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How Brainwaves Work

Electrical activity from the brain is displayed in the form of brainwaves. There are five categories brainwaves, ranging from the most activity to the least activity. Delta (1-3 hz), Theta (4-7 hz), Alpha (8-12 hz), Beta (broken down into Lo-Beta (13-15 hz), Mid-Beta (16-19hz), High-Beta (20-30+hz)).

Each of these take turns throughout the day when performing tasks.

Beta Waves

When the brain is aroused and actively engaged in mental activities, it generates beta waves. Beta waves are broken down into the following: the frequency of Beta waves are broken down into Lo-Beta (13-15 hz), Mid-Beta (16-19hz), High-Beta (20-30 hz) per cycle. These type of brainwaves are of relatively low amplitude, and are the fastest of the four different brainwaves.

Beta waves are characteristics of a strong engaged mind. A person in active conversation would be in beta. A person making a speech, or a teacher, or someone who regular talks and responds to questions are in high beta when engaged in work. Beta represented active arousal.

Alpha Waves

The next category in order of frequency is alpha (8-12 hz). Alpha represents non-arousal. These brainwave patterns are slower with higher amplitude.

A person who has completed a task and sits down to rest is in an alpha state. Yoga meditation, or a person who takes time out to reflect or meditate, usually promotes alpha state. Relaxing and taking a break to take a walk away from being engaged in a task or project is often in an alpha state. 

Theta Waves

Theta brainwaves (4-7 hz), typically have greater amplitude and slower frequency per second.

Once someone decides to step away from a task mentally and begins to day dream daydream is often in a theta brainwave state. “Being in idle mode” is usually the feeling one will have such as a person who is driving on a freeway, and discovers that they can’t recall the last five miles, is often in a theta state. Research has found that driving and the blinking of trees going by can increase this idle state. The repetitious visual of trees and limited distractions on a quiet roadway  during driving would induce more theta when compared to driving on a fast freeway where one would need to be on guard. This on guard feeling would produce more of a beta or “alert” state. This beta state helps the driver perform the driving task safely.

Individuals who do a lot of freeway driving often get good ideas during those periods when they are in theta. Individuals who run outdoors often are in the state of mental relaxation that is slower than alpha and when in theta, they are prone to a flow of ideas.

When performing a regular mundane task; such as, taking a shower, bath, or brushing teeth, can promote a theta state. These type of tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them. This releases active energy where free flow is promoted and occurs without censorship or guilt. This helps to release negative emotions and it is very beneficial when used in collaboration with talk therapy.

Delta Waves

The last brainwave state is delta. These brainwaves are of the greatest amplitude and slowest frequency. Typically are from 1 to 3 hertz per second. They never go down to zero because that would mean that you were had no brain activity. Delta waves normally are responsible for sleep. 

When we go to bed and read for a few minutes before going to sleep, we are likely transition from high beta to low beta. When we feel like we are drifting to sleep and close the book to turn off the lights, we transition from alpha to theta. Once we close our eyes, our brain goes from theta and when we fall asleep it transcends to delta.

Sleep and Brainwaves

Men, women and children of all ages experience the same characteristic brainwaves. They are consistent across cultures and country boundaries.

We dream in 90 minute cycles. Active dreaming takes place after your delta brainwaves transition and increase up to theta waves. Typically, when this occurs one will be in an active dream and experience rapid eye movement (REM). This is called REM sleep.

When you begin to wake up you may stay in theta waves and feel the sleepy idle state. This is usually the best time to recount your dream and write it down if you keep a sleep journal. 

Research has shown that although one brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on the activity level of the individual, the remaining three brain states are present in the mix of brainwaves at all times. Meaning that while somebody is an active state exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, there also exists in that person’s brain a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though these may be present only at the trace level. 

One way to review how active your brainwaves are is to complete a qEEG Brain Map

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Mental Health Check

It is vitally important that we take time out for ourselves on a regular basis to check in with our own personal needs. While many mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety and ADHD, have strong genetic ties that may be out of our control, it is equally true that our way of thinking and our daily behaviors contribute significantly to our overall levels of health and well-being.

