Woman in office yelling on phone

Managing Anger as a Tool to Maintain Abstinence

Handling Anger Appropriately Can Prevent Relapse

By Buddy T Updated March 21, 2018

Everyone gets angry occasionally, but alcoholics and addicts tend to have problems managing and expressing anger appropriately. For many, feelings of anger can be a trigger for a relapse, because that is how they dealt with anger in the past – using drugs to suppress or numb their feelings.

If you are trying to maintain long-term abstinence and sobriety, it is important that you learn how to recognize your anger and express it appropriately, rather than allow it to jeopardize your recovery. Anger is a normal and natural human emotion; how you handle your anger makes the difference.

Not Handling Anger Appropriately

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers, alcoholics and addicts may have problems dealing with anger for the following reasons:

  • They fail to recognize the feeling or understand the reason for it.
  • Because of their addiction, they may not have learned to express anger in a healthy, productive manner.
  • They may have learned unhealthy ways to express anger from parents or other role models.
  • Addiction can impede self-learning and emotional growth of addicts, stunting their emotional maturity.
  • Many addicts are angry at themselves, but blame others, misdirecting their anger at those around them.

Learning to Manage Anger

If you are in follow-up care with a professional rehab program, your counselor or caseworker will try to determine how you express your anger, what causes you to get angry and with whom you express your feelings of anger. The counselor will try to determine if you tend to handle your anger appropriately or inappropriately.

If how you typically express anger is unhealthy or unproductive, your counselor will try to help you identify more positive ways to express or deal with your feelings of anger. Sometimes merely recognizing that it is anger that you are feeling can help you learn to cope with it in a more healthy manner.

Dealing With Anger

Sometimes managing your anger can be a matter of simply doing something different from what you have done in the past in response to feeling angry:

  • Learning to express your anger through assertive, but not aggressive, communications.
  • Taking a “time out” from an argument and returning to the discussion later.
  • Using a physical outlet for your anger, such as going for a run, working out or punching a pillow.

The goal is to learn how to handle your anger without resorting to picking up a drink or a drug or otherwise hurting yourself or others.

Identification and Fulfillment of Needs

Frequently, managing anger is closely related to identifying and meeting your needs. When your needs are not being met or your rights are being violated, it can cause frustration and anger, particularly for alcoholics and addicts who spent years ignoring their basic needs in pursuit of their drug of choice.

If you became obsessed with obtaining and using drugs, chances are over time you began to fail to even recognize your other needs, much less meet those needs. After you have achieved a period of abstinence and now recognize your other needs and rights, you may not have the skills needed to meet those needs.

Learning Assertive Behavior

Counselors usually will try to determine if not getting your needs met is a problem in your life. Often, due to shame and guilt, alcoholics and addicts do not feel they have the right to have their needs met in society in general or in the home, including relational rights and privileges within the family.

If this is a problem for you, you will be encouraged to practice assertive behavior in order to get your needs met. Through practice, assertive behavior is a skill that can be learned, and your counselor may even give you the opportunity to rehearse assertive communications and behavior.

Concepts of Assertive Behavior

According to the NIDA, alcoholics, and addicts can benefit from learning the following basic concepts of assertive behavior.

  • The assertion is standing up for your personal rights and expressing your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in direct, honest, and appropriate ways that do not violate another person’s rights.
  • The goals of assertion are communication and mutuality.
  • Nonassertion amounts to violating your own rights by failing to express honest feelings, thoughts, and beliefs and consequently allowing others to violate you.
  • Nonassertion can also occur if you express your thoughts and feelings in such an apologetic, diffident, or self-effacing manner that others easily can disregard them.
  • The assertion is often confused with aggression.

For alcoholics and addicts, aggression is a slippery emotional slope, but assertiveness can be expressed in such a way that it helps everyone understand the situation better and more completely. You can express your feelings without having to apologize for them.

Continuing care counselors will help you identify and practice the assertive behaviors needed to help get your needs met, while at the same time respecting the needs and rights of those around you.

Sources:

Low Confidence Level Chart

Transform Your Family and Relationships with NeurOptimal™

Wise Adage: One good relationship is worth a dozen mediocre relationships

Do you feel out of touch with your loved ones? Or, is there one key relationship that you know could use a boost? If so, NeurOptimal neurofeedback can help to transform your relationships and your life!

             

What is NeurOptimal?

NeurOptimal is a brain training and wellness device which can help users to better manage stress, anxiety, anger, and any of the unexpected surprises of life. NeurOptimal™ also promotes healthier sleep habits and can enhance learning capabilities such as the ability to focus. NeurOptimal™ has such a wide range of effects because it is training the whole brain and the whole person each session. What makes NeurOptimal™ unique is the patented Nonlinear-Dynamical-System which responds instantaneously to any brain activity happening during a session. This feedback is so precise that the brain is essentially seeing a mirror of what it is doing and is able to learn from itself unlike never before.

