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School will be out soon and now is the time to enroll your child in a brain enrichment program.   A brain-training program called neurofeedback is available in the Athens area and is designed to rewire neural pathways into efficient, highly functioning pathways. Neurofeedback training can help your child with ADD/ADHD by increasing focus, attention, memory and organization. It can improve sleep and decrease anxiety and depression. Neurofeedback can train your child’s brain for flexibility and peak performance—it’s a great way to give your child an edge in their education and in their life.

It all begins with obtaining a qEEG brain map. An individual will wear something that looks like a swim cap. This cap has EEG sensors inside of it, which allows for brainwave activity to be measured and recorded. Once that data is obtained, a brain map is generated which pinpoints the areas of the brain where inefficient brainwave patterns are operating. Those patterns are retrained into efficient, higher functioning neural pathways.

Training the new neural pathway is quite simple with neurofeedback. It’s very similar to training a new muscle through repetitive movement at the gym, only it’s neural pathway training and it’s more fun!   Neurofeedback training consists of watching a movie for 30 minutes on a movie screen while your brain trains and moves into the programmed zone. When the brain moves into the efficient brainwave pattern, the movie screen stays light and when the brainwave pattern defaults back to the old inefficient pathway, the movie screen will turn dark. The brain brilliantly seeks to stay in the new efficient pathway so that the movie may be viewed. This is a form of operant conditioning and will entrain/rewire a brain to stay within the efficient neural pathway.

The training is as enjoyable for an individual as watching a movie or a favorite television show. The brain is doing the work on it’s own as it is being guided by the neurofeedback software. Neurofeedback is non invasive and does not have negative side effects like so many of the prescription drugs used to manage similar issues in the brain.

Contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner, at Counseling Associates for Well-Being for brain training in the 2016 Summer Program. (706) 425-8900 or pamela@ca4wellbeing.com

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Anxiety has reached epic proportions in America – 31% of the American workforce is dealing with anxiety issues. With all of the new technology options and social media platforms, we’re connected to work more than ever and have difficulty finding time to disconnect and relax.

According to Tony Schwartz, founder of The Energy Project and best-selling author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Americans are in constant “fight or flight” mode. This should raise a red flag in our lives and we should recognize this isn’t a healthy way to live. But many of us are just toughing it out. Schwartz notes, “If you can’t build a sense of safety and security, it will compromise every aspect of your life, including work.”

He makes it clear, your body can’t distinguish between a lion attack threat and other safety and security threatening stressors. According to a recent Business Insider report, Schwartz discovered the most common anxiety arises when someone’s sense of value is threatened. “Almost any time you move into a negative emotional state, you can trace it back to an experience where you perceive your value has come under some type of threat,” Schwartz explains. “That awareness is power. I have the capacity to decide, is this a real threat? Almost always, it isn’t. It’s much less of a threat to your body than you think.” But, our mind is processing the threat as “fight or flight” and anxiety levels are maximized. Understanding that our immediate environment may be difficult to quickly change, we can take charge of a few things – our thoughts, nutrition and exercise.
The primary anxiety triggers that may threaten your sense of safety or value:
• Serious life events like the death of a loved one or a divorce
• Problems in personal relationships, marriage or close friendships
• Work stress
• Financial stress

It’s apparent most of us experience life stressors and many of us are certainly living in “fight or flight.” With this awareness, and through working with people with high levels of anxiety, I have developed a powerful program to identify and address the aspects of anxiety, and provide clients with the tools to move into a more peaceful, productive life.

I hope you will join us. Take this life-changing opportunity to learn and experience new techniques designed to take you from the “fight or flight” mode to living in greater “peace and harmony.”

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Maybe you’re the kind of person that has trouble focusing. One thought seamlessly leads to another and that thought takes you to something else and so on, making it difficult to complete the task at hand or listen to a speaker for more than a few minutes without your mind wandering.

Perhaps your mind races about with one exciting idea after another, inhibiting your ability to concentrate on one concept for any length of time. You could be coping with ADHD, depression or anxiety, any of which can cause you to lose focus or make it hard to find it in the first place.

For whatever reason, an inability to concentrate is more than frustrating. It impedes kids’ schoolwork and adults’ careers. It strains friendships, stresses family relationships and detracts from self-worth.

The good news is the mind can be directed to concentrate better through neurofeedback, a non-pharmaceutical method of retraining wayward electrical impulses in the brain.

Measuring brain waves

While it’s normal for brain waves to vary in rate according to what a person is doing, some people’s brains get stuck in a too-fast or too-slow pattern for extended intervals, making it hard for them to focus. For example, a prolonged period of a slower state, which is called theta, can cause people to drift and make it hard for them to return to full awareness. On the flip side, experiencing the fast beta state for too long can leave someone too anxious or too excited to concentrate. Neurofeedback works by assessing and retraining such electricity in the cortex, or top layer, of the brain.

