8 Ways Neurofeedback Improves School Performance

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Neurofeedback works for students of all ages ranging children and young adults in grade school to college level students. Younger ages benefit from neurofeedback because the sessions strengthen and enhance brain development. For older students, neurofeedback keeps the brain strong and healthy and prevents the decline of memory and other executive functions vital to academic success. Read the eight ways neurofeedback improves school performance by boosting brain function!

Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 1. Attention – Being a good student heavily relies upon being able to sit and listen during lectures and classes. Neurofeedback improves the brain’s ability to maintain attention for longer periods of time which directly impacts how much information is absorbed in any given class session. This benefit of neurofeedback is particularly important for students who struggle with ADD or ADHD, as it minimizes the possibility of distraction and having the brain “zone out”.

 2. Focus – Students often face heavy workloads and long study hours during the semester. Neurofeedback directly improves a person’s ability to focus, making it easier to complete work at a faster rate with better completion. Additionally, more information will be absorbed if a person is focusing better during the hours that they study. This will positively impact test taking because the improved study ability will ensure the students are adequately prepared for important exams.

3. Memory Studying for certain subjects often requires a substantial amount of memorization for exams. Neurofeedback works to enhance the brain’s ability to absorb and hold information for easier recall in times of need.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Test Performance – If a student struggles with test taking in general, neurofeedback strengthens the student’s ability to focus while actually taking the tests, promoting better test outcomes. Test results are sure to reflect a person’s strengthened ability to memorize as well.

 5. Sleep Quality– The success of students is heavily determined by the amount and quality of sleep a person gets. The brain does not function at highest capacity if the brain is tired. Neurofeedback specifically improves a person’s ability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and enhances overall sleep quality.

6. Anxiety Reduction – Neurofeedback can be specifically used to lower a person’s anxiety. When it comes to school performance, anxiety can be crippling, especially in times of high stress such as during final examinations. Training the brain to function calmly and effectively will reduce anxiety levels, setting a student up for success.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7. Mood Improvement – The stresses of life outside of school do not disappear during the semester. If a person struggles with mood issues, such as depression, this will likely have a negative impact on school performance. When the brain is functioning more calmly and working at it’s highest aptitude, depression symptoms often decline and/or disappear.

8. Learning Disability Improvement – If your child or you struggle with a learning disability, school can be much more difficult with which to keep up. Certain tasks may take longer and may not register as easily. Neurofeedback works to reduce the symptoms of learning disabilities to ensure for better success. Each person has different, unique needs, which is why neurofeedback sessions begin with taking a quantitative EEQ brain map to pinpoint where in the brain these issues are initiating. The protocol for the neurofeedback sessions is then determined based on these individual needs.

 

To schedule a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross, click here.

Thirsty? Reasons to Drink Water Right Now!

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you thirsty right now? If you are feeling any kind of thirsty sensation, this means you are already dehydrated! Even if the thirst does not seem strong, the body is sending signals to rehydrate. So many people do not drink enough water, which can impact the way you think and feel every day. After all, your body is made up of 60% water. Drinking water is particularly important during summer months because the heat dehydrates us faster than we realize. Read our list of reasons to drink more water!

1. Water cleanses and flushes out the system, relieving the body of waste and toxins building up in our digestive system. If you have troubles with constipation, drinking more water can help.

2. Headaches are commonly experienced when a person is not hydrated enough. Next time you have a headache, drink a full glass of water and see if it begins to improve. Drinking more water during the day will help ward off headaches before they strike.

3. Do you often experience pain in your joints? If a person is dehydrated, the cartilage near joints can harden. Drink more water to soften your cartilage and alleviate joint pain.

4. Sports performance greatly improves when you drink water. Try drinking a full glass of water before hitting the gym or playing sports. You will have more energy during the activity as opposed to the fatigue felt when dehydrated.

5. Did you know that many of the times that people think they are hungry they are actually thirsty? Try drinking water when food cravings begin, and it could very well suppress those cravings, leading to weight loss!

6. Not drinking enough water actually impacts your mood in day-to-day life. People who are well hydrated have an easier time thinking, which can impact mood and executive functions.

 

Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Drinking water throughout the day seems like an easy task, but the truth of the matter is that most people are not drinking enough water. What are some easy ways to ensure you’re drinking more water?

  • Have a full glass of water near you and set a timer for every hour. If you have yet to finish the glass of water by the time your alarm rings, finish the glass, and pour another one to drink in the next hour.
  • Carry a water bottle with you where ever you go.
  • Add more raw fruits and veggies to your diet, as they have high water content in addition to various other health perks.
  • If you become bored with the flavor of water, add a couple slices of fruit to your glass to add flavor. Adding a couple drops of lemon essential oil really makes a huge difference in flavor as well.

 

Sunlight and the Brain

Photo courtesy of Stoonn at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo courtesy of Stoonn at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Summer is finally here again, bringing great weather, perfect for outdoor activities! Did you know that sunlight also benefits the brain? Yes, indeed! Naturally, staring directly into the sun is not good for the brain (or eyes for that matter), however the brain actually functions better when a person’s eyes are exposed to sunlight. Additionally, the brain is capable of actually detecting sunlight, whether or not a person can see as studies have shown light can stimulate the brains of blind people as well.