How Can NeurOptimal Transform My Relationships?

Because NeurOptimal™ is a holistic brain training service there are a number of positive outcomes that clients should expect. Below are some of the most significant changes which can help transform your relationship with your family and the whole world.

  1. Patience – Through NeurOptmial™ even the busiest and most restless person can learn to slow down and be more content with the present moment. While patience is good in nearly every situation, it’s especially important in relationships as it makes it easier to slow down and engage with others in what they have to talk about instead of being absorbed or preoccupied with our own thoughts.

    2. Sleep – NeurOptimal™ promotes healthy sleeping habits which help you to fall asleep faster and feel more refreshed in the morning. While we may not think about the importance of our sleeping habits, proper sleep is essential for a happy and healthy lifestyle. Sleep restores and refreshes our body and when we are deprived of sleep a number of wide ranging physical, social, and emotional issues can arise.

3. Confidence – One of the most astounding transformations which NeurOptimal™ produces is improvement in self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Time after time, clients who are initially shy and reserved come back a few sessions later with more confidence, a brighter demeanor, and are eager for more brain training.

NeurOptimal™ Spring “Relationship” Launch

Family Package – $60 per session with groups of 3 or more (Appointments do not need to be together)

Spring Session Bundles– 5 for $350 or 10 for $650

Individual Sessions- $80 per session

Senior Citizen (Over 55) – $70 per session

To put it simply, when we aren’t stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed in our day to day life it’s much easier for us to connect with other people and to enjoy the present moment at hand. It might be easy to point to one individual as the cause of familial strife or issues, for best results in achieving greater harmony with your family through NeurOptimal™ we recommend having everyone in the family come in for brain training. If you have any additional questions about neurofeedback or would like to schedule an appointment please contact us by e-mail or phone!

Phone #: (863)–899–9977

E-mail: Info@naturallakeland.com

Electromagnetic fields in the home infograph

EMF Radiation is Everywhere, But What Is It Doing?

 

Written by David Butler and Dr. Catherine Onuoha

One topic in vogue lately is energy; every day we are bombarded by energy from many divergent sources. In fact, everything on and beyond our planet is made of the common element energy. At its core, energy is information in movement. The information in energy is comprised of codes/frequencies which oscillate through the air to create constant vibration. These vibrations create patterns, the greatest of which is the Schumann Resonant frequency pattern. Most scholars would concede our sun is the most important energy source, but lightning and industrialization heat can also affect our planets electromagnetic field. That is problematic because the earth’s electromagnetic field keeps plant and animal beings in balance—which supports life.

Not all forms of energy are good for us. For example, the sun produces harmful ultraviolet rays with deleterious effects for those overexposed to the sun (e.g., severe burns, cancers). The earth’s magnetic field has been weakening in recent years, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm1. Research shows a contribution to both ionosphere and magnetosphere changes from artificial energy produced from modern technologies, especially cell phones, smart meters, and cell phone towers. More concerning still—environmental experts are predicting that electrosmog-induced energy changes create significant health risks for humankind. Specifically, health risks ensuing from EMF radiation. The infographic below highlights the main producers of EMF radiation and some easy ways to limit your exposure. The greatest concern over EMF radiation is how quickly the technology has progressed and how dependent we have become to our phones in particular.

The Always Expanding Wireless Industry

Over the past few decades the cell phone industry has been growing at an alarming rate. Due to this rapid expansion scientists assessing EMF safety and lawmakers setting regulatory policies have been unable to keep up. Since the 1970’s cell phone networks have evolved from the initial 1G to today’s 4GLTE and with each new network, the faster and more reliable service comes at the price of an increased exposure to EMF radiation. Although there is still much we don’t know about the health concerns coming from 4G networks which were introduced nearly a decade ago, the new 5G network is set to debut later this year. The main concern with the new 5G network is that it will be established through satellites in space which means that EMF radiation will be even more abundant and virtually impossible to escape from2. While there are many scientists that are wary about the dangers that this new network could pose, that won’t stop telecommunication companies from rolling out this virtually untested 5G network.

EMF Radiation: Killing Insects and Slowing Reproduction

One unforeseen consequence of the abundance of cell towers which is now starting to come to light is the effect they have on our planet’s insects. In the past two decades in the US alone the population of monarch butterflies has dropped roughly 90% and bumblebees have gone down 87%. What’s even more concerning is that these are two of the most studied types of insects and there are thousands of other species which are very likely suffering similar rates of decline without being reported. While this staggering loss of insects may not be noticeable on a day to day basis, insects are a vital part of our ecosystem and losing them could lead to disastrous results3. Another growing concern with EMF radiation is the possible negative effects it could have on human and animal reproduction.

