Have medications failed, or do they have side effects?
By Michael Cohen, Founder, Center for Brain
Do you or someone you know suffer from anxiety?
• Do you get fearful, tense, or overwhelmed?
• Do you have racing thoughts?
• Have you lost hope of getting rid of anxiety?
At Center for Brain, we have a unique program for adults and children who have tried everything to help their anxiety. Many of our clients have been to the best doctors, therapists, and have tried many approaches and medications to keep their anxiety at bay and their symptoms under control. And still, nothing works well.
We use a very different approach. Rather than trying to medicate, we use a unique combination of neurofeedback and biofeedback technology. They are powerful tools to help you learn to calm and quiet your nervous system. With practice and reinforcement, you can train your brain and your body to control how you respond to stress. You don’t have to learn to live with it.
When you learn to quiet your nervous system, you learn how to break the anxiety “habit.” It may sound strange, but many people become excellent at being anxious. They are quite skilled at it. You can train to become good at NOT having anxiety. You just don’t know how. When you combine biofeedback technology with other approaches, you train your nervous system to respond differently. The Center for Brain has helped countless people (both children and adults) to get control of their anxiety and take charge of their life again, often in a surprisingly short period of time.
Many people with chronic anxiety or panic attacks have tried multiple medications to feel better or to calm down. Medications may reduce but not eliminate your symptoms, and they don’t teach your brain to make permanent changes.
Unfortunately for sufferers of chronic anxiety, many health professionals are unfamiliar with neuro and biofeedback, even though it has such a big impact on anxiety. The health field changes slowly. More and more clinicians have heard about the positive clinical results, even if they haven’t had time to read all the research. When you combine multiple approaches with neuro and biofeedback technology it can help really change chronic patterns.
What can Biofeedback Do?
Biofeedback and neurofeedback have been proven to greatly reduce or even eliminate anxiety symptoms. For people taking medication, biofeedback can help lessen reliance on medicines. In some cases people are able to stop taking anxiety medication entirely. Patients are often surprised how much better they feel with biofeedback, particularly since they’ve tried many approaches with limited relief.
Consider the experiences of three patients:
52-year-old Cecily had suffered from depression and anxiety since her late 20s following a car accident. She was taking medications for depression and sleep, but over time these didn’t help. Doctors ran out of ideas, and her anxiety surged. Cecily became increasingly fearful and anxious of everything in her life, stopped participating in normal activities, and felt completely overwhelmed. An intensive and comprehensive intervention of biofeedback therapy, an adjustment of her hormones and acupuncture broke her cycle of anxiety and depression. Today she is sleeping without medication and living a calm and peaceful life.
24-year-old Brett had become so paralyzed by panic attacks that he had been unable to work or drive for two years. He was on heavy-duty mood stabilizers, an antipsychotic medication and other drugs. The medications helped somewhat but not enough for him to function. After one month of biofeedback sessions 3-4 times per week his panic attacks and extreme anxiety diminished and he was able to drive again. Now that he knows how to calm himself he reports feeling “completely normal.”
Melissa, 47, had anxiety so severe that she was unable to drive, couldn’t pay attention to anything and was afraid to leave her house. She took numerous medications for anxiety and sleep but she did not get better. At the time she came to Center for Brain she had been suffering extreme anxiety for a solid year with very little relief. After a month of biofeedback she began feeling much calmer and was sleeping better. She started leaving the house and was even able to get and keep a job. Following three months of treatment she appeared in our office bright, cheerful and engaging without any anxiety symptoms.
Why Can’t You Simply Talk Yourself Out of Anxiety?
People who don’t understand anxiety may tell you to calm down and not let things bother you. If it were that easy, you’d already do it, right? When you have anxiety, the parts of your brain that are supposed to keep you calm aren’t working very well.
As a result, anxiety sufferers are often overwhelmed, exhausted, and feel the people around them don’t understand. You can’t talk yourself out of an entrenched emotional pattern.
Can You Learn to be Calmer?
Absolutely! Biofeedback is one of the most powerful technologies in the world for reducing anxiety and panic attacks. It helps the brain change the stuck patterns that cause the anxiety. While everyone experiences anxious moments, with chronic anxiety, your brain gets stuck in that state, and it’s difficult to change it.
Biofeedback worked for 65-year-old Jacob who developed severe agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house). Antidepressants didn’t help. Neither did Valium, other calming medications and even daily medical marijuana. He suffered through eight months of non-stop anxiety. He fantasized about “walking in front of a bus” rather than go on living the way he was. Center for Brain provided biofeedback services to him at home, five times a week for two weeks. Within ten days he had stopped the medical marijuana. Over the course of three months he significantly reduced his other medications and once again was able to leave his house.
“We’ve developed a unique comprehensive program to help those with chronic Anxiety and Depression to change their life. It helps your brain to manage mood and anxiety successfully.”
Michael Cohen, President and Founder, Center for Brain
How Does Biofeedback Work?
Biofeedback training helps in changing brain patterns, and in quieting the nervous system. For example, neuro-biofeedback measures the brain’s rhythms. It rewards you when you make healthy patterns. With repeated training, the brain and body learn to maintainthose healthier patterns. Correcting anxiety with biofeedback takes practice and reinforcement. The more your brain learns how to be calm through biofeedback, the more it becomes a normal state in everyday life.
“With biofeedback training, you learn to moderate your response to stress so anxiety occurs less frequently and is less intense and debilitating if it does happen. Biofeedback helps you calm the over-reactive patterns that make life more difficult and allows you to take charge of your life again.”
Michael Cohen,President and Founder, Center for Brain
We also offer other tools that can be helpful with anxiety, and we encourage our clients to try different methods to see which work best. Some of these tools, such as heart rate variability training, can even be used at home.
By Michael Cohen,
Founder, Center for Brain
President and Founder of the Center for Brain Training, is a leading expertin neurotechnology and biofeedback, with 20 years of experience. He’s taught courses to over 2000 health professionals, including psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists, helping them incorporate biofeedback for use with chronic pain, anxiety and mood disorders,ADHD and neurological problems.