Biofeedback for Chronic Fatigue

EEG BIOFEEDBACK TRAINING FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Over the past few years EEG biofeedback practitioners have observed considerable clinical evidence for the effectiveness of EEG biofeedback training as an adjunct modality for alleviating the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  The training in general appears to help the symptoms of depression, cognitive dysfunction, memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbance and chronic pain such as headaches.  EEG training also increases individuals overall energy level.  When it is used for individuals who are not entirely disabled by CFS, it has allowed many of them to return to full productive activity within a matter of a few weeks.  In the more severe cases, the impact of the training is generally felt to be helpful.  Before EEG biofeedback, remediation has never been demonstrated in severe cases.

The mechanism of action appears to be that EEG training impacts regulation of arousal states.  It seems to increase the brain's ability to regulate its own functioning.  It does this by monitoring brainwave activity and learning to restore those activities.  The process is largely unconscious.  The biofeedback training is a process of monitoring inside the brain events -- and feeding them back to the brain so that it can then teach itself to regulate its activities.  No claim is made that the training directly addresses the fundamental causes of CFS.  However, by increasing the ability of the brain to self-regulate, we may be increasing the brain's ability to manage its stressful challenges.

A person suffering from CFS may wish to evaluate the effectiveness of the training for himself by undertaking an initial sequence of ten sessions.  If the training is likely to be affective, he should see early signs  and improvement within these first ten sessions.  Judgment can be made whether it is worthwhile to continue the treatment.  The first ten sessions should be conducted in close succession with a minimum of three sessions per week.  Ideally, we would like to see the sessions done every day.  Under these circumstances the gains from each training session are cumulative and the changes induced by the training can be more readily distinguished from those ascribable to other factors.

For information about brainwave biofeedback training for chronic fatigue syndrome, contact Rick D. Thomas, Ph.D. (816) 331-0374 or biofeedback@rickdthomasphd.com.

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