What Is Happy Brain Therapy?
Dr. Steve Cagen, clinical director and co-founder of Brevard Brain Training located in Brevard, NC explains Happy Brain Therapy as a form of EEG Biofeedback. It is a drugless approach to treating Neurological Dysregulation Syndrome (NDS) that may be associated with the symptoms of many brain based conditions such as ADHD, OCD, PTSD, Insomnia, Anxiety, Tourette’s, Pain and even Autism.
By using a computerized EEG (Electroencephalogram), electrical impulses known as brainwaves can be tracked and analyzed while the patient performs several different tasks such as reading or watching TV. Ideally, the brain should switch between different brainwaves frequencies/ speeds. If the brain cannot produce the needed brainwave it will use an alternate, less efficient wave to get the job done. It is like taking the long country road to get to the store instead of the highway. Effective, but not efficient. Over time this inefficient wave becomes dominant causing changes in outward behavior.
ADD/ADHD: When you perform a task, like making breakfast, you should produce fast brainwaves (Beta waves) to keep you focused and allow for quick communication within the brain. ADHD sufferers struggle to produce Beta waves. Drugs like Ritalin elevate the fast brainwaves for a short period of time reducing symptoms, however, these drugs are derived from Cocaine and can have serious adverse health effects. The Happy Brain Therapy training program teaches patients how to elevate the Beta waves on their own, without harmful drugs. Simply put, it is exercise for the brain.
How Does It Work?
During a typical training session, sensors are placed on the scalp and brainwave activity is monitored by a computer as the patient relaxes and watches a DVD. If the correct brainwaves are produced the movie will play; if the mind wanders, the computer detects the change and the movie will pause. This protocol is repeated with video games, jigsaw puzzles and tactile stimulation. As the brain learns it becomes “re-wired”. This is called neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and open new neural pathways allowing for more efficient lines of communication to be created. Once the changes take place, the effects are permanent. And best of all, there are no drugs and no side effects.