Training your brain without using medication

PHOENIX - What if we could help our kids without using medication, but with their own brain waves instead?

Several doctors in the Valley are trying this relatively new technique, including Dr. Sanford Silverman, licensed psychologist and owner of Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders .

It's called neurofeedback, and can be used to treat a number of common attention and learning disabilities, like attention deficit disorder, ADHD, autism, anxiety, migraines and even depression.

Mick Need, 11, was easily distracted and would frequently rush through standardized tests before he visited Dr, Silverman.

"He was described as having 'ants in his pants,'" Silverman said.

But now, his mom says he is concentrating better and his grades are definitely improving. He is now able to sit and do his homework; focusing at least 80 percent better. And most importantly, Silverman said, he is more relaxed.

Neurofeedback is a completely painless technique designed to teach people to control their brain waves while receiving visual and auditory feedback from a computer, Silverman said.

This technique can be compared to playing a video game, he says. Neurofeedback was initially developed by NASA to improve a pilot's attention and engagement to tasks in a flight simulator. It can be effective in increasing alert, focus and fast brain wave activity which can all result in significant improvements in attention and concentration.

"Neurofeedback helps target the root of a problem or disorder whereas medicine only treats the disorder as long as the patient continues to take it," said Silverman. "There are risks involved including growth suppression, abuse and diversion, and blood and heart problems. Medicating children is not healthy and can be dangerous in the long run."

For more information on neurofeedback go to www.centerforadd-az.com or call (480) 314-4299.

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