I am fortunate enough to have some incredible professional friends that spend a good deal of their lives helping others and creating a platform in their world that trains a reduction in daily symptoms. This blog is written by Catherine Boyer, a licensed social worker from New York that uses NeurOptimal Neurofeedback in her private practice. I hope that each of you take a moment to find Catherine and join her blog! Catherine, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us!
Neurofeedback for Anxiety
There is yet another research-based reason to consider neurofeedback for anxiety, as if there weren’t enough reasons already! Anxiety is miserable, as anyone who suffers from it will attest. And too much of it is bad for the body and bad for the brain.
Stress hormones are powerful and necessary. We need them when we’re in actual danger, but too many of us walk around floating in cortisol and adrenaline when those hormones aren’t actually needed. A work deadline is not the same thing as having a 200 pound predator chasing you. Our ancestors needed those hormones to survive, but the legacy we live with today can be difficulty turning off that anxiety response when it’s not really needed.
Late last year, Scientific American published an article titled, The Most Common Health Problem is Contagious. Yes, they were talking about anxiety.
One of the things the article notes is that anxiety can be spread between parents and children, in both directions. I’m sure it’s often as contagious as a cold with spouses as well. This is what I meant about “yet another reason to consider neurofeedback.”
Anxiety can have a genetic component, but the researchers adjusted for that. The Kings College of London study participants were twins. Typical research using twins looks at those who were raised separately, but this study is more complex. Read a more in depth description in this article about the study.
In both articles, the lead researcher, Professor Thalia Eley, gives simple, practical advice for parents of anxious children.
The expression of anxiety can be difficult to control. It can manifest in irritability, anger and controlling behavior. But even if you’re somehow able to protect your children and those around you from being affected by your anxiety, what about you?
If you’ve been tolerating anxiety and haven’t been addressing it, here’s another reason to try the best way I know to bring it down.
NeurOptimal® and Anxiety
The most effective thing I know for reducing anxiety is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback. Many of my clients come listing anxiety as their chief complaint. Anxiety may be disrupting their sleep or giving them digestive problems. It usually also has its own set of unpleasant physical sensations. Obsessive worrying and planning are often part of the picture. Often people want to avoid taking anti-anxiety medications or reduce or eliminate those they are already using. Anxiety can also lead to or be combined with depression.
It is very rare in my experience for clients to not be helped. Anxiety typically comes down pretty quickly, and sleep also improves early on.
One of my all time favorite comments from a formerly anxious client is, “My boss asked me what I’ve been doing because he saw I wasn’t afraid of him anymore.” Life is easier and much more pleasant, and we can operate much more effectively when we don’t have all that excess anxiety.
Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback