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  • Dr. Tom Woodman, DC, BCN

Informational Session at Kure Spa in Norwalk: Learn how High Beta Brainwave Patterns are Associated

High Beta brainwaves should be produced when you are in the middle of a crisis - they make you more vigilant and force you to consider all potential outcomes for any given decision that you might make while in that crisis. Unfortunately for some people, their brains have developed a pattern of producing too much High Beta, and as a result, they turn every situation they face into a crisis.

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in this country, and affects children as well as adults. While roughly 40 million adults deal with anxiety in this country, it is surprising to many people to learn that 13% of the pediatric population is currently on an anti-anxiety medication. One study reported that anxiety is eight times more prevalent in kids today that it was just 30 years ago.

While the prevalence of anxiety is well understood, the causes of it are not. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The causes of anxiety disorders aren't fully understood”, and as such, the goal of western medical treatment is to manage the symptoms associated with anxiety via prescription medication, which many people turn to simply because they don’t know what else to do. What's interesting is that if you look at anxiety from a brainwave perspective, you will almost always find elevated levels of the High Beta frequency. Under normal circumstances, this frequency is crucial for navigating crisis situations; however, when your brain over-produces this frequency, it can seemingly turn the most trivial of situations into that of a crisis. This is something that neurofeedback has been shown to mitigate in numerous scientific studies, and our experience of using neurofeedback to help manage anxiety symptoms has shown it to be incredibly effective.

Neurofeedback Therapy is a treatment alternative for anxiety symptoms. The first step in neurofeedback is a qEEG evaluation that measures brainwave activity at several locations throughout the brain. This evaluation is non-invasive and provides information about brainwave tendencies within that person. From a brainwave perspective, people with anxiety will typically demonstrate either elevated levels of high beta frequencies, or an inversion of the appropriate beta asymmetry that should be present in the brain (the left hemisphere should produce more beta than the right hemisphere).

After this initial evaluation, the “therapy” component of neurofeedback is brainwave training using EEG-biofeedback. What neurofeedback does to the brain is similar to what physical therapy does for the body – it appropriately stresses weaker networks causing the brain to make those networks stronger. This process is called neuroplastic change, and this has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies including a recent one done at Yale University. Concerning the efficacy of neurofeedback for anxiety and depression, a study released last month demonstrated that neurofeedback significantly decreased anxiety (82%) and depression (81%) in 183 test subjects. Dr. Frank Duffy, pediatric neurologist with Harvard Medical maintains that neurofeedback “should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used."

Dr. Tom Woodman, DC, is Board Certified in Neurofeedback and is the Director of Brain & Body Wellness of Norwalk . He will be presenting a free lecture at Kure Spa & Wellness Center ( on August 28, 2017 at 6:30. He will provide an overview of anxiety, discuss the common brainwave patterns seen with anxiety disorders, and then provide an overview of neurofeedback and discuss pertinent scientific studies supporting its utilization in managing anxiety symptoms.

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