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Restoring the Brain: Neurofeedback as an Integrative Approach to Health

by Siegfried Othmer | July 23rd, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD


Restoring the Brain by Siegfried Othmer, PhDThe new book Restoring the Brain: Neurofeedback as an Integrative Approach to Health is now in print. We received our initial copies from the publisher, Taylor and Francis, just in time for the July Summit. Here is the story of how this book came about. In September 2013 Hanno Kirk and Kelley Foust jointly presented “EEG Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders” at the Integrative Medicine and Mental Health conference in Chicago. It was a new topic for most of the conferees and there were many questions from the audience. One person who was impressed by the presentation was the Acquisitions Editor of the Health Division of Taylor and Francis Publishers. He contacted Hanno Kirk and asked if he would like to expand the material in the PowerPoint into a book. “Given his enthusiasm and interest I felt I couldn’t turn down such an opportunity,” Hanno related. “After consulting with Siegfried, I assembled a team of twelve writers and told Lance Wobus that I would take on the role of editor.” The book contract was signed in February 2014, and on September 2, all chapter manuscripts were delivered to the publisher.

A Brief Summary
The book is divided into three sections:
1. History and evolution of neurofeedback
2. Integrative medicine and biomedical issues
3. Applications to specific conditions

In the first section Hanno Kirk traces the evolution of the concepts of brain functioning; Siegfried Othmer takes us from the beginnings of neurofeedback through the development of the Infra-Low Frequency (ILF) training approach. David Kaiser provides us with the scientific basis for ILF training with his description of the critical functions of astrocytes and glial cells in the temporal regulation of the brain. Meike Wiedemann rounds out the section with a masterful description of Infra-Low Frequency neurofeedback in clinical practice as it has developed at the hands of Sue Othmer.

The second section looks at neurofeedback in the context of Integrative Medicine. Doreen McMahon, describing how she has incorporated neurofeedback into her medical practice, prepares the ground for other physicians to do so in their practice. In her chapter on diet and nutrition, best-selling author (and long-term neurofeedback practitioner) Nora Gedgaudas talks about how the presence or absence of specific nutrients in our body powerfully impacts brain functioning. Kurt Woeller, a well-known integrative medicine specialist, discusses how biomedical factors, such as infections in the lower intestines, can interfere with brain functioning and thus can be critical factors in the success of neurofeedback.

The third section of the book gives examples of how ILF neurofeedback is applied to different brain dysfunctions. The first in this section is by Kelley Foust, an Occupational Therapist, who describes her success in using neurofeedback for the treatment of children in the autism spectrum. The second is by two psychologists, Anna Benson and Tamsen LaDou, who have used Infra-Low Frequency neurofeedback for five years in the treatment of combat stress, and have guided nearly 1,000 active duty Marines and Navy personnel through the training program. Monica Dahl goes into detail on how Infra-Low Frequency neurofeedback works in symptom reduction in PTSD. In Chapter 11, Roxana Sasu and Siegfried Othmer review the data on several representative training histories for ADHD. Additionally, they present the cumulative data set for a continuous performance test. Results are shown for a pool of over 5,000 for whom pre-post data were available, irrespective of diagnosis. All had had the benefit of about twenty sessions of Infra-Low Frequency training using the Othmer protocols.

The book closes with a chapter titled “The Future of Neurofeedback,” by Siegfried Othmer, which takes an upbeat look at the promise of neurofeedback, but is also mindful of the impediments the lie along the road ahead. The book seeks the attention of medical professionals, including in particular psychiatrists and neurologists, because acceptance by the medical community is critical to the success of neurofeedback in our society.

Siegfried Othmer, PhD

One Response to “Restoring the Brain: Neurofeedback as an Integrative Approach to Health”

  1. From the publisher, Taylor and Francis:
    Restoring the Brain:Neurofeedback as an Integrative Approach to Health
    Taylor and Francis (CRC Press) • Jul 15, 2015
    Authors: Hanno Kirk, Siegfried Othmer, David Kaiser, Doreen McMahon, Nora Gedgaudas, Kurt Woeller, Kelley Foust, Anna Benson, Tamsen La Dou, Monica Dahl, Roxana Sasu.
    Summary This book describes the history and process by which neurofeedback has become an effective tool for resolving many mental and behavioral health conditions. It explains how recent brain research and improvements in imaging technology (fMRI, SPECT) allow for the reconceptualization of brain function and of dysfunction. Much of mental dysfunction can be understood as acquired brain behavior that can now be re-directed with the help of EEG-based neurofeedback. The book discusses how biomedical factors can degrade brain functioning and cause a wide range of mental health complaints. The book shares the clinical experience of practitioners working with specific symptom constellations that characterize the canonical disorders. The essential thrust of the book is that neurofeedback should be a central pillar within integrative medicine. To date, integrative medicine has largely stayed within the biochemical/neurochemical paradigm, and has simply enlarged the scope beyond pharmacology to include biomedical issues such as toxicities, dietary insufficiencies, food intolerances, and gut-brain interactions. These biomedical issues are covered in the book by experts in their fields. Features • Brings together experts and experienced practitioners who explain in accessible language the new findings on brain functioning and its potential for improvement. • Describes how viewing the brain as a dynamically-regulated communications system has led to efforts to influence brain functioning through the practice of neurofeedback • Describes the use of neurofeedback as a non-invasive, non-pharmacological supplement to traditional medical or mental health treatment • Includes reports by clinicians of their work and of outcomes with neurofeedback • Provides easy-to-understand explanations of how and why neurofeedback works

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