In LORETA neurofeedback we monitor the brain‘s electrical activity, in HEG (Hemoencephalography) neurofeedback we monitor the metabolic activity or metabolic rate, which is widely used in the field of neuroimaging. Metabolic rate is the rate at which energy is used up.
Many people only think about their metabolism as it pertains to burning food calories, but metabolic rate is really more appropriately viewed as the rate at which energy is used to perform a function within the body. Despite weighing approximately three pounds, the brain accounts for 20% of the body’s oxygen consumption and 25% of glucose consumption delivered through the bloodstream, which means it has a much stronger link to metabolic rate than many people initially expect. When the brain is engaged in a task, from driving a car to solving an algebra equation, the regions of the brain directly associated with the task will use energy at a faster rate than other regions to fuel the increased activity. This is accomplished through neural coupling, a mechanism that matches blood flow to metabolic demand in the brain by way of the extremely dense network of blood vessels and capillaries throughout the region. When neural coupling requires an increase in cerebral blood flow to accomplish a task, the blood becomes more oxygenated to meet the demand for energy.
Using the Passive Infra-Red form of HEG invented by Dr. Jeffery Carmen, a sensor picks up electromagnetic radiation, a small band of light within the infra-red part of the spectrum, which is heat being radiated from the brain. The signal is stable and very simple to interpret and increases or decreases in direct correlation with brain activation.
The sensor is placed on the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC), the action center in the brain, which is key in decision making, planning, organizing, staying on task, finishing what you start, paying attention, and concentrating. The PFC is also linked to motivation and decision making, and has the ability to inhibit other areas in the brain connected to emotions. By monitoring the activation of this region of the brain through your training, HEG can enable tremendous growth and improvement in these areas of your life, and increase the impact of your current practice.
There are three areas where HEG is proving itself in therapeutic practice:
• ADHD – Problems stem from impulsiveness, short attention span, distractibility, emotional difficulties
• Depression – People suffer from low energy, motivation, emotional flatness, strong painful emotions
• Migraine – Dr. Carmen developed PIR HEG specifically to treat migraines. He treated 100 migraineurs with PIR HEG over a four year period. Over 90% of subjects who completed at least six sessions reported significant improvement in migraines.