Neurofeedback therapy has been very successful in treating many patients with anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Many patients who begin therapy say that there is no cause for their anxiety attacks. These patients just are not aware of the factors that are initiating their anxiety. Through neurofeedback therapy the patient can learn which factors are triggering their anxiety attacks. Neurofeedback therapy utilizes EEG monitoring to determine what factors are exciting brain activity and indicates this change through a visual or auditory signal that the client and therapist can recognize. Once the triggering factors are realized, then the treatment process to control the reaction to these factors can begin.The reaction in an anxiety attack is a neuro-chemical reaction which can cause cold sweats, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and muscle spasms. This reaction is very similar to the ‘fight or flight’ response seen with any stress reaction. Through neurofeedback therapy the patient will first learn to recognize the triggering factors which they have been overlooking, and begin to control their reaction to these factors.One very important aspect of neurofeedback therapy is recognizing what factors cause the anxiety. The EEG monitoring will indicate when the anxiety begins and the patient and therapist can identify the factors that are causing these attacks. While it may be impossible to avoid all stress inducing factors, by recognizing what they are, at least some can be avoided or at least controlled.
Studies have been conducted which support the claim that people can learn to consciously control autonomic responses of the body. Through the positive reinforcement provided by neurofeedback therapy a patient can learn to alter their response to anxiety triggering stimuli. The therapist can teach the patient to alter their reaction to stress by teaching relaxation techniques, behavior modification, and breathing exercises. Each of these techniques is aimed at reducing the physical and emotional response
to the stimuli causing the anxiety. Your reaction to the anxiety causing stimuli can be controlled through neurofeedback therapy