Chas Gant MD, PhD
Balancing the Brain
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free therapy which has been found in many peer-reviewed studies to be effective for a wide range of medical and psychiatric disorders. This is not surprising when one considers that the brain is the command and control center for the body’s nervous, endocrine (hormones) and immune systems. Neurofeedback as a stand alone treatment essentially ignores all of the causes of chronic medical and psychiatric disorders, such as allergies (e.g., celiac/gluten), infections (e.g., Lyme/candida), metabolic imbalances (e.g., diabetes/hypertension), toxicities (e.g., heavy metals/pesticides), nutritional deficiencies (e.g., magnesium/omega 3 fatty acids) and the genetic vulnerabilities to all of this. Neurofeedback as a stand alone treatment makes no claims about treating the big killers, cancer, cardiovascular disease and addictions, and simply balances the command and control center, the brain, and lets those benefits cascade down through the nervous, immune and endocrine systems to effect astonishing benefits.
I call this the top-down approach, because neurofeedback is a treatment at the top of the body (the brain) and its benefits are realized down below in the body. Of course, the bottom up approach, addressing the underlying immune, allergic, metabolic, nutritional, infectious and genetic causes of chronic medical and psychiatric disorders is still important, and when both a top-down and a bottom-up approach are combined, the outcomes appear to be more promising than ever.
More Benefits of Neurofeedback
Another benefit of neurofeedback is that the therapeutic effects occur unconsciously. Virtually no effort is needed. There are no supplements to take, no lifestyle changes to put in place, major shifts in dietary regimens or unpleasant therapies. For the very young and the older folks, who are less capable of taking responsibility for these interventions, neurofeedback is a simple solution. Also, for those who are unable or unwilling to work through their problems in psychotherapy, which often includes most of those in the younger and older age brackets, neurofeedback is a great option because it requires very little effort or active participation of the patient.
The old saying that “it’s better to teach someone how to fish than to get a fish for today,” is also germaine to neurofeedback. As you retrain the brain, the immune system then is more functional and resistance to disease and infections may be enhanced. The nervous system moves to a more rest-digest (parasympathetic) state and away from a fight-flight (sympathetic) condition. Memory and attention is usually improved. And since the brain is the command and control center for the endocrine system, hormonal regulation can be optimized.
Consider Neurofeedback as Another Tool for Healing
Neurofeedback just works, and we don’t really know why exactly. But who cares? Anything this effortless and simple that can alleviate suffering so dramatically is a great tool to have. I am not opposed to shortcuts as long as the underlying immune, infectious, metabolic, toxic, nutritional and genetic risk factors which cause chronic medical and psychiatric disorders are addressed at some point. The benefits of neurofeedback are simply too profound to ignore, and it should be considered as an adjunctive therapy by everyone who suffers from any chronic medical or psychiatric problem.
Dr. Chas Gant has practiced Integrative and Functional Medicine for over three decades. He specializes in molecular health and healing, especially as it supports psychospiritual growth and mental health recovery from problems such as AD/HD, autism, mood problems, addictions, food compulsions and nicotine dependence. He is an expert in interpretation of functional medicine testing to diagnose precisely what is deficient in each patient, and then replenish those missing, essential items.