Biofeedback involves the use of sensitive instruments to monitor various physiological functions while simultaneously feeding data back to the person in a way that’s easy to understand. This enables the individual to become aware of various aspects of their body and mind that are normally thought to be unconscious and involuntary. With awareness and practice comes the ability to self-regulate, thereby empowering the individual to heal and grow. Peripheral or Autonomic Biofeedback involves the Sympathetic (SNS) and Parasympathetic (PNS) branches of the Autonomic Nervous System.
What is Biofeedback?
In addition to clinical feedback systems, various sophisticated computer programs such as Journey to Wild Divine,EmWave Pro, and Resperate make learning fun and easy. Biofeedback modalities used at MindSpa include the following:
- Thermal Biofeedback or Temperature Training. Practiced on finger tips. Used with autogenic training and visualization. Promotes relaxation and passive volition.
- Electrodermal Response (EDR). Also called skin response or Galvanic Skin Response (GSR). An excellent measure of moment-to-moment responses to internal or external stimuli.
- Electromyography (EMG). A measure of muscle tension. Useful for training muscles to relax or to activate following injury and disuse.
- Blood Volume Pulse. Signal related to Thermal Biofeedback. Usually recorded from the finger using a photoplethismograph to show changes in blood flow.
- Respiration. Useful for training diaphragmatic breathing. Uses Strain Gauges or metronomes.
- Heart Rate Variability. Measures variations in beat-to-beat intervals involving balance between SNS and PNS and emotions.
- Hemoencephalography (HEG). Feeds back data on blood flow into the brain. A form of neurofeedback.
- Electroencephalography. EEG Biofeedback. Also called neurofeedback or neurotherapy. Described on next page.
EEG-Driven photic stimulation or electromagnetic stimulation. ROSHI feedback system. Very robust.
- Audio-visual Stimulation (AVS), Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES), Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS), Bioacoustic Utilization Device (BAUD), Near Infrared Photobiomodulation (VieLight) and Infratonic QGM devices are sometimes used to enhance therapeutic response.
Neurofeedback / Neurotherapy
Neurofeedback is a term used to describe the application of EEG biofeedback, along with other forms of brain wave training to resolve symptoms, promote healing, and improve functioning. It is frequently combined with classical biofeedback and psychotherapy to maximize effectiveness. If indicated, a referral for complementary therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or holistic medical care will be made. Neurofeedback is offered as an alternative to or as a complement to traditional therapies.
What is Neurofeedback?
Common Applications for Neurotherapy
Anxiety, depression, ADHD, addictions, chronic pain, headaches, head injury, stroke, seizure disorder, stress related disorders, and peak performance. Neurotherapy, also known as neurofeedback, is a specialized form of biofeedback. The EEG can be recorded using simple, non-invasive scalp electrodes. Certain frequencies and wave forms are associated with various states of arousal, attention, dysfunction, or optimal function. By concentrating on a computer display or listening to feedback signals, one can reduce dysfunctional brain wave patterns. The result can be remarkable improvement in mental, emotional, and physical performance.
MindSpa has expertise treating post concussive syndrome which deals with the various conditions associated with concussions and other forms of head trauma. Although professional football players and hockey players are getting most of the attention, concussions impact athletes of all ages, first responders, combat veterans, and adults from all walks of life. Many parents are evaluating the risks of having their children compete in contact sports. Even current professional athletes are retiring early to avoid longer term consequences.
ABC 7 News Report about NFL Players Coping with Concussions
ABC 7 News Report about Parent Concerns about Concussions
SNN Report on Dr. Rozelle Reacting to NFL Concussion Settlement
Direct Neurofeedback is a form of passive ultra-low power stimulation feedback that is a primary modality for resetting the brain by nudging it out of stuck patterns. MindSpa uses two versions of this feedback device. One is called High Performance Neurofeedback (HPN) and the other is a re-branded version of the same, called Clarity Direct Neurofeedback. Each device records the dominant EEG frequency and feeds back to the brain a tiny pulsed electrical signal at a frequency offset. The client cannot feel the signal but the brain perceives it and begins to re-organize itself in a more efficient and flexible manner.
