Neurofeedback — a drug-free method of treating brain disorders — is being used to help adults and children suffering from everything from ADHD and anxiety to depression and dyslexia. It’s a system that uses sensors to pick up brain wave activity; so that, by relaxing and learning to clear the mind and focus, neurofeedback patients are able to (often unconsciously) change the way their brain works. In some cases, the results of neurofeedback are permanent, reducing the need for medication and its side effects.
Mary Brown (not her real name), a Chicago mother of 2, saw the benefits of neurofeedback firsthand with her daughter, Sara, who began to experience overwhelming anxiety at age 6. Since Mary herself had been treated with neurofeedback for issues of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), she wanted to help Sara deal with her anxiety before it got out of control. Sara thus began neurofeedback therapy, which helped her learn to breathe better and reprogram her brain to stay calm and focused. She had 20 sessions, spread out over a 3-month period.