Southern Institute of
and EEG Biofeedback
A. Martin Wuttke
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Why and how EEG-Driven Stimulation (EDS) reduces symptoms and restores function.
Symptoms and slow brainwaves are related. When people are overly stressed, injured, or traumatized, their brainwaves get fixed, or "stuck" in a pattern of predominantly slow waves. This is called "EEG slowing" - meaning that the strongest or dominant brainwaves are cycling at very slow speeds - and is associated with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, hyperactivity, distractability, mood swing, confusion, disorganization, and problems with sleep, concentration, following conversations, reading comprehension, memory, attention, etc.
We believe that EEG slowing occurs when the integrating function of the brain's cortex is inhibited. EEG-Driven Stimulation (EDS) helps restore this integrating function, and is thus a direct means of affecting, and often resolving, the symptoms listed above. Like a conductor leading a symphony orchestra, EDS brings out the brain's natural ability to perform with clarity, harmony, and balance.
EDS reduces "EEG slowing". With the help of sophisticated computer technology (EEG-Driven Stimulation, or EDS), the patient's dominant, or strongest, brainwaves control the rate at which a set of tiny lights flash dimly before the eyes. The brightness of the lights is carefully adjusted for comfort as the interaction of the lights and the patients brain gently reduces the strong slow frequency brainwaves. At the same time, higher dominant frequencies are increased. These changes are equivalent to greater both neurologically and behaviorally. When the slow wave activity is integrated by more wide-ranging and variable patterns of activity, symptoms decrease or disappear.
At the culmination of therapy, the brain adapts to this new flexibility and, like a thermostat that has been re-set, it no longer needs the help of EDS.
What is EEG-Driven Stimulation? EDS is a new, advanced form of biofeedback using EEG-Driven photic stimulation. It is non-invasive and painless, and requires only that a patient sit comfortable in a chair wearing dark glasses that have a set of tiny lights mounted on the lenses.
Who can benefit from EEG-Driven Stimulation? Anyone with EEG slowing can benefit. People suffering the effects of head injury, extreme stress, emotional trauma, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue, and chemical dependence have benefited greatly. Post-stroke deficits have also improved with EDS.
How long does it take? The factors that determine length of treatment are 1) a person's sensitivity to the lights, and 2) the complexity and duration of symptoms. Effects of a single upset may be resolved in a few a five or six sessions. Lifelong or complex problems may take 15, 30, or more.
Is EDS proven? And do the Effects last? EDS has been studied clinically for 5 years. 97% of the more than 350 people treated have experienced significant improvements in their symptoms, and the benefits gained seem only to sustain or increase, unless new trauma occurs. Although clinical research continues, and experimental research is planned, EDS has not yet been studied scientifically and anyone seeking it must be comfortable with this fact.
I EDS covered by insurance? EDS is still considered "alternative treatment" and is not yet covered by insurance.
EDS enhances other forms of therapy for mood and cognitive rehabilitation.
Flexibility & Learning
Because EDS increases the "flexibility" of the brain - by increasing the range and variability of dominant (or strongest) frequencies - learning of all kinds becomes easier, insight comes more readily, and tolerance and patience increase. Even fairly early on in treatment, many describe a greater sense of ease and clarity. They learn new skills more quickly and become more capable of self-management. For this reason, EEG-Driven Stimulation can dramatically enhance the process of other physical and psychological therapies.
"It would not be an exaggeration to say that I feel like a different person. The insomnia and pervasive anxiety that I had before the treatments are almost completely gone...I also feel kinder, less angry and at times a new a spontaneous feeling of love wells up in me."
D.B., Ph.D., Fairfax, CA
"I no longer feel ruled by desperation, I am no longer suicidal, my anger has dissipated, I am free from the plague of obsessive and unwanted thoughts."
E.K., Livermore, CA
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Last updated November 20, 1996