Various forms of mental illness and issues are associated with abnormal patterns of resting electroencephalogram (EEG) activity (Zietsch et al 2007). EEG measures the electrical activity of the brain produced by the circuitry and function of the underlying pyramidal cells (Schaul, 1998). Quantification of EEG activity is achieved by dividing the frequency spectrum into discrete ranges (bands), and with a transformation of the data, determining the amplitude or ‘power’ of each range. EEG band power varies greatly between individuals (Vogel, 2000), is stable within an individual in a given condition (Williams et al., 2005), and changes according to mental state (Moretti et al., 2004), task demands (Klimesch, 1999), and age (Li et al., 1996; McEvoy et al., 2001). The frequency spectrum of the bands can be divided into fixed bands: delta (up to 3 Hz), theta (3–8 Hz), alpha (8–13 Hz), beta (13–25 Hz)) or other individually aligned bands (Klimesch, 1999). These fixed bands, measured by EEG, are related to a continuum of states ranging from stress state, alertness to resting state, hypnosis, and sleep
Research studies have shown excess beta brainwave activity to be a reliable predictor of mental issues for subjects monitored and relapse in both alcoholics and cocaine addicts (Bauer, 1993, 2001; Prichep, Alper, Kowalik, & Rosenthal, 1996; Prichep, Alper, Kowalik, John et al., 1996; Winterer et al., 1998). Peniston and Kulkosky (1989) demonstrated the potential in changing the brainwaves of alcoholics in order reduce relapse. In their study, neurofeedback training was used and chronic alcoholics were compared to a nonalcoholic control group and a control group of alcoholics receiving traditional treatment. Neurofeedback is based on increasing the awareness of the neurological process in order to off-set or stop the pathology as it begins to happen neurological. It uses EEG signal for feedback input to coerce brain waves into desired frequency bands based on a normative database to evoke different mind states (e.g. relaxation, peak athletic perfomance). Alcoholics receiving brainwave training demonstrated a significant increase in the percentages of their EEG that was in the alpha and theta frequencies. Alcoholics receiving brainwave training demonstrated significant increase in the percentages of their EEG that was in the alpha and theta frequencies associated with relaxation, reductions in depression and a significant elevation in serum beta-endorphin levels (an index of stress and a stimulant of caloric [e.g., ethanol] intake). Four years following the study only 20% of the traditionally treated group of alcoholics remained sober, compared with 80% of the experimental group who had received neurofeedback training (Peniston & Kulkosky, 1991). EEG operant conditioning or neurofeedback was also shown to be an effective supplement in the treatment of crack cocaine addiction by a faith-based program (Burkett et al. 2005).
Brainwave Optimization with Real Time Balancing™ (BO-RTB™) is a high resolution, non-invasive brainwave treatment capable of optimizing brain wave frequencies based on the individual. Unlike neurofeedback, brainwave optimization is not dictated by a normative database but guided by the degree to which the trainee’s brainwave activity is balanced from the lobes of one side of the brain to the other, and from the front of the brain to the back. BO-RTB™ is based on brain observance and establishes direct communication with the brain by mirroring its EEG state. Initially, brain waves are captured and observed with EEG amplifiers and computers during a brain mapping assessment. The BO-RTB™ software program then processes the brain wave information and translates the brain waves into an optimized pattern in the form of sound. The software uses algorithms to determine the correct balance or ratios of specific frequencies in different locations of the brain unique to the individual’s brain. This approach takes into consideration the unique circuitry of each individual brain and provides the optimal frequencies specific to the trainee. A brain training session consists of a set of personalized feedback exercises in which the electromagnetic energy from brain activity is registered through electrodes positioned on the head, and fed back to the trainee in real-time in the form of both melodic sounds administered through headphones and visual graphics visible on a computer screen. This auditory and visual feedback lets the brain know when it is succeeding at generating or inhibiting various brain wave frequencies. A person can be aware of the right direction of the training but BO-RTB™ does not require active participation from the trainee as does other classical feedback systems. The result of BO-RTB™ is the brain builds new neural pathways and begins to function in a way that supports the newly-created homeostasis.
Brain Training Centers of South Florida has and continues to observe improvements in the wellbeing, sobriety of clients who complete the recommended program and the duration of sobriety in both addicts and alcoholics receiving BO-RTB. To date, no quantitative or representative study applying the high-resolution technology of BO-RTB™ has been applied to the treatment of substance abusers. They attempt to help abusers recognize, avoid, and cope with problematic situations that might provoke relapse. Addicts and alcoholics will also be strongly encouraged to attend meetings applying the 12 Step Program principles to their respective substance abuse behavior. The goal is to increase the potential for substance abusers to achieve sobriety by removing neurological and psychological impedances using brainwave optimization.
A package will consists of a review of the policies and practices, a thorough explanation of the Brain Training Process, and a one ninety-minute brain wave optimization assessment that will include an electroencephalographic mapping of brain wave activity and distribution throughout the brain.
Brain Wave Optimization with Real Time Balancing™
The Brain Wave Optimization with Real Time Balancing™ process includes the combination of a diagnostic assessment, which includes a brain mapping, with brain training sessions which teach and coach the brain to change its brain wave patterns to enhance functioning. An initial EEG brain map of each participant will be recorded using the International EEG 10/20 System to locate and standardize the placement of electrodes onto the client’s scalp. The brain map displays areas of excessive or restrained brain wave activity and provides a reference for designing brain wave training sessions. A brain training session consists of a set of personalized feedback exercises in which the electromagnetic energy from brain activity is registered through electrodes positioned the head, and fed back to the trainee in real-time in the form of both melodic sounds administered through headphones and visual graphics visible on a computer screen. This auditory and visual feedback lets the brain know when it is succeeding at generating or inhibiting various brain wave frequencies. The electrodes are placed on different locations on the head to target brain waves in the parietal, temporal, occipital, midline, central and frontal lobes during exercises lasting 10-15 minutes.
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