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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 133 Be Successful And Happy > The real brain training game

The real brain training game

Determined to find a permanent solution to her ulcerative colitis, Beverley D’Silva seeks to cure the root cause – deep inside her brain

Imagine there was a technique that could help you sleep better, that sharpened your concentration, calmed you down and lifted your mood? That relieved anxiety, depression and addiction, helped ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder, and eased dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and the risk of strokes and seizures? And, not only that, it was holistic, non-invasive, safe and drug-free? I believe that there is. It’s called neurofeedback, and it works by training that vital – yet often overlooked – organ: your brain.

I first stumbled upon neurofeedback (NF) in a web post* by Psychologies health columnist, Dr Andrew Weil. Writing about ulcerative colitis (UC), he advocated biofeedback, a method of controlling inner functions that are normally outside of our control. Biofeedback’s offspring, I discovered after some further digging, was NF. I got excited reading about the overwhelmingly positive results, reported by people who had tried it.

Having battled with UC for years, I’d tried many remedies – allopathic drugs, dietary changes, acupuncture, homeopathy, Vedic meditation and EFT, or tapping. Most hadn’t harmed me (except allopathic drugs; steroids are no walk in the park), but they hadn’t restored me to optimal health either.

Despite the positive emerging research, NF is not new: it was discovered by doctors in the US in the 1960s and adopted by NASA, which used it to stop astronauts having fits from exposure to rocket fuel (the space agency still uses it). In the US, it is an approved diagnostic tool and treatment for ADHD, and used for traumatic brain injury and PTSD, as well as for any brain-based functional conditions (strokes and autism) and emotional conditions (depression, anxiety, and childhood trauma). In parts of Europe, such as Germany and Scandinavia, one can have it on state healthcare.

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