Anxiety, Fear, Panic Attacks, Nervousness
If you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, it’s time to learn about neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback and other forms of biofeedback are arguably two of the most powerful tools available for reducing anxiety and panic attacks – and they don’t involve drugs. Clients we see have often done it all — from medications to meditation, from yoga to diet and exercise, to alcohol and stress reduction techniques.
Brain training (neurofeedback) is NOT about training you to manage your stress. Instead, it helps train the part of your brain that CONTROLS stress to not overreact to it. When people are dealing with anxiety, part of their brain is simply not doing its job of keeping them calm. How do you change that part of the brain? That’s where neurofeedback comes in.
Biofeedback and neurofeedback are two of the fastest ways to teach you how to help yourself. These technologies have been used for many years with solid proven results. You can learn how to decrease anxiety and remain calmer with neurofeedback.
Some people can’t hide their anxiety, while others appear calm, yet can’t quiet their mind. Which one describes you? They are two sides of the same coin.
What are typical signs of anxiety? Anxiety can include:
- Excessive worry
- A nagging sense of fear
- Negative thinking
- Racing heart
- Sweaty palms
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling restless, overwhelmed and stressed out
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disrupted sleep
- Incessant internal chatter
Furthermore, anxiety is often at the root of:
- Controlling behavior
Some people with anxiety also suffer panic attacks. Panic attacks are a sudden surge of anxiety and fear that can make you feel like you’re dying or going crazy. Your heart pounds, you can’t breathe, and you feel so vulnerable that if you have them on a regular basis it can cause you to withdraw from life.
What about medications for anxiety?
Anxiety patients are regularly prescribed medications, but medications can be complex solutions. They don’t teach new and healthier patterns and often promote a lack of self-awareness. You don’t learn to quiet your mind or how to be calm. Even with medications, anxiety frequently persists with reduced symptoms and side effects. If the medication stops working or side effects occur, physicians often switch patients’ medication. This can cause agitation and confusion while getting used to the new drug which may or may not work well.
Deciding to stop taking medications altogether can also be problematic because the anxiety is likely still there or has gotten worse. A return of symptoms doesn’t prove you need more medication or a different one. It may indicate that your brain has become used to having medications and developed a dependency. Certain anti-anxiety medications are addictive and with long-term use are difficult to get off.
As an alternative to medications, neurofeedback can often help people gently reduce or eliminate drugs as their brains learn to become and remain calmer and more stable. Many clients report that issues bother them less, their mind is quieter, they recover from stressful events faster and they need less medication.
Note: We do not advocate patients stopping medication without medical advice. Abruptly discontinuing certain medications can cause seizures. Proper, medically-supervised weaning is imperative.
How does neurofeedback reduce anxiety?
Neurofeedback training can help change your brainwaves. It measures the rhythms of your brain and rewards you when you make more of the desirable patterns or fewer of the undesirable ones.
For example, a recording of an EEG brain map for a client showed an excessively fast brain pattern. This 55-year-old woman simply could not quiet her mind, and she experienced a great deal of fear and anxiety as a result. The solution was to measure her brain activity and provide a neurofeedback computer game to help train her brain to calm down. With our coaching, she learned how to recreate that state on her own without the use of the computer game.
Neurofeedback facilitates awareness, provides reinforcement, and allows one to monitor the quality of practice during a training session. Because we are neurologically hard-wired to return to balance, as learning takes place you are able to decrease and/or eliminate anxiety.
As learning improves, you can begin decreasing your brain training schedule. Most clients can stop training once they reach their goals and the training is holding. A small number of clients with persistent or extremely resistant or complex issues require occasional “tune ups” or a maintenance training schedule.
With brain training, you learn to moderate your response to stress so that anxiety is minimized and occurs less frequently. Neurofeedback helps put the control for your life back in your hands.
Why am I only now learning about brain training?
In the 1980’s, biofeedback (neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback) was popular for anxiety and stress reduction and was used by many professionals. The decrease in popularity was not due to poor results. It was caused by a decision by insurance companies to cut the rate of reimbursement for this approach by approximately 75%!
Over the years, technology and knowledge about the brain have made incredible advances. Brain biofeedback researchers and practitioners have applied this knowledge and continue to hone neurofeedback technology into an increasingly more effective teaching tool. This has led to resurgence in the use of biofeedback.
With his “skin crawling” from nearly unbearable anxiety, “Aaron,” who was normally outgoing and sociable, shut out the world.
“I couldn’t think clearly. I hated being in my house alone, especially at night and especially in the dark. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t eat. I lost 30 pounds in five weeks. I slept only two or three hours a week, and I didn’t want to see anybody. The anxiety had robbed me of my joy.”
After unsuccessfully taking a sleep medication and an anti-depressant, Aaron got his joy back after seeking help from the Center for Brain Training. “Now I can go on enjoying my life,” he said.
Read Jerry’s story here.
Manuel has this beautiful personality…but it was always hidden by his anxiety and being in fight mode. It was so frustrating to see his suffering and not know how to help him. Neurofeedback has made that special part of Manuel blossom. Now his wonderful qualities are showing.
–Mother of a 21-year-old college student whose overwhelming anxiety and OCD nearly ended his college career
Palm City, Florida
Read Manuel’s story here.
“Everyone is super-nice and welcoming at the Center for Brain Training. Mike and Carolyn have an amazing energy, and the place has a calm vibe. I would recommend that anyone struggling with anxiety or panic attacks try neurofeedback.”
–27-year-old R.N. who used neurofeedback to get off anti-anxiety medication and stop having panic attacks at work.
Read her story here.
“My daughter has experienced a high degree of anxiety that did not allow her to interact with other children very well. She could not let anybody else control the situation or let somebody else be the leader in a game. She was very rigid in all social situations. After 20 neurofeedback sessions, she is learning to let go of the control of a situation. She can now face situations that used to cause great anxiety with a certain amount of composure. The rigid lines of her body are softening as her ability to interact improves.” .
“Watching Greg return to his daily activities and hearing him say he feels so much calmer is a relief. He’s now able to focus on coping skills that keep him from spiraling into a panic attack. Michael Cohen and his team are just great with Greg. He feels understood, which is very important to a teenager!”