To begin, a map of a person’s electric activity in the brain is created by having the individual sit in a chair and don a thin cap fitted with 19 sensors that detect and measure the activity in the brain’s cortex. The results are compared against a normative sample, bringing to light any areas where the electrical activity is too fast or too slow, either of which can impede concentration and focus.

Re-training electrical activity

To retrain electrical brain activity, the practitioner will place one to four sensors on the individual upon those spots where the activity reads as too fast or too slow. The sensors, which are connected to a computer that’s linked to a video monitor, read the person’s brain activity as the individual begins to watch a movie. When the person’s brain activity fires too quickly or too slowly, as determined by the sensors, the image on the monitor screen dims. As the brain’s electrical impulses go toward the norm, the picture brightens and a click sounds, thereby reinforcing the better brain activity on two levels.

Each session lasts about 30 minutes, with two sessions per week recommended. The number of sessions required varies with the type of problem experienced by the individual and his or her response to training. Some people get a “tune up” session after six months or a year, and many people have been able to modify or stop taking related medications after treatment.

Although the brain likes to stay on a set course, the positive reinforcement achieved by neurofeedback challenges it to shift accordingly and permanently, thereby calming overactive impulses or boosting ones that are too slow, helping improve a person’s ability to focus and concentrate.

Better and better

Neurofeedback also can help with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It also can contribute to peak performance in athletics, music and dance. Members of the Italian soccer team underwent neurofeedback therapy before winning the World Cup in 2006.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information supports neurofeedback as a viable treatment for ADHD (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715181). The treatment can be “efficacious and specific,” that is, equal to or better than the current accepted standard of care, as rated by the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research.

Typically, changes are seen gradually over time, with, perhaps, a child’s teacher noticing a student’s improved behavior first, followed by the child’s parent and then the child himself.  Gradual shifts that can lead to desired change and increased well being.

Pamela Key provides neurofeedback services for children and adults at Counseling Associates for Well-Being. Contact Pamela at pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

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School is officially out and summer has begun. While summer is filled with many fun activities such as family vacations, lazy days at the pool, and adventures at camp, it is also a great time to improve your brain through neurofeedback!

Neurofeedback is a process of self-regulation of the brain that retrains neural pathways into effective, efficient, functioning brainwave patterns. It’s a high tech way to retrain your brain to work in a way that allows greater ease in dealing with life’s challenges – whether it’s work, school, relationships, sleep, or the ability to relax. Neurofeedback training can help you or your student in a variety of ways including:

  • Improve attention, focus, and motivation
  • Ease anxiety during pivotal transitions between elementary school, middle school, high school, and college
  • Retain academic knowledge in order to counteract summer learning loss
  • Give your high achieving student an edge for next academic year
  • Decrease irritability, mood swings, and depression

Take this summer to do something BIG for your brain. Neurofeedback is the pathway to a better brain – and a happier life!

To start your journey to improve your brain, please contact Pamela Key at pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

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Are you looking for help with ADD or ADHD? Is homework for your child always a struggle? Concerned about the use of medication for control of ADD/ADHD? These concerns can be overwhelming at times and fortunately QEEG Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Training can help!  Neurofeedback can provide effective solutions for Attention Deficit Attention and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.

A QEEG Brain map can be obtained which can identify the inefficient neural pathways that are seen with ADD/ADHD. Neurofeedback can then be utilized as a process of self-regulation of the brain that retrains neural pathways into effective, efficient, functioning brainwave patterns; thus eliminating or reducing the need for medication intervention.

Check out this video of the Dr. Phil show discussing ADD/ADHD and neurofeedback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP3sKWrEhwg&feature=youtu.be

For additional information about QEEG Brain Mapping and how Neurofeedback works, please contact Pamela Key @ Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

 

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Summertime has always been a time for a change of pace.  Going on vacation, reading a few good books, spending time with grandparents and summer camps.  This summer, during the break of the normal routine, consider neurofeedback training as an option to change your brain and improve your life.

What can neurofeedback provide?  ŸIncreased focus and attention…… Ÿ Reduced stress and anxiety….. ŸBetter sleep….. ŸLetting go of destructive repetitive thoughts and actions….. ŸGaining a competitive edge in academics through peak performance training.

Studies have shown that students lose a portion of what they have learned over the summer school break.  Neurofeedback can keep the brain active, develop new patterns for learning and allow for improved brain functioning.  It’s the perfect time to train your brain and make it a summer of positive change!

Join Pamela Key for an information session on Neurofeedback on Tuesday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Counseling Associates for Well-Being.   Let us know you will attend.  RSVP:  Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or contact her for more information.

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Goal setting plays an important role in moving ourselves forward in life.   At the beginning of a New Year, many people choose to make New Year’s resolutions with the intent to improve some part of their life.   I have made many over the years, many of which I had given up by the third week of January.   Also, there have been years in which I have sworn off the resolutions to avoid the feelings of lack of discipline and failure.