Dr. George Rozelle, the owner of MindSpa, began using this approach in 2013 to co-lead clinical trials with retired NFL players suffering from the effects of repetitive head trauma. He found that some players felt a positive shift during the first treatment. He found significant symptom reduction and normalization of their brain maps. The positive results are lasting and there are few, if any, minor temporary side effects. He was so impressed with the results that he adopted this approach as his primary neurofeedback modality for nearly all clients.
Dr. Rozelle continued the clinical research in a larger scale multi-site study in collaboration with his colleagues. He has presented the impressive results at several national and international scientific conferences. Studying a high risk population like retired NFL football players could lead to breakthroughs in the use of Neurofeedback for a wider range of people from all walks of life. MindSpa welcomes inquiries from parents, coaches, teachers, athletes, and the media. Please call 941-378-9959.
LORETA Z-Score Neurofeedback
Based upon a QEEG surface recording Dr. Rozelle can apply a LORETA analysis to determine the sub-cortical source of a brain wave pattern and focus on a particular region of the brain. Z-scores are obtained by comparison to a normative data base and neurofeedback protocols can be set up to train dysregulated areas toward normal. Using an Electrocap, whole brain networks can be trained. This is an operant conditioning approach whereby the brain is rewarded for movement in the desired direction. Dr. Rozelle uses the Neuroguide software for this form of feedback.
Single Channel Neurofeedback.
Dr. Rozelle started doing neurofeedback in 1990 using one scalp electrode to treat addiction. The approach is simple by todays standards, but highly effective. This is a great way to engage kids in the neurofeedback process by presenting the feedback in the form of a video or game type animation controlled by the brain.
High Performance Neurofeedback (HPN)
High Performance Neurofeedback (HPN) refers to a business in Massachusetts and a clinical approach used at MindSpa and other locations to support patients dealing with the symptoms of head trauma and repeated concussions. Dr. George Rozelle, the owner of MindSpa, is leading a multi-site controlled study of the impact of repeated head injuries on retired NFL football players. Study participants use HPN Neurofeedback to address cognitive and emotional issues.
Participating NFL cities for the study include Denver, Charlotte, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. Dr. Rozelle reported encouraging early findings from the ongoing study at the conference for the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR). Studying a high risk population like retired NFL football players could lead to breakthroughs in the use of HPN Neurofeedback for a wider range of people including athletes of all ages and levels of experience, first responders, combat veterans, and adults from all walks of life.
Brain Mapping (QEEG)
Brain Mapping is a term that describes a comprehensive assessment of brain function through computer assisted analysis of the EEG. Surface electrodes record brain wave signals which can be viewed on a computer screen and digitally stored for later analysis.
An electrode cap is used to ensure uniform placement of electrodes in an easy and comfortable manner. The procedure takes about an hour and is non-invasive and painless. The resulting Quantitative Electroencephalograph, or QEEG, provides a remarkable and clinically useful picture of how the brain is working.
MindSpa’s owner Dr. George Rozelle and his colleague Dr. George Lindenfeld recently wrote an article about using RESET Therapy and Brain Mapping (QEEG) to support a local combat veteran dealing with PTSD symptoms. The preliminary results are encouraging and additional research is underway. Read the article.
Applications of Brain Mapping? (qEEG)
With the EEG data stored on a computer, sophisticated software programs are then used by Dr. Rozelle to visually examine the brain wave patterns, re-montage the data channels for different views and source localization, and perform statistical analyses. Topographical mapping provides vivid visual displays of how the electrical power in the brain is distributed.
Data Base Analysis
The EEG data can then be compared to a Normative Data Base matched for age, gender, and handedness on measures of coherence, phase, amplitude asymmetry, and relative power. A Traumatic Brain Injury or Learning Disability Discriminant Analysis can also be performed. Low Resolution Tomography (LORETA) employs vector calculus to surface recordings to locate the electrical source generators. Three dimensional views can be created to enhance and complete the picture. The QEEG is a great tool for neurotherapy protocol development.
