QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalogram) or Brain Mapping
QEEG Brainmaps are an important tool used to gather data to assist in the development of the treatment plan. The information is collected by placing a cap with 19 leads on the head and measuring the EEG while the client has their eyes closed, eyes open and during tasks as reading and math. EEG collection is completely safe, non-invasive and has been used for years. The EEG is compared to a reference database of EEG and shows where brain activity is within normal limits and where it is not. We also look at connectivity in the brain determine how different part of the brain are communicating or “talking with each other.” Many conditions or disabilities have characteristic patterns that can be seen with this analysis and will assist in developing the most comprehensive and effective training plan.
Neurofeedback or brainwave training is a non-invasive form of biofeedback during which the client trains their brainwaves in order to strengthen healthy patterns. As the brain learns to produce these healthy patterns, negative behaviors and symptoms are reduced. Sensors are placed on the client’s scalp and earlobes and the information is sent to an advanced computer program. The computer processes this information and gives feedback to the client using auditory and visual feedback. The client will see something happen on the screen and hear a sound. The type of feedback system used will be selected to best match the client’s needs and assist the client in progressing as quickly as possible.
Classic neurofeedback is the simplest type of neurofeedback, in which only 1-to-2 electrodes are placed on the scalp. The Classic system treats brainwave amplitude and simple connectivity issues. This system is frequently used to begin clients in their training, and some more sensitive clients may use only this system.
This system is used on individuals who have parts of their brain that are not communicating well with each other. Primarily it is used to connect two-to-four sites located across the two hemispheres of the brain, but the system can also be used for same-hemisphere training.
Z-score neurofeedback training involves training the client’s brainwaves towards a normal range.. The system works with a large normative database based on the age of the client and works to train amplitude, coherence and phase (connectivity measures) of the areas of the brain being trained. In 4-channel z-scores, the client has four sites being trained to work better on their own while simultaneously increasing communication with each other.
Loreta Training is a 19-channel neurofeedback system that uses the physical structures known as Broadmann areas to train internal brain patterns. By using a full-head EEG cap, the system can use surface sites to triangulate how these specific regions behave and can be used to adjust coherence and phase, types of connectivity in the brain, as well as amplitude or the amount of energy in the brainwave. This system has been selected by the US Army for at the Fort Campbell Wounded Warrior facility for soldiers returning from combat with head injury and PTSD.
The BrainAvatar is an exciting new way to provide feedback to the brain. This training is done with 19 channels and can provide feedback on both connectivity in the brain and Regions of Interest (ROI) which are physical structures in the brain that need specific training. By using the EEG 19 channel cap, the system can read and train deep into the brain, not simply the surface EEG. This system that we use for the 19-channel z-scores is so powerful that a client can look at their brain activity in real time on the screen and see their progress.
Hemoencephalography Feedback (HEG)
HEG or blood flow biofeedback trains the client to increase the blood flow to a targeted area of the brain on demand. It helps improve attention, focus, and executive function as well as headaches, symptoms of autism, chronic fatigue and memory loss. A near infrared light is shown into the skull usually on the forehead using a headband gently placed around the clients head. This light measures the amount of oxygenated blood in the immediate area. This amount is read by an adjacent meter on the headband and the information is fed into a small hand-held computer. Feedback can be designed so that a DVD will play when the client's level of oxygenation is above threshold and stops when the level falls below threshold. Low blood profusion in the prefrontal cortex is frequently seen in children with ADD/ADHD or head injury. Improved performance and behavior is seen after the blood flow in the prefrontal cortex is increased.
Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS)
Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) differs from traditional neurofeedback because it does not require the person to pay attention to the usual feedback in order to influence their brain wave activity and benefit from the treatment. The LENS treatment is administered to sites all over the head. The treatment consists of a tiny electromagnetic field that is carried by the leads for one or more seconds at each of the sites chosen during each session. The stimulation is based on changes in the dominant EEG frequency and updated 16 times per second. The number of sites stimulated at each session can vary from 1 to 7 depending on the sensitivity of the client. The LENS neurofeedback system has been useful in reducing symptoms in a wide variety of problems from attention deficit to stroke to autism.