This year, after taking the first three weeks of January to consider what I wanted to create in my life, I narrowed down a list of several areas of my life that could use some help. Consistently, they all lead back to one simple basic habit. This simple, but often elusive, habit is crucial for developing and maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.   It’s the basic practice of getting adequate sleep.  Seven to eight hours of sleep a night for an adult is considered to be healthy sleep.

Sleep affects the mind, body and spirit in numerous ways.  Most everyone has short-lived bouts of insomnia, which is generally nothing to be concerned about.  The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss which include sleeping issues several nights a week or less than six hours of sleep on a consistent basis.  Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems in areas such as learning and memory, metabolism and weight, anxiety and depression, blood pressure and hormone levels, and the immune system.

Sleep allows the body to do a lot of repair work both restoratively in the body through muscle growth, tissue repair, and growth hormone as well as cognitively in the brain with neural plasticity.   Sleep is a key to keeping your body and mind fit and healthy.

If you have difficulty sleeping, neurofeedback training may help you.   Recently, I worked with a client who had sleep problems for over five years.  After trying many sleep solutions including several prescription sleep medications and not having results, the client gave neurofeedback a try.  Now, he is sleeping through the night for at least eight hours on a consistent basis.

Getting adequate sleep can have life changing effect for health and well being.  Contact Pamela Key at Counseling Associates for Well-Being at (706) 425-8900 or Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com for information on how neurofeedback training can help you.

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Are you or do you know someone who is struggling with attention and focus in the classroom or in life in general?  Is medication the only treatment that you are aware of being offered to help?  If so, check out Neurofeedback as an effective ADHD treatment.

Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive alternative option for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  It teaches the brain to stay attentive and focused through self-regulation.  It retrains the inefficient neural pathways into efficient neural pathways that more easily attend and focus to tasks.  Neurofeedback has now been accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Level 1 “Best Support” intervention for ADHD.  Compelling published research supports its effectiveness.

The efficacy of neurofeedback has been documented in over fifty peer-reviewed, published journal articles.  These research studies show that the effectiveness of neurofeedback is equal to or greater than any other therapeutic intervention for ADHD.  In addition, the positive effects of NFB are maintained, and in some cases, even increase once the treatment ends.  In contrast, the benefits of stimulant medication stop as soon as the medication is discontinued, and over 50% of the individuals taking a stimulant medication are reported to have one or more significant adverse side effects (e.g., poor appetite, irritability, stunted growth, and sleep problems).  It is no surprise that individuals and parents of children with ADHD are fearful of using stimulant medications on a long-term basis and often seek a non-drug alternative.

For more information about neurofeedback and how it may help with attention/focus issues; please contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner at Counseling Associates for Well-Being.  (706) 425-8600 or pamela@ca4wellbeing.com

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There was a lot of discussion in the media this past week about the world of football when PBS’s aired the chilling report, “A League of Denial:  The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”.  http://to.pbs.org/1c8cP3W One of the questions that were raised in this focus on the NFL was, “Is football destroying the brains of its players?”  It also raises the question for me, what about the brains of college players, high school players and the 10 year old players?

As a neurofeedback practitioner, I have worked with clients who have complaints of anxiety, depression, attention/focus, addiction disorders and migraines.  Often these are disorders that can result from head injury.  The effect of head injury can be traced to repeated hits to the head which occur at all levels of football—professional football, college football, high school football and youth football leagues.

Neurofeedback can work to retrain damaged parts of the brain.  Focus can be regained, anxiety diminished, depression decreased, addictions conquered and migraines eliminated.

Contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner at Counseling Associates for Well-Being for a free consult to find out how neurofeedback may help you maintain or regain a healthy brain—a healthy life.

 

 

This amazing new technology has proven effective for treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, fibromyalgia, migraines and a host of other disorders.  How does this happen?

We start with completing a brainmap that consists of applying EEG sensors to the head and measuring the brainwave frequencies.  It is there where we find the inefficiencies in the brain such as the brain operating too fast where anxiety is often present or the brain operating too slow which is common with depression.  The brain map will provide a guide to show what brainwave frequencies need to be trained up or down to normalize the brainwave activity.

Once the brainmap is obtained, brainwave training will begin.  This is a form of operant conditioning—-establishing a new, more efficient and effective neural pathway.  This is done with the client listening to music or watching a video.  When the brainwave moves into the desired new zone, an auditory or visual reward is given.  The brain “likes” these rewards and the new pathway is encouraged to stay in this new pattern.  Repeated training conditions the neural pathway to become the new norm.  Once this happens, symptoms of disorders begin to be reduced and eventually can become significantly reduced or eliminated.

For more information, contact our Neurofeedback Practitioner, Pamela Key for complimentary consult.  Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or (706) 425-8900 Ext. 702

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