Neurofeedback: Unlocking The Brain
The brain is such a powerful tool yet there are secrets to its power that we have yet to unlock. Hence, my guest, Dr. Andrew Hill is here to teach us how to make our brain function optimally. He will also explain what neurofeedback is all about.
How It All Began
Dr. Andrew Hill has been involved in clinical work for more than two decades. In college, he worked in a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults. Because these people were primarily non-verbal, Dr. Andrew Hill had to learn different techniques on how to understand them.
“The verbal challenge in these individuals was so profound. I had to communicate with people in a very different way,” recalls Dr. Andrew Hill.
Incidentally, the state of California and Massachusetts tend to lead the way in progressive health care reform in the United States. This piqued Dr. Andrew Hill’s interest to work with different populations.
Dr. Andrew Hill was working in in-patient psychology when he first heard about neurofeedback. He eventually went on to graduate school to learn more about neurofeedback.
What is Neurofeedback?
According to Dr. Andrew Hill, neurofeedback is a form of Biofeedback in the brain. It was invented about 50 years ago.
Neurofeedback was developed through the work of Dr. Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. It was eventually followed by Dr. Barry Sterman’s work at UCLA in the 1960s.
Primarily, neurofeedback trains the brain to efficiently function. It is also known as EEG Biofeedback based on the EEG or electroencephalogram. The EEG is a test to monitor the electrical activity of the brain.
Neurofeedback Through the Years
During the 70s, neurofeedback was seen as a formed of spiritual development. It became known as a meditation or spiritual tool. There were conflicts in religious beliefs and limited medical findings at the time. Hence, people were skeptical about neurofeedback.
However, because of constant research through the years that followed, neurofeedback was eventually used to treat patients with ADHD, psychological, and central nervous system disorders. It can also be used for treating stress and other emotional conditions.
Dr. Andrew Hill, in fact, worked at the Neurodevelopment Center in Providence Island years ago, before opening his practice. The center specialized in addressing autistic spectrum disorders.
“I witnessed autism symptoms getting reduced. Traits like obsessions, anxiety, over-arousal of things, eye contact, sense of humor and language significantly improved,” Dr. Andrew Hill said.
He also said that the limits on real neurofeedback research are therapy. This is because you can’t patent it. Furthermore, it’s hard to get funding for large studies.
According to Dr. Andrew Hill, the reason studies need to be large is because each person needs 30 to 50 sessions each. In addition to that, each treatment is tailor-made to the client.
Techniques of Neurofeedback
Mental Health professionals perform neurofeedback by placing a lot of wires called electrodes to the scalp. This allows them the ability to monitor brainwave activity through a special computer software.
Though the software has some limitations, it aids a person into changing brain activity to a recommended level. Consequently, the brain is being molded into operating on a more regulated performance.
Peak Brain Institute
Dr. Andrew Hill’s Peak Brain Institute offers QEEG brain mapping, wherein every treatment is tailor-made for the client. The length of the program varies, and a qualified Peak Brain neuroscience team ensures follow-up sessions after your program is done.
Clients are likewise taught how to monitor their brain activity on their own. But there are a lot of EEG headsets that are unreliable. Hence, Dr. Andrew Hill said it is best to get some assistance with a qualified neuroscience team.
“I don’t think the most elaborate neurofeedback approaches are better. It can be misleading and they don’t do the work,” said Dr. Andrew Hill. “Our offices helps patients for first three months. And then we adjust protocols.”
Role of Diet and Nutrition
Dr. Andrew Hill says people with conditions like ADHD improve within 4 to 5 months of training. However, aside from the treatment, diet, and nutrition plays a significant role in making sure our brain is healthy.
“The right diet significantly improves your brain’s health. Consequently, one should minimize sugar and maximize healthy fats,” advises Dr. Andrew Hill.
The Best Intervention
Many ask if neurofeedback is a cure. It is not. However, there have been numerous success stories attesting to the fact that neurofeedback significantly improved their health condition.
In this regard, Dr. Andrew Hill likewise highly recommends people to learn the power of meditation. According to him, meditation is the process of anchoring or learning to stabilize your condition effortlessly.
Dr. Andrew Hill believes that people can get good at meditation over time. Ideally, meditating at least 20 minutes for 10 to 15 days in a row can produce significant results.
“Adhere to the process of evaluating what’s going on. Be curious, not judgemental,” said Dr. Andrew Hill. “Especially in meditation, you become flexible. Being healthy is not something you do in the gym. It’s what you do in your life.”
Dr. Andre Hill is one of the top peak performance coaches in the country. He holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA’s Department of Psychology and continues to do research on attention and cognition. Research methodology includes EEG, QEEG, and ERP. He has been practicing neurofeedback since 2003.
In addition to founding Peak Brain Institute, Dr. Andrew Hill is host of the Head First Podcast with Dr. Hill. He is also the Lead Neuroscientist at truBrain, and lectures at UCLA, teaching courses in psychology, neuroscience, and gerontology.