Neurofeedback Q&A: “My doctor said, Neurotherapy is rubbish!”

“My doctor said, Neurotherapy is rubbish!”

You can’t make this Stuff up

Quite often, we get enquiries from people who’ve “tried” absolutely every medical treatment available to suppress the symptoms of their Functional Brain Disorder; obviously without success.

We then take the time to find out whether the person in question is a good candidate for Neurotherapy, to explain the process and to answer general as well as individual questions.

Long Story Looong

At high levels of chronicity, clients usually need a lot of space and time to vent their frustration with all those doctors from their past, failed treatments and to describe all their complaints repeatedly.

Back to Square One

At the end of this tedious process, some applicants then turn around and announce that they’ll have to talk to their doctor for • reassurance • approval • permission or • an unbiased expert opinion of Neurotherapy. Hmmm …

Ask the Expert

GPs are experts in medical treatments of infectious diseases, injuries and organ failures. They measure blood pressure, vaccinate children and prescribe medication for almost everything.

If they don’t follow “treatment guidelines”, they can easily get into trouble. Can you guess, who is behind “official treatment guidelines”?

The special Experts

When GPs are out of their depth, they refer patients to a specialist like a Neurologist or Psychiatrist which almost always leads to a more aggressive medication schedule — otherwise, what’s the point of involving the specialist?

Drug-free anyone?

GPs are typically not interested or knowledgeable about drug-free, non-invasive Behavioural Therapies. They are trained to dismiss any therapy that hasn’t been proven effective by “randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials”, a method to test pharmaceutical drugs before registration, completely invalid and not applicable to Behavioural Therapies.

Neurotherapy? What does the Doctor say?

Sure, when asked some GPs will honestly answer: “Look, how would I know whether Neurotherapy is any good? I’m a medical doctor and I know nothing about it and therefore, I can’t possibly have an opinion. My prescriptions obviously haven’t helped you much, why are you even asking me?” That would be reasonable, don’t you think?

Other GPs will say: “Bollocks! According to my Medical Journal, while some results are positive, there is insufficient evidence to claim that Neurofeedback is an effective treatment for mental illness. Apparently, at this point, there are not yet enough randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials to support this novel, experimental treatment.”

Focussed Attention

Inside the field of Applied Neuroscience and Neurotherapy, there are actually quite a few medical doctors who contribute studies and articles. As an example, Dr Jonathan Walker MD, Neurologist in Texas, conducted a study of Neurofeedback Brain Training with Chronic Migraineurs in his practice.

After Neurotherapy rehabilitation, 93% of the patients experienced at least a halving of their headache frequency, 54% ceased having attacks altogether. Very little happened in the control group who relied on medication.

[Success rates like this are unheard of in pharmaceutical Headache Medicine where clinical trials of new drugs have to be run several times in order to show a minuscule, statistical, short-term effect.]

Of course, Dr Walker published his results in the scientific journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience. So, before asking your GP about Neurotherapy, you should make sure that he has a subscription for Clinical EEG and Neuroscience.

Otherwise, if he only reads “medical journals” — which are famously and notoriously “influenced” by Big Pharma — your GP may not get the full picture and, without realising it, could potentially end up a teeny-weeny bit biased towards “real medicine” (more drugs).

Ruckus in Psychiatry

Prof. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a leading Psychiatrist in Boston and famous for his work with Trauma and PTSD. He has published more than 60 scientific papers and studies, for example comparing EMDR to Prozac®. 

He has now become a fervent advocate for Neurotherapy to help rehabilitate PTSD and is very outspoken about it in public lectures all over the world and in his popular book “The Body Keeps The Score” — a bit of a Bible for the PTSD community.

So, you should make sure that your GP or your Psychiatrist have read Bessel’s scientific papers — or at least his popular book.

In a Pickle

So, if your doctor tells you that Neurotherapy is rubbish, you’ll probably have no other choice than to rely on your doctor and his/her prescriptions. Good luck!