Understanding Biofeedback

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Doctors Michael and Lynda Thompson

By Mark Koning 

Imagine being able to see the activities of your brain. To see how your brain waves look and react to things such as your speech, your skin temperature, your breathing and your heart rate.

Doctors Michael and Lynda Thompson gave a presentation at a BIST meeting last month about biofeedback and introduced those in attendance to their ADD Centre.

The goal of the centre is somewhat complex but also fairly simple – to assess brain injuries, derived from concussions, and then offer treatment through the aid of Neurofeedback; measuring brain speed and looking at brain maps. They focus on the attention, the executive (personality) and the biochemistry of where an individual is at and where and how they can improve.

Mild concussions are not always picked up by an MRI, and the sad fact is, that once you get one concussion, you are more likely to receive a second. The biggest problem we face with brain injury, as most of us with one already know, is that a brain injury does not necessarily have any physical signs; it can be and usually is invisible to the naked eye.

After an injury occurs, certain brain cells may not connect and the process of learning slows down, or the opposite happens, where too much connecting takes place because we work ourselves too hard to keep up. This is where the ADD centre comes into play and offers help in re-training the brain to find a solution. Visit the website www.addcentre.com for more information.

Whether you go with their offered training or just spend some time reading about what they say and do, you’ll come away from it with a new appreciation of what even an injured brain can accomplish. We can re-learn and grow with any situation or opportunity presented to us. Like they say on their website, “You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust the sails.”

bist3During this presentation it was most interesting to take part in a breathing technique that helped turn feelings of frustration, confusion, and worry into calmness and focused thoughts. While this technique was being practiced by the audience, a volunteered participant had herself hooked up to a computer via three small electrodes (one on the scalp and one on each earlobe) and we all got to view on a large screen how her brain waves were reacting.

It is always nice to learn about programs and services that are there to engage and offer help. We are all capable of overcoming a lot on our own, but sometimes we need a little push or guidance. Doctors Michael and Lynda Thompson, at the very least, allow us to expand our choices.

Mark Koning is a member of BIST.

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