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Drug Free Treatment for Trauma and PTSD with Neurofeedback

By on October 30, 2017

In today`s society, chances are very good you either know someone, or have personally witnessed a frightening event, where you or a loved one’s life was in danger. Mass shootings seem almost commonplace. Natural disasters, war crimes, and terror bombings can create changes in the general state of people`s minds, leading to feelings of fear and anxiety. Personal experiences, such as sexual abuse, bullying, even severe illnesses, or an accident can create lasting changes in how we perceive the world.

What effects does PTSD have on the brain?
PTSD can cause a brain to overreact, and remain in a constant state of alert. This can lead to anxiety, sleep disturbances, attention and focus problems, and long-term, severe mood imbalances. People typically report they feel jumpy as if on “red alert” because it is so difficult to relax and maintain a normal state of mind.

How is PTSD typically treated?
Typically, medication is combined with different types of talk therapy.

Talk therapy, while effective in many cases, requires the patient to re-live the traumatic experience repeatedly, in order to develop the coping skills needed to deal with the emotions they produce.

There are many different types of medications used to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. For depression, the most common medications are SSRI`s. These drugs act to increase the blood levels of Serotonin by preventing the normal re-absorption that occurs over time. Unfortunately, it can take months for the medications to fully work. They can also cause a host of undesirable side effects including insomnia, headaches, agitation or nervousness, stomach issues, even an increased risk of suicide.

For the anxiety associated with PTSD, benzodiazepines are commonly used. Unfortunately, these medications are highly addictive, and their use for long periods can create as many problems as they solve.

Is there a better way to relief the symptoms of PTSD?
Yes. Neurofeedback therapy has shown great promise in eliminating the symptoms associated with PTSD. According to one study, the participants were diagnosed with chronic PTSD and had not responded to at least six months of psychotherapy. After neurofeedback training, 73% of patients experienced such an improvement that they no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Neurofeedback focusses on helping the brain re-learn how to regulate itself using an approach from behavioral therapy known as operant conditioning. If you`ve ever learned how to do a new skill, such as ride a bike, you`ve used operant conditioning to do so. It`s a fully natural process. Even better, once learned, the brain continues to use the new, calmer thought patterns long after their last training session has been completed. The result – no more PTSD symptoms.

About Dr. Ed Carlton
Dr. Ed Carlton is founder of the Carlton Neurofeedback Center ( and author of the book The Answer.

Carlton is a licensed chiropractor and certified neurofeedback provider who treats children and adults to improve performance and relieve symptoms from brain-based disorders that affect attention, mood, sleep, anxiety, depression, and more. He is a certified neurofeedback provider from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance and a member of the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research.

“My first degree is engineering. Neurofeedback is a cross between medicine and engineering, using the best of both to provide relief for my patients.”


About Charleen Wyman

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