In a 2018 study on the effects of prolonged exposure to the current 4G-LTE cell signal it was found that the longer that rats were exposed to cell phones in a day the lower their sperm count was at the end of the study5. These findings also correlate with additional research that showed a strong link between infertility clinic patients and their cell phone usage6. In addition to low sperm count, another study found that sperm mobility and quality was severely reduced after 5 hours of cell phone exposure.

While it may be too early to draw any conclusions at the moment, the health concern over EMF radiation has many similarities to cigarette smoking in the 1920’s. Like cell phones, the adverse health effects of cigarettes were not heavily researched at the time allowing cigarette companies to produce false or misleading advertisements such as the one below with a doctor endorsing you smoke Camel cigarettes.

With smoking, it took decades before the dire health implications such as COPD and lung cancer were fully confirmed, but by that point many people had been smoking their whole life. Are you going to wait until EMF radiation is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to harm the body or do you want to be proactive in protecting yourself against this unavoidable and growing hazard?

If you do want to be proactive in limiting your exposure to EMF fields are a few quick tips:

  1. Use earbuds or speakerphone for calls when possible – Proximity to your phone makes a significant difference in the amount of EMF you are exposed so it is best to reduce the amount of time you are holding your phone near to your head.
  2. Don’t keep your phone in your pockets or bra all day long – Just like the head, the groin and breasts are sensitive areas of the body and repeated exposure to harmful EMF’s could cause cancer to develop in these areas.
  3. Try grounding everyday – Grounding or Earthing refers to walking barefoot outside. A growing body of research is finding that there are a number of health benefits from just 5 minutes a day of walking on sand, grass, or dirt. A large part of these benefits are due to the fact that grounding removes much of the ambient or leftover EMF fields that our bodies may have accumulated through the day6.
  4. Finally, for ultimate EMF protection we recommend equipping yourself with the Aires™ Technology line of EMF protection devices – Aires™ offers EMF Radiation shields that clip on to your phone or laptop as well as personal shields that create a 6 or 8 foot radius of EMF protection.  The device shield is called the Aires Shield Pro and the personal shields come in the 6-foot radius Defender or the 8-foot radius Guardian.  The personal shields are especially useful for families as whoever is directly next to the person wearing the device is also protected. See the image files below for Aires™ Technology products and coordinated prices. If you order through us at the Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland we can offer 10% off on either product.

Aires Guardian – $290 suggested retail; $260 through Natural Medicine Center
Aires Shield Pro – $55.00 suggested retail; $ 49.50 through Natural Medicine Center

Aires Shield Pro

Aires Guardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video on EMF Radiation

 

Works Cited
1. Hays B. (2014)“European Space Agency says magnetic north is drifting southward” UPI NewsTrack (Consumer Health Complete; article published 06/23/2014).

  1. The Dangers of 5G – https://es-ireland.com/5g-5th-generation-greater-dangers/
  2. Research showing the effects that EMF fields have on animals, birds, insects, and plants – https://www.powerwatch.org.uk/library/downloads/rf-emfs-6-animals-2018-11.pdf
  3. Study on the Impact of Cellphones on Sperm Quality –https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/pdf/CEJU-67-00332.pdf
    5. El-Hamd MA, Aboeldahab S. Cell phone and male infertility: An update. J Integr Nephrol Androl, 2018. Available from: http://www.journal-ina.com/text.asp?2018/5/1/1/228497
  4. More Information on Grounding – https://www.groundology.co.uk/about-grounding
Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland logo with Medicine Dropper

Services for College Students

The Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland

 

BEMER  

Replace the ups and downs of constant coffee runs and the caffeine jitters for natural energy medicine.  BEMER is a form of PEMF therapy which sends natural electromagnetic signals into the body which increase energy and improve circulation.  While anyone can and should benefit from BEMER, athletes should be especially interested in this service as it boosts the body’s natural healing abilities including recovering from tough work out sessions and minor injuries.  In fact, local professional trainers and coaches have seen the value in BEMER and use the device themselves and recommend it to their clients and athletes.

 

IV Therapy

Often referred to as “the hangover cure” IV therapy is an infusion of natural supplements such as Vitamin C, the B vitamins, and calcium directly in the blood stream.  By infusing these supplements instead of taking them orally the body is able to absorb more of the active ingredients and keep them in longer.

While this service is primarily used to help those suffering from nutritional deficiencies for various reasons, IV infusions are beneficial for anyone as they are essentially the ultimate multivitamin.  Those who receive an infusion can expect a significant increase in energy and positive mood that lasts for 3-4 weeks.  Take advantage of this service before a hectic period such as mid-terms, finals, or training for an upcoming sporting event to help you perform to the best of your ability

 

Neurofeedback  

Even the smartest students can be held back tremendously by issues such as anxiety, stress, and random distracting thoughts.  Neurofeedback is a brain training service which can help with all of these issues and more.  In a session of Neuroptimal neurofeedback all a client experiences is half an hour of relaxing visuals and music while simple non-invasive sensors monitor their brain activity.  Throughout the session skips in the music will trigger whenever specific patterns of brain wave activity are detected.  These simple skips provide the brain with a mirror that reflects its activity back allowing the brain to learn from itself like never before.  While many neurofeedback devices are exclusively for those with diagnosed mental conditions, our system is designed to bring greater mental balance and relief from stress/anxiety to anyone who is hooked up.