How the Sinha Clinic can Help

We believe that being content and happy is a state of mind that will take practice, effort, and vigilance.  This is within everyone’s reach if we put in the time and effort into self-discovery, reflection and personal growth.

The Sinha Clinic blends integrative and holistic treatment methods for optimal mental health benefits. We use psychiatric medications in conjunction with a blend of therapeutic services including counseling or neurofeedback brain training. Each person needs to be ready to begin a new change. One will need to be ready to understand the underlying subconscious reasons that they may be creating a spiral of negative behaviors and thoughts. Change can be difficult but it worthwhile. Begin a new path to transform your life and take the necessary steps to change the seemingly unchangeable life circumstances. This will help to heal the past, live in the present mindfully and reach your optimal potential while pursue healthy, loving, and mutually rewarding personal relationships.

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Telehealth

Individuals, like you, may be concerned and unsure how to gain access to much needed mental health service. You may feel that you can handle your anxiety or depression symptoms and it will soon pass. 

You may feel, or maybe a family member discourages the importance of addressing mental health concerns. You may want to avoid a waiting room cause you feel judged or uneasy about the process. 

I want you to know that addressing mental health needs are key in taking care of yourself. Many share in these same concerns but that doesn’t stop them from realizing they need help. Even if they are afraid to seek it, our staff discusses your options discreetly and confidentially. 

I have seen a new trend in telehealth options for medical practices. It is a great alternative option for those seeking mental health services and I am proud to announce that we have implemented a new telehealth option for medication management to those who are unable to make their appointments and this will aid in overcoming many common barriers. 

By increasing access to physicians and specialists, telehealth helps ensure patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time(1).

https://www.aha.org/factsheet/telehealth

Telehealth has many benefits: 

  • It has been shown to overcome barriers for those who do not have access to reliable transportation. 
  • It limits the gaps in time between appointments.
  • Reduces distance and travel time that can limit access to care.
  • You can still make an appointment if you are sick and need to discuss mental health concerns 
  • Provides a convenient option for those who are physically unable to come in for an appointment.
  • It opens the option for those in more rural areas who do not have access to quality mental health providers.
  • And it provides options to more community providers for more comprehensive care. 

Telehealth will not replace traditional mental health appointments but will provide flexibility and convenience as an option for those in need of this service. 

We prescreen those interested in telehealth ahead of their scheduled appointment. 

Are you interested in setting up telehealth services at the Sinha Clinic – Contact the office today at (630) 762-9606 to discuss if telehealth is the right option for you or a loved one. 

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Migraines! Make them Stop!

Many people come to the Sinha Clinic searching for relief from chronic migraine and headache pain, they want an option that is an alternative to medication, that will last long term and won’t trade pain relief with another type of nasty side effect.

There is an alternative option to medication… This is a modality called Neurofeedback. 

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Neurofeedback is very helpful and effective tool for migraines and headaches. Migraines are a common, disabling and often progressive disorder characterized by increased excitability of the central nervous system. It occurs in 18% of women and 6% of men in the US with peak prevalence in individuals between the ages of 25 and 55.

Migraines occur in 18% of women and 6% of men in the US with peak prevalence in individuals between the ages of 25 and 55.

Neurofeedback helps to alleviate the debilitating pain and is very effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines long term.  Neurofeedback works to create more efficient brainwave patterns, which is completed by watching a movie, listening to music, or playing a video game. This type of training will help to strengthen the neural pathways to reduce negative symptoms associated with migraines, and a vast number of other cognitive disorders. 

Neurofeedback has been featured in the news from a study conducted by Dr. Stokes.

The NBC news story focused on Anedi Edelstein, who had tried 10 different prescription drugs and was concerned about the side effects of drowsiness, which could affect driving with her young children. This story discusses how her migraines were impacted by neurofeedback training and reports that she is now migraine free.

Dr. Stokes and Lappin’s (2010) study reported, “All combined neuro and biofeedback interventions were effective in reducing the frequency of migraines with clients using medication resulting in a more favorable outcome (70% experiencing at least a 50% reduction in headaches) than just medications alone (50% experience a 50% reduction) and that the effect size of our study involving three different types of biofeedback for migraine (1.09) was more robust than effect size of combined studies on thermal biofeedback alone for migraine (.5). These non-invasive interventions may show promise for treating treatment-refractory migraine and for preventing the progression from episodic to chronic migraine.”

