Neurofeedback “Brain Paint”
Neurofeedback promotes self-regulation of one’s own health and well-being. Clients learn methods to control their own physical, mental and emotional states in order to reduce excess stress, anxiety or other responses that contribute to symptoms.
When you raise your hand to wave hello to a friend, or lift your knee to take another step on the Stairmaster, you control these actions. Other body functions — like heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure — are controlled involuntarily by your nervous system. You don’t think about making your heart beat faster. It just happens in response to your environment, like when you’re nervous, excited or exercising.
Brain Paint can help you gain more control over these normally involuntary functions.
The idea behind it is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what’s going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health.
How does Brain Paint Work?
During a session, electrodes are attached to your skin. These electrodes/sensors send signals to a monitor, which displays a sound, flash of light or image that represents your heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, sweating, or muscle activity.
When you’re under stress, these functions change. Your heart rate speeds up, your muscles tighten, your blood pressure rises, you start to sweat and your breathing quickens. You can see these stress responses as they happen on the monitor and receive immediate feedback as you try to stop them.
A biofeedback therapist helps you practice relaxation exercises, which you fine-tune to control different body functions.
Several different relaxation exercises are used in neurofeedback therapy, including:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation – alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups
- Guided imagery – concentrating on a specific image (such as the color and texture of an orange) to focus your mind and make you feel more relaxed
- Mindfulness meditation – focusing your thoughts and letting go of negative emotions