 

Nutritional Counseling and Lab Testing  

College is especially tough on students’ stomachs.  From low quality cafeteria food, cheap fast food and ramen, and skipped meals on the way to class it seems very few students are getting the proper amount and type of food that their body needs.  While some students may blame their fatigue and exhaustion on homework, social life obligations, and Netflix binging (which are all very real problems) the fact is that the majority of Americans including students are not operating at our full capacity due to poor diet and nutrition.

At our clinic we can also perform lab testing of food sensitivities in order to find out what foods are not agreeing with your body or digestive system. As part of our dedication to promoting healthy and enjoyable living we host a local produce stand in front of our clinic every Friday from 1-4. If you are interested in making a change to your diet and lifestyle for the better, make an appointment with our holistic practitioner Dr. Catherine Onuoha.

 

Mental Health and Medication Counseling

As a holistic practitioner Dr. Catherine assess and treats her patients mentally and physically.  With her degree in psychpharmacology Dr. Catherine is well versed in the effects of different medications and helps her patients to downsize their prescriptions in favor of natural alternatives that are beneficial for the body.  In addition to expertly managing the medications of her patients, Dr. Catherine offers counseling so that she can get to the root of a patient’s issue and teach them positive coping strategies that they can use in the future.  If you’ve ever felt unsatisfied or unsure about the prescription or treatment plan your doctor has advised, you are fully within your rights as a patient to schedule an appointment with Dr. Catherine for a second opinion.

 

At our clinic we can also perform lab testing of food sensitivities in order to find out what foods are not agreeing with your body or digestive system. As part of our dedication to promoting healthy and enjoyable living we host a local produce stand in front of our clinic every Friday from 1-4. If you are interested in making a change to your diet and lifestyle for the better, make an appointment with our holistic practitioner Dr. Catherine Onuoha.

 

 

Your first service!

 

The Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland

315 Doris Dr.

Lakeland, FL 33813

863-899-9977

Email: info@naturallakeland.com

www.naturallakeland.com

Neurofeedback

Please watch our video of Dr. Catherine Onuoha demonstrating and explaining our Neurofeedback system:

(You can find our Neurofeedback pricing and specials at the bottom of this page)

Neurofeedback therapy is a relaxing and universally beneficial type of brain training that can both improve overall mental functioning and peak performance as well as be used to help with a number of different psychological disorders such as Depression, ADHD/ADD, Insomnia, Anxiety, Chronic Stress, and others.  Neurofeedback is effective on such a wide range of issues because it addresses the underlying brain wave imbalance that all these disorders share.  While Neurofeedback  is still not a common or very well known practice, it has been in use since the 1960’s when it was discovered as a way of drastically reducing seizure frequency; since this discovery, NASA has even integrated Neurofeedback as a part of their astronaut training protocol.

Below is a list of conditions which Neurofeedback has been found effective for:

  • Anxiety

  • ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder)/ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

  • Epilepsy

  • Depression

  • Early Onset Alzheimers

  • Insomnia

  • Chronic Stress

  • Alcohol/Drug Addiction Recovery

  • PTSD

  • Migraines

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Neurofeedback for ADHD

In 2016 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 6.1 million children (nearly 10% of the children in the United States) have been diagnosed with ADHD and the most common treatment  taken for ADHD by far is stimulant medication (1).  While stimulants can help patients function and focus in the short term, they often come with many side effects and do not address any of the underlying issues of ADHD.

One of the reasons why people with ADHD have difficulty focusing is because their brain is producing too many beta waves.  While beta waves generally help us with focus and concentration, when there is too much beta it becomes difficult for the person to focus on any one thing and very easy for them to be distracted by something new.  With Neurofeedback’s natural ADD treatment the client’s brain is able to recognize that it is over producing beta waves and start training itself to have more balanced brain wave activity.

Alleviating symptoms of ADHD is one of the most common and documented uses of Neurofeedback.  In 2017 a meta-analysis on the effects of Neurofeedback on ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder in adults showed significant improvement nearly universally in the Neruofeedback groups when compared to the control groups (2).   One of the main benefits of using Neurofeedback for ADHD or other disorders is that is virtually risk free and will have no counter or negative reactions with any other form of medication or treatment.  In fact, time and again studies have shown that traditional treatments are more effective when in conjunction with sessions of Neurofeedback.

Below is a graph from The Neuro Development Center showing significant improvements in a patient’s ADHD symptoms.

