Understanding the Benefits of Neurotherapy

A Natural and Holistic Approach for the Treatment of Seizure Disorders

While many are not familiar with the concept of neurotherapy, the process has shown tremendous promise for many afflicted with a variety of diseases, including Epilepsy. Neurotherapy is a process that works by stimulating portions of the brain to encourage repair and re-development.

Neurotherapy works by assisting the client’s brain to change its structural integrity. Neurotherapy often begins with a map of the brain of the clients, providing data for between 5 and 19 locations of the brain. The number of locations evaluated depends on the severity of the client’s disease or illness. Biofeedback is based upon the premise that there is a mind-body connection within every living human. There has been an ongoing movement to better understand the relationship of the mind to the body and the body’s ability to heal itself.

There are many purposes of neurotherapy, including:

  • To stabilize the overall function of the brain by routinely placing brainwaves into healthy ranges
  • To improve the ability of the brain to shift in between brainwaves with ease
  • To improve brain function in specialized locations; most diseases have a specific area of the brain in which the affect

A person’s brain waves are measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG) by placing measuring equipment on the client’s face and scalp. EEG has been studied since the early 20th century as an electrical way to view brain function. Electrical activity in the brain can be measured using small sensors on the scalp and ears. The EEG reads the faint sensation of brain waves and feeds it into an electronic screen to be analyzed. The information that is collected helps the health care team to develop a schedule to assist the client with regaining brain functions. This is not a painful process for the client.

Brain function is measured in frequencies, and the number of cycles per second is called ‘hertz (Hz)’. Some medical practitioners divide brainwaves into categories:

  • 0-4 Hz Delta
  • 4-8 Hz Theta
  • 8-12 Hz Alpha
  • 12 Hz and Above Beta

It is thought that the more times the cycles in the brain are completed, the faster the brain wave activity.

Delta waves are believed to be used primarily in sleep. Theta waves are also slow waves and are often associated with the stages between sleep and wake. Alpha waves are thought to be associated with multi-tasking, meditation, relaxation and are idling rhythms. Beta is the fastest brainwave activity and is associated with deep concentration; the area typically focused on during neurotherapy.

A person’s brain is a complex organ, able to learn and modify throughout a person’s lifetime. Research has shown that illnesses and disease can be born through underlying neurophysiological dysfunctions. Most neurological dysfunctions occur in the frontal and central cortexes of the brain. Neurotherapy works to resolve these dysfunctions, restoring the brain function within the client. There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the power of this treatment to restore functionality to children and adults that were told that there was not hope. Some people call it a “kick start” for the brain, creating the opportunity to turn it back on in the areas where it has failed or where there is damage.

Research has been ongoing since the 1960’s in the area of EEG. In the 1960’s, a researcher at the University of Chicago uncovered the ability to alter brainwaves. This study was the beginning of many studies looking at the relationship between the brain and the body, and between the body and disease. While much of this research was positive and supportive for the treatment of a variety of diseases it was not widely accepted as a medical technique or practice for many years. There is still a great amount of skepticism among people and medical professionals, despite the tremendous success that people have been experiencing as a result of neurotherapy.

Neurotherapy is used to treat clients of all ages who have suffered from a brain injury. The most common treatment option used for children is video games; adults love it too. Video games are played and the client works to move objects or bars on the screen through the use of their concentration. The DVD starts playing when the client is concentrating, being rewarded for controlling their brain activity. Watching the video allows the technicians to work on improving the identified part of the client’s brain. This process is effective with children, as any DVD option can be selected to work through the process. The process is not painful for the client, in fact, most really enjoy it.

Neurotherapy can work with a variety of ailments and illnesses, including:

  • Learning Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Stoke
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • And Much More.

One of the biggest factors to consider when evaluating this treatment is cost and generally the determination of cost is based upon how many sessions will be needed to provide results. Individual treatments range from $100-375 each and there are still many insurance companies that do not provide this treatment as a standard option, forcing many families to pay for this cost out of their own pockets. You can locate neurotherapy specialists in hospitals and in private clinics, performed by physicians and health care technicians. It is typical to expect a minimum of 10 sessions to truly begin to see improvement and the treatment option as a whole requires dedication to see long term results. I would like to share my personal story to give you some insight into the overall experience from the viewpoint of a mom.h

My Own Story:

When I was searching for options for my son Adam, I met Dr. Swingle. I was immediately impressed with Dr. Swingle and his ability to connect with Adam, as Adam loved the treatments that he received. When we first decided to try neurotherapy, Dr. Swingle told me that we would know within 3 sessions if he could help Adam or not. Dr. Swingle looked at signatures on Adam’s brain and watched carefully to his brain while they were going through this process. This was totally painless for Adam.