Sunlight has the ability to stimulate brain activity an enhance:

  • Mood
  • Alertness
  • Performance
  • Productivity

Sunlight increases the release of a hormone in the brain called serotonin, which is associated with improved mood, which contributes to wellbeing and happiness. When a person is not exposed to the sun for long periods, serotonin levels are known to decrease. During the winter months when sunlight exposure is much lower, people are more likely to develop mood issues such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Lyme Disease and Mental Health

By Dr. Jolene Ross

Dr. Jolene Ross - Director of Advanced Neurotherapy
Dr. Jolene Ross – Director of Advanced Neurotherapy

Today, at the cutting edge of psychological treatment, there are two questions: “Why?” and “Can this be corrected?” Given that this week is Mental Health Week and Lyme Awareness Month, I would like to point out that there is often an intersection between mental health and Lyme disease. Among other things, Lyme disease is an infection of the central nervous system. Lyme can cause disruption in memory, attention, word finding, mood, learning, and behavior. It can also cause depression, anxiety, rage, psychosis, and even suicidal and self-injurious behaviors.

When a person is bitten by a tick, the tick often carries other diseases that are equally dangerous. The combination of these diseases increases the person’s challenges, including the challenge of getting better. In Lyme endemic areas such as the Northeast, the Great Lakes Region, and Washington State, the evaluation of mental health problems should begin with lab tests to rule out the possibility that Lyme and/or co-infections are the cause or exacerbating factors in these presenting problems.

Even after successful treatment of Lyme disease and its related co-infections, the neuropsychological symptoms often persist and require treatment. In some cases, psychiatric medication can help relieve symptoms, but they rarely correct the underlining neurological disruptions, preventing the individual from living a full and productive life.

Photo courtesty of hyena reality at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo courtesty of hyena reality at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lyme treatment consists of Lyme and co-infection testing and may include genetic testing, thyroid and adrenal testing, antibiotics, medications, supplements, herbals, dietary changes, neurofeedback, and psychotherapy.

Approximately one third of the people I treat turn out to have undiagnosed Lyme and associated diseases. It is essential to have a comprehensive medical work-up to diagnose Lyme, and to be sure that there are no other undiagnosed medical problems that also need treatment. If untreated, these medical conditions can be life threatening.

Neurological recovery is possible. Cutting edge medical treatment by a Lyme literate physician delivered simultaneously with or followed by effective neurofeedback treatment can return a person to their previous level of functioning. It is also possible for them to achieve enhanced mental, cognitive, neurological, and intellectual health beyond anything they had experienced prior to treatment. So, remember, “Mental Health is Physical” and requires achieving and maintaining body and brain health.

5 Sneaky Symptoms of Stress

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The average person commonly experiences high levels of stress at any given time, especially if work or school starts increasing demands on performance. The body processes stress in mysterious ways. It is important to listen to what your body is telling you. Read this list of five sneaky symptoms of stress.

1. Difficulty Concentrating – There is so much to do, yet you have completely lost your ability to sit down and focus on the project at hand? Emotional stress can actually cause concentration problems. Your brain is feeling overwhelmed to the point where you begin thinking about other issues and not the task right in front of you. Not being able to focus will in turn cause more stress because you are unable to finish the work you need to accomplish.

2. Weight Gain – As if being stressed doesn’t cause enough emotional turmoil, suddenly your belt is feeling tighter than usual. Weight gain is commonly associated with stress for a couple of reasons. Impulsive eating goes hand in hand with feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, is produced, slowing down the metabolism and making a person crave fatty, sugary foods.

3. Digestive Issues – Stress can directly impact the functioning of a person’s gastrointestinal tract. People experience high levels of stress often experience stomach aches, diarrhea and/or constipation, nausea, and even vomiting. Combine this experience with out of control cortisol levels causing cravings for unhealthy foods, and the body becomes very overwhelmed. This is why, despite all of the unhealthy cravings you may be experiencing, eating a healthy diet is crucial to combatting stress.

Image courtesy of marin at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of marin at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Being Sick – You are overwhelmed and now to top it off, you seem to have caught some kind of viral sickness that you just can’t fight? Stress actually compromises your immune system making it very easy to get sick and quite difficult to get over a sickness. Getting sick ultimately contributes to your stress level as you are not able to accomplish what was making you stressed to begin with.

 5. Trouble Sleeping – Sleep is supposed to be a period of time for your body and brain to rest, rejuvenate, and ready itself for the following day. However, when stress levels are out of control, getting the kind of rest you need becomes very difficult. Falling asleep or staying asleep becomes challenging, as the brain continues to ruminate on the various causes of stress. Additionally, if you are exhausted throughout the day, it becomes nearly impossible to focus and your body craves high-calorie, fatty foods to compensate for the lack of energy, feeding into the vicious cycle of stress reactions contributing to the overall state.

Good news! Neurofeedback teaches the brain to function healthily, reducing and/or eliminating all of these symptoms of stress! Put an end to the cycle! Read our blog 5 Healthy and Natural Stress Management Tips! To learn more about how neurofeedback can help reduce stress levels and symptoms, call our office for a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross! 781-444-9115