For a first hand account of the benefits that Neurofeedback can bring someone with ADHD, please watch the video below:

Neurofeedback for Substance Abuse/Addiction Recovery

Another major application of Neurofeedback has been assisting the recovery of those who have been addicted  to harmful substances such as alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs.  In 2014 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 20 million Americans had struggled with substance abuse that year (3).  The effects of continued substance abuse (especially alcohol) makes it very difficult for the substance  abuser to change their patterns of thinking or behavior, even if they recognize their own self destructive tendencies.  Neurofeedback can act as a ‘change-agent’ lending empowerment to a substance abuser, and fostering sobriety or rehabilitation.

Those with a history of substance abuse often feel like they have little choice or control over their life.  Neurofeedback helps clients to gain control of their life; treated patients experience a greater ability to control and regulate their thoughts and emotions.  Once clients achieve a greater control  over their own thoughts, it becomes much easier for them to take that control and agency in to the rest of their life.

Substances such as alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines produce feelings of pleasure through the production of Dopamine.  While Dopamine can be produced naturally through physical activity such as running, an excess of Dopamine has a number of negative effects such as agitation, lowered attention span, and irritability.   It has also been shown that addiction causes structural changes in the brain which can be very difficult to remedy.  Neurofeedback helps show the brain that it doesn’t need the coveted drug to function and that the person can achieve calm and happiness while sober.

While Neurofeedback alone can’t cure addiction, it is a powerful tool in the recovery process.

Neurofeedback through Neuroptimal® 

At The Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland, the Neurofeedback system we use is NeurOptimal®  Advanced Brain Training System developed by the Zengar Institute in Canada.  NeurOptimal® is designed to bring balance to clients’ brain waves by providing instantaneous audio feedback whenever erratic brain wave activity is detected.  These little skips in the music prompt the brain to reorganize its activity and move to a more coherent state of functioning.  Essentially, the system provides your brain with a mirror so it can see how it is functioning and learn where to change and improve.

The reason that Doctors at the Natural Medicine chose NeuorOptimal®, over alternate Quantitative EEG systems is because NeurOptimal®  is exceptionally safe and non-invasive.  Because no ‘current’ is infused, we aren’t forcing any changes in your brain or perturbing body chemistry!  NeurOptimal®  produces no major negative side-effects and can easily be added to any pharmacotherapeutic or counseling regimen.

A session of Neurofeedback includes having five harmless metal sensors placed on the clients scalp and ears while they actively watch and listen to the programs audio and visuals for a little over half an hour.

For a brief explanation on how NeurOptimal®  works, please watch the short animated video below:

Neurofeeedback Rates:

Family Package Special – $60 per session with groups of 3 or more. (Appointments do not need to be together)

Session Bundles – 5 sessions for $350 or 10 sessions for $650

Individual Sessions – $80

Senior Citizen Discount (Over 55) – $70 per session

References:

1. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html

2.Van Doren, J., Arns, M., Heinrich, H. et al. Sustained effects of neurofeedback in ADHD: a systematic review

and meta‑analysis. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2018).

3.  https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics

For even more on Neurofeedback and NeurOptimal® , please follow the links below to see some Facebook live videos and blog posts that we have created.

Facebook Live Videos:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/naturalmedicinecenterlakeland/videos/?ref=page_internal

Blog Posts:

Neurofeedback

All About Brainwaves

Neuroptimal Neurofeedback Roots in Meditation

Woman meditating on Beach

Neuroptimal Neurofeedback and Meditation

 

Neuroptimal Neurofeedback founding roots in meditation

 

Founder and lead designer of Neuroptimal’s Neurofeedback system, Val Brown has claimed that his system and company take much inspiration from traditional Buddhist psychology and meditation.  For those unaware, Buddhism and psychology have a lot of overlap and commonalities; in fact, many widely accepted psychological ideas and theories can be seen in traditional buddhist texts. Even simple ideas such as anger and resentment being mentally unhealthy were first outlined by Buddhist principles long before psychology was a field.  The Dalai Lama has also embraced Buddhism’s connection to the science of psychology by holding “Mind and Life” gatherings every two years where prominent scientists and Buddhists from around the world come together for discussions and conferences.

One of the most important parts of Buddhism that has strongly influenced psychology is the idea of mindfulness.  Instead of blindly going through the motions of life, buddhism and psychology encourage us to be acutely aware of our thoughts and actions so that we can confront ourselves and change when necessary.  Just as in mainstream cognitive-behavioral psychology, Buddhism emphasizes positive actions and positive thoughts as the guide to a happy life. While buddhists might practice this enhanced mindfulness in focused meditation, many psychologists use therapy sessions or mindfulness techniques so that their clients can achieve this greater self discovery and self knowledge.