Stress Management / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Here’s a short education video from TedEd explaining how chronic stress affects your brain. MindSpa has the expertise, methods, tools, and technologies to help patients of all ages cope with chronic stress. Inquiries are welcome at 941-378-9959.
Introducing the BAUD
MindSpa is approved to use the Bio-Acoustical Utilization Device (BAUD) invented by Dr. Frank Lawlis, a pioneer in the field of medical psychology. The following short video presents Dr. Lawlis demonstrating the FDA cleared and registered device with three patients.
The BAUD is a neuro-modulation device that works through neuro-acoustic stimulation. The patented technology uses specially designed sound frequencies and waveforms to stimulate neural plasticity in the brain. Plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change physically and chemically.
The BAUD is effective for emotional issues, overcoming urges or impulses, and physical symptoms including pain. A typical BAUD session lasts less than 20 minutes and many clients report immediate improvement. MindSpa staff has expertise working with the BAUD device and other technology and tools.
Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT)
Kendra Simpkins, MSW uses RRT to help clients at MindSpa. RRT is an accelerated healing method that is gentle and painless. It’s an innovative approach developed by Dr. Jon Connelly that eliminates traumatic events from the past that cause painful emotions, thoughts and behaviors. RRT is task-oriented and effect-driven to clear the root cause. The RRT session will last until the task is complete and the mind is cleared.
The RRT process does not require individuals to relive painful past experiences or trauma. Conflict blocking desired change is resolved on a deeper level producing immediate relief and lasting change in emotions and behavior. Practitioners report significant improvements in as little as one or two sessions, and clients report an immediate sense of peace, clarity and energy. RRT can help with a range of issues and conditions including PTSD, sexual trauma and complicated grief.
Please call MindSpa at 941-378-9959 to book an appointment with Kendra.
Acupuncture has been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the skin or applying various other techniques to the acupuncture points to bring about healing.
The foundation of Chinese acupuncture is the recognition of an energy force called Qi (pronounced chee). This energy, or life force, circulates around the body through invisible channels called meridians. If the flow of Qi in the meridians is disrupted, then disease may follow. By inserting fine needles into particular acupuncture points, the disruption can be corrected and the flow of Qi restored.
Whether or not you believe in the philosophy of Qi makes no difference to the effects of acupuncture. Scientific trials around the world have found that when acupuncture is performed by a skilled practitioner, it is a safe and useful treatment for many different disorders and conditions.
Auriculotherapy is a clinically effective treatment modality used for the relief of chronic pain and the alleviation of substance abuse. The external ear has been shown to correspond to specific parts of the body. Detection of electrical conductance and tenderness palpation can reveal specific auricular reflex points which can be stimulated to alter pathological reflex patterns in the brain, internal organs, and different peripheral regions of the musculoskeletal body.
Rachel Toomim, AP is our staff acupuncturist and she has a significant amount of experience and specialized training. Her bio on the Our Team page provides more details.
Integrated Energy Therapy (IET)
Integrated Energy Therapy® (IET) is a form of Energy Psychology designed to address and heal the origin of many physical or emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. It is particularly useful for those who have found that medication alone is not sufficient. Cynthia Higgins, MD with MindSpa is a Master Level Instructor of IET.
IET involves a light, therapeutic touch applied to specific parts of the body known as cellular memory areas. It is recognized to release at the DNA level the energetic correlates of emotional or physical distress. Relief is obtained without having to relive the circumstances that created the condition. It is particularly useful for those who have been victims of trauma, loss or neglect.
Each 60 minute session begins with determining the area(s), that require an energetic shift. The intent need not be limited to physical or emotional health, but can encompass life purpose as well. Specific benefits of this incredibly relaxing technique include clearing energy blocks that limit health, prosperity and creativity. Growth supported by IET allows for more authenticity and fulfillment in personal relationships and career choices.
Brain Music Therapy (BMT)
Dr. George Rozelle collaborates with Dr. Galina Mindlin of the Brain Music Therapy Center in New York to provide this service to patients in Florida. Originating in Europe and enjoyed by over 10,000 people worldwide, Brain Music Therapy is becoming popular in the U.S., where sleep deprivation, stress and a hurried life style are commonplace.
