FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...

What is Biofeedback?
When we go to our primary care providers, our vital signs are monitored and recorded in our files. Temperature, blood pressure, respiration and pulse are all “byproducts” of a functioning body. They are of interest to our practitioners because if any signal isn’t in the normal range, it is an indication the body is having a problem.

Even when our physiological signals are in the normal range, we can have heightened stress responses and feel ill at ease. Through the process of biofeedback, an individual is enabled to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance.

During biofeedback, precise instruments measure physiological activity such as heart function, breathing, muscle activity, skin temperature and brainwaves. These monitors rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user.
Physiological changes made through biofeedback generally occur in conjunction with changes in emotions, thought patterns and behavioral choices.

Once someone has “over-learned” a new physiological response, these changes can continue without further use of an instrument – the new behavior is lasting. 

What is Neurofeedback?
Other names for Neurofeedback are Bio-Neurofeedback, Neurotherapy or Brainwave Therapy. Using the electroencephalograph (EEG), Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback specifically for the brain. There are different ways to go about neurofeedback, each effective in addressing specific issues.

What kinds of things can it help?
Anxiety, depression, attention issues, sleep problems, the consequences of head injuries and pain all tend to respond well to neurofeedback. In many cases, motor problems that came on after a brain injury will at least partially resolve.

What happens in a session?
The first session with Kayle Sandberg-Lewis is spent taking an in-depth history which will be used to determine whether feedback will be a good option and with which approach to start. No feedback occurs during the initial visit.

In the case of pediatric clients, this pattern is often modified, particularly if the client is too young or lacks the focus to sit through an interview. Instead, Kayle will interview the parent or caregiver either over the phone or in person to learn the history and then arrange for a short office visit when the child may meet Kayle and the office staff, get a tour of the office and learn about feedback. If age appropriate, Kayle will ask the child to help her perform feedback on one of the parents or caregivers.

Follow-up visits, during which feedback occurs, are scheduled for fifty minutes on a weekly or twice per week basis, depending on which modality is used.

How many sessions will I need?
That is difficult to predict since every brain is different. In general, Kayle suggests people commit to five weekly sessions to determine if there is any change and whether the change holds. That doesn’t mean the neurofeedback is complete in that length of time, but we can determine whether the potential is there for a positive effect and whether there is the presence of an impediment to the process.

Does it last?
Generally, the gains made through neurofeedback are lasting unless there is an underlying problem interfering with the brain’s capacity to incorporate change. The interference could come from toxicity caused by an allergy, the presence of heavy metals, poorly regulated blood sugar, a stealth infection or infestation or on-going exposure to mold in the home. This pattern generally reveals itself during the first five sessions, leading Kayle to suggest consultation with a physician able to sort out the possible toxins. Removing the offending element(s) tends to allow the neurofeedback to take effect.

Interference of another sort can come after gains have been established over an extended period. After an extreme challenge to the system, such as a car accident or serious illness, especially with a high fever, people may report returning to the problems that brought them to neurofeedback in the first place. In both situations, it has been observed that a few neurofeedback “tune up” sessions have proven sufficient to re-establish positive effects from the brain training.

Can you guarantee it will work?
No therapy works for everyone.

Will my insurance cover it?
Kayle suggests discussing the possibility of coverage with your carrier, but her practice is to require payment at time of service. After each session, she will provide you with a “super bill” with which you may seek reimbursement.

Is it safe?
Yes. For further information, Kayle suggests reviewing research listed at the bibliography site of www.isnr.org.

How long has Kayle Sandberg-Lewis been doing neurofeedback and is she any good at it?
She started studying neurofeedback in 1994 and added it to her practice in 1996. She is trained in a variety of approaches and certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, the certification board recognized by the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB). Since 1999 she has served as adjunct faculty at National College of Natural Medicine, where she has trained student doctors in the use of tools of applied psychophysiology and stress management. She has been invited to speak at local, regional and international classes and conferences.

This establishes that Kayle knows what she is doing, but whether she is the right practitioner for any individual is another issue. The relationship between practitioner and client is a large part of the therapeutic process – some would say the most important piece. This is why Kayle suggests a conversation prior to starting to work together to help a potential client determine whether there is compatibility with Kayle and her approach.