 

Meditation and Neuroptimal Neurofeedback

 

Mindfulness meditation and Neuroptimal neurofeedback are especially intertwined as they are both forms of brain training.  Both meditation and neuroptimal neurofeedback train the client’s brain to have greater concentration and focus as well as control over their mental and emotional states.  Additionally, many of the results that come from meditation such as alleviating anxiety and depression and lessening symptoms of ADHD/ADD can also be seen from Neuroptimal.  While deep levels of meditation can be very difficult for the uninitiated to practice, Neuroptimal makes it much easier for anyone to quiet their busy mind and calmly experience the flow of their thoughts.  Founder of Neuroptimal Val Brown has even referred to his system as being similar to a gong in a meditation dojo for keeping clients focused in the present moment, however, the difference in Neuroptimal is that the “gong” only sounds when the client’s brain is about to make a shift.

Neuroptimal further promotes Buddhist philosophy by believing that the patient and their brain has all the resources they need to achieve a breakthrough. Neuroptimal doesn’t try to change your brain to a predetermined ideal state, but allows the brain to learn from itself where and how to change.  Much like meditation, the goal of neuroptimal is for you to be the master of your own brain and body. Just as practiced meditation has profound effects on a person’s well-being, training through Neuroptimal can help a person stay focused and in control when facing stressful or difficult situations.

 

 

Sources:https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00688/full?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Psychology-w42-2013

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705677/

Brain Wave Chart

All About Brainwaves

Before going further into Neurofeedback, it’s important to know exactly what this therapy is trying to change. Neurofeedback’s ability to improve cognitive performance and help treat various psychological disorders is based on a “re-training” of your brain to have more balanced and well regulated brain waves. Brain waves are the result of the electrical activity in your brain that creates your thoughts and operates your body. Neurologists have identified four different types of brain waves with unique properties based on their frequency range. A brief breakdown of the different brain waves can be seen below.

brain waves

As you can see, brain wave activity can be divided into Beta, Alpha, Delta, Theta, and Gamma based on their frequency measured in Hertz.

Beta – 14-30 Hz
Beta waves are the most present brain wave during normal day to day activities. Beta is associated with alertness and focus which allows us to think critically and focus on school or work tasks. An overabundance of beta waves are typically linked to people with high stress or anxiety and low amounts of beta waves are usually seen as a contributing factor to ADHD/ADD and depression.

Alpha – 9-13 Hz
Alpha waves come from a relaxed state of mind, especially after doing a difficult or stressful task that required heavy beta waves. Alpha waves are also important when getting into the deep sleep states of delta and theta thus insomniacs are generally found to have low levels of alpha activity. People who are chronically stressed or anxious also generally have too low alpha waves while those who are seemingly never stressed or take anything seriously have excessive alpha activity making them overly relaxed.
Delta – Below 4 Hz
Delta waves are the slowest type of brain waves and is generated in both deep dreamless sleep and focused meditation. These waves have been shown to be important in the healing process of the body and are one reason why healthy sleep is necessary for healing or recovery. Excessive or irregular delta waves, especially while awake, are usually telling of either Traumatic Brain Injury or a learning disability.

Theta – 4-8 Hz

Theta waves are the link between alpha and delta and are mainly found in daydreaming or sleep, but can also be achieved through deep meditation or relaxation techniques. Theta waves are associated with unconscious memories and emotions which often arise in dreams. Theta waves have also been shown to help spark people’s creativity and imagination. While theta waves are very beneficial for the body, too much theta activity can lead to ADHD and depression while too little theta activity can cause anxiety, stress, and poor emotional responses.
Gamma – 30 Hz and above
Gamma waves are the fastest known brain waves in our body and are mainly involved in higher order cognitive functions and information processing including sensory information. While they are not as common or well studied as other brain waves, they are believed to be an important part of learning and low gamma wave activity is often seen in people with ADHD or learning disabilities.

Brainwave Regulation
Now that you have an idea of what the different brain waves are and how they affect the way you think, I hope you can see the importance of having a well regulated and balanced brain. While these different brain waves and states can’t be immediately shifted, there are many ways a person can learn to regulate their brain activity for optimal performance. When you drink a coffee, your helping your brain boost its level of beta waves for increased focus and productivity; on the other hand, relaxation or meditation techniques can lower beta activity and raise alpha causing a more relaxed alpha state. While nearly all illicit or prescription drugs have effects that help enhance or inhibit certain types of brain activity, healthy brain regulation can be achieved naturally through neurofeedback training.

More often than not, medication such as anti-depressants or stimulants are prescribed to fix brain imbalances. While medication can improve functioning and brain balance, they also come with side effects and drawbacks such as dependence and tolerance. Instead of using prescription drugs to fix imbalances in brain wave activity, neurofeedback therapy relies on proven QEEG technology to train the brain to better regulate itself. By using audio and visual cues neurofeedback training programs inform your brain when deviant or abnormal activity arises allowing your brain to make proper adjustments. While much of the “learning” process is unconscious, neurofeedback trains your brain to stay in states of optimal functioning and avoid the imbalance errors it would previously make.