The messages received by the brain are sometimes mixed up and sensory motor rhythm does not function properly. The treatment for this is a type of biofeedback which gives the brain “a nudge” and gets things working properly again, making drastic changes to the brain’s neurotransmitters. Every neurotransmitter in the brain as a Hertz level and if Adam’s Hertz level did not change after 3 sessions, Dr. Swingle would discontinue the treatments. The brain mapping allowed Dr. Swingle to view the areas in Adam’s brain that were not functioning properly. The sessions that were used to treat Adam often felt like to him that he was playing video games, while in reality they were helping Adam to restore brain function.

One treatment required Adam to focus his concentration on a video screen in order to make balloons move around the screen. The balloons only moved if he really concentrated. The technicians made the treatments a game for him, allowing the treatment to retrain his brain while he was having fun. This is the simplest way that I can explain how neurotherapy works.

Within 3 neurotherapy sessions, I began to notice significant changes in Adam. I don’t know if I honestly believed in the treatment at first, but I was hoping and searching for answers that would help my son Adam. It was only when I saw the results that I truly began to believe in the process.

After the third neurotherapy session, Adam’s teachers cornered me and wanted to know what I was doing with Adam as he was starting to pay attention in class. He was also participating in class as well as he was starting to read. Things continued to get better and better for Adam. He continued his therapy sessions once per week and we were very pleased with his results. It was amazing to see what Adam was noticing and that he was realizing and appreciating what he had been missing out on.

Our youngest daughter Victoria, a social butterfly, was always being invited to birthday parties, and one day Adam said “How come nobody ever invites me to a birthday party”? Hearing that come out of his mouth broke my heart. Adam had never, ever been invited to someone’s birthday party. I gathered up some nerve and decided to have a party at my house to invite kids from Adam’s class over for a pizza night. Many if not all of Adam’s classmates had special needs and it was a bit scary to think of them all in the house at the same time.

I ended up taking 4 kids and Adam down to Bear Creek Park for a train ride and then out for pizza. We came back to our place and watched a movie and we all had a really great time. The kids were thrilled to have been invited and they were well behaved and a pleasure to be with.

How did neurotherapy benefit Adam?

  • A major reduction in obsessive compulsive tendencies
  • A kick start to the brain – learning started again
  • Reading level doubled in a 6 month period
  • Started to learn math
  • Improvement in short term memory
  • More control of violent behavior
  • The ability to reason
  • Total reduction of seizures
  • A positive outlook on life
  • Started to understand consequences
  • Asked for things he wanted
  • Ability to work independently
  • Greater attention span
  • Started to read much better
  • Was totally aware of what was going on around him
  • Started to play with his siblings
  • Reduced frustration
  • Started to become more and more normal

Psychologists Report

July 2000

“Adam, now a young adolescent, behaved very differently from the 1996 assessment. He was responsive, good-natured, and hard working. He was not overly impulsive or distractible. Speech was clear, but comprehension was poor. Socially he seemed immature generally but at the same time was a very considerate, well-mannered child. Adam was a very cooperative and hard working child, his behavior had improved substantially since our assessment in 1996.”

This time, Adam had come in and cooperatively sat down at the desk. He had been tested from 9am until 2pm with a break for lunch. The psychologist could not believe that he had Adam’s attention and cooperation for that long.

The doctor told me, “I cannot believe that this is the same child that was here four years ago. I was ready for him because I read my notes. I had a second person here to help me manage him, ready to go. Adam sat there and cooperated. He did every lesson I asked him to. He was friendly. He was cooperative. What are you doing?”

The Psychologist was so surprised to see such a dramatic change in Adam. Unfortunately, Adam’s IQ test showed little improvement over the years. He was learning, but the damage to his brain was evident.

I invite you to join in our Forum discussion about neurotherapy, your experiences and your questions. There is a lot that we can learn from each other. The world is a big place, but when you are facing an illness or disease, it can feel even bigger. Join in a discussion today and feel the support from a community that cares about each other and would love to hear your story and answer your questions. Click here to join our Forum.

Also, for more information about Epilepsy Resources, go to http://www.gettingadamback.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Arlene Martell

Arlene Martell is the publisher of EpilepsyMoms.com and the author of Getting Adam Back – A Mother's triumph over Epilepsy and Autism. She resides in a seaside suburb on Vancouver BC Canada with her husband James and their four children Adam, Justin, Shelby and Victoria.