about LENS neurofeedback
Uses of LENS
LENS neurofeedback is a specialized type of biofeedback that has been used successfully to treat a great number of conditions, including:
- Alzheimer's disease,
- Aspberger's Syndrome,
- bipolar disorder,
- cerebral palsy,
- chronic fatigue syndrome,
- learning disabilities,
- panic attack disorder,
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),
- PTSD, and
- Tourett'es Syndrome and tics, and
- traumatic brain injuries (TBI) - for example, stroke.
The beauty of LENS is that it is a drug-free treatment: it can potentially allow a person to reduce or even eliminate psychotropic medications, by eradictating the symptoms that required the medications in the first place.
What it isn't
LENS is not Eectroshock therapy (ECT), nor it is Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
What LENS does
Neurofeedback uses realtime displays of the brain's electrical activity to monitor brain states, with the goal of improving the brain's electrical function for optimal brain performance. Sensors are placed on the scalp to administer a painless electromagnetic pulse at different sites on the scalp. The first few sessions involve brain-mapping which allows the practitioner to get a detailed picture of what parts of the brain are electrically normal, suppressed or hyperactive. A treatment plan is then created and the various indicated sites are targeted with an appropriate electromagnetic pulse during an active treatment session. The pulses vary according to strength and length of time administered (from 1-7 seconds per site). The effects of the treatment pulses on the brain are viewed during a session, using a special computer software program. Depending on the outcome, some sites may be re-administered during that session, or, if the new activity is in the proper range, the treatment is finished for that day. Sessions typically last about 30 minutes.
Number and cost of LENS treatment sessions
The very rough average number of sessions that a person may have to optimal improvement depends on the extent of the brain electrical imbalance, the condition being treated, and unique responses of each person's brain to the LENS treatments. A person might expect to undergo at least 20 weekly sessions, with some difficult conditions requiring up to a year of weekly treatment. However, once corrected, the new brain electrical states seem to be permanent with no or very few further LENS sessions required. The cost of these sessions is not yet covered by insurance companies, and the session price ranges from $90-$150 depending on the particular provider.
I am a technician, trained in administering the LENS treatments. I work in conjunction with Dr. Teresa Poprawski who is fully trained to read the brain-mapping results and then outline and monitor the course of treatments.
The effects of LENS
Improvement can be gradual, episodic or sudden. The improvements noticed will depend on the conditions being treated. Side effects range from none to mild and transient, such as anxiety, irritability, restlessness, sleepiness, a mild headache. These occur unpredictably and last generally 1-2 days. The practitioner makes an ongoing assessment of the treatment plan according to week by week feedback from the client about how s/he felt after a particular session.
For further reading about LENS, a great book is: The healing power of neurofeedback by Stephen Larsen.