedback completely eliminates an individual’s need for medication. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction or mental illness and are unsure of how to begin treatment, give us a call today!