Brain Music Therapy is a process of recording a resting EEG, finding elements of the record that correlate with desired mental states, and converting those EEG patterns to sound files. Changes in brain activity correspond to various other physiological parameters reflecting a person’s level of arousal and emotional state. For example, a meditative state has a distinct electrophysiological signature.
Each person’s brain music is unique. The brain will recognize and respond to its own endogenous music, but not music derived from another person’s EEG.
- Sleep Disturbance
- Migraine and Tension Headaches
- Chronic Pain
- Substance Abuse
- Peak Performance
Following a brief assessment interview the client is guided to achieve a relaxed state while the Doctor records EEG rhythms for five minutes. The procedure is brief, non-invasive, and painless. The recorded data is then sent to a lab where the EEG files are converted to personalized music files. It takes 1-2 weeks to receive an E-file that can be uploaded to an MP3, I-Pod or other device. It can also be burned to a CD.
Advantages of BMT:
BMT can be used as a valuable complementary treatment that could enhance the response to various other modalities such as neurofeedback, psychotherapy and acupuncture. By extracting the healing patterns of the brain and presenting them back to the brain, natural self-correcting and adapting capacities are enhanced. This may improve the response to medications or reduce reliance on medications.
No chemicals or invasive procedures are used. No dependence is developed. No withdrawal symptoms are experienced. No side effects have been reported. SBMT is supported by controlled studies with an improvement rate of 85 percent.
Mental Fitness and Peak Performance
Peak Performance has been defined as the ability to voluntarily alter one’s state of mind in order to most effectively meet any challenge. Studies of high performers have shown that, in addition to a high level of skill, they share these characteristics: commitment to a goal, control over body and mind states, and a high level of focused concentration.
These are the essential elements of mental preparedness that can be facilitated via brain wave training or neurofeedback. Each of these elements is briefly addressed below.
When a client comes to us, we start with an interview to define the performance task, review past peak performances and poor performances, determine a training strategy, and help the client set appropriate goals.
Body / Mind Control
Muscles perform best when the body is relaxed, and efficiency is increased when there is minimal recruitment of other muscles, not needed for the task. Psychophysiological assessment and biofeedback help us assess and train body awareness and control. Neurofeedback guided deep relaxation is useful for visualization and mental rehearsal of performance tasks.
The person performs best when the mind is properly focused and movements are executed automatically without thinking. The high performance brain is flexible and resilient. Neurofeedback is useful for training and enhancing concentration skills.
Neurofeedback for Peak Performance
The Peak Achievement Trainer is a complete neurofeedback training system based on NASA and Air Force research with fighter pilots. It has been used by top companies, Olympic and professional athletes, and the U.S. Military Academy. The simple sensor hook-up and portable system enables the user to observe and learn single-pointed focus, moderate alertness, and high alertness (the extra arousal at the point of hitting the ball), both in the lab and while performing some tasks. The New York Times called the technology The Coach who will put you in the ZONE.
The ROSHI is an interactive closed-loop EEG feedback and entrainment system that is extremely efficient at helping users find the desired brain wave state. It may be coupled with autogenic training or subliminal suggestions to program the mind for optimal performance. It’s also an excellent attention training instrument, creating greater flexibility in the brain.
Serious Fun for ADHD, LD, and Performance Enhancement
Scientists at NASA Langley Research Center researched and developed technologies using physiological measures for assessing sustained attention, engagement, awareness, and pilot stress in laboratory flight simulators. Soon they recognized that these flight simulators were very similar to video games.
At the same time neurotherapists, equipment engineers, and software programmers were developing more and more sophisticated neurofeedback protocols and display screens to treat children and adults with ADHD and other conditions. One of the challenges with children is in keeping them engaged in the feedback task.
The marriage of the two technologies was a significant step in the evolution of neurofeedback as a fun, effective, and practical solution for parents who don’t want to put their children on drugs. Home training makes it an even more attractive and affordable option. Kids love it!