Frequently Asked Questions

Below we share answers to some of the most common questions that arise regarding neurofeedback:

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is biofeedback for the brain. Training with neurofeedback improves cognitive function, attention, mood, anxiety, sleep, and behavior. It helps stabilize the mind and increases ones level of functioning.

How does neurofeedback work?

Noninvasive sensors, which act like stethoscopes, are placed on the head. They read the brainwaves which are then displayed on a computer screen allowing the practitioner to see them. This information or feedback is then used to train the brain via a computer movie or game that rewards the client when they are improving.

Who should pursue this therapy?

Neurofeedback is for people who choose not to be reliant on medications and want to take control of their own health.  Neurofeedback affords clients the opportunity to learn to manage their brain’s activity. Improper brain activity causes common illnesses such as ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep, and other problems. However, even people who do not experience severe symptoms train to optimize their brain’s performance or what we call peak performance training.

How do I maximize desired outcomes?

Observe and record any changes after each session using the on-line Tracking.  Consume protein first thing every morning.  Also, general practices associated with brain health are helpful. Get enough sleep. Eat a balanced diet with whole foods rather than highly processed foods. Consume Omega 3 fatty acids, through your diet or with supplements. Get regular aerobic exercise.  Avoid excessive screen time.

Should medications be discontinued before starting neurofeedback?

No.  We do not want there to be medication changes early on in the training process while we are first observing the effects of the neurofeedback.  If two factors (medication and neurofeedback) are changing at the same time, we do not know how to interpret changes you observe or experience.  After an initial period of neurofeedback, it may be possible to reduce a medication dose or eliminate a medication. That is a decision you make together with the prescribing medical professional. It is our experience that neurofeedback often makes clients more sensitive to the effects of medication and that medications will need to be reduced and/or eliminated.   All changes are under the direction of the prescribing physician.

Are there any negative side effects?

Though not usual, there can be short lived negative effects after sessions.  For example, it may be hard to fall asleep on the night of the session. Alternatively, some clients feel tired after sessions. Occasionally, some people experience a headache after a session.  These effects usually are gone the next day.  Most often we are able to change the training to eliminate these negative effects.

Adverse effects are not lasting as neurofeedback is a form of training.  It takes lots of repetition to result in neuroplastic change so that a neurofeedback effect endures – positive or negative.  As long as you do not repeat multiple times a way of training that results in negative effects, the adverse effects fade. That is why the on-line tracking and open communication is important.  We are almost always able to find a way to adjust the training so that the adverse effects stop. Many studies of neurofeedback have been undertaken and none of those studies reported any lasting adverse effects.

How many sessions are needed?

That’s like asking, “How many times do I need to work out at the gym before I’ll be in shape?”  The answer depends upon how out of shape you are.  Similarly, how many sessions depend upon how many and what symptoms you suffer from.   Therefore, there is no way to know how many sessions will be needed to attain the goals our clients specify in advance.  We require those considering neurofeedback to commit to a minimum of 20 sessions.  Some are able to attain their goals within this time frame but the average is thirty sessions.

Again, there is a relationship between the severity of the problem, overall health, quantity of medications directed at the brain and the length of training required.  Less severe difficulties can be resolved within 20 sessions.  More severe difficulties may require a longer period of training.

How often are therapies?

Twice a week therapies are the usual.  Three to four times a week may be recommended for those in crisis or with severe dysregulation or as an option for clients who choose to train faster.

Does Insurance cover neurofeedback?

It depends upon your carrier and the specific details of your plan.  Neurofeedback is biofeedback (EEG biofeedback).  However, when you look at the cost of doctor’s visit, medications, decreased productivity, and, for some, lost relationships, the benefits commonly outweigh the costs.

INDY Neurofeedback does not bill insurance.  Additionally, we are not Medicare or Medicaid providers.  Clients are provided with receipts containing the applicable billing codes which can be submitted to insurance companies for possible reimbursement. ( QEEG  – 95816 , EEG Biofeedback/Neurofeedback Therapy – 90901)

INDY Neurofeedback is not affiliated with any insurance plans or networks.  Therefore, insurance carriers will process requests for support as an out-of-network procedure.

How long do sessions last?

Appointments are typically 45 minutes, with actual feedback time varying based on what is best tolerated and most effective.  This is individualized to optimize benefit.

Why haven’t I heard about neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a service, not a billion-dollar sales per year pill backed by a large drug company, so it is not advertised in mass media.  Most people know about medications for common ailments, because the drug industry spends millions of dollars to ensure that we do.  Additionally, neurofeedback does not have repeat clientele like other industries. We are solution focused.  After learning has occurred, the goal is for you not to need us.  Additionally, we have no big pharma lobbyist pushing congress to pass bills that keep the cost of training high and other alternative therapies out of competition.

Is Neurofeedback an evidence based practice?

At INDY Neurofeedback, we discuss the forms of treatment you have tried and the degree of evidence for each.  We will offer you the available research on neurofeedback that applies to your situation. We will discuss your preferences and values and work together to determine if neurofeedback should be pursued. That is evidence based practice.   (American Psychological Association: “Evidence based practice in psychology is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences.” National Institutes of Health Institute of Medicine: “Evidence based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.”)

Why is my doctor skeptical?

Doctors want to be sure there is scientific support for the effectiveness of neurofeedback.  Until recently, there was relatively little solid research on neurofeedback, and it was not published in commonly read journals.

Now, there is more and better research. These studies are primarily published in neuroscience journals.  Unfortunately, the field is still lacking in the kind of large, randomized, controlled studies that allow for the highest level of confidence. Neurofeedback research is incredibly expensive and time consuming.  Still, there is more research on neurofeedback than on many of the interventions that are widely used today in medical and psychological practice.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently ranked neurofeedback as having “Best Support” for the treatment of ADHD.

To provide additional evidence of the effectiveness of neurofeedback in actual practice, our system provides comparative reporting so you and your doctor will be able to see your improvement with hard data.