Today was the review of my second brain map with Dr. Corey Deacon, at Neurvana Health. The changes are substantial! I mean, I knew I was feeling better, and I knew this was working. But holy cow, seeing the maps side by side was mind blowing!
See for yourself:
The image on the left is before neurofeedback, the one on the right is after 8 sessions. The top row shows activity in the Theta Band. The red in the “before” image on the left shows the limbic system hijacking the brain.
Basically, my limbic system said “We (it includes me in its inner dialog) don’t feel safe, so we are going to hijack the brain to keep it hyper-aware, so we are always ready in case we need to fight or flee or freeze.” This kind of hyper-awareness feeds anxiety in a big way. It is also really exhausting.
On the “after” image on the right, that has mostly dissipated. The limbic system has calmed down, greatly reducing a resting state of anxiety.
The other big change to note is the bottom row. You may remember me referring to the blue scribbles in Part 3, shown here again in the “before” map on the left. This is my brain in a “stuck state”. In the “after” image on the right, it is almost completely gone. My brain is no longer stuck. Instead it is learning to process normally.
These images show different kinds of processing. Again, left is before, right is after.
The top row shows memory and auditory processing. Before, it just wasn’t happening. In the after images, it is lit up! The red shows it is definitely in a heightened state. That is not what we want long term, but we expect it to level out going forward.
The middle row shows working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning, inhibition, and abstract reasoning. If you expand the picture, you can see the list of symptoms, all of which I was experiencing to some degree. On the right, It has calmed down significantly. My current symptoms bear this out – I am feeling much more level and stable overall.
The bottom row shows, in simple terms, vision, and eye/motor coordination. Not terrible in the before, but the after shows nothing in this area at all.
This graph shows the results of the modulated breathing training. On the before graph, the down spikes show my brain going into shut down mode. On the after graph, the shut down response has all but disappeared.
This image shows the level of processing happening in both hemispheres of my brain. In the before image, the right hemisphere was definitely not pulling it’s weight, leaving the left side to do most of the heavy lifting, and not very effectively.
The right image shows the right side finally showing up for work, and the left side working more effectively as a result. Apparently my hemispheres had a meeting, and made a new agreement on division of labor. The amygdala may or may not have mediated that agreement. So far so good – they are way more balanced than before. And I am definitely feeling more productive, so that’s amazing.
The plan going forward is eight more neurofeedback sessions, then another brain map and review. I will continue to document everything, including financials.
In my next post, I will share my costs to date. This is expensive, and isn’t covered by any medical benefits that I know of. Brain mapping and neurofeedback is not financially accessible to most people, and that is a shame, especially since the most vulnerable in our community would benefit from it the most. The only way for that to change is awareness, so share this blog with everyone. Once it becomes a larger conversation, neurofeedback has a better chance of being recognized by our government as an integral part of our universal health care protocols.
I will do my part to keep the conversation going, so stay tuned for more Fun With Neurofeedback!