Another success story is about Linda - Watch video below to learn more.

The Sinha Clinic offers medication management, neuro feedback and neuro psychiatric care in a stable and caring environment. If you or a loved one needs help and want to improve your cognitive health, please call us at (630) 762-9606 to discuss your options and request to speak to our clinician about the benefits of neuro feedback. 

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What you need to know about Neurofeedback and Brain Injury

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Can Neurofeedback Help to Clean up the Debris?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) rehabilitation has had a limited number of strategies used in the treatment of cognitive disorders. These methods included procedures that utilize stimulation and practice (to help improve memory and recall); strategy cognitive rehabilitation (e.g., visualization and creating associations), compensatory cognitive rehabilitation strategies; and medications that help to aide in attention and/or memory recall.

Many problem areas seen in TBI patients that neurofeedback has been used to improve are attention, impulse/emotional control, memory, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and physical balance.

Hammond, C. (2012) discussed that “Some recent studies with normal individuals also have implications for TBI treatment. Vernon et al. (2003) documented in a control group study that only 8 sessions of neurofeedback could improve memory recall, and a recent placebo controlled study (Hoedlmoser et al., 2008) of neurofeedback validated that only 10 sessions improved sleep onset latency and subsequent declarative learning in normal subjects. Other reviews have been published on the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of depression and anxiety (Hammond, 2005a), for improving physical balance (Hammond, 2005b), and in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (Hammond, 2003).

Can Neurofeedback Help a Past Stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Neurofeedback training as a treatment modality can bring many improvements to help the brain repair itself, even years after damage has been done.

“For example, a therapist shared a situation in which a patient showed significant improvement three years after suffering a stroke. The patient’s left hand had been constantly and completely clenched since the stroke occurred. After her tenth neurofeedback training session, she began to open and use her hand.

How did neurofeedback help bring about that change? The therapist targeted the neurofeedback training near the brain’s motor strip – an area involved in controlling muscles and muscle tone. Through neurofeedback training, those motor circuits possibly reorganized and became more efficient. In this case, it was successful and enabled the client to regain motor function in her hand.”

Why Is Neurofeedback Effective for Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury?

Stroke and TBI involve serious injuries to the brain. To treat those injuries, the brain itself must be targeted to correct the root cause. Brain training is specifically tailored to the individual areas of the brain affected by the stroke or TBI. We are able to locate these areas of the brain through a test called a qEEG or Brain Map. This is usually needed to target the dysregulated areas for best results.

What Damage from Stroke or TBI Can Be Helped with Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback helps connectivity between brainwave connections and the timing within the brain to promote stronger communication. With Neurofeedback, we target specific areas of the brain through a qEEG Brain Map to locate the areas that would have the most impact. 

Some common areas that have shown improvement post-stroke and TBI are:

  • Speech

  • Movement

  • Mood regulation

  • Better behavior control

  • Headache reduction

During neurofeedback brain training, the specific areas of the brain associated with speech, movement, mood control, etc, can be targeted, strengthened, and improved. In fact, some neuropsychologists believe that neurofeedback is actually rehabilitating the damaged speech areas of the brain, rather than just compensating for the dysfunction. You can think of a TBI as a construction zone and neurofeedback is helping to clean up and reorganize the debris left in the wake.

You can think of a TBI as a construction zone and neurofeedback is helping to clean up and reorganize the debris left in the wake.

“A speech therapist specializing in stroke and TBI began neurofeedback training with her patients in the first hospital-based program to use neurofeedback training. When interviewed, the speech therapist reported more instances of progress in speech improvement for stroke and TBI patients in the one year since implementing neurofeedback training than in the whole previous ten years combined. She feels that training the brain increases success exponentially.”

Can you Recover From a Stroke or TBI?

It is possible to aide in the recovery process with neurofeedback but the extent depends on numerous factors. With consistent training, studies have shown that many people improve significantly, even well after the incident.

Neurofeedback is also used as a method for treatment due to it is:

  • Effective

  • Non-invasive

  • Painless

  • Free of side effects

  • Long-lasting with consistent amount of brain training (Average number of sessions varies).