Updated: Apr 13, 2022
The advent of our modern world and all of the good and ill that have characterized its development, has brought certain elements of human life to light. Modern science is able to observe certain phenomena that in the past were either more hidden, or easy to misinterpret.
One of the most common and shared experiences among human beings over the span of our existence, is pain and suffering. Survival itself would be meaningless without the necessity of overcoming pain, sickness, and death.
However, the cost of our survival isn’t only the difficulty of overcoming adversity, but the trace that it leaves in the very fabric of our minds for long after the adversity has been dealt with. This is the proverbial scar, the trauma, to which most, if not all, fall prey sooner or later. The chances of it being sooner, are unconscionably higher due the prevalence of “early life adversity” that is reported globally.
The mark that this leaves is without exception always painful, persistent, and most unfortunately, undermines other meaningful life experiences.
Like any experience, trauma also has a specific signature within our brain structure and function. The longer it is unresolved, the deeper and more entrenched it gets into our neurological hardware. The way to retrain these deeply embedded patterns of brain activity is similar to the way it progressed in the first place. Traumatic events consist of an arrangement of sensory data that is either threatening to the individual themselves, or by proxy to someone else. It is the combination of what we see, hear, touch, feel, and etc. that conveys whether something is a danger or not. The senses are the only avenue by which information enters our minds, and forces a response that aims to deal with the threat at hand.
The only way to abate these ingrained traumatic response strategies is to train the brain with another strategy, via the only avenue that the brain has to learning, the senses. Neurofeedback does just that. By using simple video and audio signals, neurofeedback technology rewards the brain when certain patterns of activity are produced, and withholds rewards when they are not. The very same brain circuits that are not functioning well due to trauma, are inhibited, and more functional and adaptive ones are rewarded. Over many thousands of iterations of this, the brain gradually integrates the new healthy strategies, which eventually manifest as better focus, mood, and behavior