Can Neurofeedback Make You Worse?

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Image of an EEG scan shown in wave format

Written By: Dr. Starr

Dr. Starr is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and computational neuroscientist who has been active in Brain-Computer Interface and Neurofeedback since 1990.

To learn more about neurofeedback, please read the article; What Is Neurofeedback. If you are interested in home neurofeedback please read the article; Neurofeedback At Home.

Can Neurofeedback Make You Worse, or Worsen Your Complaints?

Before beginning any form of therapy, it’s a good idea to be aware of what to expect from the treatment, including any adverse side effects that could occur.

Clients who are considering neurofeedback with Myneurva often ask if there are any adverse side effects to the therapy or if their symptoms might worsen. As a general rule, most neurofeedback clients experience no adverse effects from Neurofeedback when done properly.

Generally, most people have no adverse reactions to neurofeedback sessions.

Based on your initial QEEG scan with Myneurva, your NeuroPractor implements protocols for specific brain training. 

However, some brain sites may be more challenging to train than others, leading to potential side effects. Fortunately, based on your QEEG, Myneurva’s trained NeuroPractors know how to target areas in the brain that are more likely to produce positive results without risking a negative or adverse reaction.

Be sure to always tell your Myneurva NeuroPractor about any neurological condition you may have, such as epilepsy. Such conditions can lead to side effects that others don’t experience. Working with a poorly trained neurofeedback provider who uses outdated equipment or doesn’t complete a QEEG before training could lead to less than optimum sessions and is more likely to produce an adverse outcome. 

You are in good hands with Myneurva. Our trained team of neurofeedback professionals are pioneers in the field.

 In our experience, side-effects to NF may be divided into three groups, Iatrogenic, Specific, and General. As a general rule., SMR Training without a Z-Score increases the risk of side effects. 

Iatrogenic: This refers to side effects caused by the mismanagement of the practitioner. This occurs when the individual administering the training is not properly qualified to deliver NF care properly. Myneurva’s Neuropractors have over 1 million hours of clinical time using NF equipment. Our experience, care, and one of a kind integrated remote online training system ensure these types of errors are avoided. 

General:

These are side effects that tend to subside after the first 5 sessions. 

Fatigue: Increasing or decreasing brain waves’ speed can cause some clients to experience fatigue for a short while and tends to subside after a few sessions. Sometimes a person can become extremely fatigued and sleep for several hours. This is like a brain reset and is often associated with a positive outcome when the fatigue subsides. 

Headaches: These can occur from training faster waves of higher frequencies or targeting the wrong sections for training. This can also occur when your cap is too tight. Clients should report any headache symptoms to their Brain Tuner or Neuropractor. 

Head Pressure: This is a relatively uncommon reaction but sometimes is experienced in the brain’s section undergoing training. Your brain is working during NF, and you are using areas you have not used. Perhaps the increased blood flow is what is felt. This usually passes and should not be an issue. 

Low energy: For high-energy people treated to reduce hyperactivity, neurofeedback may seem to result in low energy. The change they are experiencing is the positive effects of an adjustment from too much activity to a more normal pace.

Muscle tension: This may be caused when therapy isn’t properly administered, especially when training is in the higher frequencies. 

Anxiety: This can occur from nervousness about electrodes being placed on their head or because clients feel nervous before undergoing any medical procedure. Anxiety may be felt following the session, too. Once therapy is underway, these feelings should dissipate with the recognition that there’s nothing to be afraid of. With Myneurva, you have a Brain Tuner working directly with you during the entire process to ease anxiety.

Specific Symptoms. 

Brain fog: Neurofeedback generally reduces brain fog and “spacey” feelings. But if the practitioner isn’t adequately trained, clients may find it difficult to focus during and after a neurofeedback session. Generally, brain fog will decrease and disappear as training continues. If this occurs, neuropractors will re-evaluate the protocols. 

Depression: Neurofeedback has proven to be a highly successful therapy for depression, but in some cases, when the speed of slower brain waves is increased, a sense of depression may occur in clients not previously afflicted.  

Dizziness: Clients may experience this sensation during and after the session, probably from the change in brain wave patterns.

Panic: A small number of people may experience a claustrophobic feeling or fear reaction during training. This can often be part of the brain healing itself but should be reported to the monitor during the session if it occurs. 

Neurofeedback side effects are by and large transient and mild. They do not affect day to day functioning and often lead to a breakthrough in functioning. Occasionally, NF can produce annoying and impairing effects that eventually return to baseline.