Biofeedback is a process that teaches people to be aware of their body’s processes by using instruments to provide feedback or information about that process. With practice, this awareness can turn into conscious control over heart rate, breathing, skin temperature and muscle tone.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) demonstrates how emotions and breathing patterns are reflected in the heart rhythm. HRV measures the changes in the interval or distance between one beat of the heart and the next beat. The pattern that this produces is important because it affects every cell in your body with every heartbeat. When the pattern is smooth and regular there is a balance between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic parts of the nervous system. In other words, it balances the “fight or flight” impulse with the relaxation signals. With biofeedback, you can learn to produce this balanced heart rhythm when desired. Regular use of HRV has resulted in significant stress reduction, reduced ADD symptoms, improved chronic pain, reduced hypertension, reduce heart arrhythmias and assist in managing pain. Students have improved on test taking performance and shown higher test scores as a result.
CapnoTrainer for Learning and Teaching Respiration
Many symptoms that are associated with physical and mental disorders are often associated with improper breathing. Over breathing can result in "unexplained symptoms," acute and chronic effects of stress and other types of performance deficits. Over breathing is very common some surveys have found that 60% of ambulance runs in larger US cities are a consequence of symptoms caused by over breathing. Over breathing is the inability to maintain good body chemistry with an appropriate balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2). Learning to breath appropriately to balance the body's chemistry can significantly reduce many common symptoms. This training has been found helpful for:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightening
- Irregular heartbeat/palpitations
- Asthma symptoms
- Inability to think clearly/helps with focus
- Poor frustration tolerance
Temperature Training is an effective method to learn relaxation, increase blood flow to hands and feet and has been shown to reduce migraine headaches. Clients will receive an introductory lesson on how to manage body temperature. Materials to assist the client in continuing to learn this skill at home are available.
Neurofield is a new instrument that adds energy to a system that restores itself. A cap is fitted to the head which is connected to the neurofield hardware and software. The program is generated via the computer.
NeuroField is not a medical device. NeuroField is not intended to be used for the diagnosis of medical problems. NeuroField is intended for the use of stress reduction and energetic balancing of the neurological energy field created by the human brain. NeuroField, Inc. does not make any claims that this device can cure, heal, or medically treat disease.
Neurofield is a catalyst for healing. The changes that occur after that occur because the system heals itself. The treatment is stress reduction. When the body is deficient energetically it enters into an increased state of stress. That leads to all sorts of problems. We reduce that stress by giving energy. (Provided by Nick Dogris, Ph.D., inventor of Neurofield) The website is neurofield.com
BAUD (Bio Acoustical Utilization Device)
BAUD is a new approach to dealing with issues as fear, anxiety, cravings, smoking, pain and other general stress issues that has been developed by Dr. Frank Lawis, frequently seen on the Dr. Phil show. The BAUD is a small biofeedback device that uses sound to disrupt the pattern of the brain in response to a specific target problem by using the brain’s ability to change itself as it responds to behaviors and feedback. Using the BAUD, it becomes easier to eliminate negative habits and reactions and to allow the brain to activate positive emotions and urges.
Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA)
This is a computerized continuous performance test to evaluate brain performance under stress. There is both an auditory and visual test which measure attention, impulsivity and response rate.
IVA (Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test)
An integrated 13 minute test which combines both types of CPT's for both visual and audio auditory modalities designed to assess two major factors: response control and attention. It also provides an objective measure of fine motor regulation.
Cognitive training is accomplished by using individualized computer-based exercises designed to target specific areas and levels of cognitive functioning. It has been found to improve memory, attention, mental processing speed, and problem solving skills.
Dr. Durgin utilizes the Captain’s Log cognitive training system developed by BrainTrain.
Stress Management Training
Dr. Durgin taught hundreds of hours of stress management training for staff working with developmentally disabled children while she was Director of Training in New York. She also researched stress management for her graduate work. Every client will receive personalized instruction and information about methods to reduce their stress and deal effectively with the stressors in their lives. She has also taught small stress management classes in the Triad.