Neurofeedback Changing Brain Waves
In addition to the many studies done showing subjective improvement of patients symptoms after neurofeedback training, a number of studies have demonstrated neurofeedback’s objective ability to significantly change underlying brain wave activity. One such study measured their participants brain activity before and after 6 sessions of neurofeedback training in comparison to a control group and showed a significant change in brain wave activity in the neurofeedback group. The graph below demonstrates the significant changes in brain wave activity that neurofeedback training caused in comparison to a normal non-trained group as based on a study done in 2016. (Oh, Hyun-Ju, Song, Gui-Bin 2016.)

changes in brain wave activity

Continue reading

Natural Neurofeedback

Welcome to Natural Neurofeedback

Natural Neurofeedback is a blog dedicated to the emerging practice of  EEG (Electroencephalogram) neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback therapy is a relaxing and universally beneficial type of brain training that can both improve overall mental functioning and peak performance, as well as be used to treat a number of different psychological disorders and dysfunctions.

While not yet a widespread or common practice, neurofeedback has already shown to produce strong results in a variety of different settings through a wide number of different studies which I look forward to sharing on this site.  But before I delve into the research and studies surrounding neurofeedback, I’d like to give a general introduction to how the process works.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a relatively new type of therapy that uses real time brain scans to help better regulate the brain and improve its functioning.  A healthy brain is based on well regulated and balanced levels of different brain waves such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Theta. By using simple non-invasive sensors, a clinician is able to see your live brain activity including these various types of brain waves.  Many psychological disorders and dysfunctions can be traced to an imbalance in brain waves thus regulating these brain waves serves to treat the disorder or at least improve the symptoms. If your brain isn’t functioning at an optimal level, you may experience fatigue, insomnia, disinterest, brain fog or difficulty concentrating.

Although some forms of neurofeedback will put the clinician in control of guiding brain wave activity in different parts of the brain, Natural Neurofeedback believes the body is best able to assess and fix itself.  Our neurofeedback system Neuroptimal presents your brain with the information it needs to correct itself. Our Neuroptimal system reads your brain activity while calming visuals and audio are played. Whenever the client’s brain activity becomes unstable or undesired, a brief skip in the audio tells the brain to change its functioning for better efficiency.  This simple form of feedback allows the brain to learn how to control and improve its regulation of different brain waves. Essentially, the brain is able to see a reflection of itself as in a mirror and uses that information to fine tune its functions just as someone looking at themselves in a mirror is able to greater control their own facial expressions.

While this process may seem difficult or complex, the best part is that your brain does all the hard work for you.  By merely being alert and engaged during sessions which lasts between 40 minutes and an hour your brain will unconsciously recognize it’s deficits and train itself to fix them.  Client’s can expect to see significant and lasting difference after ten sessions. Usually treatments are once or twice a week. While nearly anyone can benefit from the increased mental sharpness and focus that comes from neurofeedback, this therapy is especially effective in treating a number of different disorders such as ADHD/ADD, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and Depression, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Seizures, Stroke and more.  Most importantly, neurofeedback is virtually risk free with no side effects and no chance of conflicting with any current medication or treatment plan.

Check back next week for more detailed information on some on how neurofeedback works and it’s many benefits.

Written By David Butler

Lakeland, FL

7 Reasons Why Functional Medicine is FOR YOU

Why Functional Medicine?  Well, if you’re not sleeping well, seem cranky all day and your stomach seem always upset.  In addition you’re feeling a bit down and just can’t figure out why.  You head to your primary physician for—if you’re lucky—a 10-minute talk about what’s going on with you. The physician listens, nods his/her head a few times and then hands you a prescription or two, shakes your hand, and says “this should help”.  Case closed unless you call for another appointment.

You get home and Google the prescribed drugs to read all the potential side effects, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, confusion, thoughts of suicide, lower sex drive and the list goes on.  Does this approach actually make anyone better? In a word, no.  It’s an attempt to mask the actual cause of your symptoms verses address them to heal.

Why Functional Medicine?

It’s the most profound and effective way to treat patients—particularly those with chronic health issues and here’s the 7 reasons why Functional Medicine is FOR YOU:

1. Functional Medicine is all about you

In simplest terms, think of it as the ultimate in personalized, one-on-one, therapeutic relationships. It’s a health-focused, patient-centric partnership, in which doctor and patient work together to dig deep and find out the causes of illness and disease. We examine not only the patient, but also their unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors, and then develop a health-enhancing, usually drug-free plan to help restore the patient to good health and get him or her on a life-long path of wellness. With Functional Medicine, we look beyond the laundry list of symptoms; the whole person is taken into account.

