by Naperville PT, July 24, 2017
"On a scale of 0-10 with 0 being no anxiety and 10 being severe, where would you put me?"
This was the question I posed to Ajeet Charate, Board Certified Neurobiofeedback Therapist, who was reviewing the results of my QEEG test. I requested he perform one to see if we could figure out why I was having trouble staying asleep at night. Visit Ajeet Charate's website for more information about QEEG.
"10", he said with a very serious look, "So you definitely need treatment."
I was half in shock and half in disbelief as I sat there firing off the next question. "How am I not medicated?"
"Your body has learned to compensate over the years."
This conversation took place a few months ago. I wanted to start out with it to let others know that even though things look like they are calm on the outside there are possible underlying issues that could be causing you difficulties.
Life had changed significantly in the last three years. We changed our business model, ramped up my hours treating patients, added weekend seminars and I was doing more work from home thanks to the age of social media and blog writing. In addition, two of my children were diagnosed with auto-immune diseases, I got a melanoma removed from my leg and was diagnosed with a resting head tremor. You could say there were some increased stressors in my life!! But who doesn't have work and family issues? I may have felt a bit overwhelmed but I ate clean, healthy meals, did yoga 2-3 times a week and even had a weekly massage appointment with our fantastic massage therapist Fran. These were probably several of the reasons I didn't have a stroke when I was so stressed and, now, I had come to find out I had severe anxiety. Whoa!
I had always been a marvelous sleeper. I could sleep anywhere, anytime - trains, planes, sketchy hotel rooms in Scotland, you name it - give me five minutes and I would be out cold for 8-10 hours. Sometime around the age of 48 things started to change. I chalked it up to getting older but knew that it was starting to affect my focus during the day. After trying all of my science based techniques, exercises, foods and supplements, I knew it was time to get help. A new Essentia mattress provided a more restful night for me and even when I was awake for 1-2 hours at night, my body felt great in the morning because I remained comfortable on a healthy, organic mattress. If you are on the market for a new bed, visit www.myessentia.com and use our code FYZ005 for a 15% discount on mattresses. The addition of a supplement called ACTS (Adrenal, Cortisol, Thyroid Support) also had a dramatic effect on my sleep. I can't imagine what I would have been like if I didn't have that available to me because I am a nutraMetrix supplement supplier and knew about its benefits. Visit our nutraMetrix page for more information.
I am very open to bettering my health so I set up bi-weekly appointments for the next few months for LENS treatment (Low Energy Neurofeedback System). I didn't notice any changes right away, but after 3-4 weeks, I no longer was waking up for long stretches of time. I did wake up a few times, but was able to quickly fall back to sleep and soon enough I wasn't even waking up at all, except for the occasional trip to the restroom (another sign of getting older!).
So, what is this technique that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie? According to Ajeet:
LENS is a revolutionary technique for restoring optimal brain functioning. LENS appears to address the underlying neuropsychological functions as a rehab tool increasing the self-regulatory capabilities of the brain. It appears to do this by re-toning the brain's reactions to stimulation, interrupting the inhibitory self-protective mechanisms of the brain that interfere with connectivity, and facilitating cortical functioning that integrates subcortical electrical activity and normalizes recorded scalp potentials. The emphasis is on disrupting dysfunctional patterns and letting the brain re-establish the connections without micromanagement.
The system feeds back information to the brain by using a faint (1000th) radio frequency signal that is based on the person's EEG. The power of the signal is much less than the radio waves that surrounds us every day. This is done at 21 locations on the scalp. The LENS prompts an updating or examination of the brain function at that location. An analogy might be similar to rebooting your computer for a fresh start or defragmenting your hard drive (brain) for optimal system performance.
The change can sometime be noticed in a moment or may take a few hours to appear. This is often reported as welcome feeling of calm and control. The brain recognizes efficiency and adopts it as a new way of working. Symptom improvements follow naturally. This is often noticed as a surprising increase in competence, functionality and relaxation.
LENS therapy may produce rapid improvements in a wide variety of issues. We typically see improvement in the quality of sleep, cognitive functioning, motivation, mood, and motor skills. Clients have reported the additional benefits of reducing anxiety, migraines, headaches, PTSD symptoms, depression and pain. Many have been able to get off prescribed medications. Improvements sustain even after ending therapy.
Beyond these, LENS may help the best and brightest to be better and brighter in all realms of life.
Over the next few weeks my family noticed a reduction in my head tremors which at the time of writing this blog have almost completely stopped. I truly am thankful, considering my PCP told me there was no treatment other than medications which may not even work and have side effects - no thank you. Several colleagues and friends had noticed the tremor but never told me, as they thought I had developed Parkinson's Disease or some other neurological condition. The next step will be determined based on a follow-up QEEG which will happen in a few weeks. I most likely will cut treatment down to once a week if things are going well and then hopefully get discharged with a new sense of calm and focus. Often times, the lyrics of Jimmy Nash's Song "I Can See Clearly Now" play in my head:
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)