3. Functional Medicine is not assembly-line medicine

Our current healthcare system is, to a large extent, governed by profit-driven conglomerates that essentially force physicians to manage huge caseloads and keep people moving through the system as quickly as possible. It’s mass-produced, assembly line, quick-fix, put-a-band-aid-on-it medicine, with little hope of creating long-term health. To it’s credit however, Conventional Medicine is great at managing medical and surgical emergencies, medical crises, acute infections and trauma, but falls way short when it comes to treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, functional disorders, musculoskeletal problems and stress related disorders. This is where Functional Medicine is near perfect with its more comprehensive, thoughtful individual approach.  After all, you are unique and so should your health recovery plan be.

2. Functional Medicine is artisan medicine

With Functional Medicine, the patient experience is anything but conventional. One might even call it ‘artisan medicine’, because it an art of balance, involves time, care and patience, since true healing doesn’t happen overnight. With Functional Medicine, we treat the person who has the disease rather than the disease the person has. It’s not unusual for my colleagues and me to spend an hour or more with patients, listening to their histories, doing the detective work, asking questions, and examining the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle patterns that effect health. By addressing the underlying causes of illness and disease, Functional Medicine practitioners are able to design unique, personalized healing plans that Conventional Medicine literally doesn’t have the tools, training, or the time for.

Why Functional Medicine is For You Holistic homeopathic Herbal Natural Medicine Center Lakeland Central Florida Polk County

4. Functional Medicine is the best of both worlds

Functional Medicine is not an either/or system, but rather a true combination of Conventional Medicine and many different alternative and complementary therapies. It acknowledges the strengths of Conventional Medicine for acute and crisis-care, but also realizes that this approach does not have the tools for preventing and treating chronic diseases. Unlike conventional physicians, we are able to tap into all the tools of healing—drawing from Western, Eastern, alternative, preventative and integrative medical practices—to help our patients heal. By pulling from all of these approaches and by paying special attention to diet, exercise, nutrition, supplementation and the workings of the mind, we’re not just giving patients a band-aid, we’re giving them the tools to create sustainable wellness and vitality. To me, is what true healing is all about.

5. Functional Medicine looks for the cause

In Conventional Medicine, doctors try to make a diagnosis and then apply a treatment for that particular diagnosis. In Functional Medicine we are less concerned with making a diagnosis and more concerned with the underlying imbalances or dysfunctions. These are the mechanisms of the disease process. We aim at treating those underlying disease mechanisms and ultimately look for the causes of those imbalances.

6. Functional Medicine is medicine on a mission

I call myself a health evangelist, in part because I am a man on a mission. I aim to show the unwell how they can transform their health. Certainly they will need to do the work as I can’t do it for them, but we will work as partners to restore balance and health to their lives. And participating in the process, that slow transition from illness to wellness, is one of the greatest joys of Functional Medicine—for both patient and practitioner.

7. Functional Medicine is true Health Care

Functional Medicine is true health care, unlike the disease care model of Conventional Medicine. We now have the knowledge to go beyond the current crisis care model and offer patients a much better approach to their health. We can incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health.

Functional Medicine is literally FOR YOU.

Balancing Hormones

Hormone balance can be influenced by a number of factors in men and women. Fluctuations in hormone levels occur throughout the lifecycle, some are just a natural part of aging while others may be the result of stress, toxic exposures, diet, or unhealthy sleep patterns. It is important to monitor your hormone levels throughout the lifespan and take action early to address imbalances before it affects your health or quality of life.

 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

The symptoms of hormone imbalance may vary from person to person and evolve over time. For example, a woman may experience menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes during the early stages of menopause, but she may continue to experience these discomforts for years after menstrual cycle has stopped. Men often experience symptoms on an intermittent basis as testosterone levels begin to decline in his late 20s. Symptoms often become for frequent or compile as a man reaches middle age.

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy

The Benefits of Balanced Hormones

Achieving hormone balance offers men and women a number of benefits, such as more energy, better sleep, and stabilized moods, but beyond that research has shown that hormone therapy improves overall health by reducing risk of disease.

Late in 2015, the results of the Veterans Database Study found that men who treated low testosterone with testosterone therapy experienced a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) early 2016 found that testosterone therapy improved mood, sexual health, and physical fitness in men.

Among women, hormone therapy has been heralded as the best treatment for menopause, helping to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. In March of 2016, the results of the highly anticipated ELITE study were published in NEJM, finding that women who begin hormone therapy early in their menopausal years experienced a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Finding the Right Hormone Balance

The practitioners at Natural Medicine Center are experts in hormone health. Each practitioners understands that achieving balance is a combination of advanced therapies, like bioidentical hormone therapy, and dynamic strategies for nutrition, stress management, and sleep that work synergistically to promote optimal health. Every practitioner is specially-trained and certified in bioidentical hormone therapy and functional medicine practices to ensure every patient receives elite care and maximizes their health potential.